A low carb spinach manicotti recipe featuring crepes filled with spinach & ricotta cheese, topped with red marinara sauce. A true Italian-American classic.
Who here misses pasta on a low carb diet? I do! It was a staple of my fast and easy one-pot meals back in the day. And although we had it often during the week, in one form or another, it was the comfort dishes I really craved… dishes like lasagna, raviolis, cannelloni, and manicotti; all those stuffed and filled pastas were my favorites!
On a low carb diet traditional pastas are out of the question. Too many carbs = too much sugar in the body = a blood sugar spike and resulting insulin spike in response. Add cheese, olive oil, and fiber to that pasta dish and you may have a slower insulin response, but it stays elevated for hours! It’s a bad scenario for many of us. What’s a pasta luvin’ person to do?
Well, many of us have hopped onto the spiralizer train! Woot – woot! We are using vegetables, that we cut into “ribbons” and “noodles” with our spiralizers, as healthy subs. They’re really good! Also, some people are experimenting with using the Fathead dough not only for low carb pizza, but as lasagna and pasta noodles. If there is a will, there is a way!
But, what does one substitute for rectangles or tubes of pasta stuffed with savory fillings?
Crepes! My favorite thing to use for manicotti are low carb crepes! And, it just so happens that I posted a no-fail savory crepe recipe last month!
What I like about using crepes for this low carb version of manicotti, is how fast and easy it is to assemble the dinner. The crepes take about 20 minutes to make and can be made up to a week in advance. Then, the whole dish comes together in a snap! You can be enjoying this Italian classic of spinach and ricotta stuffed manicotti in mere minutes!.
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Each serving of this easy and tasty low carb spinach manicotti is 6 net carbs.
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Low Carb Spinach Manicotti with Ricotta Cheese and Red Sauce
- 8 Low Carb No-fail Crepes use my No-Fail Crepe Recipe or your favorite
Spinach Manicotti Filling
- 8 ounces frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 1/4 cups low fat ricotta cheese 310 g, it has less carbs than full fat
- 8 ounce bag 5 cheese Italian blend 226 g, or mozzarella
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch fresh nutmeg
- 1 1/4 cup Rao's Marinara Sauce 282 gram, 3 net carbs per 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese 2 oz/ g
- chopped parsley or basil for garnish
- Make the crepes. They take about 20 minutes and can be made up to a week in advance.
- Prep: Measure the marinara sauce and water into a blender and blend into smooth. Butter a small rectangular or square baking dish (10x7 inch or 8x8 inch). Pour about 1/3 of the sauce into the dish and tip the dish around to distribute the sauce evenly around the bottom.
- Stack all of the crepes on top of each other and cut about 1/2-3/4 of an inch off of each opposite side, resulting in two curved sides and two straight sides. See picture.
- Mix and Fill: In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the manicotti filling. Taste to adjust the seasonings per your liking. Smooth the top, making it flat and even. With a knife, score the top into 8 equal wedges.
- Lay a crepe on the work surface in front of you with the straight sides to the right and the left. With a large spoon, spoon out about 1/8th of the spinach ricotta filling and place it towards the front of the crepe. Gently roll the mixture into a log that reaches from straight side to side of the crepe. Roll-up the crepe and place seam-side-down in the baking dish. Repeat the process for all of the crepes and filling. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the crepes and top with the cheese.
- Cook: Cover with plastic wrap and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes (more or less depending on your microwave). Place under the broiler to brown the cheese if you would like. Garnish with chopped parsley or basil.
- Note: Can be made the day before and refrigerated until needed. Let it warm up on the counter for 30 minutes before cooking.