What a great do ahead dish! I was a little concerned about using the raw ground beef, but it turned out fine! I used 2 cups of shredded Taco cheese for the topping because I love cheese! This dish puts "Taco Bell" in the dog house!!
Good heavens, the dish definitely has a Mexican/Southwest flair, so the name fits it. Made it last night, and it is fabulous, easy, and worthy of company. I did tweak it a bit, however as follows: added 1 heaping teaspoon of McCormick's Chipotle pepper powder as well as the heaping 3 teaspoons of regular chili powder, used refried beans with green chiles, added a couple of tablespoons of hot sauce to the picante sauce/water mix, and I topped it off with lowfat sour cream and pepper jack cheese. It was to our taste for spicy (we like food hot). I intend to try it with ground pork, chipotle salsa in place of picante sauce, and even more chipotle pepper powder. There are many ways to tweak this recipe - it's excellent.
I've made a similar recipe for years and everyone always loves it. The only differences are that I brown the ground beef before adding the refried beans and seasonings, and I do not refrigerate the stuffed shells before baking. Great recipe.
This was delicious!! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. After baking I topped it with the Monterey Jack cheese and had all the other ingredients (more Jack cheese, sliced green and black olives, sliced scallions, hot peppers, and sour cream) already prepared and in bowls on the table so my guests could top their manicotti with their favorite toppings. I served it with a nice salad full of fresh veggies and some of my dads home made bread (He makes the best potato bread ever). You are really missing something if you pass by this recipe. I had everything chopped and in bowls ahead of time. I prepared the manicotti in the morning before I went to work... then just popped in the oven and enjoyed cocktails with my guests while dinner took care of itself.
I actually did this in the crockpot and it worked great. Very tastey - everyone enjoyed it.
This is very good. I did add onions and garlic to the ground beef mixture. My Daughter-in-law doesn't eat much meat and she had two helpings. I liked the fact that the noodles didn't have to be cooked. I always have a terrible time filling cooked manicotti noodles. Thanks for sharing!
Timing on this recipe is important. Allow enough time prior to baking and baking time. I cut down oven baking time by using the microwave 20 mins. on high heat and then oven baked 20 mins. prior to adding the sour cream, onions and olives. Very easy and excellent tasting!
Wouldn't change a thing about this dish. My family really enjoyed it. I found I had filling left over so I will definitely be making it again soon.
Easy to make. It doesn't need the 8 hour in advance preparation. You can do that if it is convenient, but I made it and popped it directly in the oven and it cooked beautifully.
I was skeptical but it worked! I have a million ideas now for additions to the filling. Garlic, bell pepper maybe. Thanks, good job Inez!