Chicken Manicotti with Chive Cream Sauce

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Broccoli and pimiento add vivid colors to the tasty chicken filling that spills from these pasta shells.

12  packaged dried manicotti shells
1  8-ounce container soft-style cream cheese with chives and onion
2/3  cup milk
1/4  cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
2  cups chopped cooked chicken (10 ounces)
1  10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2  of a 7-ounce jar roasted red sweet peppers, drained and sliced, 
or one 4-ounce jar diced pimiento, drained
1/4  teaspoon pepper
Cook the manicotti shells according to package directions. Drain shells; rinse with cold water. Drain again.
2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small heavy saucepan melt cream cheese over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Slowly add milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in Romano or Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat.
3. For filling, in a medium mixing bowl stir together 3/4 cup of the sauce, the chicken, broccoli, roasted red sweet pepper or pimiento, and pepper. Using a small spoon, carefully fill each manicotti shell with about 1/3 cup of the filling. 

4. Arrange the filled shells in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover with foil. 

5. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Makes 6 main-dish servings.
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare and stuff manicotti. Pour sauce over shells. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and chill up to 12 hours. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through.  

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens

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