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This easy manicotti recipe is an easy meal to prepare, perfect for busy nights.
This pasta bake is filled with cheese and Italian herbs, topped with marinara sauce and baked to perfection! It can even be done ahead of time to quickly pop up in the oven on busy nights.
What is manicotti?
Manicotti is a long, large, tubular pasta that is usually cooked and filled with a ricotta cheese filling similar to this classic stuffed shell recipe.
Baked Cheese Stuffed Manicotti is one of the best comfort foods, and it's also perfect to enjoy early on a busy night!
Ingredients and variations
- MANICOTTI This paste is perfect for this recipe as it keeps the filling well! But any large tubular past would work for this recipe.
Try it with cannelloni, large pasta shells or even rigatoni. Rigatoni are smaller, so give yourself a little extra time as it will take longer to prepare!
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- FILLING Made with three types of cheese, mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan, this filling is so delicious!
For a little more flavor, try replacing the mozzarella with Monterrey Jack or a pepper jack cheese. Or try cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Just strain the cottage cheese before adding it to the recipe to prevent the filling from being too watery.
And don't forget the pesto. Add the perfect Italian flavors.
- SAUCE For the best flavor, try making a homemade marinara sauce. You can also use a store-bought marinara sauce or even a basic tomato sauce in a pinch. Just add a little Italian seasoning to increase the flavors!
How to do manicotti?
This delicious baked pasta dish is easy to prepare and delicious to enjoy!
- Cooking manicotti shells. While they cool, prepare the filling (according to the recipe below).
- Fill shells and layer with marinara and cheese in a saucepan.
- Bake and serve immediately!
Get creative with the filling. Add different cheeses, spinach, herbs, or meat such as chicken, beef, or sausage, or a single dish.
How to fill manicotti
Once the filling is ready, grab a large freezer bag or pastry bag to easily fill your manicotti shells!
- Fill the bag with the ricotta mixture
- Cut off the end and tuck it in!
No cake decorating skills required;)
Tips for the best pasta baking
Do you have to cook manicotti shells before filling them? It depends.
I prefer to use regular manicotti shells instead of oven-ready, but you can use oven-ready if necessary if you really want to sauté them before filling.
If you swap out the regular noodles for the oven-made ones in this recipe, keep an eye on the pan while it bakes. If it starts to look dry, add a drizzle (a couple of tablespoons) of water around the edge (yes, water! Trust me).
It's also important to keep the noodles covered in sauce and cover the pan while baking if you use oven-ready noodles so that everything cooks evenly.
This recipe is great for leftovers. Just prepare to the point of baking, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
To serve, simply defrost (if frozen) and bake as directed.
Store cooked leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or in the oven at 325F until heated, about 20-25 minutes.
Easy pasta recipes
Did you love this stuffed manicotti recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and comment below!
This easy Manicotti recipe is filled with cheese and Italian herbs, topped with Marinara sauce, and baked to perfection!
12 manicotti pasta shells
2 cups ricotta cheese 1 16-ounce / 475-g container
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon basil pesto
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 375 ° F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add manicotti and boil for 7-8 minutes, until almost tender *.
Drain and rinse the manicotti 2-3 times under cold water until cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, egg, pesto, salt, and pepper.
Put the ricotta mixture in a large pipe bag or a large freezer bag and cut off the end.
Lightly grease a 9×13 baking sheet and spread 1 cup marinara sauce on the bottom.
Fill each manicotti shell with the ricotta cheese mixture and line up on top of the marinara sauce in the baking dish, dividing the ricotta evenly among the 12 manicotti.
Top stuffed manicotti with remaining 1 1/2 cups sauce, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
Lightly grease a piece of aluminum foil or a lid and cover the baking sheet. Bake at 375 ° F for 25-30 minutes until heated through and pasta is tender. To serve.
* Make sure you don't overcook them. You want them to be a little firm so they are easy to fill and don't overcook in the oven.
Servings: 2 manicotti, Calories: 451, Carbs: 33 g, Protein: 27 g, Fat: 23 g, Saturated fat: 14 g, Cholesterol: 104 mg, Sodium: 1395 mg, Potassium: 542 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 6 g, Vitamin A: 1214 IU, Vitamin C: 7 mg, calcium: 485 mg, iron: 2 mg
Keyword Manicotti, Manicotti Recipe, Stuffed Manicotti
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