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Meatless Stuffed Manicotti Recipe

Have you ever had stuffed manicotti? It’s a delicious Italian dish made with tubes of pasta filled with creamy cheese. 

This recipe is meatless, but you can add your favorite meat if you like. I’ve used ground beef, ground turkey, and even shredded chicken.

Pan of stuffed manicotti shells covered in melted cheese

I used to order this when I went to Italian restaurants. Each time I tasted it, I thought about how easy it would be to make it.

Today, I’m going to show you how to make it at home. Just as I thought, it’s really easy, and the results are mouthwateringly good. 

Serving of stuffed manicotti on a plate

I actually made it for the first time a few years ago, and each time it gets easier. I’ve added and swapped out different ingredients numerous time. This is my favorite way to make it.

Italian Inspired Comfort Food

If you’re in the mood for some Italian-inspired comfort food, look no further than this stuffed manicotti recipe. It will definitely satisfy your craving for something hearty and delicious. 

Plus, it’s a great way to use up any leftover cheese that you may have lying around. So why not give it a try? You won’t be disappointed!

If you want to add meat, you’ll need to make 2 decisions. What kind of meat do you want to use? And do you want to add it to the cheese stuffing or marinara? That is completely up to you!

You’ll also love the versatility of this dish. It’s an impressive dinner party dish, family meal, or game day food. It’s one of my favorite recipes to serve any time I’m entertaining.

Stuffed Manicotti Ingredients

All of the ingredients for this delicious dish are easy to find in any grocery store.

manicotti shells, egg, and parmesan cheese

Here is what you’ll need:

  • Manicotti pasta (regular or gluten-free)
  • Pasta sauce
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Egg, beaten
  • Italian seasoning
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt (regular table salt, kosher salt, or Himalayan sea salt)
ricotta cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese
marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, and Himalayan sea salt
onion powder and garlic powder

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by using the “print” button.

If you prefer, you can use large pasta shells that are made for stuffing.

You can also use either marinara from a jar or this homemade marinara sauce.

For meat lovers, add some ground beef, ground turkey, or Italian sausage to either the sauce or the stuffing.

How to Make Stuffed Manicotti

This is super easy to make, but it does take a little bit of time and patience to stuff the pasta.

First, preheat your oven to 375˚ F. Spray the bottom of an 8” x 8” or 7” x 11” baking pan.

Now pour half of your pasta sauce into the bottom of the pan and spread it out evenly. Set it aside while you prepare the manicotti.

marinara in the bottom of a baking pan

Boil enough water in a saucepan to cover the manicotti. After it starts a rolling boil, add the manicotti shells to the water.

Cook it for about 4 minutes or until the pasta begins to soften. However, you don’t want it done, or it will be difficult to stuff.

boiling manicotti shells in a saucepan filled with water

Remove the manicotti and let it cool while you mix the stuffing ingredients.

In a medium bowl, mix the egg, ricotta, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Stir it well.

ricotta cheese mixture for stuffing the manicotti

Fill the cooled manicotti with the ricotta cheese mixture.

There are several ways you can do this—with a pastry bag, plastic storage bag with a hole cutting the corner, or with a butter knife.

The goal is to get the ricotta mixture into the pasta tubes, so do it however is best for you.

After you finish filling the manicotti, put it in the baking pan in a single layer.

single layer of stuffed manicotti over marinara in a baking pan

Pour the rest of the sauce over the stuffed manicotti until it is completely covered.

marinara poured over stuffed manicotti in a pan

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the top.

Now cover the pan with foil. Bake for 40 minutes.

pan of baked stuffed manicotti covered in cheese

Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and turns a light golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

serving stuffed manicotti from the pan

How Long Does Stuffed Manicotti Last in the Refrigerator?

If you have leftover manicotti, save it for lunch the next day or so. Store it in an airtight container or plastic food storage bag in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

You can also freeze stuffed manicotti. Either wrap it in foil or put it in a freezer bag before putting it in the freezer. It should last for about a month.

pan and plate of stuffed manicotti

Side Dishes to Serve with Stuffed Manicotti

There are so many delicious side dishes that go with stuffed manicotti, from your basic salad to Italian bread.

Here are some things I like to serve with manicotti:

Watermelon Cucumber Salad – The cool cucumber and refreshing watermelon come together in a delightful way to balance out filling stuffed manicotti.

Broccoli Slaw – Add some color, lots of nutrition, and a boatload of flavor to your meal with this yummy broccoli slaw.

Greek Olive and Feta Salad – Add another element of Mediterranean flavor to your meal with an olive and feta salad that is sure to have people asking for more.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts – You can’t go wrong with these delicious Brussels sprouts that have been roasted to perfection.

Dinner Rolls – These dinner rolls from Back to My Southern Roots are easy to make and impressive alongside a dinner of stuffed manicotti.

Cloud Bread – For those who want something light, fluffy, and gluten-free, offer some cloud bread. You’ll be amazed by how good this is!

Desserts That Go with Stuffed Manicotti

Don’t forget about dessert. After a delicious meal of stuffed manicotti and whatever sides you choose, finish off with a delicious sweet treat.

Here are some wonderful desserts that are all easy to make:

3-Ingredient Lemon Bars – Quick, easy, and so delicious, these lemon bars are the perfect finish to any Italian-inspired meal.

Pineapple Dump Cake – If you like the flavor of pineapple, you’ll want to give this dessert a special place in your recipe box. It’s delicious with a scoop of ice cream, a dollop of whipped cream, or all by itself.

Butterscotch Pecan Cookies – Sweet, nutty, and so delicious, these butterscotch pecan cookies are a great way to finish off any meal.

2 stuffed manicotti shells with melted cheese on top

Easy Stuffed Manicotti Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This stuffed manicotti is easy and delicious for a family meal or dinner party.

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces of manicotti (regular or gluten free)
  • One 24-ounce jar of pasta sauce
  • 8 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray the bottom of an 8” x 8” baking pan.
  2. Pour half of the pasta sauce into the pan. Set it aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, boil enough water to cover the manicotti. Once the water starts to boil, add the manicotti.
  4. Cook the manicotti for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is half cooked but still somewhat firm (not crunchy).
  5. Remove the manicotti and allow it to cool to room temperature while you mix the other ingredients.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the egg, ricotta, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Stir until well mixed.
  7. Fill the manicotti with the ricotta mixture. You can use a pastry bag or a plastic storage bag with a corner snipped off. I’ve even stuffed it with a butter knife. Use whatever method is easiest for you.
  8. After you fill the manicotti, place it in a single layer in the baking pan.
  9. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the manicotti, making sure to cover all of it.
  10. Now sprinkle the mozzarella over the sauce-covered manicotti.
  11. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  12. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. 
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 773Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 20gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 223mgSodium 678mgCarbohydrates 58gFiber 7gSugar 16gProtein 48g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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See this recipe shared at Weekend Potluck and Full Plate Thursday.

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Julie

Monday 23rd of May 2022

I love manicotti and this looks fantastic!

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