Classic Manicotti Recipe

If you were to type the word "manicotti" into Google Translate, the Italian to English translation would be something along the lines of "little sleeves." And, as it turns out, this literal translation is pretty fitting, and manicotti pasta really is composed of tiny little sleeves, tubes, or whatever you wish to call them. And, even better yet, these little sleeves become the perfect vehicle for a creamy, cheesy, and flavorful filling. In this recipe, the filling consists of ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. We love serving manicotti as a slightly elevated — and maybe just a bit more involved — way to serve all the flavors of lasagna. Meals like this feed a crowd and appeal to even the pickiest of eaters.

Recipe developer and registered dietitian nutritionist, Kristen Carli, MS, RD, brings us this delicious manicotti recipe. Carli notes that this "is the basic version of a manicotti recipe, but this could be easily adapted to alter flavors to your desire. Feel free to add in extras as you like." Read on to follow our step by step guide of how to make this manicotti recipe in less than one hour.

Gather your ingredients to make manicotti

To make this manicotti recipe, we must first gather the ingredients. You will need manicotti noodles, ricotta cheese, one egg, grated Parmesan cheese, jarred marinara sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Carli recommends using "jarred marinara sauce as this will save you some significant prep time. You can use a simple marinara sauce, like I did here, or one with added seasonings like garlic or veggies such as mushrooms and green peppers if you wish." Can you already imagine how deliciously cheesy this dish is going to be?

Start by boiling the pasta

Now, let's get cooking. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the manicotti noodles and cook them according to package directions, which should take about 10 minutes. Once done boiling, carefully drain the pasta and set it aside to cool. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 F. Get a large 9x13-inch baking dish out and at the ready. You will eventually bake the manicotti in this dish. While you don't need to spray the baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, we always find this a good idea to help with clean up.

Make the cheesy filling

Now, it's time to make the manicotti filling. In a medium-sized bowl, add the ricotta cheese, the egg, and the grated Parmesan cheese. Using a spoon, mix this combination well, making sure to break up the egg. Carli notes that "this combination is a classic ricotta filling, but if you want more texture or flavor you can easily add some frozen and then thawed spinach, sautéed mushrooms, minced garlic, or Italian seasoning to this filling." Of course, nothing beats that classic plain cheese filling!

Pipe the filling into the noodles

Once you have the filling created and the noodles cooked, you will need to fill the manicotti noodles. The best way to do this is to place the filling into a large plastic bag. Make sure to squeeze all of the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. Then you can snip off one of the bottom corners of the bag to create a piping bag. Now, pour half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Pipe the filling into the center of the noodles and place each noodle into the baking dish.

Cover the noodles with more sauce and cheese

Once all of the noodles have been filled and placed in the baking dish, pour the remaining marinara sauce on top. Be sure to pour this sauce fairly evenly. Then, sprinkle on the 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce-covered noodles. The cheese will get all gooey and melty in the oven. Carli recommends using "mozzarella cheese here as it is the best melting cheese for such an Italian dish, but feel free to also add a bit of grated Parmesan cheese or shredded Romano cheese as well, if you would like."

Bake

Now, it's time to bake. Place the baking dish in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. During this time, the cheese will melt and the filling will cook through. Once the time is up, remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes. To serve, garnish with a bit more grated Parmesan cheese and even julienned basil leaves, if desired. Carli notes that "leftovers store best in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days." We hope you love this simple, cheesy, and delicious pasta dish!

Classic Manicotti Recipe
4.9 from 37 ratings
This classic manicotti recipe is loaded with several types of cheese, making it deliciously decadent and savory.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
40
minutes
Servings
4
servings
manicotti single serving
Total time: 50 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 manicotti noodles
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 (24 ounces) jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the manicotti noodles according to package directions, then drain and set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, add the ricotta cheese, egg, and Parmesan cheese. Using a spoon, mix well. Scoop the filling into a large ziplock bag, pushing the air out. Snip a corner off the bottom of the bag to make a piping bag.
  4. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, add ½ the jar of marinara sauce.
  5. Pipe the ricotta mixture into each of the 8 noodles. Set the filled noodles into the baking dish. Repeat with all noodles.
  6. Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles.
  7. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top of the sauce-covered noodles.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is melted, then serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 919
Total Fat 52.5 g
Saturated Fat 31.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 219.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Total Sugars 12.4 g
Sodium 1,870.7 mg
Protein 53.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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