Manicotti Recipe: Italian Stuffed Pasta Perfection

If you’re looking for a comforting Italian dish to warm your soul, look no further than manicotti. This classic pasta dish is a favorite for its rich flavors and satisfying texture. Made with large pasta tubes that are stuffed with a savory filling, manicotti is a true comfort food that is perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, manicotti is a crowd-pleasing dish that is sure to impress. With so many different variations of the recipe, you can customize the filling to suit your taste preferences. From classic cheese and spinach to hearty beef and sausage, there’s a manicotti recipe out there for everyone. So why not try your hand at making this delicious pasta dish tonight?

Ingredients Required

When it comes to making manicotti, there are three main categories of ingredients you’ll need: pasta and cheese, sauce and seasoning, and filling and extras. Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need for each category.

Pasta and Cheese

First and foremost, you’ll need manicotti shells. These are large, tube-shaped pasta shells that are perfect for stuffing with cheese and other fillings. You’ll also need a variety of cheeses, including ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan. Ricotta cheese is the star of the show here, providing a creamy, slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the other cheeses. Mozzarella cheese is used for its gooey, melty texture, while parmesan cheese adds a sharp, nutty flavor.

Sauce and Seasoning

To make a delicious manicotti dish, you’ll need a flavorful tomato sauce. You can either use store-bought marinara sauce or make your own from scratch. Seasonings like garlic, basil, and Italian seasoning are also essential for adding depth of flavor to the dish. Salt and black pepper are used to season the sauce and filling to taste.

Filling and Extras

The filling is where you can get creative and add your own personal touch to the dish. A classic manicotti filling consists of ricotta cheese, eggs, parsley, and spinach. You can also add ground beef or sausage for a heartier filling. Other extras like butter, onion, fontina cheese, and pecorino romano cheese can be added to enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.

Overall, making manicotti requires a variety of ingredients, but the end result is a comforting and delicious meal that’s perfect for feeding a crowd.

Preparation Steps

If you’re looking for a delicious and satisfying baked pasta dish, then manicotti is a great option. This Italian classic features stuffed pasta tubes filled with a flavorful cheese filling and baked to perfection. Making homemade manicotti may seem intimidating, but with the right recipe and instructions, it’s actually quite easy. In this section, we’ll go over the steps you need to follow to prepare and assemble your own stuffed manicotti.

Pasta Preparation

The first step in making manicotti is preparing the pasta. You can either use store-bought manicotti shells or make your own from scratch. If you’re using store-bought pasta, simply cook the manicotti shells according to the package instructions until they’re al dente. If you’re making your own pasta, roll out the dough and cut it into long, thin strips. Then, boil the strips until they’re cooked through but still firm.

Making the Filling

The filling is what gives the manicotti its delicious flavor and texture. To make the filling, start by mixing together ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese in a large bowl. Then, add in some Italian sausage, garlic, and herbs to give it some extra flavor. Mix everything together until it’s well combined, and then transfer the filling to a piping bag.

Assembly and Baking

Once you have your pasta and filling ready, it’s time to assemble your manicotti. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Then, take each cooked pasta shell and use the piping bag to fill it with the cheese filling. Place the filled pasta shells in the baking dish, making sure to leave a little bit of space between each one.

Once all of the pasta shells are filled and arranged in the dish, cover them with your favorite tomato sauce. You can either use store-bought sauce or make your own from scratch. Sprinkle some extra parmesan cheese on top, and then cover the dish with foil. Bake the manicotti for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

When the manicotti is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. This dish is perfect for a cozy family dinner or a special occasion. You can even make it ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake it. With this recipe and instructions, you’ll be able to make delicious homemade manicotti that everyone will love.

Serving Suggestions

Manicotti is a delicious dish that is perfect for a family dinner or a special occasion. If you’re wondering what to serve with your manicotti, here are some ideas to help you create a complete meal.


A fresh salad is a great way to balance out the richness of the manicotti. Consider a simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing or try an Italian chopped salad with ingredients like salami, provolone, and olives. You can also opt for a Caesar salad with crisp romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, and croutons.


Breadsticks or garlic bread are classic accompaniments to Italian dishes like manicotti. You can also serve a crusty baguette with butter or olive oil for dipping.


Roasted or sautéed vegetables are a healthy and flavorful side dish for manicotti. Try garlic parmesan asparagus, sautéed broccoli rabe with garlic, or crispy eggplant. Zucchini fritters or stuffed mushrooms are also great options.


If you want to add some extra protein to your meal, consider serving grilled chicken kabobs or pork schnitzel. Lemon pepper shrimp or BBQ ribs are also delicious options. You can also add Italian sausage to your manicotti filling for a meatier dish.

With these serving suggestions, you can create a well-rounded meal that everyone will enjoy. Don’t be afraid to mix and match to find the perfect combination for your taste buds.

Storing and Reheating

After making a delicious manicotti dish, you may have leftovers that you want to store for later. Proper storage and reheating techniques can help maintain the quality and taste of your dish.


If you plan on storing your leftover manicotti, it is essential to do it correctly. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Store the baked manicotti in an airtight container or cover it with foil before placing it in the refrigerator.
  • Consume the leftovers within 3 to 5 days to ensure the best taste and quality.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the baked manicotti for up to 1 to 2 months. Make sure to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before freezing.


When reheating your leftover manicotti, you want to make sure that it is heated evenly and thoroughly. Here are some ways to reheat your leftover manicotti:

  • Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
  • Microwave: Place the leftover manicotti in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Heat it on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
  • Stovetop: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Place the leftover manicotti in the skillet and add a little bit of water or sauce. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.

It’s important to note that the reheating time may vary depending on the amount of leftover manicotti and the reheating method you choose. Make sure to check the temperature of the dish to ensure that it is heated thoroughly.

In conclusion, storing and reheating your leftover manicotti can help reduce food waste and save you time in the kitchen. By following the tips mentioned above, you can enjoy your delicious manicotti dish again and again without compromising its taste and quality.

Nutritional Information

If you’re looking for a delicious and filling meal, manicotti is a great option. But if you’re watching your calorie intake or trying to eat a balanced diet, you may be wondering about the nutritional information of this dish.

According to a recipe from Yale Medicine, one serving of manicotti contains approximately 330 calories. It also has 23 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbohydrates, and 11 grams of fat. The dish is relatively high in saturated fat, with 6 grams per serving, but it also provides 4 grams of dietary fiber.

It’s worth noting that the nutritional information for manicotti can vary depending on the recipe you use. For example, if you make your own sauce or use low-fat cheese, you may be able to reduce the calorie and fat content of the dish.

If you’re concerned about the nutritional content of your manicotti, there are a few steps you can take to make it a healthier option. For example, you can try using whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta, or adding more vegetables to the filling. You can also try reducing the amount of cheese you use, or using a low-fat or fat-free variety.

Overall, manicotti can be a satisfying and nutritious meal option, as long as you’re mindful of the ingredients you use and the portion sizes you consume.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to fill manicotti shells?

The best way to fill manicotti shells is to use a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off. This will allow you to easily fill the shells with the cheese mixture without making a mess. Make sure to stuff the shells firmly, but not too tightly, to prevent them from splitting open during cooking.

Can I use manicotti instead of stuffed shells?

Yes, you can use manicotti instead of stuffed shells. Manicotti are larger and have a tubular shape, while stuffed shells are smaller and have a conical shape. However, both can be filled with the same cheese mixture and baked in the same way.

What goes good with manicotti?

Manicotti pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as garlic bread, roasted vegetables, or a simple green salad. You can also serve it with a tomato sauce or a creamy Alfredo sauce, and top it with grated Parmesan cheese for added flavor.

What is the Italian version of manicotti?

The Italian version of manicotti is called cannelloni. Cannelloni are similar to manicotti, but are made with fresh pasta sheets instead of pre-made tubes. They are typically filled with a mixture of ricotta cheese, spinach, and ground beef, and are baked in a tomato sauce.

How do I make spinach manicotti?

To make spinach manicotti, simply add chopped cooked spinach to the cheese mixture before filling the shells. You can also add garlic and herbs, such as parsley and basil, to the filling for added flavor.

How do I make sausage manicotti?

To make sausage manicotti, brown ground sausage in a skillet and mix it with the cheese filling before stuffing the shells. You can also add diced onions and bell peppers to the sausage mixture for added flavor.

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