Manicotti – A Simple Yet Incredible Entree


Manicotti has long been one of our family favorites. It’s jam packed with a rich cheese filling, it’s brimming with delicious Italian flavor and it’s oh so satisfying. The perfect main dish any day of the week!

Homemade Manicotti In Oven Stuffed With Filling


This is one my favorite recipes that has been in my recipe book and made in my home countless times over the last 8 years. I originally saw the recipe on Food Network and have made my own adjustments, you can follow the link below to view the fully original recipe.

Who knew a vegetarian dish could be so good? I actually prefer this over lasagna. I usually serve it along with Parmesan or lemon chicken (so there goes vegetarian =) and a side of steamed brocolli, but if you aren’t up to preparing a big meal this manicotti is filling enough to be a meal on it’s own.

What Is Manicotti?

This is cheesey, flavorful, generously filled pasta drenched in a simple yet incredible marinara sauce. Basically it’s comfort food at it’s best. To sum it up, it’s simple, satisfying and a family favorite.

Note: the photo posted above is a half batch, prebaked and not fully covered in sauce (so you could see what the manicotti actually looks like). I often do a half batch for my small family. Sometimes I will do the full batch and freeze some. You could even do two half batches in two 8×8 pans and freeze one and immediately bake the other. For the frozen one thaw it overnight then bake in a cool (not preheated) oven at 350 for 55 minutes.

Once you add all the sauce it should look more like this…

Stuffed Manicotti Covered With Marinara Baking in Oven

Yum yum, all that saucy goodness! Overload of marinara sauce right?

Manicotti Filling

This manicotti filling is really simple but it’s perfectly flavorful. You just blend together a mixture of 3 cheeses – ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan, along with eggs and parsley


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This has been one of my go-to recipes for years! Manicotti noodles are jam packed with cheese and smothered with a homemade marinara sauce. A classic Italian dinner you need to try!

Servings: 7
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 1 (8 oz) pkg Manicotti noodles
  • 1 (15 oz) container Ricotta Cheese (I've used both whole or part skim, either works)
  • 1 lb freshly grated Mozzerella Cheese (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup finely, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 oz)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Recipe Marinara Sauce , recipe follows

Marinara Sauce

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (28 oz) cans crushed Roma tomatos (I prefer Contadina brand)
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to directions listed on package and drain.
  2.  In the meantime prepare Manicotti filling, in a large mixing bowl, using a fork blend together ricotta cheese, eggs, parsley, a little salt and pepper. 

  3. Stir in grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese and mix until well blended. 

  4. Divide cheese mixture evenly among the 14 manicotti noodles stuffing each one full (I just do this using clean hands, I hold one hand over the bottom opening of the manicotti noodle, then press cheese mixture into the noodle and slightly pack it in until the cheese mixture fills to opposite end). 
  5. Align noodles in a single layer in a 13x9 baking dish then pour marinara sauce evenly over filled manicotti noodles. 

  6. Bake in preheated oven until cooked through, about 45 minutes and serve warm.

Marinara Sauce

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 20 - 30 seconds until lightly golden.

  2. Add in crushed tomatoes, basil and parsley and let simmer while preparing pasta and filling, about 20 minutes.

  3. Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Food Network
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 614 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 124mg41%
Sodium 932mg41%
Potassium 811mg23%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 1240IU25%
Vitamin C 18.6mg23%
Calcium 711mg71%
Iron 4.2mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Manicotti
Calories: 614 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • nitza berrios: Love it and didnt even turn on the oven with summer up high in the 100s i place the manicottis on a large skillet lined with aluminun foil and cover with the cristal lid. Mini stove top oven. Wonderfull ! And not extra heat from the oven in the house. June 25, 2019 at 8:57am Reply

  • Jaclyn P.: Hi Jaclyn,
    My name is also Jaclyn- not many of us who spell it that way. I’m half Italian. This is the closest recipe to what my mom made. She added spinach (squeeze out well)and used some Jack cheese and just a little ground nutmeg. Always great make ahead dish for parties. August 24, 2016 at 8:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hi Jaclyn! Thanks for the great tips! August 25, 2016 at 12:50pm Reply

  • Sherri: Thanks Jaclyn! I’m looking forward to trying the recipe this weekend. What do you serve for side dishes with the manicotti? July 9, 2015 at 1:24pm Reply

  • Sherri: Can this recipe be made without boiling the manicotti noodles ? July 9, 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend it because I don’t think the noodles wood cook all the way though. Plus I think you can fit more filling once they are boiled. July 9, 2015 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Leigh: To add Italian sausage, should it be mixed with the filling or added to the marinara? July 27, 2014 at 5:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I would just add it to the marinara sauce. I hope you love it! July 27, 2014 at 7:00pm Reply

  • Brett: I made this the other night and it was a HUGE hit! My hubby said it was as good as anything you can get from an Italian restaurant. Delicious!!! September 10, 2013 at 7:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Happy to hear they were a hit Brett! Now you’ve got me craving them so I’m going to have to make them again this week :). September 19, 2013 at 11:00am Reply

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