Italian Manicotti

This Italian Manicotti recipe is the real deal. Super easy to make and tons of flavor as you would expect from an Italian pasta dish

italian manicotti

If you are looking for a delicious pasta dish to make for the family, look no further than this Italian Manicotti recipe. Super simple to make and packed full of flavor.

The first thing you will most likely notice about this recipe is that you do not need to cook the noodles before baking the dish in the oven. The noodles will cook in the sauce when baked in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

I dig this method as it can be a bit challenging to fill hot and soft noodles with the filling. Those of you who have done it before know exactly what I am talking about.

fresh basil leaves
Fresh Basil Leaves

The easiest way I know of for filling the manicotti shells with the filling is to use a cake decorating bag. Put the cheese and spinach filling in the bag and pipe it into the shell. If you don’t have a cake decorating bag you can use a ziploc bag by cutting a small piece of one of the bottom corners at an angle.

baked italian manicotti

What I also like about this manicotti recipe is how versatile it is. You can easily substitute the ground beef for some ground turkey if you prefer.

My wife doesn’t like mushrooms so you can leave them out or substitute them for something like zucchini. You can also use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese.

beef icon

How to Handle Raw Beef

  • Thaw frozen ground beef on a plate on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator, to avoid dripping onto other foods.
  • Keep raw and ready-to-eat meats separate.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after handling raw ground beef. Wash cutting boards, bowls, and utensils used to prepare raw ground beef with hot soapy water and rinse well.
  • Use separate plates to carry raw ground beef patties to the cooking area and cooked patties to the serving area.
  • Use a Thermometer to ensure Ground Beef Reaches the Safely Cooked Internal Temperature of 160°F.

If you prefer a cheesier pasta dish I suggest you use some shredded mozzarella cheese or Monterey Jack cheese instead of the parmesan cheese.

Italian Manicotti

However, if you decide to modify this awesome Italian Manicotti recipe I am certain you will absolutely love it!

What does better with a great pasta dish than some Cheesy Garlic Bread. This is the best garlic bread you will ever have!

You will need the following ingredients to make this Italian Manicotti recipe (see recipe card for quantities): Lean Ground Beef, Minced Garlic, Yellow Onion, Diced Tomatoes, White Mushrooms, Fresh Basil, Italian Seasoning, Frozen Chopped Spinach, Parmesan Cheese, Cottage Cheese, Ground Nutmeg and Manicotti Shells.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Add the garlic and onion and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 10 minutes then drain any excess fat.
  3. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, Italian seasoning and salt to taste. Mix well. Bring to boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Meat Sauce with Zucchini
  4. In a bowl, combine the spinach, cottage cheese and ground nutmeg. Set aside.
    Cheese & Spinach Filling
  5. Spoon about 1/3 of the beef mixture evenly over the bottom of greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
    Meat Sauce in Baking Dish
  6. Fill the uncooked manicotti shells with the spinach mixture. Place the filled shells on top of the beef mixture in the baking dish.
    Manicotti Shells in Baking Dish
  7. Pour the remaining beef mixture evenly over the top of the manicotti shells. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of the beef mixture.
    Manicotti Shells covered in Meat Sauce
    Manicotti ready for Baking
  8. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Printable Recipe Card

Italian Manicotti

Italian Manicotti

This Italian Manicotti recipe is the real deal. Super easy to make and tons of flavor as you would expect from an Italian pasta dish
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4
Calories 628 kcal

Equipment

  • Skillet
  • Bowl for Mixing
  • Baking Dish

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 2 Tsp Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup White Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tsp Fresh Basil, diced
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 10 oz Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed & drained
  • ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 16 oz Cottage Cheese
  • ¼ Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 14 Manicotti Shells, al dente

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • In a large skillet, brown the ground beef. Add the garlic and onion and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 10 minutes then drain any excess fat.
  • Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, Italian seasoning and salt to taste. Mix well. Bring to boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In a bowl, combine the spinach, cottage cheese and ground nutmeg. Set aside.
  • Spoon about 1/3 of the beef mixture evenly over bottom of greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Fill the uncooked manicotti shells with the spinach mixture. Place the filled shells on top of the beef mixture in the baking dish.
  • Pour the remaining beef mixture evenly over the top of the manicotti shells. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of the beef mixture.
  • Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 628kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 56gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 1008mgPotassium: 1603mgFiber: 9gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 9006IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 441mgIron: 8mg

Nutritional information provided for this recipe is based on 1 serving. This information is an estimate and may vary based on several factors. If nutritional information is important to you and your diet, please verify this recipe with a Registered Dietitian.

Tried this Recipe?Leave a Comment below and share a picture on Instagram and tag @hot_rods_recipes and hashtag #hotrodsrecipes!

Similar Recipes

4.88 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating:




Before a comment appears it needs to be approved by the site owner. Read our Comment Policy to see how your comment data is processed. Your email address will NOT be published.

One Comment

  1. Sasha says:

    This italian Manicotti was very tasty. I did use a mixture of Parmesan and mozzarella cheese and it turned out great. Very flavourful and was even better the second day. A keeper in my book.