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 ½ hours.
I dig this method as it can be a bit challenging to fill hot and soft noodles with the filling. Those of you that have done it before know exactly what I am talking about.
💭 Recipe Tip
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 zip lock bag by cutting a small piece of one of the bottom corners at an angle.
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.
🐄 How to Handle Raw Beef
Thaw raw 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.
However, if you decide to modify this awesome Italian Manicotti recipe I am certain you will absolutely love it!
💭 Serving Suggestions
What does better with a great pasta dish than some Cheesy Garlic Bread. This is the best garlic bread you will ever have!
For more great recipes with Manicotti Shells, I suggest you check these recipes out:
📋 Gather your Ingredients
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.
🥣 How to make Italian Manicotti
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 ⅓ of the beef mixture evenly over the 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 ½ hours.
- Bowl for Mixing
- Baking Dish
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
- 2 teaspoon Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 Cup White Mushrooms, sliced
- 2 teaspoon Fresh Basil, diced
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 10 oz Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed & drained
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 16 oz Cottage Cheese
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- 14 Manicotti Shells, al dente
- 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 ⅓ 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 ½ hours.
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.
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.