Tasty Tuesday: Stuffed 3-cheese Manicotti

We’ve always loved manicotti and this week we came up with a new variation on this recipe that is just fabulous! Years ago I added this Tofu Manicotti recipe to our family menu. For a variety of reasons, we avoid tofu these days so I needed to modify this great recipe into something even better.

Here’s the secret to EASILY making manicotti: DON’T cook the manicotti shells before stuffing them. They’ll cook in the sauce in the oven so there’s no reason to fiddle with cooked noodles when you’re making this dish. This will save you HOURS of tedious work, trust me on this.

This recipe makes a huge amount of manicotti. You can easily cut this recipe in half if that works better for you.

Spinach Sausage Manicotti with Three Cheeses

To make the stuffing stir together the following:

  • 2 pounds sausage, browned and crumbled (I like turkey sausage for this but regular pork sausage works well too)
  • 32 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 32 ounces chopped frozen spinach, cooked and drained
  • 1 ½ t. salt
  • 1 t. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 16 ounces grated mozzarella cheese

spinach and sausage mixture for manicottistuffing manicotti shells

Stuff this cheesy mixture into the manicotti shells. Pour some marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and place the stuffed manicotti shells snugly into the baking dish. Pour more marinara sauce over the top.

uncooked manicotti shells in the pancover the manicotti shells with marinara saucesauce covering the stuffed manicotti shells

This amount of stuffing filled 4 boxes of manicotti shells and used almost three 32 ounce jars of marinara sauce. I ended up with three FULL 9×13″ baking dishes of manicotti. The amounts might vary depending on how tightly you pack the manicotti shells and how generous you are with sauce. You want to at least cover the the shells completely so they’ll cook in the oven.

Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake at 350° for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

baked stuffed manicotti

I love serving this dish with a green salad, some Italian Ciabatta from Stickboy Bread Co. and a glass of red wine. It’s VERY hard to resist the temptation to eat WAY more manicotti than anyone SHOULD eat. Yummmmmmmm.

manicotti

Now for the best part of all….the first night I made this, we only ate about 1 ½ pans, so I wrapped the rest up tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer. Today I pulled those leftovers out to thaw. I heated them up in a 300° oven until they were completely warm and we had another entire dinner out of this! What a great meal!

If you want to turn this into a vegetarian meal, you can eliminate the sausage. Tofu works beautifully in this dish as well.

Barb   

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Comments

  1. Thank you Barb! I’m gonna make this soon. What a relief to have something yummy and new to make for dinner. You are loved! Anna Lynch

  2. OH, goodness, this looks good! I didn’t know that you could use them uncooked! That’s one of the most cumbersome parts of cooking manicotti, thanks for the tip!