Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Manicotti

"This is a wonderfully cheesy manicotti recipe made easier by not having to cook the shells first. Comfort food at it's finest. The original recipe source idea is RecipeGirl, but made a few of my own changes and additions. Hope you try it, it is worth the time."
photo by Muffin Goddess photo by Muffin Goddess
photo by Muffin Goddess
photo by Meekocu2 photo by Meekocu2
Ready In:
1hr 45mins
12-14 manicotti




  • Preheat oven to 350* F.
  • Combine sauce and sausage in the same skillet sausage was cooked, keep warm.
  • In a large bowl, mix spinach, cheeses, eggs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir together until well blended.
  • Place about 2 cups sauce in a 9X13 inch casserole dish. Spread it around to cover the bottom.
  • Now, to fill the manicotti. You can do this however you wish. You can use a pastry bag, or a zip-lock bag with a corner cut, or a spoon. I chose to use an old baby spoon (from when my daughter was a baby, the kind with the rubber temperature controlled end). I had fantastic results doing it that way. I highly recommend doing it that way. You may have to fill half, turn manicotti around and fill from the other end, as I did. Try to get as much filling in as possible, letting it over flow from the ends. Place the filled shell into the sauce-lined dish. Repeat with the remaining manicotti shells, and fill the dish with the stuffed shells, until you either run out of room, or shells or filling. I ran out of room first, I got twelve into my casserole dish. (I did have left over filling, which I froze.) You could also use two separate smaller dishes, and freeze one for another meal.
  • Cover pasta with sauce, you don’t have to use it all, just make sure all the exposed manicotti are covered in sauce, about 2 ½ cups. Place sliced mozzarella on top of sauce and sprinkle remaining ½ cup shredded cheese mix over the mozzarella. At this point, you can cover with foil and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake, or you can cover with foil and place it in the oven immediately.
  • Bake, covered with foil, 50 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  • Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
  • Tips:

  • It's perfectly fine if you want to use full fat versions of the cheeses, we just prefer the low fat and fat free versions.
  • It's perfectly fine to leave the spinach out and turn this into just a cheese manicotti.

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  1. Muffin Goddess
    These were sooo good! I had exactly enough filling for one whole box of manicotti shells. I really liked the flavor that the cream cheese brought to the filling -- sometimes I find that pasta filled with pure ricotta cheese is just too, well, ricotta-y, but the cream cheese made this perfect. I didn't have any Paul Newman sauce, so I subbed in one jar of Barilla Traditional sauce and one big jar of Victoria marinara sauce. I think I ended up using more sauce than was required because the Victoria sauce was a Costco-sized jar, but it thickened up quite a bit in the oven, and we like pasta heavy on the sauce anyhow. I was initially worried that the pasta wouldn't soften enough if it wasn't pre-cooked, but it was just right after it's time in the oven (soft but not soggy). I could fit all but 4 of the manicotti in one big pan, so I put the last of the manicotti in a small (1.5 quart) Corningware dish. I was hoping to keep the smaller dish for photo purposes and leave the large casserole pan for DH to take his dinner from, but when I got home from work, I realized that DH had used the smaller dish as his dinner plate, lol. I think he liked them! Definitely a keeper, thanks for posting! Made for PAC Spring 2014



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