"Bring a restaurant classic to your dinner table with this easy cheese manicotti recipe. Use Bertolli marinara sauce and cut your cook time in half!"
Since we’re all friends here, I have a confession to make:
There’s not much I wouldn’t do for stuffed pasta.
Tortellini, ravioli, jumbo shells, you name it; if cheese and pasta are involved you can bet that I’ve got my plate out, waiting to be served.
But despite this little obsession of mine, I hardly ever have time to make stuffed pasta at home, and my time (and life!) is only getting more chaotic as we approach the end of the year.
This means I tend to take the “easy” way out and get my fancy pasta fix at my favorite Italian restaurant.
However, we all know that eating out every night isn’t always possible, especially now that the holidays are approaching. Gotta save some of that $$, amirite?!
So, I figured it was high time that I honed my own “Stuffed Pasta Cooking Skills” (official term), especially since Bertolli just introduced their new Riserva line – which just happens to include a Parmigiano-Regginao Marinara sauce. And the best part? Having a high quality and ready-made marinara sauce
And the best part? Having a high quality and ready-made marinara sauce reduces the typical cook time of my favorite pasta recipes in half.
And a faster cooking time = more time for me to plan what to do with all the money all I’ll be saving for the holidays by not going to the restaurant.
The pasta itself turned out amazingly well. It was a little tricky to fill the manicotti noodles with all the ricotta cheesy goodness, but being the classy girl that I am, I ended up using a spoon and my fingers.
It might not have been the cleanest way to go about it, but it certainly got the job done – just like the pros do at the restaurant!
And the Bertolli sauce was the perfect touch to liven up this dish.
notes & tips for cheese manicotti:
- I like to fill manicotti by hand, but if you’re looking for an easier way, you can pipe the cheese filling into the manicotti by putting it in a Ziploc bag (quart sized) and cutting a hole in one of the corners (just like you would for icing). This way you can easily fill the manicotti without all the mess. (Thanks, Diane!)
- No plastic bags? Once the manicotti has cooled, you can cut a line down the side of the manicotti, fill it with filling, then press the manicotti back together. The filling will help “glue” the manicotti back together. Then you can just place the manicotti seam side down in the baking dish (Thanks, Sher!)
- In the mood for more red sauce Italian classics? Be sure to check out Penne alla Vodka, Gnocchi alla Sorrentina, Sausage & Spinach Stuffed Shells, Chicken Penne Casserole, Baked Italian Sausage Ravioli, Meatball Sub Casserole, Cheesy Spaghetti Stuffed Peppers, Baked Spaghetti Casserole, and Chicken and Sun Dried Tomato Lasagna Roll-Ups.
- This recipe can be made with any type of marinara or spaghetti sauce. I’ve also used a Homestyle Meat Sauce and loved it!
Easy Cheesy Manicotti
Cook manicotti per package instructions, drain, and lay on parchment paper to dry and cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray, then spread a thin layer of Bertolli Riserva sauce along the bottom of the dish. Set dish nearby.
- In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper until smooth.
Using a spoon (and your fingers!) gently feed the cheese mix into the cooled manicotti noodles. Tip: pack one end until full, then turn the manicotti around and fill the other end.
- Place filled manicotti on top of sauce in prepared baking dish. Arrange manicotti in a single layer. When all manicotti are filled, cover the tops with the renaming Bertolli Riserva sauce.
Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top (optional). Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Serve cheese manicotti immediately with more parsley on top as garnish.