Bring a restaurant classic to your dinner table with this easy cheese manicotti recipe. With tender noodles, rich red sauce, and the delicious combination of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, this dish makes a perfect weeknight dinner and great leftovers.

This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.

Easy Cheesy Manicotti! Bring a restaurant classic to your dinner table with this easy cheese manicotti recipe. With tender noodles, rich red sauce, and the delicious combination of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, this dish makes a perfect weeknight dinner and great leftovers. #sponsored | HomemadeHooplah.com

About Easy Cheesy Manicotti

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.

Cheese manicotti made with a delicious red sauce.

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.

A recipe tutorial on how you make cheese manicotti.

How do you stuff manicotti shells?

Personally, I like to fill manicotti by hand. I use a spoon (or sometimes even my fingers) and gently feed in the cheese mix into the manicotti. Once I’ve filled one end of the pasta, I flip the manicotti and fill the other end.

However, some readers have asked for easier (or cleaner!) methods for filling manicotti – and, in return, other readers responded with their suggestions.

For example, reader Diane suggested that 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.

Sher, another reader, had another great idea for filling manicotti. Once the pasta 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 to hide the line.

notes & tips for cheese manicotti

  • I’m a big fan of Bertolli, but it’s okay if you don’t have any on hand. This recipe can be made with any type of marinara or spaghetti sauce. I’ve also used this Homestyle Meat Sauce and loved it!

More great pasta recipes

An easy italian dinner with tips on how you stuff manicotti shells.

Recipe Details

Easy Cheesy Manicotti! Bring a restaurant classic to your dinner table with this easy cheese manicotti recipe. With tender noodles, rich red sauce, and the delicious combination of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, this dish makes a perfect weeknight dinner and great leftovers. #sponsored | HomemadeHooplah.com
3.75 from 59 votes

Easy Cheesy Manicotti

20 mins prep + 50 mins cook
486 kcal
Yields: 4 servings
Bring a restaurant classic to your dinner table with this easy cheese manicotti recipe. With tender noodles, rich red sauce, and the delicious combination of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan, this dish makes a perfect weeknight dinner and great leftovers.

Ingredients 

  • 8 pieces manicotti
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded (plus more for topping)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 large egg
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 1/2 tsp salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper to taste
  • 24 oz Bertolli Riserva Sauce any flavor

Instructions

  • Cook manicotti per package instructions, drain, and lay on parchment paper to dry and cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 199mg | Sodium: 1859mg | Potassium: 773mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1980IU | Vitamin C: 14.4mg | Calcium: 690mg | Iron: 3mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I'm not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

Made this recipe?

Tag @homemadehooplah on Facebook or Instagram and hashtag it #homemadehooplah so I can see what you whipped up!

Explore more: Dinners, Pasta, Popular, Recipes

Take recipes "to go"

Leave a Reply to Heidi Q Cancel reply

Recipe Rating




63 comments

    • Kellie

    Use a plastic baggy to fill the noodles! Put your filling in the baggy and cut the corner kind of like a pastry bag! Squeeze it in and it goes all the way down the noodle. Easy clean up!

    • Erin Maschman

    This is a family favorite! The kids and hubby gobble it down 😍 I always add Italian sausage to it, as hubby says every meal has to have meat of some kind.

    • Debi

    Can you put this together the night before and then just pull it out of the refrigerator and bake?

    • Anita Kornblit

    I add chopped mushrooms and chopped broccoli or spinach.
    More nutritious and delicious!

    • Kate*
    • 5 stars

    I call this recipe divine!!! My husband loves his meat, so I added a little sausage to the sauce, plus about a tablespoon of heavy cream. It definitely filled my craving for the manicotti I used to get from my favorite Greek-Italian restaurant back home!!♥️♥️♥️

    • Barb

    Made it and the family loved it. Made a pasta sauce, garlic toast yummy!!! Would make again.

    • Pat

    This recipe sounds delicious. I would like to make fresh pasta to substitute the canelloni tubes. Would I have to precook it before rolling around the filling?

    • Sharon @ What The Fork
    • 5 stars

    I made this with gluten free manicotti noodles and it was very good! I’ll be making it again for Christmas Eve 🙂

    • ANNETTE
    • 5 stars

    This is a delicious recipe! I do have a tip for filling manicotti noodles that my family has used all the way back to my grandmother. Fill UNCOOKED pasta noodles and line them up in the dish you are baking them in. Water down your sauce 2 to 1…for example, 2 cups of sauce to 1 cup of water. Cover the noodles completely with the watered down sauce, cover the dish and bake for an hour. When it’s done, the water will have absorbed into the pasta, cooking it to perfection and the sauce will have thickened back to it’s original state!

    • Sharon
    • 5 stars

    This is an awesome recipe I like to add spinach to the cheese mixture and to the sauce and of course extra minced garlic!! Yum

    • Shirley Davis
    • 5 stars

    Very Easy and yummy Manicotti Will make this again..I made 14 of them Lots of cheese I will have leftovers I am sure. Also used Low fat Ricotta.

    • Hidas @ BunkCollege
    • 4 stars

    I’m crazy about anything with cheese on and this will really help me in my dorm.

    • Karen Becker
    • 5 stars

    I made this last night for dinner and it turned out great! I just used a very small spoon to fill them and it was fairly easy. I made 10 pieces of manicotti, but I still could have filled a couple more if I had used a larger dish. We are having left overs tonight. Yummy!

    • Eliese

    If I wanted to make a double batch so that I can freeze one, should I freeze the extra batch before baking? Then thaw and bake when needed?

      • Chrisy

      Hey Eliese! For freezing, you can do either – freezing before baking or freezing after. As long as you use a good container to prevent freezer burn you should be fine. For what it’s worth, I typically hear that people freeze the unbaked dish and then thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before baking.

    • Linda

    Can you use low fat cottage cheese in it instead of ricotta? I do that with my lasagna

      • Chrisy

      Hey Linda! If you like using low fat cottage cheese with lasagna then it should work just fine with this recipe 😀

    • Shameka

    This recipe sounds and looks good but what if u want to add meat to it like hamburger how would you go about doing that??

      • Chrisy

      Hey Shameka! This recipe was designed for cheese only, so unfortunately I don’t have any suggestions for adding meat. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

      • Katherine

      Add hamburger meat to the spagetti sauce

      • Sherry

      I just made it tonight with hamburger meat. I simply cooked the meat separate, made some with only the cheese, added the meat to some of the cheese mistuned and made the remaining with the meat mixture. Following same baking instructions. Turned out great.