Manicotti-Gift of the Gods

4.9 stars from 8 ratings of Manicotti

Manicotti has been a favorite dish in my family since I was a child. My brother, sister and parents loved it and now my children and grandchildren love it. It is a great fix ahead dish and freezes well. Fix it days ahead and pop it in the oven about an hour before you are going to want to eat. This is a great dish for parties and family get togethers as it is festive, tasty, impressive and fairly easy to make. If you manage to make enough to have leftovers, it reheats well and seems to gain flavor by sitting.

We have all adapted this recipe to our own tastes and my stepson likes it with cheddar cheese. Adapting a recipe is fine and some of the things that we do with them are quite good. I encourage all to make this recipe your own by adapting it to your tastes. It just makes it more enjoyable.

My children have all helped me make this as they were growing up. We all have enjoyed filling the shells together, with the mom and child time. As they grew up, my sons used this dish to impress dates. They also impressed parents with this.

Combine with a tossed salad and garlic bread for a wonderful tasty meal. It will become a family favorite of yours also. This also seems to taste even better the next day, after the flavors blend together. Save your left-overs in serving sized containers for later in the week. It freezes well and tastes even better when reheated.

Watch for my next Manicotti hub, vegetarian and yummy also.

Ready to serve.
Ready to serve. | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 50 min
Ready in: 1 hour 50 min
Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. ground beef, cooked, drained and crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 14 manicotti shells, par-boiled
  • 24 ounces spaghetti sauce, we prefer mushroom flavored
  • 2 cups spinach, fresh, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
Two of these are in the package. Jiggle lightly in store to make sure they are not all broken.
Two of these are in the package. Jiggle lightly in store to make sure they are not all broken. | Source
These are the par-boiled shells.
These are the par-boiled shells. | Source
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté ground beef. Add remaining ingredients reserving one cup of cheese, the sauce and the shells. Mix thoroughly. The spinach is optional; although not affecting flavor it adds loads of vitamins.
  2. Par-boil the shells following package directions. Drain and cool by flushing with cold water. This stops the cooking of them and leaves them cool enough to fill.
  3. Prepare glass casserole dish or baking pan by smearing a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. This will keep the shells from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Fill par-boiled shells with meat mixture using either a teaspoon while holding the shell cradled in your hand or by inserting the mixture into a baggy, snipping a corner off and squeezing into the shell. I just learned of this method and have not tried it. I don't know why I never did as I use this method for other things. Isn't it amazing how stuck in a rut we get?
  5. Line the shells up in the pan touching but not crowding each other. When they are all in the pan, mix the remaining meat mixture with the rest of your sauce plus one cup of water. Pour this over the shells, making sure to cover every bit of the shells. Any parts of the shells not covered will be hard and crunchy. You want to avoid this. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle a cup of shredded parmesan over the top, letting it melt. Let sit for 10 minutes to firm up before serving. This makes it much easier to serve.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 filled shells
Calories 780
Calories from Fat432
% Daily Value *
Fat 48 g74%
Saturated fat 22 g110%
Unsaturated fat 21 g
Carbohydrates 32 g11%
Sugar 9 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 46 g92%
Cholesterol 186 mg62%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

More by this Author


Comments 52 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I've always wanted to try making Manicotti . Looks great, and thanks for sharing your recipe.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Just ask Susan, you will love this and it is so easy. I just had to add 50 words to it so it would qualify for the contest. LOL. Not easy when you write recipes in shorthand. Thanks for coming by to visit.


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

This does look like a gift from God esp. at lunch time.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

I guess I published at a good time then.LOL! You will really enjoy this, it is one of our favorite meals. It is a bit time comsuming to make but it is fun and definitely worth it to make it. Thank you for coming by to visit.


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

Thanks again and I will share this!


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

This is one of my favorite recipes so far. I have bookmarked this. Love it... A small salad and two garlic rolls and ready to go. Great hub! thanks.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

The photo made me feel hungry, Im' going to try this but I'll half it as there's only two of us.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

That looks really good. It also looks like a simple enough recipe that many could try it.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

lovedoctor,Glad you like this one. I appreciate you coming by to visit.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Angela, appreciate the sharing.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

writer20, You could always make the full recipe and have some for next week. That is what I do with left-overs. I freeze it for later and don't have to cook one night. Thanks for coming by to visit.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

mckbirdbks, This is simple enough for my pre-teen kids. Thanks for coming by to visit.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

WOW This looks great. Love Italian food. Thanks for sharing. Will definitely try this. Passing it on.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Gypsy Rose Lee, I love Itlaian food also Glad that you like this and came to visit.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Although others may think you are slightly dotty,

I do understand your love for Italian manicotti.

Guess what? Me, too,

Love it, I do!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

drbj,I love your ditty,

no one will think we are dotty,

all they have to do,

Is try the manicotti.

Thanks for coming by and making me smile.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Hi Becky, this looks so good, I will definitely be trying it. Freezing half is a great idea. I love days I don't have to cook. Lol


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Rosemay, I love those days too, that is why I plan for them. And some days we just don't have time to cook and don't feel like take-out. Enjoy and thanks for coming by.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this great recipe. Manicotti was a great way to introduce vegetables into my family's diet


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Mhatter, I agree and if you chop it fine enough, they will never know you put it in. Of course, you can also tell them that it is parsley. lol! Thank you for coming by to visit.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

A mouth watering photo leads to an awesome recipe idea! love the cheese and pasta combination anytime.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

teaches12345, Thank you for the lovely comment. I love manicotti, Many others do also. I consider it many steps up from lasagna so it is really up there for me. This is easier than it looks from the completed dish. I hope you enjoy, thank you for coming to visit.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

This looks so delicious Becky. I have never tried this but i will. Thank's for the share...


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Ruby, this is a wonderful dish. If you like Italian, you will love this. Thanks for coming by to visit.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Nice recipe Hub Ms Becky, what time is supper? Looks delicious. Regards, snakeslane


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

s'lane, You missed it, they ate it all. I got one piece for lunch. Glad you liked and thanks for coming by to visit.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Becky,

I shall be passing this right along to Chef Geoff as it sounds absolutely heavenly!

Your title is captivating and drew me right in... as I suspect my fork would draw me right to this scrumptious dish!

I do love this new format and voted you 5-STARS & UP & UFABI...FUNNY because of your poetic exchange with drbj... (LOL)!

Wonderful work! Hugs, Maria


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This hearty dish is a regular at our house. You're right about the leftovers being even better the next day. We make a big batch and have it for a couple of days then freeze the rest. I love Manicotti and now you've made me hungry for some. Thanks for sharing your recipe and cooking method. Yum!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Peg, I am delighted to hear that it is a favorite of yours also. I can't seem to make enough to last a couple of days, let alone enough to freeze for later. I have a couple other recipes that I am working on that are family favorites. Thanks for coming by to visit.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Glad you liked this Maria. You will really enjoy it when it gets to your mouth. As for the poetry exchange, every once in a while, I will get the proper cue that will inspire me but I am not much good at it. Glad you came to visit.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I can make this using veggie crumbles instead of ground beef. It looks like comfort food and I sure need some right now. Thanks for the wonderful recipe Becky.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hyphen, You will love this recipe. I am trying to get the time to put together one with cheese and spinach filling. I was going to include the recipe for it too but this new format does not work for variations. Thanks for coming by to visit.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

This is another one of those 'why on earth have I not made it?' recipes! lol! definitely going to give it a try, wonderful!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Nell, you haven't made it because you did not have a good recipe. Now you have no more excuses. LOL! Enjoy and thanks for coming by to visit.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Hi Becky, I'm finally BACK. I Loved your Hub on Manicotti. Mmm, Mmm, Good! It actually is one, that I would make, and I DON't COOK! I too, would Enjoy one with Cheese and Spinach filling. Thanks for Sharing.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi b. Malin, I have been busy and haven't gotten the one with the cheese and spinach written. I will try to get it done in the next day or so. It would have been easier if they allowed for two filling ingredient lists in here. I tried to figure that out but either it can't be done or I am dense and couldn't figure it out. I am glad you liked this and love that you came by to visit.


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Sounds yummy to me Becky, and you have presented it all so well


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

katyzzz, This is a favorite and it is very yummy. Try it and you will be hooked. Thank you for coming by to visit.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 4 years ago from Arizona

Becky, a great looking recipe, have you tried the the shells, like giant shells from Velveeta shells and cheese except their huge. I have used a couple of Italian recipes for them and I keep a few snacks on hand. So guess what's for lunch tomorrow. I'm going to try your recipe using those shells. I've kind always wanted to mix it up and make several different flavors all in one pan. I think I'll get a chicken out and some ground venison and load of pan of a mixture. I make my own spaghetti sauce or marinara sauce, whatever you want to call it. It looks good and I wish it was already made as I'm hungry right now.

Thanks for a new recipe and motivation to do some cooking while it's too hot to go out and play.

Peace,

dust


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Dusty, I have tried the large shells. They add a little more pasta to it than my husband likes. His diabetes doesn't like pasta either. The manicotti shells have less pasta. That sounds like it will be really good with different flavors in one pan. I have made this with shredded chicken also. It is good too. Now I am thinking of how good this is and going to have to walk over to get some shells. It sounds like you use the large meal in the middle of the day and a smaller meal at night, like we do. Hope you enjoy this, let me know. Glad you came by to visit.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

This sounds sooo good! I have never tried manicotti, but plan on trying this very soon. Great pictures and instructions. Garlic bread and salad, tops it off. Voted this up, useful and sharing on my blog! Have a wonderful day!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

sgbrown, I know you will love this and if you have leftovers, eat them the next day. I think they taste even better. Thanks for coming by to visit.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 4 years ago from Arizona

Becky, you nailed it, not counting breakfast, if I'm going to eat a big heavy meal I do at midday. I got diabetes, and use long-acting and short acting insulin. I have the ability to vary how much of both I use. I went to one-on-one training with a VA, specialist that taught me how to use those insulins so that I could eat more of what I like, and if I decide to be a pig I can still keep my glucose readings in line.At any rate I got my big shells out and loaded them with all kinds of goodies six different cheeses. Some are all cheese others are mixed with chicken or venison and I even snuck in bacon. I cooked it at 350 for 30 min. yesterday leaving it covered with foil. Today at around noon, I'll put it back in at 350 for about 45 min. I found that making this type of dish and even my lasagna, that a short cook and then leaving it set overnight lets the flavors blend and it's really good.

I'll be letting you know how it turns out, and what I filled the different shells with, it ended up feeling to glass baking pans, I'm not sure their dimensions but I'm guessing seven or eight by 11 inches. Italian dishes are my downfall when it comes to that oh I can't believe I ate the whole thing feeling. LOL

I'll be able to blame this on you for bringing it up.

Peace,

dust


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Dusty, I am laughing at you now. Eating all of that will kill you. Dennis would too but then he would sit around groaning and complaining because he ate too much. I have gotten to where I limit the amount I put on the table and then he doesn't eat as much. I don't have to listen to him complaining because he ate so much. A quarter of one pan should be enough to send you over the edge. Leave the rest for the freezer. You are right, the flavors in this will blend and taste so much better. I love to have some for the next day.

Dennis is still trying to stay off of the insulin so he takes the pills and controls his diet. It cuts out a bunch of stuff for him but it is stuff that he doesn't like mostly. Pasta and mashed potatoes are out. Unfortunately milk is too. He loves it but can't have it or too much cheese.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

A delicious recipe packed with detailed instructions & drool-worthy photo! I am a big fan of Italian cuisine and would like to give this recipe a try. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

ishwaryaa22, I love Italian too and I think this is even better than lasagna. I hope you enjoy. Thanks for coming by to visit.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Becky,

Just gave this yummy sounding recipe another 5 stars. I love meal preparations that can be done ahead of time and get even more flavorful if eaten a day or two later and also those that freeze well. This hits all of those marks plus it is Italian flavored which so many people love. Up and useful votes and will share.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Peggy, you will love this recipe. I have never had anyone not rave about it. I love the ones that get better after sitting and that I can freeze also. So glad that you could come by to visit.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

Becky this is another 5 stars recipe.. I think Ill try this one again thanks for sharing :)


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Frank, I hope you love this as much as we do. Thank you for the rating and the visit.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Yum, yum. Sounds like what's for dinner.


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ Author

Hi Peg. I had this last night. You will really enjoy this and it is so good. So happy to see you come by to visit.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working