Manicotti Recipe That’s Great For Dinner

Manicotti recipes might have a lot of steps, but I’ll be covering each one in detail here. If you decide to follow along with this entire thing, you’ll have a really tasty, wholesome meal that everyone will love.

You can find all the ingredients for this at a local grocery store like Aldi or a Cub foods if you’re in the upper-midwest like me. A great pairing for this is some red wine and garlic bread. You can’t go wrong with that and maybe some broccoli, too. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need below.

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What You Need For This Manicotti Recipe

What it isNameWhere to buy
CookwareMedium and small mixing bowlsAmazon
CookwareMixing spoonAmazon
CookwareKitchen scaleAmazon
CookwareMetal spatulaAmazon
CookwareLarge SkilletAmazon
CookwareLarge PotAmazon
CookwareLarge strainerAmazon
CookwareSmall forkAmazon
CookwareMeasuring cups – at least 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cupAmazon
CookwareMeasuring spoonsAmazon
CookwareLarge and small kitchen knivesAmazon
CookwareCutting boardAmazon
CookwareTwo oven mitts and one potholder for skilletAmazon
IngredientManicotti pasta – 8 ounces (I got Creamette brand)Store
Ingredient1/2 pound bulk Italian sausageStore
Ingredient1/2 pound 93% lean ground beefStore
Ingredient1/2 cup onion, chopped into tiny piecesStore
Ingredient2 cloves garlic, chopped or 1.5 teaspoons minced garlicStore
Ingredient1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoesStore
Ingredient1 6-ounce can of tomato pasteStore
Ingredient1 teaspoon basil leavesStore
Ingredient1 teaspoon sugarStore
Ingredient1/2 teaspoon saltStore
Ingredient1/4 teaspoon pepperStore
Ingredient1 container (15 ounces) of ricotta cheeseStore
Ingredient3.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheeseStore
Ingredient1/3 cup grated parmesan cheeseStore
Ingredient1 eggStore

Let’s make it happen. Step 1 of this manicotti recipe: grab the manicotti! That’s the name of the type of noodle in this.

manicotti recipe noodles

Then, get your big pot. You’ll be boiling these up before doing anything else.

big pot

Fill it up with a lot of water. Maybe 6-7 quarts total, but I just eyeballed it.

pot of water

Boil the water on the stove.

boiling water for manicotti recipe

Once it’s boiling, put the manicotti noodles in there.

manicotti recipe

Let those boil for a little while, about 12 minutes or until the noodles are soft. While that’s boiling, start to prep the sauce by grabbing your can opener.

can opener for manicotti recipe

Grab the diced tomatoes next.

diced tomatoes for manicotti recipe

Get that can open for this manicotti recipe. You can’t have tomato sauce without some tomatoes right?

opening a case of tomatoes

Once that’s open, set it aside. Consider draining the tomato juice out, too. I should’ve done that but I didn’t when I made this manicotti recipe. I don’t think it effected the overall taste too much, though.

open can of tomatoes

Next, grab a wooden spoon. You need to stir the pasta periodically while you prep everything or it might stick to the bottom of the pot.

wooden spoon

Stir the pasta.

stirring pasta for manicotti recipe

Grab your salt next for this manicotti recipe. It won’t be the last time you’ll need it, either.


Salt the pasta to taste. That doesn’t mean you need to load it with salt, a pinch or two will do just fine.

adding salt to pasta

After that, get back to prepping the sauce by getting your can of tomato paste.

tomato past for manicotti recipe

Crack that open for this manicotti recipe by getting your can opener again.

opening can of tomato paste

Set that aside once it’s open and then get a cutting board and knife.

cutting board and knife

Grab your onion, too.


Chop that up. If you have an onion the size of the one I used, you can just use half. That’s about half a cup.

chopping onion

Consider grabbing a bigger knife. The one I have pictured did the trick. I still needed the smaller one for another part of the manicotti recipe, so I’m still glad I used it. Cut the onion up into as little pieces as you can.

chop up onions

At this point, you should probably check the pasta. Take a little fork and pull some of it out to see if it’s ready to go in the manicotti recipe.

checking pasta

If it’s ready, grab the strainer. I advise using a big strainer bowl for this.

You’ll also need some oven mitts (maybe). In my case, the pot handles were too hot.

oven mitts for manicotti recipe

Drain the pasta

draining noodles for manicotti recipe

Let that sit and cool for a little while in the sink.

manicotti noodles

Set it aside after the water’s all drained out. You won’t need it for the manicotti recipe for a while. Then, gather up your onions into a half cup measuring cup.

1/2 cup of onion

Following that, grab the basil leaves.


You’ll be chopping a few of those up. Before that, grab your measuring spoons. You’ll need a teaspoon of these basil leaves.

measuring spoons

Get the cutting board again. Chop up the basil and measure out a teaspoon.

1 teaspoon basil leaves

Put that in the 1/2 cup with the onion.

Get the garlic for this manicotti recipe next


I went with minced, but if you want to chop up two cloves, that works, too.

garlic for manicotti recipe

Measure out about 1.5 teaspoons of that and put it in with the basil/onions.

Next, grab a large skillet and put it on the stove. You can set it to low heat for the time being.

skillet for manicotti recipe

Grab the Italian sausage for this manicotti recipe.

hot italian sausage

Measure out half a pound pound (or if you have exactly a pound just cut it in half) and toss that in the skillet. You can turn the heat up a bit at this point.

While that starts to simmer, grab the ground beef.

ground beef for manicotti recipe

Get that opened and measure out 1/2 a pound. You might want a kitchen scale for this part if you have a bunch of ground beef like I did for the manicotti recipe.

kitchen scale

Measure out 1/2 a pound.

1/2 pound of ground beef

That’s about 225 grams or 8 ounces. Once that’s measured out, through it in the skillet with the sausage and start mixing it around.

cooking ground beef

Grab a metal spatula.


Start to brown the beef and sausage. Browning just means that the outside gets cooked a bit, so it looks brown. You don’t need to cook it all the way through because you’ll be baking this later. Break it up as best you can and spread it out.

cooking ground beef

While that cooks, dump the combination of basil, onions, and garlic into the skillet.

cooking onions

Stir all that around really well. I started using my wooden spoon to stir it and break up the ground beef more. By now, your kitchen should be smelling pretty darn good. Like old Italian grandma’s kitchen good.

stirring meatsauce combination

Next, get your measuring spoons.

measuring spoons

Get the pepper.


Measure out 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

1 teaspoon pepper

Dump that into the skillet.

meatsauce for manicotti recipe

Stir it all around in there.

Grab the salt. I had some sea salt from Fresh Thyme that was pretty good for this.

sea salt

Measure out half a teaspoon of salt.

Dump that in with the skillet mixture.

dumping sea salt in skillet for manicotti recipe

Stir it all around some more and then grab the sugar. I know I know, seems weird putting something like sugar into this manicotti recipe but just go with it.


Measure out one teaspoon of that sugar.

1 teaspoon

Dump it into the skillet and mix it around.

sugar in skillet

Mix that up and then dump a can of tomatoes in there.

Mix those around really well.

tomatoes and meat in skillet

Then, get the tomato paste. If you have a big can like I did, only put 6 ounces in.

tomato paste

Spoon that in there and mix it around really well.

tomato paste for manicotti recipe

After that, bring it to a boil and keep mixing everything together.

boiling skillet

After it gets to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer (as low as the burner will go) and set a 15 minute timer.

15 minute timer

Let the mixture simmer in the skillet for 15 minutes, stirring it periodically. While that’s cookin, grab a big mixing bowl for the cheese.

big bowl

Then, get your mozzarella for this manicotti recipe.

bag of mozzarella for manicotti recipe

Get the 1 cup measuring cup.

1 cup measuring cup for manicotti recipe

Measure out 1 cup of mozzarella and dump it into the bowl

dumping mozzarella into bowl for manicotti recipe

Then, get the ricotta cheese for this manicotti recipe.

Ricotta cheese for manicotti recipe

Dump all 15 ounces in.

dumping ricotta in bowl for manicotti recipe

Get the 1/3 measuring cup after that.

1/3 cup measuring cup

Get the parmesan cheese and measure out 1/3 of that.

1/3 cup of parmesan cheese for manicotti recipe

Dump it into the bowl with the rest of the cheese.

dumping parmesan into bowl with other cheese for manicotti recipe.

Following that, stir your simmering sauce. You don’t want it to start sticking to the skillet.

stirring sauce for manicotti recipe

Then, mix the cheese around as best your can for this manicotti recipe. You could use a spoon but I figured it’d be quicker to use my hands. The ricotta is pretty dense.

mixing cheese for manicotti recipe

Then, get your egg.


Crack the egg into the cheese mixture.

egg in cheese mixture for manicotti recipe

Mix that around really well. After that, get a baking dish. The ideal size for this recipe is probably 13×10 so mine’s not perfect but it’ll do.

baking dish for manicotti recipe

Get some cooking spray, I used duck fat. Coat the baking dish with that.

duck fat for manicotti recipe

Spray it really well for this manicotti recipe.

spraying the baking dish for manicotti recipe

Once that’s greased, slip a potholder on the skillet’s handle.

pot holder

Pick up the skillet and pour about half the sauce into the baking dish.

pouring manicotti sauce into baking dish

Spread that pasta sauce around as best as possible.

Then, start stuffing those cooked pasta tubes with the cheese mixture. They aren’t supposed to be overflowing with cheese for this manicotti recipe specifically. If you want that, I recommend multiplying the amount of cheese by three.

stuffing manicotti

Start putting the cheese-filled tubes on top of the sauce.

manicotti recipe

Repeat that for the rest of the tubes, then cover the top of them with the rest of the sauce.

manicotti recipe

You’re on the home stretch of the manicotti recipe now!

manicotti recipe

Once the cheese is all on there, cover it up with some cling wrap.

manicotti recipe

Put it in the fridge for 24 hours. You could also just bake it now but putting it in the fridge really helps so all the flavors can blend together.

manicotti recipe in the fridge

When you’re ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then bake for 35 minutes. Once it’s done, let it cool for at least 5 minutes, maybe longer than that. How good did this manicotti recipe turn out? Look at all that mozzarella!

manicotti recipe finished

Another up-close shot so you can really see it:

manicotti recipe finished

Notecard version of manicotti recipe

Boil all the pasta in about 6-7 quarts of water. Salt to taste and stir with a wooden spoon. Strain that in a colander once it’s done and then set it aside.
Chop up onions as small as possible and fill up a 1/2 cup measuring cup with them. Then chop up 1 teaspoon basil leaves and set those on top of the onions in their measuring cup. Measure 1.5 teaspoons of minced garlic and put those in the measuring cup with the onions/basil.
Brown half a pound of Italian sausage and half a pound of ground beef in a skillet. Once browned, add the 1/2 cup of ingredients you just prepped and stir everything around with the spoon you used for the pasta.
Next, add 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to the skillet and mix that around well.
Drain the liquid in the sink and then add your 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir that around well and then add 6 ounces of tomato paste in there.
Bring the skillet to a boil and then reduce the heat as much as possible. Set timer for 15 minutes and let it simmer, stirring ocassionally.
While the skillet simmers, combine 2.5 cups mozzarella, 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, and 15 ounces of ricotta cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 egg, too. Blend all of that together.
Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray. I used duck fat spray.
Once the sauce is done, spoon about half of that into the baking dish and spread it around the bottom. Then, start filling the pasta tubes with the cheese mixture. Once each tube is filled, lay it down on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Once all of them are filled and set in the dish, cover them with the rest of the sauce. Then, sprinkle another cup of mozzarella on top of that.
Either put it in the fridge for 24 hours or set the oven to 350F and bake it for 35 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes when done and serve this manicotti recipe with some red wine and garlic bread.

Did you make it? Leave a review and any points for how other people can make it better!

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Where Did Manicotti Come From?

Well Italy, duh. At least that’s what most people think. The exact origins/inventors of it are unknown, unfortunately, but the concept of stuffed pasta shells has been around for a long time. This one was pretty basic, too. You could make this with all kinds of stuff like shrimp, other types of cheeses, and other types of meats. There’s tons of different options when it comes to making a manicotti recipe!

Bob Buckley

Bob Buckley writes about food and business.