Pasta lovers unite! This Manicotti dish has all of the flavors you know and love, but it so much easier than your typical manicotti recipe.
Not all Manicotti recipes are created equal. Most manicotti recipes out there take quite a bit of effort, but this one is a cinch. The difference is that this recipe doesn’t require any stuffing of shells which makes it so much easier.
Manicotti starts out with canned tomatoes and garlic being cooked together to make a delicious tomato sauce. Then you create the filling which consists of ricotta cheese, parmesan, and mozzarella. Talk about a triple threat in the cheese department.
What is fun about this recipe is that you aren’t stuffing manicotti shells like you typically do. Instead, you simply soften no-boil lasagna noodles in hot water for a few minutes and then roll the manicotti up. The magic is in the rolling and not stuffing!
Making manicotti like this is a total game changer! No more working with noodles that are ripping and falling apart. So much easier to put together with all the same great flavors.
What does manicotti mean?
In Italian manicotti means “little sleeve.” Manicotti noodles are traditionally stuffed like a tube and baked similar to lasagna.
Can I use lasagna noodles instead of manicotti noodles?
Yes! It is much simpler to prepare this dish like that. I use Barilla no-boil lasagna for this recipe and it gets five stars every time.
Is manicotti a good freezer meal?
Manicotti is a great meal to freeze. I prefer to freeze before baking. This is also a great meal to take to a new mom or a sick friend because they can eat it right away or tuck away in the freezer for later.
More Dinner Recipes:
- Classic Lasagna Recipe
- Skillet Taco Pasta made with ground beef
- The Best One Pot Baked Ziti
- Easy Roasted Tomato & Sausage Pasta
For the Tomato Sauce:
- 2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 ounces each)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 24 ounces (3 cups) ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups grated parmesan cheese, separated
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 16 no-boil lasagna noodles
For the Tomato Sauce:
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook about 3 minutes until golden brown, stirring often.
- Stir in tomatoes and salt and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for about 5-10 minutes, until thickened slightly.
- Stir in basil and set aside.
For Cheese Filling:
- Combine ricotta, mozzarella, 1 cup Parmesan, eggs, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 375℉.
- In a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, pour 2 inches of boiling water. Place noodles into water, one at a time, and soak about 10-12 minutes until pliable. Separate noodles with the tip of a sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from the water and place in a single layer on clean dish towels. Discard water and dry baking dish.
- Spread 1 ½ cups sauce evenly over the bottom of the dish. On the bottom three-quarters of each noodle, spread ¼ cup cheese mixture, leaving the top quarter of the noodle exposed.
- Roll noodles into a tube shape and place in a baking dish with the seam side down.
- Top with remaining sauce, making sure that the noodles are completely covered.
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove the dish from the oven and remove the foil. Adjust oven rack to be 6 inches from broiler element. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup Parmesan over the manicotti. Broil for about 4 to 6 minutes until the cheese is spotty brown.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
- I love this recipe! You can definitely use traditional manicotti noodles for it but I think rolling them up is much easier than filling individual noodles.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: manicotti, manicotti recipe, how to manicotti
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This method of making manicotti is revolutionary. You will love the classic flavor combined with the simplicity of this Italian dish. I know you and your family will devour this meal in no time!