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closeup of a baking dish with cheesy manicotti
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5 from 2 votes

Cheesy Manicotti

This manicotti recipe is an Italian-American favorite with three kinds of cheese, marinara sauce, and spinach! It's an oven-baked classic that feeds a crowd.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: manicotti recipe
Servings: 6
Author: Natasha Bull


  • 12 manicotti shells
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 16 ounces frozen spinach thawed
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • For serving: fresh basil and/or chopped parsley optional, to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
  • Boil a salted pot of water and cook the manicotti 2 minutes less than package directions indicate (they will finish cooking in the oven). Once the pasta is done, drain it and keep in your colander/strainer until needed.
  • Pour the jar of marinara sauce in a 9x13 casserole dish and spread it out evenly.
  • While the manicotti cooks, thaw the spinach and squeeze the water out thoroughly. Add it to a prep bowl along with the ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt & pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Stir together until well combined.
  • Spoon or pipe the mixture into each manicotti noodle and add them to the casserole dish as you fill them. I find it fastest to use a small spoon (like a teaspoon), and I fill each one halfway then turn it around and finish filling it from the other opening. You can pack quite a lot of filling into each manicotti shell so it all gets used up (let some filling stick out a bit as shown in the step-by-step photos in the blog post).
  • Top with the mozzarella and cover the casserole dish tightly with foil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese (watch it carefully so it doesn't burn).
  • Serve immediately with extra salt & pepper as needed and fresh basil and/or parsley if using.


  • Serves 4-6 depending on portion size. Two manicotti shells per person is a reasonable portion size, especially if it's served with something else.
  • You can use fresh spinach if you prefer. Simply sauté 16 oz. of fresh baby spinach in a skillet until wilted, let it cool, and then chop it.
  • See the blog post for make ahead info, freezing tips, and step-by-step photos.


Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1387mg | Potassium: 825mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 10118IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 613mg | Iron: 4mg