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casserole dish full of manicotti with one serving plate with two manicotti covered in sauce and cheese

Italian Manicotti

  • Author: Tara Smithson
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x


This Italian Manicotti Recipe is so simple to make and it looks so sophisticated. It is one of our family favorites. This manicotti is vegetarian and full of flavor.


  • 1 (24 ounce) jar of marinara sauce or my quick marinara recipe
  • 8 ounce package of manicotti pasta shells (14 shells)
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounce brick of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese, whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of parmigiano reggiano cheese or pecorino romano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a large pinch of salt to season the pasta water
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Start by boiling a large pot of water. Add in a bit of olive oil and salt to ensure the shells don't stick together when boiling. Gently place in the manicotti shells and cook al dente according to the time on the package. Mine took 8 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  3. Prepare the filling in a large bowl by whisking the egg, then add in the mozzarella, ricotta, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Stir this together until incorporated.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a gallon sized ziplock bag and clip the corner (see video) or use a piping bag.
  5. Pour a ladle full of marinara sauce into the casserole dish.
  6. Take a manicotti shell and fill one side with filling and flip over and fill the other. It is completely ok if it has a little gap of no filling in the very center. Once the cheese melts in the oven, it will not be noticeable.
  7. Fill all the shells and place in the casserole dish. Mine only fit about 10 manicotti shells.
  8. Cover the manicotti shells with 2 ladle fulls of marinara sauce. I like to save a bit of sauce to heat up on the side too.
  9. Top the manicotti and sauce with the parmesan, pecorino or more mozzarella cheese.
  10. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Pull the foil off and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  11. Once it is finished, top with fresh basil or parsley and serve with garlic bread.


Be careful when handling the manicotti shells, as they can rip easily. 

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: dinner ideas, dinner in less than an hour, italian dinner ideas