Easy Three Cheese Manicotti is a GREAT easy weeknight dinner. Perfect for large gatherings, too! Creamy, rich and easy to prepare.
Original recipe posted: December 2015 | Recipe updated: October 2019
Happy second to last day of 2015! We have spent the past few days in southern Indiana enjoying time with family, floods and food. We will travel back to Minnesota on New Year’s Day, where and when I will begin my healthy transformation. In the meantime, bring on the FOOD!
We made this delicious Cheesy Manicotti a few weeks ago and it was SUPER easy and yummy. Manicotti is one of those “scary” recipes that seems daunting, but I’m here to tell you that it’s really not daunting at all. This entire dinner is done in less than an hour.
HOW TO MAKE STUFFED PASTA WITH THREE CHEESES
Just a few steps to make this baked dish – perfect comfort food!
Cook manicotti shells in a large pot of boiling water until 3 minutes shy of al dente. Rinse in cold water and set aside. Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well. Evenly pour half of the spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Divide the cheese filling between 10 cooked manicotti pasta shells.
Carefully stuff the cheese mixture into the shells and form two rows in the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper over the tops of the shells.
Top with remaining sauce (pour over the manicotti), followed by the cooked ground beef and remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm!
- If you prefer a more simple sauce, with a tomato base, you can use a jar of marinara sauce instead if that’s what you prefer or have on hand. It’ll taste great!
- Replace the beef with ground sausage for an even more flavorful dish.
- Consider making your own homemade spaghetti sauce for this recipe!
- Omit the meat to create a meatless meal!
WHAT IS MANICOTTI PASTA?
The word manicotti means “little sleeve” or similar to a muff. The American version of manicotti is different from it’s Italian counterpart. In Italy a manicotti is more like a filled crepe. In the US, it’s a tube shaped pasta that can be stuffed with different ingredients making a delicious filled pasta surrounded by a sauce.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH YOUR PASTA DISH
- Homemade Dinner Rolls – These are the BEST Homemade Dinner Rolls you’ll find! They are fluffy, slightly sweet and delicious and they go great with your soup, the perfect addition to a simple weeknight meal.
- Throw together a Chopped Salad to complement your bowl of soup.
- Made for dunking into the soup, this Easy Homemade Garlic Bread is super easy to make, requiring only a few simple ingredients and 10 minutes of your time!
- While this dish is sizzling in the oven, put your Instant Pot to work and create a healthy colorful side dish with green beans!
WHAT CHEESES ARE GOOD FOR PREPARING EXCELLENT MANICOTTI?
A mixture of cheeses blended together make for great pasta. I recommend a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, cottage cheese or Parmesan for your meal. You will also see cheddar cheese or cream cheese occasionally.
WHAT OTHER INGREDIENTS CAN I ADD TO MANICOTTI
The delicious tube is ready to be filled with any of your favorite ingredients!
- Use ground sausage or turkey, or shredded chicken*
- Sweet peppers
- Tomato sauce or a white sauce like my easy to make homemade alfredo sauce
*Feel free to prepare with or without meat.
HOW TO SAVE LEFTOVERS OR MAKE A FREEZER MEAL
- This is a perfect recipe to make ahead of time, and then cover with saran wrap or foil and place in the freezer. It’ll stay good and ready to reheat for 2-3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, take it out of the freezer, let it thaw 15 minutes and then reheat it at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
- Vice versa, if you have leftovers, this recipe can be saved in the refrigerator if it’s covered for 3-5 days and reheated when you’re ready to enjoy another bite!
IF YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH CHEESY GOODNESS, CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES!
- Pizza Pasta Bake – A pizza, pasta dish and casserole all in one! This is such a popular meal in our family and is loved by ALL. Satisfy your pizza craving by including all the pizza topping favorites you love.
- Cheesy Noodle Bake – This is the perfect weeknight dinner for busy families. Filled with egg noodles and two kinds of cheese, ground hamburger and lots of flavor, you will be filled up! It is EASY, comforting and there’s not a single person at the table who won’t love it!
- Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese – Introducing the perfect marriage of sandwiches! Philly cheesesteak + grilled cheese = ahhhhmazing!
- Easy Cheesy Tortellini Bake – This dinner bake is EASY, cheesy and packed with delicious tortellini. Great recipe to add to your family dinner rotation!
Easy Three Cheese Manicotti Recipe
- 8 oz manicotti noodles
- 1 lb ground beef
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 24 oz jar spaghetti sauce
- Cook manicotti noodles in boiling water until 3 minutes shy of al dente. Rinse in cold water and set aside. Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, egg and Italian seasoning. Mix well. Even pour half of the spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Divide the cheese mixture between 10 cooked manicotti shells. Carefully stuff the cheese into the shells and form two rows in the baking dish.
- Pour remaining sauce over the manicotti, followed by the cooked ground beef and remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Serve warm!
Replace the beef with ground sausage for an even more flavorful dish.
Consider making your own homemade spaghetti sauce for this recipe!
Omit the meat to create a meatless meal!