Manicotti Alla Romana Recipe -
Manicotti Alla Romana Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 2 hrs

Manicotti Alla Romana

Recipe by  

"This rich meat, spinach and cheese filled manicotti dish is covered with white and red sauces. I offer this on the catering menu at my catering company and it is the most popular for casual dinner parties. It's a bit of work but well worth the effort."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 to 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    1 hr
  • COOK

    50 mins

    1 hr 50 mins


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Saute garlic for 1 minute and stir in ground beef. Cook until well browned and crumbled. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
  2. Cook spinach according to package directions. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add manicotti shells and parboil for half of the time recommended on the package. Drain and cover with cool water to stop the cooking process and prevent the shells from cracking.
  3. To the ground beef mixture add the cooked spinach and ricotta cheese. When the mixture is cool, add the beaten eggs. Spread 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Gently drain the manicotti shells and carefully stuff each one with the meat and cheese mixture; place shells in prepared dish. Lightly cover the dish with plastic wrap or a clean, damp towel to prevent shells from cracking.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Prepare the white sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and chicken bouillon. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble. Stir in half and half and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Pour or ladle the sauce evenly over the stuffed shells.
  6. Stir the basil into the remaining spaghetti sauce. Carefully pour or ladle spaghetti sauce over the white sauce, trying to layer the sauces without mixing.
  7. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more.
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  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 29, 2007

I have made this 2 times now & it will definately become a regular meal at our house. Both times I halved the original recipe, which was plenty for our small family. Next time I will make a full batch & freeze half. I also substituted Italian sausage for the ground beef. It definately makes for a rich dish. YUM! TIP: I put the filling in a Ziploc baggie, snip the end & use it to "pipe" the filling into the manicotti shells.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 12, 2003

I'm sorry...I didn't like this. It was way too bland. If you do try it, I would use at least half (if not all) italian sausage instead of hamburger. I followed the recipe as it was writen & the hamburger didn't do much for the recipe. I would also add alot of spices. Would not try it again.

Dec 05, 2005

Excellent recipe! Thank you :) A little tip for easy Manicotti Noodle prep... Stuffing the shells can be VERY time consuming. I parboil the noodles (half of the box requested boil time) and I cut a slit down the backside and open it up into a square and add the filling. I roll it back together and place it in the pan slit side down. No one knows the difference once it is cooked in the sauce!

Jun 22, 2003

Oh man, is this AMAZING. Followed a recommendation, and halved the garlic and used 1/2 pound sausage and 1/2 pound beef. It took a while to make, but it was not hard by any means - something you open a bottle of wine while making; by the time the wine is done, the incredible meal is done as well. The white sauce TOTALLY makes the dish, and goes well with Ragu Traditional, which is mild enough to not overpower anything else. The manicotti stuffing would definately have been bland, if not for the sausage and the Italian seasonings I added (this is a MUST). Thanks though, adding this to my recipe box as I write this!!!!!!

Jan 29, 2004

EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT dish!! For those of you that are unsure if you should try this or not-- just do it! You will not be sorry............................................I do have one suggestion, instead of ground beef, substitute italian sausage! Much more flavorful and delicious. This entree is not difficult at all, in fact, it is a lot of fun to prepare. I grew up in an italian household and this dish is extremely authentic tasting. You will love it! My husband was so impressed with this dish, and could not stop raving about it while he was eating... Overall grade" A+++

Apr 28, 2006

I loved this recipe. I omitted the chicken boullion cubes. Instead of cooking the pasta before I baked it, I stuffed them uncooked. I made sure there was enough sauce to cover the pasta, and I covered the dish tightly with aluminum foil. I then baked it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. It was fantastic!! This is one of my favorite recipes, and I have made it with either ground beef or ground Italian sausage.

Jan 29, 2004

This recipe was very good except for the fact of the white sauce making the dish way toooooooo SALTY! I agree with a previous reviewer that the chicken bouillon needs to be reduced or just removed completely. Also, I used 3/4 pound of italian sausage mixed with 1/4 pound of ground sirloin along with 1 1/2 pounds of ricotta. Doesn't really take as long as you think it would to prepare, especially if you condense down the instructions. Will definately make this one again, but will omit the chicken bouillon.

Jun 11, 2008

Amazing. It was time consuming but worth it - every once in a while. I followed other's advice and used Italian Sausage in place of ground beef. YUM! I also made ½ the manicotti spinach free for the non-green compatible in my family. Used Prego mushroom spaghetti sauce and it was pre-seasoned so I ditched the basil at the end as over kill. I used heavy whipping cream for the cream sauce because that is what was in the frig. Not sure what this did to the taste, and trying not to think what it did to the calorie count. I did add ¼ t dried basil to the cream sauce and it seemed to have bit more flavor. Rave reviews all around.


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  • Calories
  • 709 kcal
  • 35%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 62.3 g
  • 20%
  • Cholesterol
  • 156 mg
  • 52%
  • Fat
  • 35.8 g
  • 55%
  • Fiber
  • 6 g
  • 24%
  • Protein
  • 35.6 g
  • 71%
  • Sodium
  • 1079 mg
  • 43%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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