Make Ahead Manicotti Recipe -
Make Ahead Manicotti Recipe
  • READY IN hrs

Make Ahead Manicotti

Recipe by  

"I have used this basic principle and adapted it to make stuffed shells and lasagna. If making lasagna, I buy a second, smaller jar of spaghetti sauce. I always feel like I need a bit more. Merry Manicotti!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and eggs until blended. Stir in spinach, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, sugar, salt and pepper. Stuff mixture into uncooked pasta shells.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish. Arrange stuffed pasta shells in a single layer over the sauce. Pour the remainder of the sauce over the shells, cover dish, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake covered for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, and bake for another 15 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 18, 2007

Very simple and very tasty! I recommend putting the filling mixture in a large ziplock bag and cutting a corner off so you have a "pastry bag" type thing to pipe the filling in.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 29, 2003

I was VERY disappointed with this dish! Served it last night for dinner guests, and was sad to see they didn't clean their plates! I found this dish to be dry. The long cooking time is required to cook the noodles, but by the time the noodles are done, the sauce and filling was dry and crusty. THUMBS DOWN...

Oct 01, 2003

A WINNER! I made only a few chamges....I used 2 jars of sauce in their entirety; halved the amount of spinach called for and added a half pound of sweet Italian sausage (crumbled and browned)to the filling. We are hosting a dinner party next month and this recipe will be on the menu for sure. My Italian husband pronounced this a "keeper" (trust me, HIGH praise!).

May 03, 2004

Came out perfect.......way easier than trying to stuff cooked shells with filling. Also, to make it easier on me I put filling ingredients in a zip lock bag, snip one corner with the scissors and squeeze into the shells.

Jan 24, 2005

Recipe was easy, the sugar must have brought out the cheese flavor?? I used a combination of ricotta and cottage cheese and used only about 8 oz of spinach and more sauce. I also made a whole bunch of "make ahead" by stuffing the manicotti and kept them in the plastic tray that came with the manicotti and into ziplock bags. I left the make ahead stuff (without the tomato sauce) in the fridge overnight and then put them in the freezer. To rehead: take out the frozen manicotti and cover it in the tomato sauce the evening before to let it thraw and cook it according to the recipe direction, my husband and his family raved about it, even the kids ate it!

Apr 23, 2004

This is a wonderful recipe. I would suggest, depending on your taste buds, decide if you would prefer a sweeter Manicotti or not, the sugar did not agree with my taste for Manicotti. If people think it has a bland taste, it not just about the taste, it's supposed to be mild on flavor. It's more about texture. I added Cottage cheese, because my hubby loves it. And I could see from the start that one jar of sauce just wouldn't due. I love lots of sauce so I used two. I noticed that the spinach kept the mixture moister longer, so this is good recipe for a nice moist Manicotti. I pre-boiled my noodles as well, for about 3-5 min. to get them prep and ready (I was in a rush to get it done). The noodles were still hard enough for me to put the mixture in. I used one of those cake-frosting bags. I was nervous about that and by the end there was a bit of a mess, but I got those shells full! :) I would make this again without the sugar completely and use more cheese!! Lots more!! To thicken the sauce, add a little Parmesan before you put it in the oven to bake. Don't forget the Italian sausage. I bake those before I bake the Manicotti. This way you don't have unwanted grease in your Manicotti. After I take the cover off I bake the sausage with the Manicotti for the 15 minutes. Yummy!!

Mar 20, 2007

I loved this recipe! It takes just a few minutes to prepare and stuff the shells and best of all it doesn't create a huge mess in the kitchen if you do it before bed like I did. Like another person said, I would add more sauce as it cooks because the noodles on the outside got a bit tough. It called for 12 shells and I used the entire package as there were only a few more than 12 and I had plenty of the cheese mixture. For those not so fond of spinach, like my husband, he recommends using half the spinach or better yet none. He thought it would have been good with just the cheese mixture and then adding ground beef to the sauce. So next time I make this, I might split the cheese mixture in half and use spinach only on my half. I could make 2 dishes with half spinach and half plain cheese and try freezing one. This is also a great dish if you need to deliver a meal to someone in snap.

Sep 11, 2003

Average. Sugar made it too sweet and I would cut back a little on the spinach. Use plenty of sauce as it tends to be dry.


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  • Calories
  • 507 kcal
  • 25%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 55.8 g
  • 18%
  • Cholesterol
  • 112 mg
  • 37%
  • Fat
  • 19.1 g
  • 29%
  • Fiber
  • 6.4 g
  • 26%
  • Protein
  • 28.8 g
  • 58%
  • Sodium
  • 1058 mg
  • 42%

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

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