Amazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (2024)

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Amazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (1)My friend, Jackie, shared this Amazing Manicotti Recipe with me back when we were both new brides. She was going to Cosmetology School and also worked at a grocery store as a checker. A woman who came through her line gave her this recipe. It was like a treasure to us Utah/Idaho girls who loved to cook and who had very little experience with authentic Italian food. It reminds me a little bit of the Amazing Stuffed Shells I make.

The woman told Jackie that no matter what she had to use Olive Oil in the recipe, and ”do not even make it if you weren’t going to use olive oil.” I don’t know about Jackie, but I had to go out and buy some. I had never even owned a bottle of Olive Oil before. My mom never used it, and I had no idea the magic it offered the world of food.

Looking back now, it totally cracks me up to think how foreign it felt to cook with olive oil. I’m so glad I was introduced to it. My life is so much better with Olive Oil in it. 🙂

The entire dish is so well-rounded, from the sauce to the Al Dente shells, to the perfect filling. It is a treat for the taste buds to be sure!I hope you love and treasure this Amazing Manicotti Recipe as much as Jackie and I do. It’s truly a keeper!

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Amazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (2)After living in New Jersey and being exposed to so many delicious authentic Italian recipes, (like this Amazing Sausage and Pepper’s recipe) I can say with confidence that this manicotti is the real deal! So authentic! When you feed it to people, they’re going to think you’re hiding a little Italian grandmother somewhere.

After making this way back when, I started using the same filling recipe to make lasagna or stuffed shells. It’s such a perfect texture, and with the cheeses blended together, the flavor is perfect. When I originally made the filling, sugar as one of the ingredients surprised me, but it really pulls it all togetherAmazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (3)

This recipe has three steps, so it’s a little more intense than most of the recipes I post. But…..they are easy steps. Trust me when I say it’s so worth it. I usually bust these out about 2-3 times a year. They’re perfect to make for company or when friends come to dinner. Sometimes I even make them on Valentine’s Day. Although, I have been known to make them on a regular Thursday or Tuesday every now and then.

One batch of this recipe makes 10-12 stuffed manicotti noodles. I usually double this recipe, and when we have company, I usually triple it. The leftovers, as is true with most Italian food, are even better the next day.

How to Make Amazing Manicotti

  • First, cook manicotti noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain noodles and set them on a plate or flat dish without overlapping or touching each other. This will help them from tearing or sticking together.
  • While noodles are cooking, begin making the sauce.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion, garlic, and parsley. Sauté until garlic is golden and onion is transparent.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes until sauce is nicely thickened.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, grated mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, dried parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • When the sauce is done simmering, pour half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 dish.
  • Next, fill each al dente noodle with filling. Use a spoon to evenly distribute filling into each side of the noodle.
  • Place each filled noodle in the baking dish on top of the sauce.
  • Then, pour the remaining sauce over the noodles.
  • Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • Remove foil.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes.
  • Serve and Enjoy!Amazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (4)
Tips for making the Amazing Manicotti Recipe
  • Use olive oil for the best flavoring.
  • Start sauce while noodles are cooking to cut down on the time it takes to make them.
  • After draining cooked noodles, place them on a plate or flat dish without overlapping or touching each other. It helps prevent the noodles from sticking together and/or tearing.
  • A great tip from a reader, Hannah, for filling the noodles: Put the filling mixture into a sandwich-sized baggie, cut off one side of the bottom tip, and squeeze the mixture into the cooked noodles. It’s like using a piping bag.

Amazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (5)

Amazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (6)

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5.0 from 9 reviews

Amazing Manicotti Recipe

Prep time

Cook time

Total time

Authentic, delicious Al Dente noodles stuffed with three kinds of cheese smothered in homemade tomato sauce that will make your mouth water. This Manicotti is the real deal!

Author: Julie Kroff

Recipe type: Pasta

Cuisine: Italian

Serves: 10-12

Ingredients

  • 10-12 manicotti noodles, cooked al dente
  • FOR THE SAUCE
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced or put through press
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • FILLING
  • 15 oz container Ricotta Cheese
  • ¼ pound Mozzarella cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • More Parmesan Cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. First, cook manicotti noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain noodles and set them on a plate or flat dish without overlapping or touching each other. This will help them from tearing or sticking together.
  2. While noodles are cooking, begin making the sauce.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the onion, garlic, and parsley until garlic is golden and onion is transparent.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes until sauce is nicely thickened.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, grated mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, dried parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  6. When sauce is done simmering, pour half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 dish.
  7. Next, fill each al dente noodle with filling. Use a spoon to evenly distribute filling into each side of the noodle.
  8. Place each filled noodle in the baking dish on top of the sauce.
  9. Then, pour the remaining sauce over the noodles.
  10. Cover dish with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
  11. Remove foil.
  12. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes.
  13. Serve and Enjoy!

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Amazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (14)

Amazing Manicotti Recipe - Real Life Dinner (2024)
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