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Baked Manicotti

Our baked manicotti recipe utilizes homemade shells, ricotta cheese, tomato sauce, and fragrant herbs to provide a satisfying meal with endless possibilities. With its hearty ingredients, this comforting dish is sure to become a staple in your home and your friends and families! In just 50 minutes you can have an Italian-inspired masterpiece that will soon have everyone asking: “Who made this?”

A piece of baked manicotti on a fork ready to be eaten
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

This is my friend Devon’s baked manicotti recipe. She made these manicotti for me soon after we met and I became so enamored with them I wanted to taste them again, and again, and again.

The secret to this recipe is you use homemade manicotti shells. Once you’ve tasted this recipe, you’ll see they can’t compete with Devon’s homemade version.

And making your own shells doesn’t take much longer than if you were to boil store-bought manicotti noodles.

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Helpful
Tips
  • Take out the eggs an hour before making this recipe. You want the eggs to be at room temperature before making the batter.
  • After making the crepe batter, it must sit for at least a half hour before starting to cook it.
  • You can use store-bought pasta sauce if you want, but homemade is so much better, and my Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce (made with or without Italian sausage) recipe is super easy to make! If you do get store-bought, marinara sauce is a great choice.
  • Try not to use a non-stick Teflon pan to make the crepes. Teflon is not good for you. Instead, invest in a good cast iron pan that is naturally non-stick, if seasoned correctly.
  • Also, while I’m on my soapbox, don’t use commercial cooking sprays; instead, use a natural cooking spray like this olive oil spray.
  • When making the crepes, don’t stress if they form little legs as you swirl the batter around. It won’t matter when you build the manicotti.
  • Bake the manicotti on a jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet. They’re easier to serve from a surface without high sides. But if you prefer, you can use a baking dish.
  • To make sure all the crepes have the ricotta mixture, dollop the mixture on all the crepes before rolling them up.
  • If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a week. This recipe also freezes well.

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Eggs – organic if you can get them.
  • Flour – I use sprouted spelt flour, but you can use all-purpose white flour.
  • Salt – organic sea salt.
  • Fresh mozzarella – I only use 4 ounces so unless you can get one that size, you will have some left over.
  • Ricotta – full fat. You can use low fat if you prefer, but I say, live a little.
  • Pepper – to flavor. Use as much as you like.
  • Parsley – dried. You can also use fresh parsley as well as oregano and/or basil.
  • Gravy (pasta sauce)- homemade or store-bought.
  • Shredded mozzarella – I use bagged but you can shred the remainder of the fresh mozzarella if you prefer.
A beaded plate with two manicotti and a sausage on it with red sauce over it and melted cheese
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

How to make baked manicotti

Pre-step

Take the eggs out at least an hour before making the crepes. (A) Gather the flour, salt, and mixing bowl. Also place a few wire racks on the counter and lay parchment paper on top in preparation to cool the cooked crepes.

Step one

After an hour, crack the eggs in the bowl, add flour, salt and whisk until combined. (B)

IMPORTANT: Let the crepe batter rest for a half hour.

Eggs, flour and salt for the baked manicotti batter
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step two

After the hour is up, heat the sauté pan on medium and once it heats up, spray it with the olive oil spray. Using a small serving ladle, add about 2 – 3 tablespoons of crepe batter in the pan. Gently swirl the pan to spread the batter so it forms a circle. Don’t stress if little legs form.

Stand there and when the crepe looks shiny but not wet, it’s done. Remove to the parchment paper covered wire racks. (C)

Step three

On a cutting board, cut the block of fresh mozzarella into cubes and gather the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, an egg, salt, ground black pepper, and dried parsley. (D)

Ricotta, cut up mozzarella, egg, herbs, breadcrumbs for the crepes for the baked manicotti
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step four

Add the cheeses, herbs and egg to another mixing bowl. (E)

Step five

Mix the cheese mixture together with a spatula until combined. (F)

Ricotta and mixtures in a bowl for the baked manicotti
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Assembling the stuffed manicotti

Step six

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and take out the pasta sauce (gravy) you’ll be using. I’m using this recipe.

Get a large jelly roll pan and add some gravy in the bottom of it.

Step seven

Spoon the ricotta mixture on each crepe to make sure every one has filling. (G)

Step eight

Roll each crepe up around the ricotta filling and lay them face down in the jelly roll pan. (H)

the crepes and rolled up for the baked manicotti
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step nine

Ladle gravy on top of the manicotti. (I)

Step ten

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on the manicotti. (J)

Manicotti in the pan with gravy and cheese on it
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step eleven

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the gravy is bubbly and the mozzarella is melted.

Look at that baked manicotti.

Baked manicotti fresh out of the oven
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

DONE!

Time to serve them.

Take a metal spatula (thin and flexible is ideal), ease it between two manicotti and scoop them out onto the plate. I consider two manicotti to be a single serving.

I added Italian sausage and more sauce.

Close up of the baked manicotti and sausage on the beaded white plate
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Christopher is standing behind me looking over my shoulder. His silence speaks volumes. He’s hungry and ready to eat. And so am I.

I hope you enjoyed this baked manicotti recipe!

As always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love the know what you thought about it in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A forkful of manicotti over a plate

Baked Manicotti

This homemade manicotti is soft, delicious, and easy to make! You will never go back to store-bought manicotti pasta after tasting this recipe.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baked manicotti, manicotti, manicotti shells
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 14 manicottis
Calories: 177kcal

Ingredients

Crepe Batter

  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour (or all purpose white flour)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Ricotta Filling

  • 1 pound ricotta cheese (I use full fat)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (cubed)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Extras

  • 2 cups homemade red sauce (divided – or store-bought spaghetti sauce)
  • 2 ounces shredded mozzarella

Instructions

  • Take out the eggs an hour before you plan to use them.
    3 eggs

Batter

  • In a medium bowl, add the eggs, flour and salt.
    3/4 cup spelt flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Whisk together or use a hand mixer until incorporated. Let the batter rest for a half hour.

Filling

  • In a medium bowl add ricotta cheese, diced mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, salt, pepper and parsley and mix with a rubber spatula until combined.
    1 pound ricotta cheese, 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Making the Crepes

  • Heat a crepe pan or a sauté pan on medium heat. Spray a little natural cooking spray in the pan.
  • With a gravy ladle, add batter into the pan and swirl it around to spread the batter (2 – 3 tablespoons worth).
  • Cook until the top is dry, but the bottom is not brown (it should take about one minute for each crepe). Place the finished crepe on a wire rack lined with parchment paper to cool.
  • Repeat until batter is all gone.

Assembling and Baking

  • Preheat oven 350 F
  • Spoon some red sauce to cover the bottom of a jelly roll pan.
    2 cups homemade red sauce
  • Lay out all the crepes and spoon some ricotta mixture on each one, using all the filling. Roll the crepes and place them seam-side down on the sauce.
  • Repeat until all the crepes are rolled and placed.
  • Liberally ladle red sauce on top of the manicotti. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top.
    2 cups homemade red sauce, 2 ounces shredded mozzarella
  • Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted.
  • Carefully separate the manicotti into sets of two
  • Plate
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Helpful tips
    • Take out the eggs an hour before making this recipe. You want the eggs to be at room temperature before making the batter.
    • After making the crepe batter, it must sit for at least a half hour before cooking it.
    • You can use store-bought pasta sauce if you want, but homemade is so much better, and my Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce (made with or without Italian sausage) recipe is super easy to make! If you do get store-bought, marinara sauce is a great choice.
    • Try not to use a non-stick Teflon pan to make the crepes. Teflon is not good for you. Instead, invest in a good cast iron pan that is naturally non-stick, if seasoned correctly.
    • When making the crepes, don’t stress if they form little legs as you swirl the batter around. It won’t matter when you build the manicotti.
    • Bake the manicotti on a jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet. They’re easier to serve from a surface without high sides. But if you prefer, you can use a baking dish.
    • To make sure all the crepes have the ricotta mixture, dollop the mixture on all the crepes before rolling them up.
    • If you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a week. This recipe also freezes well.

Nutrition

Serving: 2manicotti | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 510mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 535IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 190mg | Iron: 1.3mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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34 Comments

  1. These are delish!! I haven’t made them in awhile, but you may have just inspired me to make them again. They’ve always been a hit at family gatherings and I have one coming up soon.

  2. Now, look at this cheesy crepe goodness! I won’t be able to get this out of my mind anytime soon – I have never tried this dish but it sounds like something I would LOVE>

    1. It’s so yummy Marie-Charlotte and easy to make. I hope you make it to see how delicious they are. Thank you for your comment.

  3. My mother-in-law is full-blood Italian and these are just like how she makes them! So happy to have a recipe that my husband feels is just as good as his family makes ;)!

    1. Thanks Kelli! I’m 1/4 Italian and funnily enough, I got this recipe from my Irish friend! Hehe. Go figure!

  4. I could eat this right off the screen. Baked to perfection!!!! Now I just need to go get the noodles and i’ll be fine!

    1. Thanks Mirlene, but I say make your own crepes as it’s easy and extra delicious! Thanks for your comment.

  5. This is absolutely delicious! I love that it’s such a crowd pleaser for the whole family

  6. This baked manicotti recipe is foolproof with your step by step directions and great tips.

  7. You can never to wrong with a great pasta recipe. This is perfect to feed a crowd. If you are only cooking for a couple, the leftovers in the freezer would be great for a meal down the road.

  8. Making stuffed pasta with crepes is not as well known, but every time I’ve had it I’ve loved how light it is. Bookmarking this for our pasta-loving family.

  9. Once you make these manicotti, you will never need to look for another recipe. They are that good! Better than from a restaurant!

    1. Thank you Denise. It’s definitely my go to manicotti recipe. The only way I’d eat the pre-made tubes from the store is if someone served it to me at their house. The crepes are so soft and delicious.

  10. I have to agree with you Manicotti made with a crepe instead of the store bought pasta is far superior . I total forgot about this method. I am making this for my family next week, your recipe sounds fabulous.

  11. I love that you made your own shells…this is the how you make homemade manicotti! 😀 I would love this for dinner tonight but I’m feeling inspired to make this for my family over the weekend.

    1. I hope they all enjoy it Tammy. This recipe is so much better than if you used store bought manicotti shells! Thank you.

  12. The reason Italian cuisine is so popular is because you can never go wrong serving it. What a great dinner and you can make it ahead of time. Just thinking of that great cheese filling in the pasta is making me drool. I’ve already pinned the recipe.

  13. What a great idea stuffing homemade crèpes instead of regular manicotti! I bet the texture, as well as the flavor, is amazingly delicious! Baked cheesy goodness!

  14. We love cheese, this recipe looks amazing and really easy to follow, will definitely try soon!

  15. So much cheese! I love it. I think that would be delicious with our veggie bolognese what do you think?

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