Mouthwatering Cheese-Filled Manicotti Recipe

When I asked my family what I should say about Manicotti, they all said, “it is delicious”. I even got a belly-rub motion from Samuel who loves lasagna over any meal. Making this dinner is actually the same set-up as lasagna, except for the design and shape of the pasta. In this post I will give my tips and tricks on making a delicious Manicotti your family will love!

Yummmmmm

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Published November 7, 2021
Updated March 22, 2022
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Cost breakdown for this recipe

When we plan our recipes, grocery shopping and lists, I always try to take into account the cost per meal and making them the most realistic for our budget. Even though the cost for this meal was higher than our typical, it was for two whole baking pans of food. Plus, a meal under $20 for our family is legit my goal, so getting another meal as close to that limit is great in helping save our family budget.

1 jar spaghetti sauce $1.09
2 pounds ground beef $7.38
1 onion $0.25
1 egg $0.15
2 containers Ricotta $2.78
1 tsp oregano $0.02
2 cups shredded mozzarella $2.05
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese $1.30
2 boxes Manicotti pasta $4.18
1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.02
3 garlic cloves $0.20
1 pound ground pork sausage $2.39
1 can tomato sauce $0.35

The total cost for this meal was $22.16!
That came to $11.08 for only one pan, and a total of $2.07 per serving, with Tyler and I having lunch the next day. For six people, this was a great price for such an amazing amount of food.

Cheese-Filled Manicotti Recipe

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef
1 onion
1 egg
2 containers Ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 box Manicotti pasta
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 can tomato sauce

All you will need!

Directions

1. Fill a 6-Quart pan with water and then set it on the stove to boil at medium-high heat.

Boil water.

2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and then spray with non-stick spray.

Heat a pan.

3. Cook the ground beef until browned. Thanks to Samuel for being a great cameraman!

4. In a large bowl, empty Ricotta with a spatula. Each of these containers is 15oz, so I used two to fill two boxes of Manicotti.

Place ricotta in a bowl.

4. Add an egg to the Ricotta and mix well with a spatula. The egg helps to bind the cheese with the ricotta in the pasta.

Add an egg.

5. Add 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the Ricotta mixture and blend with a spatula until combined. With the seasonings, you can choose to add or omit what you desire the Manicotti to taste like.

6. Shred mozzarella and parmesan cheese and add to the ricotta. Mix well. I shredded my cheese in just seconds using my Cuisinart Food Processor.

7. When the water is boiling, add the Manicotti pasta and cook as directed over medium heat. Pick them up one or two at a time and place them carefully into the water.

8. Mince garlic cloves and add it to the ricotta. I really enjoy adding flavor and seasoning to the ricotta as I find it to be just a tad plain in flavor. Adding flavor, like raw garlic, to the ricotta helps to enhance its flavor.

Add minced garlic and blend.

9. Cut and dice the onion and add it to the cooking beef. Cook until translucent.
10. When the pasta is fully cooked, pour into a sink colander and let the pasta rest to cool before handling. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water in a heat-resistant cup.

11. Pour the spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce into the cooked ground beef and simmer until heated. Add the pasta water to the empty spaghetti sauce jar and swirl it around to release the sauce from the jar, then add the sauce to the beef.

12. When the Manicotti pasta is cooled to the touch, transfer to a plate or a cutting board to be filled.

Rest the pasta on a cutting board.

13. Place a plastic bag, opened, on the counter and scoop the ricotta and cheese mixture into the bag. I used my amazing bag rack helper! This little ditty is amazing at keeping your baggies held open while you fill them. Close the bag and cut the tip off of one corner. This bag holder helps to keep any size of baggy open as it extends taller and has grips to keep the bag open.

14. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with non-stick spray and then scoop 3 large spoons filled with meat mixture into the dish. Set aside. By placing sauce on the bottom, the pasta will not stick to the baking dish.

15. Pipe the ricotta cheese mixture into each Manicotti pasta tube. Do not over-fill the Manicotti, as the cheese can just melt out if they are too full.

16. Place the filled Manicotti shells into the baking dish.

Fill all of the Manicotti with ricotta cheese mixture.

17. Cover with remaining meat sauce and top with shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Cover with sauce and cheese.

18. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven when done and let the Manicotti rest for 5-minutes before serving. This allows for the cheese mixture to cool.

Serve and enjoy!
For dinner, I made two pans of Manicotti, and we had very little leftovers! Honestly enough for Tyler and I to have lunch the next day. This meal is so delicious, cheesy and filling for a very reasonable cost.

Recipe for Cheese-Filled Manicotti

Ingredients for Manicotto

1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion
1 egg
2 containers Ricotta
1 box Manicotti pasta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp oregano
3 garlic cloves
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 can tomato sauce

Manicotti Directions

1. Fill a 6-Quart pan with water and set on the stove to boil.
2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat and spray with non-stick spray.
3. Cook the ground beef until browned.
4. In a large bowl, empty Ricotta with a spatula.
4. Add an egg to the Ricotta and mix well with a spatula.
5. Add 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the Ricotta mixture and blend until combined.
6. Shred mozzarella and parmesan cheese and add to the ricotta. Mix well.
7. When the water is boiling, add the Manicotti pasta and cook as directed over medium heat.
8. Mince garlic cloves and add it to the ricotta.
9. Cut and dice the onion and add it to the cooking beef. Cook until translucent.
10. When the pasta is fully cooked, pour into a sink colander and let the pasta rest to cool before handling.
11. Pour the spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce into the cooked ground beef and simmer until heated.
12. When the Manicotti pasta is cooled to the touch, transfer to a plate or a cutting board to be filled.
13. Place a plastic bag, opened, on the counter and scoop the ricotta and cheese mixture into the bag. Close the bag and cut the tip off of one corner.
14. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with non-stick spray and then scoop 3 large spoons filled with meat mixture into the dish. Set aside.
15. Pipe the ricotta cheese mixture into each Manicotti pasta tube.
16. Place the filled Manicotti shells into the baking dish.
17. Cover with remaining meat sauce and top with shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
18. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
~Monica

Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

4 thoughts on “Mouthwatering Cheese-Filled Manicotti Recipe

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