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This cheesy, saucy baked pasta dish is a surefire hit. We love stuffed manicotti with a side salad and crusty garlic bread for a satisfying meal–and did we mention the leftovers are simply divine?!


homemade manicotti in a 9x13 baking dish
Photography by Gayle McLeod

This Recipe For Baked Manicotti Is The Real Deal

We love a good food history lesson, especially when it involves our favorite subject: pasta. What is the difference between manicotti and cannelloni? Manicotti means “little sleeves” in Italian, and manicotti noodles are thought to be a product specifically made by Italian pasta makers for the American market. Cannelloni is essentially the same noodle shape, but unlike its American counterpart that has ridges, cannelloni has a smooth exterior. Whichever name you give it, these noodles are best served stuffed with a rich cheesy filling and baked in a sauce.

ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, marinara, and manicotti in bowls

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How Do You Fill Manicotti Shells?

Our recipe for manicotti involves piping the cheese filling into the tube shaped pasta–a fun and interactive process that can be shared with the family. If you have a pastry bag, that’s great! However, one of our all-time favorite kitchen hacks is using a zip-top plastic bag and cutting the tip off of one corner. Voilà! Instant pastry bag. Fill your pastry bag (or zip-top bag) with the cheese filling and get ready to fill the pasta! Since we’re filling cooked pasta noodles, which can be fragile, we find that partially filling the manicotti from one side, and then finishing piping from the other side, to be the easiest way to avoid breakage.

ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, eggs, parsley, garlic clove, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl
cooked manicotti pasta noodles on a baking sheet next to a pasty bag full of manicotti filling
stuffed manicotti noodles in a baking dish with marinara sauce
stuffed manicotti noodles in a baking dish covered with marinara sauce and topped with dollops of fresh mozzarella

Let’s Make Homemade Manicotti!

Everything you need to make our stuffed manicotti recipe:

  • Noodles-aka manicotti, aka “little sleeves”

  • Cheese-specifically the trinity of Italian cheese–ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan

  • Seasoning-we stick to the classic Italian seasoning plus chopped fresh parsley

  • Sauce-a jar of marinara

  • Eggs-we use two to bind the cheese filling and add texture while it bakes

  • Cheese-yes, more cheese! Fresh mozzarella gets dotted across the top of the manicotti before you bake it

manicotti in a baking dish covered with foil ready to be baked in the oven
homemade manicotti made with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. toped with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella

Let’s Get This Pasta Party Started: How To Make Manicotti!

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.

  • Cook the manicotti according to the package directions, being careful not to overcook as this will result in a noodle that will easily break.

  • Make the manicotti filling–mix cheese, eggs, parsley, garlic clove, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.

  • Prepare your pastry bag or zip-top bag with the cheese filling.

  • Stuff the shells! See our note above for our tips to make this as easy as possible.

  • In a casserole dish, spread half the marinara sauce, arranging the manicotti shells in an even layer.

  • Cover with the remaining marinara sauce and dot with fresh mozzarella.

  • Bake covered for 20 minutes, and uncovered for another 20 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly!

homemade manicotti made with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan. toped with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella

Tools You’ll Need

We’ve Got Plenty of Pasta Where That Came From!

We think that there can never be enough pasta dishes in our family recipe box. After you make this easy manicotti recipe, here’s a few of our favorites we hope you try in your home:

homemade manicotti in a casserole dish being served with a serving spoon next to bowl of pepper and parmesan for garnishing

When The Moon Hits Your Eye

This baked manicotti recipe is bound to be a crowd pleaser. Snap a photo of the happy faces around your dinner table and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Buon appetito, amici!”


  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  50 min
  • Calories: 307


  • 8 ounces manicotti
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade (link our recipe)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees with a rack in the center position.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt it. Add the manicotti and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta, then rinse with cold water.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs, parsley, garlic, Italian seasoning, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Transfer the cheese mixture to a piping bag or zip top bag with the corner trimmed with a 1-inch opening. Fill the manicotti. (see Note)

  4. Add half of the marinara sauce to the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Arrange the filled manicotti in an even layer. Cover with remaining sauce and top with cubed mozzarella.

  5. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and discard the foil. Transfer the baking dish back to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the cheese on top is melted and the sauce is bubbly, about 20 minutes.

  6. Serve topped with additional Parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper.

Note: To avoid breaking the pasta tube while filling, fill half the manicotti through one end and then continue filling through the other end.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories307
  • Protein21 g
  • Carbohydrates17 g
  • Total Fat18 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol113 mg
  • sodium787 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g


Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Karen Joyce

    Could you freeze this and bake later?


  • Jordan

    Absolutely amazing. I did add beef and a shallot. However, I only had lasagna noodles. I panicked and made it as lasagna instead and layered the mozzarella in between. It was absolutely delicious!! Will make it right once I find those noodles.

    Glad you loved it Jordan!

  • Tresa

    My husband and I loved this.The flavors of all the different cheeses mixed together really hit the spot.

    Thanks Tresa, glad you loved it!

  • Jenn

    This is definitely a keeper for meatless Mondays, so delicious!

    Thanks Jenn!