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5 from 2 votes

Make-Ahead Manicotti

With a little advance prep, this Make-Ahead Manicotti will be ready to pop in the oven when you're ready for dinner. The no-boil, make-ahead method is a real lifesaver on busy days!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 420kcal


  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 9 ounces frozen chopped spinach , thawed (squeeze out excess liquid)
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese , divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese , divided
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 14 uncooked manicotti shells
  • 36 ounces marinara sauce (I used 1- 1/2 (24 ounce) jars)


  • In a medium bowl, combine together ricotta cheese and eggs until blended. Stir in spinach, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a gallon sized sealable plastic storage bag. Use scissors to cut off the tip from one of the bottom corners of the bag.
  • Spread about 1-1/2 cups of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Use the makeshift pastry bag to squeeze the spinach and cheese mixture into the uncooked manicotti shells. Arrange the stuffed shells on top of the marinara sauce in a single layer. Pour remaining sauce over the top, being sure that all of the pasta is covered well. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate for at least 7 or 8 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and bake uncovered for another 7 to 10 minutes or util cheese has melted and is beginning to get light golden brown.


Options - Add chopped rotisserie chicken or cooked, crumbled Italian sausage to the filling mixture for a meatier dish. You can also scale back on the spinach and add some chopped, fresh basil.


Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1459mg | Potassium: 823mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5499IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 700mg | Iron: 3mg