Follow us:

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Manicotti

So how's the first few days of the new year treating you? I'd say it's treating me good so far! I know we're only on day 4, but I feel that this year is going to be amazing and with God's help, will bring lots of positive things into my life. With the new year in full swing, I've set some goals for myself that I am hopeful to achieve in 2012. These include the goal to try at least two new recipes (both Filipino and non-Filipino) every month. I am determined to try new recipes so I will have more to share with you. :)

Today, I'm so excited to share this pasta recipe that I got from a friend. It's called Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Manicotti.

Manicotti is like a huge version of penne. It is a large, tubular shaped pasta which is usually stuffed with various types of cheese, meat, vegetables or seafood, and then baked in a cheese or tomato based sauce. I know I've told you before that I am a pasta lover...but would you believe that I never had manicotti until last Christmas? I'm glad that my friend, Leo introduced me to this type of pasta, and I am very thankful that he gave me his recipe for Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Manicotti. It's such a good addition to the pasta dishes that I already know. 

Though Leo didn't give me the exact measurements of ingredients, I am happy that my first attempt in making stuffed manicotti turned out well. I made this last  New Year's Eve, and we all loved it! So good with garlic sticks!


Makes 14 pcs. stuffed manicotti

  • 1 box of Manicotti (I used Barilla’s 8 oz. box)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, seeds removed
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • chopped fresh basil, 1 tsp for sauce and 1 Tbsp for filling
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 bundles spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 2 eggs
  • 16 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup white whine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • parsley flakes for garnishing (optional)
1. Cook the Manicotti in a pot of boiling water for 7 minutes.  Drain and let them cool on a flat plate or cookie sheet.  Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, saute onion, garlic and tomatoes in olive oil until onion is almost translucent. Add tomatoes sauce, white wine, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour. 
3. Blanch spinach for 30 seconds in a pot of boiling water. Remove the spinach from the pot with a slotted spoon. Rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain well, squeezing and using paper towels to get out as much moisture as possible. Chop and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Stir in the ricotta and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Remove stems from the basil and gently tear (or chop) the leaves into pieces and add them to the cheese mixture. Stir the cooked spinach into the mixture and mix well.
5. Stuff manicotti shells with spinach and cheese mixture. The easiest way to stuff manicotti shells is to use a frosting piping bag, a dessert decorator pipe or a gallon zip bag with one corner cut to let the filling out. (I used my Wilton dessert decorator for this.) Squeeze the filling halfway into both ends of the shell.

6. Pour half of the sauce into a slightly greased 13"x 9" and 9"x9" baking dish. Arrange shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce. 
7. Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and garnish with parsley and some more Parmesan cheese. Serve.


  1. YUM!! I was just thinking of making a similar version of this! Thanks for sharing. Kristy

  2. That pasta looks mouthwatering ! Just love the cheese & spinach filling :)

  3. My new year has been good so far...I feel like I am just recovering from the holidays.

    You know even after over indulging in sweets and food there is something very comforting about stuffed manicotti. It's soulful and delicious.

    May your 2012 rock!


  4. Great idea to kick of the New Year with some tasty italian food! I have made this one time, but it did not look near as good as yours does. I like that you have a chunky tomato topping on this instead of a sauce or cheese. I will need to try this variation-yum!

  5. Tina, my family would LOVE this! Such a delicious and beautiful pasta dish!!! Glad your year is off to a wonderful start...I like your idea of trying two new recipes a month...very doable :)

  6. Yum! This sounds like the perfect dinner for the cold weather we have had lately! And I can't wait to see your new recipes :)

  7. This looks so good. Nice photos. Glad your year has been good so far. First few days of the new year has been good so far. Looking forward to seeing what you will be cooking 2012.

  8. Tina, this is just so good. I wanted to make this over the holiday season, but didn't manage to. Looks like I have the excuse to cook this later of the month. Delish!! All the cheese and sauce is making me drool literally. xoxo..

  9. We seldom have these types of dishes at home Tina, you know my hubby and myself are always into rice, soups, side dishes, curries with the plenty spicy taste inside. Having said that, I love the spinach,cheese and the herbs to go with the dish you have made. I can imagine the flavors, fragrance and the yummy taste of it.

  10. Happy 2012 to you and your family, Tina! ;D
    So sorry that I didn't visit for so long time. Now that sch had started for the girls, I'm busier than before and hardly had time to go online, only night time but quite limited as now I've to sleep earlier so that I'm able to wake up at 630am in the morning! LOL ;P
    Glad to know that it's a good start for you!
    The pasta are so big! I love this beautiful and yummy pasta dish especially with those cheese stuffing! Need to search for this big pasta in order to make this dish! ;)

  11. Love Love Love! This looks like the perfect weeknight meal. I heart pasta and stuffing it is one of my favorite things to do

  12. What a lovely way to bring in the new year Tina!

  13. that sure looks tasty. i love pasta.

  14. Thanks everyone for the comments! I'm making this again this weekend! I guess this is my family's newest favorite! :)
    @Lyn: No worries, dear! I totally understand how busy all moms are! ;)

  15. Well, if you're making it this weekend, can I come over? :) Manicotti is one of my favorite pastas but I never make it. You make it look so easy and tasty so that might just have to change! I can see why this has become a family favorite! Happy 2012!

  16. Oh so THATS how you stuff pasta :-| I tried doing it with a spoon. FAIL. Hahahahaa I love this recipe, Tina!

  17. @MJ: Yes, I made manicotti again last weekend! Wish you could have joined us!

  18. My husband loved this. The only suggestion I would make is be sure to drain the vegtables, the extra moisture makes the filling very runny. enjoy life with food..

    1. That's true...that's why I included in step #3 to drain the spinach well, squeezing and using paper towels to get out as much moisture as possible. :)