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Spinach Manicotti in Creamy Tomato Sauce


Our fuss-free method for stuffing pasta shells turns this classic Italian dish into a weeknight option.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, December 2010


  • 8 manicotti shells (from an 8-ounce package)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 cups prepared marinara sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain well and arrange in a single layer on an oiled rimmed baking sheet. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and lemon zest. Stir in spinach and season filling to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Transfer filling to a large zip-top plastic bag. Twist and squeeze bag so filling is in one corner. With scissors, snip a 3/4-inch opening in corner. Pipe filling into both ends of each pasta shell. Arrange stuffed shells in an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together marinara sauce, oregano, and cream. Pour sauce evenly over stuffed shells and top with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until sauce in center of dish is bubbling and Parmesan is browned in spots, about 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Notes

For a seafood flavor, use 1/2 pound peeled, deveined shrimp, finely chopped, instead of the spinach.

Reviews Add a comment

  • chornomaz
    2 DEC, 2013
    Delicious. I've made this twice and swapped in fresh spinach (sauteed with garlic) instead of frozen. The lemon zest is great in the filling and the touch of cream added to the tomato sauce smartly and simply lifts the dish. A new staple in my house!
  • akwilki
    5 JAN, 2011
    This is sooooo yummy! Making it again tonight!