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Ricotta Manicotti with Tomato Sauce

Our version of this beloved Italian-American dish is straightforward and delicious. Freeze any remaining sauce, and use within the next two months.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
Ricotta Manicotti with Tomato Sauce

Source: Everyday Food, December 2005


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 package (8 ounces) manicotti, cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms such as shiitake (optional), soaked and drained (see cooks' note), and finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 cups Basic Tomato Sauce


  1. Cook pasta, drain, and cool. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together ricotta, eggs, thyme, oregano, and 1 cup Parmesan. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in mushrooms, if desired.

  2. Using a plastic bag for filling, stuff cooled pasta shells (about 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture in each).

  3. Coat bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 2 cups tomato sauce. Line up manicotti in baking dish, and cover with 2 cups sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Cook's Note

Cover mushrooms with warm water, soak 20 minutes or until soft. Lift from liquid, rinse under cool water, pat dry.

Reviews (13)

  • bakererika 23 Dec, 2012

    I reduced the ricotta to one container, and added 3 cups of mozzarella cheese to it. Did not use eggs. I also sprinkled an additional one cup of mozzarella cheese on top before putting it into the oven. And I use a standard jar of a cheesy flavored spaghetti sauce from the grocery store (I like Ragu's romano and parmesan sauce for this particular recipe). This makes for a fantastic manicotti

  • susannestyle 12 Jun, 2012

    mmm, this was great! i substituted fresh basil and italian parsley for the thyme and oregano.

  • goodthing101 9 Nov, 2011

    For this dish, I would make sure you use a GOOD brand of Ricotta, that is very important. Personally, I like Calabro, you can find this brand at The Fresh Market.

  • BranPark090 6 Mar, 2011

    A great classic! But with classic flavors. Nothing that is a show stopper, but it does the job with satisfying.

  • Igby 18 Feb, 2011

    Fresh taste light texture main course. I made exactly to recipe except adding more garlic cloves to the sauce. We enjoyed it are our table. Simple sauce has great flavor. Manicotti filling very fluffy. Enough extra pasta, filling, and make a mini little casserole to share. Few ingredients, little bit of effort, delicious dinner!

  • Rowland4 19 Mar, 2009

    Very disappointing. Using only ricotta made it very gritty. Flavorless.

  • Rowland4 19 Mar, 2009

    Very disappointed. With only the ricotta it is very gritty. No flavor.

  • terrigirl 13 Mar, 2009

    I make extra cover it with foil and freeze it, when I take it out of the freezer Ilet it set for about an hour then put it in a 350 degree oven with the foil on for an hour take it off and let cook another 1/2 hour.

  • merrie8831 13 Mar, 2009

    Can this recipe be frozen ahead of time? If so, what would you recommend as the cooking time once it's thawed?

  • Sicilian 13 Mar, 2009

    gnusart...take a zip loc bag, put the filling inside, squeezing it to the bottom of the bag and then twist the upper portion of the bag so that it is closed, just like a pastry bag. Then snip off a bottom corner of the bag and pipe the filling into the shells. It's a quick way to fill the shells and not have a mess. Just throw the bag away and you're done.

  • TeaSea 13 Mar, 2009

    You use a large ziploc or similar bag and you fill it with the ricotta mixture. Snip off a small corner of the bag with scissors and use the bag as a piping bag to pipe the filling into the manicotti.

  • gnusart 13 Mar, 2009

    How do you use a plastic bag to stuff the manicotti? BR

  • gnusart 13 Mar, 2009

    How do you use a plastic bag to stuff the manicotti? BR

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