Ricotta is mixed with a combination of primavera-style vegetables, parmesan and fresh herbs to create a tasty Veggie and Cheese Manicotti recipe. The manicotti primavera is then smothered in homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for a comforting meal.
Creating This Easy Manicotti Recipe
I came across this lovely looking vegetarian lasagna recipe recently. I had it on our menu that week, but ended up making something a little different in terms of the presentation. Instead of the Lasagna Primavera, we ended up with Manicotti Primavera.
Simply put, this is the BEST manicotti recipe I’ve ever made. The manicotti filling is super creamy from the ricotta and flavored with various fresh herbs and veggies.
Keep reading for my tips and tricks for making homemade manicotti!
Veggie & Cheese Manicotti Ingredients
To make the stuffed manicotti, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Ricotta cheese
- Mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Patty pan squash
- Fresh herbs
- Marinara sauce
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
How to Make Veggie & Cheese Manicotti
The prep work for this recipe is mostly spent grating the veggies. Once that’s done, the manicotti filling comes together in no time!
- Cook the pasta. Drain, cool, and set aside until you’re ready to stuff the tubes.
- Combine the ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the mozzarella (reserving the other 1 cup), and parmesan in a bowl. Mix well.
- Grate the carrot, zucchini, squash, and broccoli. Add the vegetables to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
- Stuff the cooled pasta with the cheese and vegetable mixture.
- Coat the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with 1 cup of sauce. Line the manicotti up in the baking dish and top with more sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.
How to Stuff Manicotti
You might think that I’m a glutton for punishment for making Manicotti, but I have a little trick that I use to make stuffing Manicotti a lot easier, faster, and less messy — check out my post on How to Fill Pasta for Stuffed Shells.
I show how easy it is to fill jumbo sized pasta shells with this method, but you can use the same technique for manicotti or cannelloni.
If you’re used to attempting to spoon filling into pasta shapes like these, all the while making a big mess and the whole process taking far longer than you’d like it to, I promise that you’ll be amazed at home much easier it is. You’ll never look at Stuffed Manicotti or Stuffed Shells the same!
Can I Freeze Stuffed Manicotti?
I haven’t tried freezing this recipe, but I have frozen stuffed shells in the past (smothered in sauce, then frozen). I imagine this veggie and cheese manicotti is fine to freeze before being baked!
What to Serve with Stuffed Manicotti
I served the Manicotti Primavera for our Sunday dinner a few weeks ago. I like to prepare a bigger dinner on Sundays because I have a lot more time.
It’s usually a pretty relaxing day in the afternoon and evening here. I served a green salad and Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread on the side.
You might like to try the Olive Garden Salad with Olive Garden Salad Dressing as an accompaniment to this veggie and cheese manicotti. The dressing is creamy and tangy just like the original.
When poured over a big bowl of salad greens, topped with red onion, black olives, Roma tomato, pepperoncini, and your favorite croutons – try this recipe for buttery sourdough garlic croutons – it is just like the one served in restaurants, and it pairs deliciously with this recipe!
Tips for Making Stuffed Manicotti
- I usually cook the pasta 1 to 2 minutes less than the package instructions say to do so it will hold its shape once stuffed.
- Veggie and cheese manicotti is a great way to use up any remaining summer squash and zucchini from your garden, CSA, or the farmer’s market.
- You can use the filling to stuff shells as well if you prefer that over manicotti pasta.
More Cheesy Pasta Recipes:
One Skillet Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce is the perfect, easy comforting pasta dish. Baking it in a single skillet makes for quick preparation and very minimal clean up.
This super simple One-Pot Pasta features fresh spinach and sun dried tomatoes for a pop of flavor and color.
Lasagna Rolls are attractive, simple to prepare, and so much easier to dish up and serve than a massive layer of lasagna that requires cutting into.
This recipe for Shrimp Scampi with Tomatoes and Artichokes is the perfect easy, yet romantic, pasta dinner.
Made with three types of cheese, this baked Butternut Mac and Cheese recipe is ready in just 40 minutes! Perfect for family get togethers and holidays!
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- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup carrot, grated
- 1/3 cup zucchini, grated
- 1/2 cup patty pan squash, grated
- 1/3 cup broccoli, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, basil, or a combination)
- 3 cups sauce, such as Homemade Marinara Sauce
- 12 ounces Manicotti (about 1 1/2 standard sized boxes)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook the pasta (I usually cook it 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions so it will hold its shape.). Drain, cool, and set aside till you're ready to stuff the tubes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the mozzarella (reserving the other 1 cup), and parmesan. Mix well. Grate the carrot, zucchini, squash, and broccoli. Add the vegetables to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.
- Stuff the cooled pasta with the cheese and vegetable mixture. Coat the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with 1 cup of sauce, such as Homemade Marinara Sauce. Line the manicotti up in the baking dish and top with the remaining 2 cups of sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread.
Note: If you don't have patty pan squash, just substitute another yellow summer squash.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 332Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 91mgSodium 1282mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 3gSugar 8gProtein 21g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.