Inside-Out Manicotti

Inside-Out Manicotti

Behr 6

"Here's a quick way to have the wonderful flavor of manicotti without all the work of stuffing the tubes. Use a smaller pasta, and cover it with sauce and cheese."

Ingredients 55 m {{adjustedServings}} servings 644 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 4 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 644 kcal
  • 32%
  • Fat:
  • 22.5 g
  • 35%
  • Carbs:
  • 75.4g
  • 24%
  • Protein:
  • 39.7 g
  • 79%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 108 mg
  • 36%
  • Sodium:
  • 1316 mg
  • 53%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  • Prep

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  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large saucepan, heat oil over moderately high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until onion is translucent. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, blend together ricotta, mozzarella, egg, black pepper, and nutmeg.
  4. Cover the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart baking dish with about 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Layer with half of the ziti, half of the cheese mixture, 2 more cups of the tomato sauce, and remaining ziti. Top with remaining cheese mixture and sauce.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.
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Reviews 62

  1. 76 Ratings


Here is something to make that recipe even faster and less messy. I don't cook any pasta that is going into a crockpot or oven. Make sure you have enough sauce and it will cook itself. I make the same thing in a crockpot, but use rigitoni and cook it on low for at least 4 hours depending on how soft you like your macaroni. Stir the crockpot after two hours to make sure that all the pasta is covered. You can add cooked ground beef or loose sausage to your sauce for more flavor and skip the nutmeg. Make enough extra sauce to add when served if you want more.


This is a great idea if you don't have manicotti on-hand, or don't want to stuff them. I used bow ties instead of ziti because that's what we had in the pantry, but almost any kind of small pasta should work. To spice up the sauce, add 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste). I used 1 teaspoon salt instead of 1/2 teaspoon. Alternatively, you can add about 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning instead of the basil, marjoram, thyme, and oregano (more or less to taste). Add 1 small can mushrooms to the sauce. Remove the bay leaf before assembling. Top the entire dish with a sprinkle of grated mozzarella cheese about ten minutes before it's ready. Add grated parmesan cheese on top after plated. Serve with caesar salad and garlic bread.


Excellent recipe -- wonderful manicotti flavor. I used penne pasta -- no problem, and skipped the nutmeg. I did bake 45 mins as others suggested. Finally: Two great tips ... Skip Step 2 and just use jar, chunky spaghetti sauce. Makes it much faster. I was a little short on ricotta, so I just added sour cream to make the amount called for. This was a great recipe for when I needed to do a big grocery shop the next day.