Cheesy Manicotti

A few weeks ago I decided I would involve the amigos more in meal planning and cooking dinner. I told each of them to decide on a dinner they wanted to help me prepare. Bean chose the easy way and wanted to do precooked tortellini with marinara sauce. His reasoning was if he aimed low in the beginning his only option was to move up.

Then Keegs decided he wanted his absolute favorite dinner, which I refuse to make most of the time, Hawaiian Haystacks…if you don’t know what these are, then you most likely aren’t Mormon. You see…Mormons have this urge to create some of the yummiest, yet most fattening and starch-filled foods…ie: funeral potatoes, carrot shreds in Jello molds (that actually is super yucky), and Hawaiian Haystacks (which incidentally aren’t Hawaiian at all).

Well, when I asked Yo what he wanted to make for dinner, like usual, he answered from left field…”Mom, I wanna make manicotti with you.” Mind you, I have not made manicotti since we moved to Las Vegas 7+ years ago, which means he has never had manicotti. I think he secretly watches the food channels and stores things in his memory bank.

So we made manicotti. When I asked what kind he wanted to make, he promptly shouted “Cheese of course!” I couldn’t persuade him otherwise, no to sausage, no to spinach, no to ground turkey…just cheese.

Most manicotti noodle boxes have a recipe on the back, but in true Foxy Lane Girl style, I like to wing it.

Cheesy Manicotti

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 473 kcal


  • 1 box manicotti noodles cooked al dente
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 24 oz ricotta cheese or small curd cottage cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ cups marinara sauce
  • fresh basil
  • salt and pepper


  • Cook the noodles according to the directions on the manicotti box, only until al dente. While the noodles are cooking, saute the diced onion in a pan that has been drizzled with olive oil. Cook until slightly brown. When noodles are done the cooking, place on the counter on top of a silicone pad or parchment paper to cool. Using foil or anything else the noodles will stick to.
  • In a bowl combine the ricotta cheese (or if your a savage like my children and don’t like ricotta cheese, small curd cottage cheese is almost as tasty), 1/2 cup of both parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, the sauteed onion, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined.
  • In a 13×9 baking dish, grease the bottom and pour 1/4 cup marinara sauce over the bottom. Place the cheese mixture in a gallon ziplock bag and cut one corner off. Use the zip lock bag like a frosting/piping bag and squeeze the cheese into each noodle. Place the noodle in the prepped baking dish.
  • Once all of the noodles are filled, pour the rest of the marinara sauce over top to thinly coat the noodles. Sprinkle the desired amount of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes. Take out of oven and top with diced fresh basil, serve immediately.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 473kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 28gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 84mgSodium: 589mgPotassium: 337mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 864IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 554mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cheese, Italian, noodles
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

This dish is also a wonderful freezer meal. Instead of baking and then topping with fresh basil, place foil over the dish and freeze for up to 6 months. When baking, cook in a 375°F oven for 60-80min with the last 10 minutes uncovered to melt the cheese. Top with fresh basil.

Do you have any go-to meals you like to prepare with your children? Hope y’all are having an amazing day.

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