Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Three Cheese Italian Sausage Manicotti with Homemade Marinara

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This is my daughter Madison's favorite meal.  It does take time to make and dirties a lot of dishes, but it's so worth it.  I made this for Madison's 4th grade graduation suprise dinner.  She will be going to Intermediate school next year and this was my way to show her how proud I am of how well she did in Elementary school.  I made an amazing honeybun cake for dessert that I found over at The Country Cook.  Madison really enjoyed her meal and was pleasantly surprised.


1 pkg Barilla manicotti noodles (12 noodles)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 T dried Italian seasoning
1 lb ground Italian sausage
Homemade Marinara

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a large casserole or lasagna baking dish with cooking spray.
Cook manicotti according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and coat with olive oil so they don’t stick together.  Brown sausage in skillet until cooked through. Add minced garlic to pan and cook 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and let cool.

Mix 3 cups mozzarella cheese, 2 cups ricotta cheese, 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, egg, and Italian seasoning in large bowl. Add cooled sausage and stir to combine.  Spread 1 cup marinara over the bottom of the baking dish.  Stuff each manicotti with the cheese/sausage mixture and arrange the manicotti side by side in the dish. Cover with more marinara sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and bubbly. Enjoy!


  1. Yummy they look delicious and I love them!!!!!!

  2. I'm so glad that Maddie enjoyed her special dinner. It was very sweet of you to make it for her. It looked like you used every pot and pan in the kitchen.

  3. How many servings does this recipe make? Can the ingredients be cut in half? Fourths? In our home, it's only my husband and me.

  4. Hi Susan. This recipe makes 12 shells total. I can eat one, my hubby can eat 2. It can easily be quartered or halved. I always make a big batch of the marinara and freeze what I don't use in quart size freezer bags for other meals. You could also make all 12 shells, and only bake 4 of them for dinner. Then you can put the remaining 8 stuffed shells in 2 separate disposable pans topped with the marinara, but without the mozzarella cheese on top, wrap tightly with saran wrap and foil, and freeze. When you are ready to eat, defrost in fridge overnight, top with mozzarella cheese, and bake until warm and bubbly. Hope this helps!


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