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Lunch / Dinner

Sausage & Beef Manicotti

This stuffed pasta makes one welcome Italian feast of a dinner. Filled with a creamy meat and cheese filling and topped with a slightly spiced marinara, these manicotti are even better than the ones Mom used to make. And, yes, you can have manicotti on a weeknight when you streamline the recipe. Ricotta may be traditional in a manicotti filling, but this version, bulked up with a double dose of meats and cream cheese, is sure to become the preferred version on your dinner table. Where manicotti becomes time consuming (and messy) is filling the pasta. The solution? A pastry bag or resealable plastic bag with the end snipped off is the perfect tool for piping the filling into the pasta. This helps to cut down on both time and mess.


6 servings (12 manicotti)

Total Time

1¼ hours

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To save even more time, make both the filling and marinara a few days ahead, then let them come to room temperature and pipe before topping with cheese and baking.


Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a baking sheet and a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.

For the filling, blanch manicotti in boiling salted water, 4 minutes; drain and transfer to prepared baking sheet.

Sauté ground round, sausage, and onion in oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until cooked. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in cream cheese until it melts; cool.

Combine 1 cup mozzarella, ¾ cup Parmesan, and parsley; stir into meat mixture and transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch tip.

For the sauce, sauté onion, garlic, Italian herbs, and pepper flakes in oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until onion softens, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer 10 minutes. Spread 1½ cups marinara on bottom of prepared baking dish.

Pipe filling into manicotti and place in prepared dish; top with remaining marinara, 1 cup mozzarella, and remaining ½ cup Parmesan. Bake manicotti until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts, about 30 minutes. Let manicotti rest 5 minutes, then top with chopped parsley.

To create a creamy filling, stir cubed cream cheese into the meat mixture until it melts.

To create a creamy filling, stir cubed cream cheese into the meat mixture until it melts.

By using a pastry bag, you can easily fill the noodles without creating a mess.

By using a pastry bag, you can easily fill the noodles without creating a mess.

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