Easy Beef, Spinach, and Cheese Manicotti is a fancy pasta dish made simple. You don’t have to precook the noodles so it’s way easier and less time consuming.
This is basically lasagna just in a different form but I like this Easy Beef, Spinach, and Cheese Manicotti better. Lasagna seems to slip and slide all over the place so some bites are just completely noodle because all the meat and sauce slides out. These manicotti stuffed noodles don’t give you that problem. Plus, they are just so beautiful!
You make everything from scratch in the recipe but it’s not too difficult and the taste is totally worth it. Some manicotti recipes don’t use a meaty sauce but I love the taste and it helps keep you more full.
The noodles are filled with a mixture of 3 cheeses- ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan. Aww yeah! And there’s spinach and a couple eggs in there too. I use to stuff them with a baby spoon but have found that tossing the mix into a bag, cutting the tip, and pipping it in on both ends is way easier and a heck of a lot less messy.
Easy Beef, Spinach, and Cheese Manicotti
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 cups tomato juice, divided
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) container part-skim Ricotta cheese
- 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 (8 ounce) package manicotti shells (uncooked)
- Parsley or basil
- Cook the ground beef and onion until beef is browned. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add 2 cups of tomato, seasonings, and tomato paste.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until meat is tender.
- Mix the ricotta, 1½ cups mozzarella, spinach, eggs, parmesan, and salt together until combined. Place in a ziploc bag and then squeeze into both ends of each shell.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
- Place filled shells in the bottom of the pan and top with the simmered sauce and then pour the remaining 2 cups of tomato sauce on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, take off foil, and immediately put on the remaining 1½ cups mozzarella cheese and let it sit for 10 minutes. Top with parsley or basil and serve.
More awesome Italian recipes to try:
- Baked Ziti with Sweet Italian Sausage by Garnish & Glaze
- Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes by Julia’s Album
- Pasta con Broccoli by Garnish & Glaze
- Pasta Carbonara by Cooking Classy