Pasta night just got a healthy twist! Try this uber-delicious Pesto Veggie Manicotti today!
This delish recipe has been in our family for ages, so it’s only fitting that I finally measure it out and type it up for you here! There’s almost always a batch in my freezer at all times and my go-to when friends or family need a hearty meal. Hopefully you’ll love it as much as we do!
- 1 box of manicotti noodles
- ½ medium onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup of grated carrots and/or zucchini
- ½ tsp olive oil
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 bag fresh baby spinach
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup shredded parmesan/romano cheese
- ¼ cup of pesto
- mozzarella cheese for topping, as much as you want!
- to taste: black pepper, salt, parsley, oregano, thyme & garlic powder.
- 16 oz fire roasted marinara sauce [see below] or your favorite red sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Gently boil shells for approx 11 min or until tender/al dente.
- Drain and arrange cooked noodles in a glass baking dish with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom.
- Fun fact: if you roll the noodles in the red sauce it will help prevent them from sticking/wilting! Dice and sauté, onions and garlic together with shredded carrots and ½ tsp of olive oil.
- In a large bowl, fold ricotta, parm/romano cheeses, pesto, and torn spinach together with all your herbs and spices.
- Next, add your veggies to the mix.
- You are free to use your fingers, but putting the stuffing in a bag with a hole cut in the corner and squeezing is muuuch easier! Stuff the noodles gently and pour a generous pile of sauce on top.
- Top with sliced or grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese [use as much as you'd like!] and bake for approx 20-30 minutes at 350 F
T-Rex chefs: feel free to add ground turkey to the dish – it’s a delicious addition and frequently requested by my husband. Simply brown the meat with your favorite Italian seasonings [parsley, oregano, basil, etc…] and a little garlic/onion powder to taste. Mix into your cheesy veggie filling and you’re good to go!
update: Hookay sooo… tried this with some sauteed mushrooms and it was INSANELY GOOD! Get on that. stat. and save me a piece while you’re at it! =)
No manicotti noodles? No problem! Simply boil up some lasagna noodles, spread them with the filling, and roll ’em up! The results are easy and delicious!
so… how was it?! Face-stuffing good! I typically use jarred sauces for my pasta dishes but using my homemade fire-roasted sauce and a lil punch of pesto totally took it to the next level! I’m beyond ready for dinnertime now because its time for leftovers! Yay!
This filling also makes ridiculously amazing Stuffed Shells + stuffed squash too!