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stuffed manicotti pasta shells with ricotta cheese and spinach filling in tomato sauce

Stuffed Manicotti Pasta Shells with Ricotta Cheese and Spinach Filling

Spinach and ricotta cheese manicotti are surprisingly easy to make and taste so comforting!  These traditional Italian style manicotti pasta shells are stuffed with the delicious Ricotta Cheese and Spinach Filling and smothered in a garlic tomato sauce. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword spinach manicotti, stuffed manicotti, stuffed pasta shells
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 544kcal
Author Julia


  • 9 Manicotti pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz spinach
  • 1 cup Parmesan shredded
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped
  • 28 oz whole plum tomatoes (from the can)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • ½ cup red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (to serve)


Make ricotta cheese and spinach filling:

  • Cook spinach in 1 tablespoon olive oil until wilted. Drain of all juices, and chop spinach.
  • In a medium pan, mix together ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and cooked spinach from step 1. Salt to taste.

Stuff manicotti pasta shells with the spinach filling:

  • Cook Manicotti pasta shells according to instructions, usually by boiling for 10 minutes. Drain, cool briefly and immediately fill pasta shells with ricotta cheese and spinach filling. Don’t let the shells sit out unfilled for too long, because they will flatten, lose their shape and when you try to fill them, they will break. Start filling the shells immediately after draining them and briefly cooling. Set aside and keep them warm in a warm drawer.

Make Tomato Sauce

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onion, garlic and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and basil and wine and cook on low heat, covered, for about 40 minutes. Place the sauce in food processor and process until puree consistency. Return the sauce to the same pan, re-heat gently and add salt and pepper to taste.

How to serve

  • Pour a small amount of tomato sauce in the middle of the individual plate. Place 2 or 3 spinach stuffed manicotti pasta shells on top of the sauce in middle of the plate, then pour more sauce on top and around pasta shells. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and cracked fresh pepper on top of red sauce.


Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 886mg | Potassium: 950mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 6095IU | Vitamin C: 37.6mg | Calcium: 636mg | Iron: 4.7mg