Kittencal's Cheesy Sausage Or Spinach Manicotti (OMAC)

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 55m
Ready In

"For this recipe the shells are stuffed then baked dry/uncooked which is probably the way you will make manicotti from now on, the shells will cook in the sauce. You should have enough cheese mixture to generously stuff 28 uncooked shells baked in two 13x9-inch pans. If you do not want to use them all the stuffed dry shells can be frozen to use another time. If you don't want to bake all the stuffed shells right away, the stuffed dry shells can be frozen to cook another time, just freeze the shells on a tray. When frozen solid, wrap each stuffed shell in foil (to prevent freezer burn) then place shells in freezer bags. When ready to use, unwrap the shells from the foil and place on a plate. Allow to thaw on the counter for a few hours or overnight in the fridge (they do not have to be completely thawed) . Bake as directed with sauce on the bottom of pan, if shells are still slightly frozen baking time may need to be increased. In order to cook the dry shells this requires a fair amount of pasta sauce so make sure you purchase or make enough sauce. Use your own sauce or store-bought, I make this with my #recipe23 Also please see my note on the bottom of recipe instructions."

Original is 28 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (142.6 g)
  • Calories 301.6
  • Total Fat - 19.5 g
  • Saturated Fat - 7.8 g
  • Cholesterol - 45.5 mg
  • Sodium - 875.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 16 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 2 g
  • Sugars - 3.4 g
  • Protein - 15.2 g
  • Calcium - 296.4 mg
  • Iron - 1 mg
  • Vitamin C - 1 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (set oven rack to lowest position).

Step 2

Grease two 13 x 9-inch pans.

Step 3

Pour one jar of pasta sauce into bottom of each pan (3 cups of sauce into each pan).

Step 4

In a large bowl combined cottage cheese with next five ingredients. Season generously with seasoned salt and pepper starting at 1 teaspoon each (you can add more after chilling time).

Step 5

NOTE: Make sure after you cook the sausage meat to mince it up as small as possible using your clean fingers.

Step 6

Add the cooked sausage meat or drained spinach with 2 or more cups of mozzarella cheese or Italiano blend cheese; mix very well. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or even better 24 hours to blend all the flavors.

Step 7

Remove from the fridge, if the mixture seems dry mix a little in sour cream.

Step 8

Using clean hands stuff the cheese/sausage filling mixture in the DRY manicotti shells.

NOTE: at this point you can cover and refrigerate until ready to bake or you can freeze the stuffed shells, just thaw overnight in the fridge then proceed with the remaining 5 steps

Step 9

Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce (yes you will be able to fit 14 stuffed shells in each pan!).

Step 10

Top each pan with one jar of sauce (3 cups or a little more of pasta sauce over each pan).

Step 11

Sprinkle remaining 2 cups Italiano blend cheese or mozzarella cheese over the top, then cover very tightly with foil. Bake 1 hour.

Step 12

Remove from oven and remove the foil (at this point if you like more cheese add some on) Place back in the oven. Bake uncovered for another 20-35 minutes or until shells are fork-tender.

Step 13

Let stand 15 minutes or more before serving.

NOTE: make sure to break up the sausage mixture very finely while cooking you don't want large clumps... and If your using spinach you can use fresh cooked or a box of frozen thawed, which ever you decide on make sure it is hand-squeezed dry, I used a box of frozen and thawed it in the microwave for 12 minutes then allowed it to cool


  • 2 (13x9-inch) baking pans

7 Reviews


I made these for a special meal for my wife and I. I made them several days ahead so the flavors had time to mix together. I liked using the uncooked noodles to make them. I cut the recipe by half to make a smaller batch. Threw a salad together and had with garlic bread. Nothing better, and my wife will attest to that!


review by:
(17 Feb 2019)


Our grown children live nearby so we get together for family dinners once a week. I made a 9x13 pan for our family meal and two smaller pans to send home with the kids. This recipe has just the right balance of cheese, meat, sauce and seasonings - delicious! They were such a hit that we all decided to get together soon for a "manicotti stuffing party" to fill our freezers. Thanks Kittencal.


review by:
(31 Dec 2016)


I can't tell you how good these are because there isn't a word to describe them, ok superduperlicious might do it!! I used my own sauce to cover the manicotti, and I loved that I didn't have to cook the noodles. These are easy to make and better than any others I ever tasted in my life!


review by:
(16 Oct 2013)


OMG I`m in manicotti heaven, these are so easy to prepare, I made the filling a day ahead and just used bottled sauce, the next day all I did was stuff the shells, top with sauce and bake, how easy is that! I did have some filling left over so I froze for the next time, I will NEVER cook the shells again, this is the way to go, this recipe should be in an Italian restaurant, yes it`s way good, beyond good, DELICIOUS, Kitten your recipe are the best, thank you very much for this wonderful recipe, I cannot wait to make it again! oops forgot to say I used mozzarella because I already had it in my fridge, next time it will be the 4-cheese Italiano. Bravo Kittencal!


review by:
(27 Sep 2013)


If you like manicotti then you have to try this recipe! They are so delicious and weren't difficult at all to make. Make sure you cover the manicotti completely with sauce so they have a chance to cook in the sauce. We loved these and will definitely reap the rewards of this fine dish many times!


review by:
(30 Apr 2013)


Delicious!!! This is a fantastic manicotti dish! Not precooking the shells not only made it easier to fill but, it bakes to perfection. I also use a pastry bag that I cut the tip to the size of opening of the shells, which made filling the manicotti shells quick and easy. Since there was only the two of us, I only made half of the manicotti and served it with a salad and toasted garlic bread. This is a superb recipe that we will be enjoyed many times again. Thanks for a great recipe, Kitten!


review by:
(6 Mar 2012)

You'll Also Love