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Four Cheese Manicotti

Course Main Course
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Author Laura Doerr


  • 12 manicotti noodles
  • 1 lb Italian turkey or pork sausage
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 25 oz jar marinara
  • 6 oz bag baby spinach chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 tbsp butter cubed

For the cheese filing

  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season water with some salt. Cook the manicotti noodles 2 minutes LESS than the package directions. Drain and set aside until ready to fill. You want them to be under-done and firm for easy filling, and they will finish cooking while baking.

  2. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  3. While the water is coming to boil and noodles are cooking: In a large skillet, cook the Italian sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon, with the minced yellow onion until cooked through. Stir in baby spinach, it will wilt down to almost nothing. Once wilted, stir in marinara and cook on med-low until heated through.

  4. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the cheese filling ingredients. Transfer filling into a large plastic zip-top baggie. Cut the corner so that you have about a quarter size opening.


  1. Spread about 3/4 cup of the marinara meat mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

  2. Pipe the filling into each manicotti noodle. Arrange the filled pasta on a single layer into the baking dish. Top with remaining marinara meat mixture.

  3. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzerella, 1/2 cup parm, and dollop with butter cubes. Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

Recipe Notes

Customize this dish to your liking. Swap proteins, add in veggies, or make it vegetarian.

The marinara sauce that you choose will determine a good amount of the flavor, so use one that you like! I use a spicy marinara for added kick!