Dinner Party

Tricky Stuffed Manicotti or Easy Stuffed Shells

I believe good food with good friends is always priceless. Stuffed Shells carries a few great memories with our friend Suzanne, hers are always so good and accompanied by lots of laughs and maybe a little wine 😉

After coming up with my cheese mixture for stuffed shells, I thought why not try it with Manicotti as well? Honestly I didn’t know when I started this that manicotti is made out of crepes, I thought it was a pasta shell where in reality it’s often made like a crepe, a more of a thin pancake style batter. Making crepes for manicotti was definitely tricky.  On the first try they didn’t look as pretty as some of those at a restaurant, they sure tasted good!  Practice will make perfect on these…  I am super happy with the cheese mixture, the nutmeg takes it over the top!  Both of these are great dish to assemble a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready.  

Enjoy the tricky version when you have some time, a little patience and maybe a glass of wine 😉 Enjoy the easy version anytime!


Tricky Stuffed Manicotti or Easy Stuffed Shells

Serves 4-6 (about 12 manicotti or about 20 stuffed shells)

Cheese mixture

  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 3 cups ricotta
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 egg

Cheese topping-1/4 cup mozzarella & 1/4 cup parmesan


  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • Tomato Sauce with Sausage
  • 5 Mild Italian Sausage links
  • 1/4 sweet onion, peeled & finely diced
  • 28 oz whole tomatoes
  • 29 oz tomato sauce
  • 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic salt
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled & minced
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

Tomato Sauce with Sausage

  1. Brown sausage links until almost cooked through.  Remove, slightly cool and slice in rounds.
  2. Saute onion in leftover sausage grease for about 20 minutes on low.  
  3. Add sausage and everything else to the pot and simmer on low for 2 hours on the stove, stirring often.  

Tricky Crepes

  1. Whisk milk, eggs and in a bowl.  
  2. Add your flour, garlic salt & parsley to a bowl with a center in the middle.  
  3. Fold in the liquid mixture a little at a time starting in the center and mix until smooth.  
  4. Heat skillet pan to medium-high and spray with non-stick spray.
  5. Ladle about 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan.  Moving quickly rotate around the pan for a thin crepe.  Flip with a spatula.
  6. Layout with wax paper in-between.  


  1. Combine your cheese mixture.
  2. Layout your crepes and spoons about 3 Tbsp down the center of crepe.  Roll manicotti up.  
  3. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick spray and spread our 1 cup sauce on the bottom.  
  4. Lay out stuffed manicotti seam side down and cover with 1 cup sauce.  
  5. Cover and bake at 375 for 20 minutes, uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake for another 20 minutes.  Serve with remaining cup of red sauce heated. 


Pre-brought crepes-I couldn’t find them!  My husband patiently shopped numerous stores with me for these. But I have heard some Italian Markets have them as well as in the produce section of your grocery store.

Easy version-Jumbo shells & store bought tomato sauce make this an easy weeknight meal.  Just under cook the shells just a bit, let them cool and fill with cheese mixture, laying sauce in pan, adding stuffed shells and covering with sauce and bake the same way as manicotti.