Manicotti means ‘little sleeve,’ but there is usually nothing little about these big hunks of sauce and pasta. With this recipe, you can enjoy your very own sausage and cheese-filled manicotti at home, perfect for a filling family meal after a hard day.
Don’t forget to make Classic Homemade Garlic Bread to serve with your manicotti! Or for something a little more filling try the Bacon & Cheese Pull Apart Loaf!
Table of Contents
- Sausage Stuffed Manicotti
- How To Easily Remove Sausages From Their Casing
- Why It Is Important To Make Sure You Get All Of The Water Out Of Your Spinach
- Could You Make Your Own Four Cheese Pasta Sauce And Is It Worth It?
- Pin This Recipe To Your Pasta Recipes Board and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!
- Sausage Stuffed Manicotti Recipe
Sausage Stuffed Manicotti
Manicotti is one of those classic Italian-American dishes that you rarely get to eat at home.
Unless you get it at an Italian restaurant, most people only really get to experience this surprisingly intricate and tasty dish when making it from a kit.
However, despite how complicated Sausage Stuffed Manicotti looks, it is actually a super simple recipe to make at home, so long as you don’t mind working with a sausage mixture and stuffing it in pasta shapes!
Alongside being a great weeknight dinner, this recipe also freezes super well, so why not consider making a few extra to keep in the freezer for a homemade, oven-ready meal?
How To Easily Remove Sausages From Their Casing
One slightly tricky part of cooking with sausages is that, unless you are planning on just dicing them up or eating them whole, you need to remove the sausage meat from their casing.
This can be a little bit tricky sometimes, because sausage casings seem to want to perpetually stick to the meat, making it really tricky to actually remove them.
The easiest way to do it is to slide a knife across each sausage, ideally a thin, sharp knife like a paring knife.
After cutting all the way down the sausage casing, you should be able to just peel back the casing, leaving all of the sausage meat behind.
Also, don’t feel bad about throwing away the sausage casings – though you should always try and use every part of whatever you cook, there really is nothing you can use sausage casings for.
Why It Is Important To Make Sure You Get All Of The Water Out Of Your Spinach
When cooking with frozen spinach, you really need to make sure that you squeeze out as much of the water as is physically possible before using it in your recipe.
This means that you need to let all of the spinach completely thaw and physically squeeze the spinach with your hands to remove as much of the water as possible.
If you didn’t do this, you would likely end up with a whole bunch of extra water in your manicotti, turning it soupy and pretty gross.
If you find the feeling of the water a bit unpleasant as you squeeze it out of your spinach, consider wearing gloves.
You could also put all of your thawed spinach into a colander and press down on it, using the colander as the vice to help squeeze out the water. Just do whatever is easiest and least disgusting for you to ensure that none of that gross vegetable water gets into your manicotti.
Could You Make Your Own Four Cheese Pasta Sauce And Is It Worth It?
This recipe for sausage stuffed manicotti calls for the use of a jarred pasta sauce, specifically Four Cheese, a flavor that pretty much all pasta sauce companies sell.
While using the jarred stuff is perfectly fine for this recipe, you might be inclined to make your very own.
The main benefit of making your own pasta sauce here is that you can develop the flavors to your own preferences. For example, you could change up the cheeses, or even add herbs and spices to make a uniquely flavored sauce.
It is also super easy – you just need to make a béchamel sauce, cook it for a little bit, and then add your blend of cheeses.
For those not familiar with making a béchamel, you basically just cook together an equal amount of flour and butter, usually about ¼ cup of each, until it smells nutty and a bit like cooked pie crust.
You then add all your milk, in this case about 3 cups, a little bit at a time, whisking all the while, until it is completely incorporated.
As this mixture cooks and thickens, you can season it however you like, but ideally at least with some salt, pepper, and nutmeg, before adding all of your cheese and stirring gently to combine.
Of course, if all of that sounds like too much work, feel free to just use the jarred stuff. It’s simple, easy, and will taste almost as good as your homemade stuff with no added effort.
Looking for more delicious Pasta recipes? Try these out:
• The BEST Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
• Healthy Crock Pot Spaghetti & Meatballs
Pin This Recipe To Your Pasta Recipes Board and Remember to FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST!
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Sausage Stuffed Manicotti
- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 50 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 3 mild Italian sausages (or spicy if preferred)
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 10 oz frozen spinach (thawed and all liquid squeezed out)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
- pinch salt
- 8 manicotti shells
- 1 16 oz jar Four Cheese Pasta Sauce
- 1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Minced Fresh Parsley if desired
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Get out a 9×13 pan and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan on medium high heat add the sausage meat removing it from the casings. Discard the casings. Fry the sausage meat until no pink remains and it is cooked through about 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the nutmeg and ricotta cheese to the meat. Stir to combine.
- Ensure all the water is squeezed out of the spinach and add that to the sausage mix along with the Parmesan cheese a pinch of salt and egg.
- Get your 9×13 pan and pour 1/2 of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan.
- Fill the pasta shells tight with the sausage mix all the way to the ends. Arrange the manicotti on top of the sauce and pour the remaining sauce over top. Cover the pan with aluminum foil tightly.
- Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven the pasta should be tender soft. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the top. Return to oven uncovered for 10 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and a slice of garlic toast.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!
Veronica Buck says
You said use 16 oz jar of four cheese pasta sauce – but later you say use tomato sauce in the pan..??? I think it would be better with four cheese sauce.
A potato ricer is a good tool for squeezing water out of thawed spinach.
Phyllis Ramsey says
Do you need to boil the manicotti shells first?
can you use ground beef instead