There's a whole lot to love about this Cheese & Roasted Vegetable Baked Manicotti recipe.
1. Roasted vegetables! The best kind of vegetables! I like cheese manicotti, but it's never been a favorite of mine because the filling is a little bit boring. Cheese, cheese, and more cheese. Roasted vegetables make this baked manicotti recipe more flavorful, more filling, and they up the nutrition a little bit too.
2. It can be made a day in advance. I'm a fan of any recipe that will let me assemble everything the night before and then pop it in the oven to cook the next evening. Sometimes I know I'm going to have an especially busy day and won't have time to make dinner--I love that we can still have a filling homemade meal and don't have to rely on takeout or frozen pizzas. (I'm not hating on frozen pizzas, of course, but if I eat ⅓ like the package always says, I'm hungry 20 minutes later. Also, dividing your pizza into thirds just isn't right. It's not!)
3. It can be frozen too. Yes! You have 3 options with this recipe! Assemble and bake right away, assemble, refrigerate and bake the next day, or assemble and freeze. And the best news is that it doesn't just freeze (because technically, you can freeze anything, right?), but it freezes well. When I was testing this recipe out, we had it all 3 ways and it was nearly impossible to tell the batch I baked right away from the frozen or refrigerated batch.
This post was originally published on March 7, 2013.
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms trimmed and quartered
- 1 small or baby eggplant, diced
- 1 small zucchini diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 package manicotti shells 14 shells
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese I use low fat or fat-free
- 1 egg beaten
- ½ c. shredded parmesan cheese divided
- 1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese divided
- 2 c. jarred marinara sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time, or until vegetables are softened and just starting to brown. Set aside.
- If you're planning on eating the manicotti the same day you make it, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Otherwise, turn oven off.
- Cook manicotti shells al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and run under cold water until shells are cool enough to handle.
- While shells are boiling, in another large bowl, stir together ricotta, egg, salt and pepper. Fold in roasted vegetables, ¼ c. parmesan cheese, and ½ c. mozzarella cheese.
- Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish (use a freezer-to-oven safe dish if freezing). Using a small spoon, carefully fill each manicotti shell with cheese and vegetable mixture. Place finished manicotti in baking dish. Once all manicotti are filled, top with remaining sauce and cheese.
To make right away:
- Cover casserole dish with foil. Bake manicotti at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.
- Cover casserole dish with foil and refrigerate for up to one day. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until heated through, then remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.
- Place plastic wrap directly on top of manicotti to minimize freezer burn, then cover casserole dish with lid. Freeze for up to 1 month. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees; remove lid and plastic wrap and cover with foil. Heat for an hour, then remove foil and bake about 15 minutes more or until manicotti is heated through and cheese has melted.
oh wow this looks delicious! thanks for sharing!
I'm all about freezing manicotti. It's so simple to make a big batch on the weekend and then keep it for quick reheating during the week. Thanks for the recipe.
Made this today with a few changes. 1- no manicotti noodles at the store so it was lasagna 2- used Daiya mozerella and faux parm cheese 3- made tofu ricotta
It was awesome!!!!!!
How do you make tofu ricotta? I eat dairy but no eggs so it's hard to find substitute for the eggs in the mixture...
Terri Chrisman says
Look at the vegan kale and tofu manicotti on this page for the vegan ricotta recipe. It's great.
Terri Chrisman says
Thanks so much for this recipe. I did a mashup of this manicotti and your vegan kale version. I made the vegan ricotta with the roast veg and it was fantastic! I didn't tell the family it was vegan and they loved it! I now have a new family staple.
Vegan ricotta really is almost exactly the same as regular ricotta, isn't it? It's amazing. I'm glad that mashup worked out!
Kristine-Bites of Flavor says
This sounds SO good! I love make ahead meals!!
So excited to see this vegetarian manicotti. We eat cheese but no eggs. Is there anyother ingredient that i can substitute egg with? If yes, how much should i use?
Rupal Desai says
Cook manicotti first wouldn't that make it hard to fill then since it would be soft?
Rupal Desai says
would it too hard to fill the manicotti once they are cooked?
Colette Rosenstiel says
You cook the noodles al dente. Which means that they're still firm. Otherwise they will fall apart when trying to fill them. Hopes this helps.