Manicotti Mania

Easy and quick Italian cuisine

As college students, we rarely get a good home-cooked meal. We get buried in homework, we have work and depending on where you live, you might not have access to a kitchen. My mother, like most, is the best cook and baker. I have made several of her dishes this past year and something I learned is they are “college-friendly.” One of her best is manicotti, a jumbo shell stuffed with cheeses, topped with marinara and mozzarella. 

This dish is also easily adjustable to the number of people eating. If it is just yourself, make two to three, or if you cook for friends, you can make a whole pan. One of the best things about this recipe is that even the leftovers are mouthwatering.  You could make one pan for the week, freeze it and thaw it when you want it. Manicotti can do no wrong, so I hope you enjoy mine and my mom’s recipe.



  • One box of manicotti shells
  • Marinara: buy your choice of jar
  • 15 oz tub of ricotta cheese
  • 5 oz tub of shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray a 13 X 9 casserole dish with non-stick spray, ensuring to get the edges
  3. Cook Manicotti shells according to the directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Once they are rinsed, gently separate the shells and lay them on a cutting board or foil. Pasta will stick, so to separate them, try to keep them in the whole form. While they cook prepare the filling 
  4. Mix ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, and oregano in a small bow. 
  5. Use one cup of the marina to spread across the bottom of the sprayed casserole dish. (This will prevent the pasta from sticking when it gets hot.)
  6. Using a small spoon, fill each pasta tube (manicotti shell) and leave about a ½ an inch on each side. (Pastry bags are another option to fill the shells.) Once each pasta tube is complete, place it on top of the marinara in the dish aligning them in a row. The pasta expands, so beware of a few extra shells that will not fit.
  7. Once the pan is full, spread the remaining marinara across the top of the shells and sprinkle the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese across the marinara sauce and shells. 
  8. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the sides of the dish begin to bubble. They are easier to cut if they are set out and rested for approximately 30 minutes on a baking rack. 


Now, enjoy your manicotti with a fresh salad and garlic bread!