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Shortcut Cheese Manicotti

No need to spend all day making homemade manicotti! Use this quick shortcut and have this cheesy dish for dinner tonight.

Shortcut Cheese Manicotti- Table for Seven #tableforsevenblog #cheese #manicotti #dinner

Growing up, my mom occasionally would make manicotti for dinner. It was delicious, but for her, it seemed like it was an all afternoon project to make it.

Making the shells. Making the filling. Stuffing the shells. It looked exhausting to me, but, my mom took it all in stride. However, I am assuming this is why we only had it occasionally. 😉

This recipe gives you a really cheesy manicotti and it takes no time at all to make!

First up, what’s manicotti? It’s a type of pasta and it’s shaped like a tube. Once they are cooked, they are stuffed with a variety of desired fillings. Sorta like stuffed shells, but, they aren’t shells, they are tubes. 👍

Shortcut Cheese Manicotti- Table for Seven #tableforsevenblog #cheese #manicotti #dinner

Ingredients List:

  • Ground turkey
  • Dried spices: Onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt & pepper
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • String cheese
  • Manicotti shells

Ground Turkey: If desired, ground beef can be used instead. However, if needed, drain your cooked ground beef before adding additional ingredients.

String Cheese? Yep! Makes stuffing the shells really quick and easy. Find them in the cheese section of your grocery store. Here is an example of what they look like.

Can I use spaghetti sauce instead? Yes. Instead of adding crushed tomatoes, paste and dried spices, you can use your favorite jarred or homemade red sauce. You will need 26-28 ounces.

Shortcut Cheese Manicotti- Table for Seven #tableforsevenblog #cheese #manicotti #dinner

How to Make:

  • First, make your shells according the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Next, brown your meat until it’s no longer pink. Then, add in tomatoes, dried spices and tomato paste. Cook another 5 minutes to get the flavors really mixed together.
  • Then, spread half of the mixture into the bottom of a grease 9 x 13 baking pan.
  • Take a piece of string cheese and stuff it into a cooked shell. Place it on top of the sauce mixture in your pan. Repeat with the rest of the shells.
  • Top it all off with the rest of your sauce/meat mixture. Cover and bake.
  • Remove the lid/cover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake just another 5 minutes or until it’s melted.
  • It’s hot! Let the dish sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Goes great with garlic bread.

Yield: 12 manicotti

Shortcut Cheese Manicotti

Shortcut Cheese Manicotti- Table for Seven #tableforsevenblog #cheese #manicotti #dinner

Shortcut Cheese Manicotti- No need to spend all day making homemade manicotti! Use this quick shortcut and have this cheesy dish for dinner tonight.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 12 manicotti shells
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 4 oz tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced onion
  • salt/pepper, to taste preference
  • 12 mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  2. Prepare manicotti shells according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a skillet, brown ground turkey until no longer pink. Stir in crushed tomatoes, dried spices and tomato paste. Mix to fully combine. Cook an additional 5 minutes, then, remove from heat.
  4. Spread half of the sauce mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  5. Stuff each cooked manicotti shell with a piece of string cheese. Then, place in baking dish, on top of sauce.
  6. Top stuffed manicotti shells with remaining sauce mixture.
  7. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove cover and sprinkle top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional five minutes or until melted.
  8. Let the dish sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 296Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 436mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate

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