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Meatball Stuffed Manicotti

This meatball stuffed manicotti doesn't even require a pre-boil of the noodles. SO tasty.

Meatball Stuffed Manicotti

Are you craving something a little different than the typical spaghetti and meatballs? I’ve got a great one for you today. This meatball stuffed manicotti doesn’t even require a pot of boiling water. ALL of the cooking takes place in the oven, where it belongs.

Don’t want to turn your oven on? Stick these in your crockpot for an awesome summer-friendly meal. Sometimes I don’t want to go to the trouble of making a whole batch of homemade spaghetti sauce. Even if you used canned tomatoes, it is an ordeal that requires a lot of thought and effort to make a great batch.

I’ve been on a mission to find a fantastic jarred sauce that I can use for meals like this in place of my homemade version, and I just found one, Classico Riserva Pasta Sauce.

Classico Riserva is a new line of premium pasta sauce with an exceptional taste that will help elevate any meal.

These sauces are made with no artificial ingredients or added sugar. They use vine-ripened tomatoes that are picked at the peak of sweetness.

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This sauce is perfectly balanced with herbs and spices, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, then slowly simmered to perfection. They take all of the work out of pasta sauce, without sacrificing one iota of flavor.

Classico Riserva Pasta Sauce

Open up a bottle of the good stuff, and hit the easy button on one part of your dinner.

Start this by mixing together all the meatball ingredients until they are evenly distributed.

Mix together the meatball ingredients until everything is well distributed.

Next you are going to put it right into UNcooked manicotti. This will eliminate the boiling, and eventual, inevitable splitting of the noodles during the stuffing process.

Place the stuffed manicotti into a baking pan that's been covered in sauce.

Cover the noodles with the rest of the sauce. Don’t be shy! We add some water to the sauce to make sure the manicotti noodles have lots of moisture to soak up during baking.

Top the manicotti with the rest of the sauce.

Look at those awesome chunks of artichoke and eggplant in this sauce! I love it!

Meatball Stuffed Manicotti covered with cheese. YUM.

Cover with non-stick foil, or foil that’s been sprayed really well with cooking spray, and cover the pan tightly. Bake on the bottom rack at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.

Amazing meatball stuffed manicotti on a bed of creamed spinach.

One of my favorite parts of this dish is the creamed spinach. I love the combination of the amazing pasta sauce, the tender and flavorful meatball, and the creamed spinach with a touch of nutmeg. I didn’t discover the awesomeness of this combination until I was well into my 20’s, and I so regret it!

This meatball stuffed manicotti doesn't even require a pre-boil of the noodles. SO tasty.

Yield: 6 servings

Meatball Stuffed Manicotti

This meatball stuffed manicotti doesn't even require a pre-boil of the noodles. SO tasty.

Easy manicotti noodles stuffed to the brim with meatball stuffing, and then placed on a bed of spinach and drenched in marinara. Your whole family will love this easy homemade pasta recipe!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 package manicotti noodles

Meatball Stuffing

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely diced vidalia onions
  • 1/4 cup finely diced fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup whole milk


  • 1 jar your favorite pasta sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced


  • 1 - 8 ounce  package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Mix together the ground beef, bread crumbs, onions, parsley, garlic, parmesan, egg, and milk.
  3. Pour half of the sauce into a 9x13 inch pan.
  4. Gently stuff the beef mixture into the manicotti noodles, and place them into the pan. Repeat until all the shells are filled.
  5. Pour 3/4 cup water into the jar of sauce with half remaining, shake the jar to mix it up, and top with the sauce, and slices of mozzarella cheese.
  6. Cover the pan tightly with non-stick foil, or foil that's been sprayed well with cooking spray.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. For slow cooker, cook on high for 2 - 2 1/2 hours, depending on your model. Make sure the meat gets above 160 degrees.
  8. When the manicotti has been in the oven for about 30 minutes, place your spinach into a saute pan with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon minced garlic over medium heat until it is completely thawed and any excess water has cooked off.
  9. Add the cream, chicken stock, and nutmeg, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened.
  10. Serve the manicotti on top of a bed of the creamed spinach with a good crusty garlic bread and a green salad.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 630mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 29g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Hungry for more? Check out my awesome garlic bread, and Greek Freak Salad Dressing recipes that would go along with this perfectly!

This post brought to you by Classico Riserva. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Or Whatever You Do.


Nicole Johnson
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Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.


Thursday 9th of June 2016

Mmmm. I love manicotti, but hardly ever get to eat it because my husband is anti-fromage, and my kid is anti-pasta. But, I just might get both of them to eat this, with meatballs involved! Great idea.

We use Classico all the time, it's our go-to pasta sauce. I actually love using it as a soup base, believe it or not. It makes an amazing vegetable beef soup.

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