5 from 9 votes
Make-Ahead Homemade Manicotti
Make-Ahead Italian Sausage Manicotti
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

This make-ahead, Homemade Manicotti is beyond delicious with an Italian sausage marinara and tender melt-in-your-mouth pasta.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Homemade Manicotti
Servings: 6
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage
  • 2 medium cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 14 1/2- ounce can fire-roasted canned tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
For the pasta:
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter cooled slightly
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese I like whole milk Mozzarella
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or parsley optional
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the topping:
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese I like whole milk Mozzarella
For the sauce:
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and cook until golden brown (about 10 minutes), breaking up the sausage with a metal spatula until sausage is crumbly.
  2. When sausage is golden brown, pour off all accumulated fat except for 1 tablespoon. Add garlic and Italian seasoning to sausage and continue to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring continually.
  3. Add fire-roasted tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer and cook for 15 minutes until sauce is beginning to thicken. 

  4. Remove from heat, add chopped basil and stir to combine. Transfer sauce to an 8x12 baking dish or 12-inch oval gratin pan
For the filling:
  1. Combine ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil (or parsley), salt and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Stir until well combined. Set aside.

  2. For the manicotti pasta:
  3. Whisk eggs together then add all ingredients together and whisk until smooth. Consistency will be like heavy cream.

  4. Heat a 6 or 7-inch skillet until hot over medium heat. Remove pan from the burner and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Add 1/4 cup batter to the pan and swirl the pan until the bottom is evenly coated. Cook until the surface becomes slightly dull, about 30-40 seconds. Flip and cook opposite side for another 10-15 seconds. Slide the pasta circle onto a piece of parchment paper.
  6. Repeat, making 5 more pasta circles, stacking them between pieces of parchment paper.
  7. Continue with the recipe or refrigerate stack in a ziplock bag, if not using right away.
To fill the pasta:
  1. Place about 1/6 of the filling (a large rounded tablespoonful) onto the lower end of one of the pasta rounds. Spread filling in an even layer across the circle (see picture above in the post). Bring the lower end of the circle over the filling and roll into a tube shape. Place pasta tube on top of meat sauce in the pan.

  2. Repeat with remaining pasta rounds, snuggling the filled pasta next to each other on top of the meat sauce.

  3. Top with 2 cups of shredded Mozzarella.

  4. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Tent manicotti with foil so that foil is not touching cheeses. Bake for 45 minutes then remove foil and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes (until cheese is beginning to brown at the edges). Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.