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If you’re craving classic Italian comfort food without the hassle of leftovers, this single serving Spinach Manicotti recipe is the answer! It’s loaded with cheesy spinach goodness, baked to perfection under a blanket of rich marinara sauce. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to make, putting a satisfying and home-cooked meal within reach, even for one.

Complement your cheesy Spinach Manicotti with delicious sides like a slice of warm, crusty French bread, perfect for dipping in the savory sauce. A refreshing, simple green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette, or try vibrant sautéed green beans or sweet, caramelized roasted carrots.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Single serving means no leftovers: Enjoy a perfectly portioned meal without worrying about extra food.
  • Super easy to make: Simple ingredients and clear instructions make this recipe approachable for any skill level.
  • Customizable: Adjust fillings or sauces to cater to your specific preferences.
  • Comforting and delicious: Warm, cheesy, and satisfying – it hits all the right notes.

What is Manicotti?

Manicotti is a classic Italian-American dish featuring large pasta tubes filled with deliciousness! Traditionally, the pasta dough was made fresh, rolled, filled, and then baked. Nowadays, you can find dried manicotti tubes at most grocery stores. This recipe is a twist on the traditional, made for a single serving so you can enjoy this Italian favorite anytime.

RELATED: Easy Dinner Ideas For One

Manicotti vs. Cannelloni: What’s The Difference?

You might be wondering if manicotti and cannelloni are the same thing. The answer is they’re very similar! Both are large pasta tubes meant to be filled and baked. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Origin: Manicotti is the Italian-American version of this dish, while cannelloni is the traditional Italian style.
  • Shape: Manicotti tubes are slightly larger with ridges, while cannelloni tubes are smooth.
  • Availability: You’ll usually find manicotti more easily in standard US grocery stores.

The good news? For most recipes, you can easily substitute manicotti for cannelloni and vice versa!

Ingredients

ingredients needed to make spinach manicotti all on a wooden cutting board: noodles, spinach, ricotta, cheeses, and olive oil.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this single serve spinach manicotti recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Manicotti Tubes: This recipe calls for 2 dried manicotti tubes. Store your dried pasta in an airtight container in a cool, dry place like a pantry. Avoid no-boil manicotti shells as they tend to become chewy or even crunchy when not fully covered in sauce.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is my choice for this recipe, offering a more authentic olive flavor and richer nutrients. If you prefer, a lighter olive oil can be used as an alternative.
  • Spinach: Use 1 cup of packed fresh spinach, or more to taste. Frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained, is also fine – use about 1/2 cup in this case. Consider using leftover spinach in Tuscan Chicken, a Breakfast Sandwich, or Creamed Spinach.
  • Garlic: A single clove adds a rich flavor to the dish.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Essential for seasoning.
  • Nutmeg: An optional addition, but it gives a nice flavor.
  • Cheeses: Both mozzarella and Parmesan are used in the filling and as toppings for a cheesy delight. If you’ve got leftover cheese, consider adding both to Lasagna Soup or Smashed Brussels Sprouts.
  • Ricotta: Full-fat ricotta is recommended for its creamy texture. Leftover ricotta can be used to make a small batch of Ricotta Cookies or Stuffed Shells.
  • Marinara Sauce: Jarred Marinara sauce works well, though homemade tomato sauce or pomodoro sauce can be substituted if preferred.

Egg-Free Note: Unlike many recipes, this manicotti does not contain eggs, ensuring the right consistency without compromising on taste.

Recipe Variations

Get creative with these tasty twists on spinach manicotti:

  • Meat lovers: Add a small amount of browned ground beef or sausage to the spinach filling.
  • Creamy Alfredo: Substitute Alfredo sauce for the marinara.
  • Vegetarian Manicotti: Add finely chopped mushrooms or artichoke hearts for extra flavor.
  • Spicy kick: Sprinkle in a pinch of red pepper flakes with the spinach.
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How To Make Spinach Manicotti For One

These step-by-step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make spinach manicotti. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Warm olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic for 30 seconds, stirring now and then.
  2. Add spinach to the skillet and cook it until wilted, which should take about 2-3 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally. Once done, remove the skillet from the heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, wilted spinach, salt, pepper, nutmeg, half of the mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup of Marinara sauce evenly in the base of a 5×7 inch baking dish.
  5. Fill each manicotti tube with the ricotta mixture. The easiest way to fill manicotti shells is to use a plastic bag: put the mixture in a piping or zip-top bag, snip off a corner, and squeeze the filling into the tubes. Holding the manicotti in one hand makes it easier. If you prefer, a spoon can also work for filling the tubes.
  6. Arrange the filled manicotti in the dish. Cover them with the remaining Marinara sauce, and sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan on top.
six photos showing how to wilt spinach and add it to ricotta to make stuffed manicotti.
  1. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C). Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your delicious, single serving Spinach Manicotti!
two stuffed manicotti shells on a white plate next to a bottle of red wine.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t overcook the pasta: Cook just until slightly firm, it will continue to soften in the oven.
  • Fill the pasta gently: Using a spoon or a small piping bag helps prevent tearing the manicotti tubes.
  • Season to Taste: Adjust spices and seasonings to suit your palate.
  • Cover with foil while baking: This helps the pasta cook evenly and prevents it from drying out.
  • Let it rest before serving: A short resting period allows the cheese to set.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make spinach manicotti ahead of time?

Yes! Assemble the manicotti and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to a day before baking.

Can I freeze spinach manicotti?

Yes! Assemble the manicotti, cover well, and freeze. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

How do I reheat leftovers?

Cover with foil and bake at 350°F until warmed through, or reheat individual portions in the microwave.

What size baking dish is best to use?

For a single serving of spinach manicotti, a small baking dish is perfect. A 6.5x5x2-inch or a 5×7-inch dish will work great. The main thing is to choose a dish where the two manicotti shells fit comfortably without overlapping or touching the edges of the dish. This ensures even cooking and prevents them from sticking together.

Can I double this spinach manicotti recipe?

Absolutely! This recipe doubles easily for those times you want to serve two or have a little extra for leftovers. Simply double all the ingredients and follow the same instructions. You might need a slightly larger baking dish to accommodate the extra manicotti.

a fork filled with spinach and melted mozzarella cheese stuffed in a noodle.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this easy spinach manicotti recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Spinach Manicotti For One

4.91 from 10 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Enjoy Spinach Manicotti For One, with two noodles stuffed with creamy ricotta, spinach, and cheese. An easy, satisfying cheesy dinner for one!

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 uncooked manicotti shells
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic -minced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach -packed
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese -divided
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese -divided
  • ½ cup Marinara Sauce
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • Boil manicotti pasta for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil for 30 seconds. Add garlic, cooking for another 30 seconds and stirring occasionally.
  • Add spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted (2-3 minutes). Then, remove the skillet from heat.
  • In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, the spinach-garlic mix, salt, pepper, nutmeg, ½ cup mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
  • Spread ¼ cup of Marinara sauce in the bottom of a small baking dish.
  • Stuff the manicotti tubes evenly with the ricotta mixture and place them in the dish.
  • Pour remaining ¼ cup of Marinara sauce over the stuffed manicotti and top with ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Drizzle the remaining ¼ cup Marinara sauce over the manicotti and sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella and 1 tablespoon Parmesan.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  • Take the dish out of the oven and serve the manicotti hot.

Video

Notes

  • Don’t overcook the pasta: Cook just until slightly firm, it will continue to soften in the oven.
  • Fill the pasta gently: Using a spoon or a small piping bag helps prevent tearing the manicotti tubes.
  • Cover with foil while baking: This helps the pasta cook evenly and prevents it from drying out.
  • Season to Taste: Adjust spices and seasonings to suit your palate.
  • Let it rest before serving: A short resting period allows the cheese to set.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 703kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 44g, Fat: 44g, Saturated Fat: 24g, Cholesterol: 106mg, Sodium: 1542mg, Potassium: 639mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1965IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 1003mg, Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Recipe Rating




20 Comments

  1. Lorna says:

    Hi Joanie, I haven’t made this recipe yet…
    I ordered a couple of boxes of dried cannelloni pasta online & have just received them, only to find that they are to be used “uncooked” But you say not to use this type…
    Do you think if I put the two “snugly” in a smaller dish so that they can be totally covered in sauce it might be ok?
    (On the box it says to cook for 30mins)
    Tonight, it’s the chicken& rice casserole for tea..😊🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Hi Lorna, I think they should be fine to use, especially if covered in sauce.

      1. Lorna says:

        Finally got round to making this Joanie& it was absolutely delicious.. The no cook Cannelloni shells were great . I did add some cooked chicken to the filling.. I had quite a bit of the filling left over because the Cannelloni are smaller than the Manicotti..
        Like the “Ziti” recipe, I baked in my Ninja.. I did cook it for 30 mins as pasta I used was no boil type, at 180° then foil off & up to 190° for about 10 mins..
        I will certainly be making this again.. Tomorrow it’s Slow Cooker Italian Chicken..
        Yum Yum…😊🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

      2. Joanie Zisk says:

        The addition of chicken sounds wonderful, Lorna. Thank you so much for your feedback.

  2. Kelly says:

    I doubled the recipe, used frozen spinach (microwaved to squeeze out water) added an egg and used pasta shells. Delicious for 3 meals over 4 days.

  3. Lorena Sweet says:

    Do you think this could be made and frozen? Freeze it unbaked and cooked at a later time?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes! This is a great make-ahead meal.
      * Prepare the spinach manicotti as directed in the recipe.
      * Cover and refrigerate the unbaked dish.
      * Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking so that you are not pudding a cold dish into a hot oven which can cause the dish to break.
      * Bake as directed in the recipe.

      1. Anjie says:

        Hello. I’m not a fan of spinach, but I love manicotti. If I omit the spinach, would I increase the ricotta, parmesan or mozzarella?

      2. Joanie Zisk says:

        If you’re not into spinach, that’s totally fine. You can simply omit it from the recipe without needing to increase the amounts of ricotta, parmesan, or mozzarella. The dish will still turn out delicious.

  4. Bonnie says:

    I didn’t have any manicotti shells or tubes so I just cooked 2 lasagna noodles. Mixed the ingredients together and spread it thick on the noodles then rolled them up. Then topped with the sauce and cheese. Worked great

    1. Skooch says:

      What a great idea … thanks for sharing!

  5. Beatrice W says:

    A very easy dish to make.

  6. Marilyn Clock says:

    OMG! These were so good and so cheesy. I doubled the recipe as it was one of the rare times that my Husband was home for dinner and he loved them.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m so happy you both enjoyed the manicotti. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know.

  7. Helene Daneau says:

    It was easy to make and delicious! I’ll definitely make it again.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know.

  8. Maureen says:

    I’ve made this twice and enjoyed, however I would not use cod again. Too salty and flavor is overpowering. I’ll keep experimenting. Thanks for great recipes.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Hi Maureen, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. I’m a little confused though – you mention using cod. Are you referring to a different recipe?

  9. Sara Anne says:

    That looks delicious and I have been wanting some manicotti! Have you been able to locate whole-wheat or whole-grain cannelloni or manicotti noodles? I would love to find some.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I’ve seen brown rice manicotti shells made by a company called, Jovial in my local Whole Foods and WalMart. Other than that, I don’t think I’ve seen whole wheat manicotti. You could use whole wheat lasagna sheets instead of manicotti tubes and layer the ingredients similar to a lasagna.