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Spinach Manicotti For One

Spinach Manicotti For One! Two manicotti or cannelloni noodles filled with creamy ricotta, spinach, and plenty of cheese. Easy to make and deeply satisfying!

a rectangular baking dish filled with stuffed manicotti and covered with melted mozzarella cheese

This spinach manicotti recipe is what dinner dreams are made of! It's pure comfort food and so easy to make.

Manicotti is one of the oldest shapes of pasta. Years ago, pasta dough was prepared and cut into large rectangles, then filled with flavorful stuffings, rolled and baked in the oven. Today, dried manicotti can be purchased at grocery stores.

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Manicotti and cannelloni noodles are very similar. Cannelloni is a smooth tube shaped dry pasta mostly found in Italy. Manicotti is the Italian-American version and is also a dried pasta tube which is a bit larger and with ridges.

The spinach and ricotta filling in this recipe fills 2 manicotti tubes.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This single serving of spinach manicotti is a delicious meatless meal that comes together quickly.
  • The pasta is stuffed with cheese and spinach then smothered with marinara sauce. It's absolutely delicious!
  • I've been making spinach manicotti for years for my family. I've scaled down the ingredients in my family's recipe to create a recipe that yields a small batch of manicotti.
  • Although this is a single serving recipe, if you're serving two, just double the ingredients to make more.

Ingredients

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

Ingredient Notes

  • Manicotti tubes: I use 2 manicotti tubes in this recipe. Dried pasta has a long shelf life. The best way to store dried manicotti tubes (or other dried pasta) is to keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry location such as a pantry or cupboard. I do not recommend using no-boil manicotti shells. These tend to become rather chewy when baked instead of tender. They can also remain crunchy if not adequately submerged in sauce.
  • Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil in this spinach ricotta manicotti recipe as well as in every other recipe on One Dish Kitchen that calls for olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed form of olive oil. It is an unrefined oil and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra virgin olive oil is made, it retains more true olive taste. It also contains more of the vitamins and minerals found in olives. It's my favorite type of olive oil to use but you may use a lighter olive oil instead.
  • Spinach: I recommend using 1 cup of packed fresh spinach in this recipe. Feel free to use a little more if you prefer more spinach in your manicotti. You may also use frozen, thawed spinach that has been well drained. If using thawed and drained spinach, use about 1/2 cup.
  • Garlic: One garlic clove adds tremendous flavor.
  • Salt and black pepper: For flavor.
  • Nutmeg: Optional, but adds a lovely touch.
  • Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese: I use mozzarella and Parmesan in both the filling and as a topping.
  • Ricotta: I recommend using full fat ricotta.
  • Marinara sauce: I use jarred Marinara sauce which is found in the tomato sauce aisle of most grocery stores. You can use homemade tomato sauce or pomodoro sauce, if preferred.

Note: Many manicotti recipes are made using eggs. I do not use eggs in this spinach manicotti. I found that using 1 egg was just too much and really wasn't necessary. This manicotti is made without egg.

How To Make This Recipe

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together ricotta, cooked spinach, salt, pepper, nutmeg, half of the shredded mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
  4. Place 1/4 cup of Marinara sauce in the bottom of a small baking dish.
  5. Fill the manicotti with the ricotta mixture. Divide the mixture between the 2 manicotti tubes and place in the dish.
    • The easiest way to stuff manicotti shells is the put the filling into a plastic bag. You can use either a frosting piping bag or a small zip-top bag. To fill: add the filling to the bag, snip the corner of the bag, gather the top and squeeze the filling into the corner. Hold the cooked manicotti shell in your hand and squeeze the filling inside the shell.
    • Alternatively, you can use a spoon to carefully fill the shells.
  6. Pour remaining Marinara sauce over the shells and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
six photos showing how to wilt spinach and add it to ricotta to make stuffed manicotti
  • Bake and enjoy!
two stuffed manicotti shells on a white plate next to a bottle of red wine

Expert Tips

  • You can add additional spinach to your filling, if you'd like.
  • Be careful when you spoon the filling into the noodles, the manicotti will tear easily. Instead of using a spoon, you can make your own piping bag with a Ziplock (or other zip-top bag). Just add the filling to the bag, squeeze out the air, and seal. Using a scissors, snip off the corner of the bag and squeeze the filling into the tubes.
  • I recommend shredding your own mozzarella cheese and using freshly grated Parmesan for this recipe. Pre-grated or pre-shredded cheese often contains preservatives meant to keep the shreds from clumping together in the bag. This means the cheese won't melt as well when cooking.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this spinach manicotti recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Store Spinach Manicotti?

Store spinach stuffed manicotti in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in either the microwave or the oven.

Can I Add Chicken To My Manicotti?

Absolutely! I love making chicken and spinach manicotti by adding in 1/2 cup of cooked chopped chicken to the filling.

Can Spinach Ricotta Manicotti Be Made Ahead?

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.

What Size Baking Dish Is Best To Use?

In the photos shown, I am using a 6.5x5x2-inch baking dish. A 5x7-inch dish will work well too. For best results, use a dish of similar size or one that can comfortably hold two stuffed manicotti shells without overflowing.
If you would like additional information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

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

If you’ve tried this spinach manicotti 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!

Two ricotta and spinach stuffed cannelloni noodles on a white plate.

Spinach Manicotti For One

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: baked pasta, cannelloni, manicotti, spinach manicotti
Calories: 703kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

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

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350°F (177° C).
  • Cook manicotti pasta in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally.
  • Add spinach to the pan and cook, stirring frequently until the spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from the heat.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix together ricotta, cooked spinach and garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, and 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan.
  • Place ¼ cup of Marinara sauce in the bottom of a small baking dish.
  • Fill the manicotti with the ricotta mixture. Divide the mixture between the 2 manicotti tubes and place 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.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil from the baking dish and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese has melted.
  • Remove baking dish from the oven and enjoy hot.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • You can add additional spinach to your filling, if you'd like.
  • Be careful when you spoon the filling into the noodles, the manicotti will tear easily. Instead of using a spoon, you can make your own piping bag with a Ziplock (or other zip-top bag). Just add the filling to the bag, squeeze out the air, and seal. Using a scissors, snip off the corner of the bag and squeeze the filling into the tubes.
  • I recommend shredding your own mozzarella cheese and using freshly grated Parmesan for this recipe. Pre-grated or pre-shredded cheese often contains preservatives meant to keep the shreds from clumping together in the bag. This means the cheese won't melt as well when cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 2stuffed manicotti shells | 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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About The Author

6 thoughts on “Spinach Manicotti For One”

  1. 5 stars
    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.

  2. 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. 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.

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