Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Manicotti

manicotti 278(f)

Ohhhh, pasta!  The greatest comfort food of all!  I love all kinds of pasta – lasagna, spaghetti, orecchiette – you name it, I’ll try it.  This dish is a lightened up version of one of my favourites.   I couldn’t find rice pasta manicotti  and I suspect they don’t make them yet but next time I make this, I think I’ll use zucchini to wrap them up – could be fantastic, don’t you think?

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Manicotti by simply fresh dinners

 This dish is not quick but the extra time is worth it.  Why not make a double batch while you’re at it and you’ll get a night of leftovers -always a bonus.  Because I rarely bake, I didn’t have a piping bag but I would highly recommend using one to stuff the pasta.  It’s quicker and less messy.  I made a pomodoro sauce rather than the traditionally rich tomato sauce to top it.  I wanted it to be fresher and I don’t like the added sugar. Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Manicotti by simply fresh dinners And you know what I’m going to say next – please use fresh herbs! ha!  You just gotta do it! I used low fat cheeses, and extra lean Italian turkey sausage and with the extra herbs and spices, I did not notice a difference from the traditional version.  In fact, I preferred it.  It was light, fresh and flavourful and it received rave reviews from family members and I’m willing to bet it will be a big hit with yours, too.  Cheers! I am linking up here this week.

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Manicotti by simply fresh dinners


Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Manicotti
Author: Robyn @ simplyfreshdinners.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • Manicotti 12
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 pound extra lean Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 egg white
  • 10 ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed of excess water
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • 16 ounces of low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cook manicotti in boiling water, cooling oil and salt in uncovered Dutch oven until barely tender, about 5-6 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Drain. Lay out on baking sheet while you prepare filling.
  1. Remove casings from sausages and scramble-fry meat. Drain any fat and set aside.
  2. Beat egg white lightly in large bowl. Add next 9 ingredients. Add sausage meat and mix together well. Stuff manicotti with piping bag or hand. Set aside.
  1. Heat oil in sauce pan. Add onion and sauté until translucent – do not brown.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Smash tomatoes using potato masher for a chunky sauce.
  3. Bring to a boil before turning down to low heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spoon enough sauce into bottom of large casserole pan to cover. Use large enough pan to hold manicotti close together in single layer. Put manicotti in pan. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti. Bake covered in 375 F for 30 minutes. Remove cover and add sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese. Return to oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Sausage Stuffed Manicotti / This delightful pasta dish will tempt your whole family! An easy sausage, cheese and spinach filling makes these extra satisfying. | SIMPLYFRESHDINNERS.COM | #pasta #manicotti #sausage #spinach


  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    September 25, 2014 at 4:54 am

    Ah yes, the greatest comfort food, for sure! And spinach’s tender texture and flavor goes so well with any kind of pasta, doesn’t it!

    Good morning Robyn! Anita

    • Reply
      September 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      MMMmm, I agree, Anita. I tend to toss spinach in with pasta whenever I can!
      Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. Your latest post made my week. Incredibly beautiful!
      Robyn recently posted…Spinach and Sausage Stuffed ManicottiMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 25, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I agree, the extra time is definitely worth it for this amazing looking manicotti. It’ been ages since I have had manicotti – I think it’s time to change that 🙂

    Blessings to you, dear Robyn! Thanks for sharing another wonderful recipe!
    Stephanie recently posted…Autumn Flower BouquetMy Profile

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Healthy Recipe Ecstasy
    September 25, 2014 at 8:28 am

    All hail comfort food! I am definitely making this!
    Michelle @ Healthy Recipe Ecstasy recently posted…Beer Brat Nachos with Caramelized Onions and Mustard-Cheddar Sauce (A Gluten-Free Oktoberfest Treat)My Profile

  • Reply
    September 25, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Fabulous. I agree. All forms of pasta are the greatest comfort food!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2014 at 11:46 am

    What a fantastic lighter version! I love manicotti and don’t even mind the extra time stuffing because it is worth it. I DO love your idea of doubling the recipe. Thanks!
    Mindy recently posted…Giving Thanks Friday Special: Thankful for those who giveMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 26, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      It’s hard to make manicotti light and I wish I had thought of the zucchini noodles before I made it, lol. Thanks so much for visiting, Mindy. Have a wonderful weekend!
      Robyn recently posted…Spinach and Sausage Stuffed ManicottiMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Looks delish!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    This looks amazing! The extra time is usually worth it for a good recipe, and I like the idea of making double and freezing some. That will come in handy during busy times. Your photos are gorgeous too – making me hungry right now. Thanks for posting it!
    Marie recently posted…Apple NachosMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 26, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Looks and sounds delicious Robyn! Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned and twitted.
    Marla recently posted…Real Food Fridays #57 – Nature’s WayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Michelle @ The Complete Savorist
    September 27, 2014 at 12:32 am

    My love for cheesy stuffed pasta knows no bounds. Adding sausage just makes me all the more happier. The addition of spinach will make me feel better about eating the whole pan.

    • Reply
      September 27, 2014 at 10:48 am

      LOL, I love spinach with pasta, too. All those flavours make for such good foods in the cold months. Thanks so much for popping by.
      Robyn recently posted…Spinach and Sausage Stuffed ManicottiMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 27, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    My Kind of comfort food Robyn. Love the ingredients…It’s cooling off abit, so I look forward to your great recipes. Lots of love from WW.
    Linda recently posted…Wild Animals TablescapeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    September 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Good evening sweet Robyn! I hope you are having a great Sunday? What great weather we are having here, but the leaves are turning color, but it feels like June! WIshing you a happy new week as we slide into October and fire up the stove! Anita

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
    September 29, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Would you believe I have never made manicotti?! I need to try this! I love stuffed pastas! Pinning and sharing! Thanks so much for linking it up with us at Foodie Fridays!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Pecan Crusted Chicken with Salad Greens and Honey Mustard DressingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Christine | No Gojis No Glory
    September 30, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Oh wow…this looks soooo freakin’ good. I love dishes like this, because that means Fall is really here! I’d love to try that zucchini wrapped version by the way…I’m sure you’d find a way to make it taste just as amazing as this version.
    Christine | No Gojis No Glory recently posted…Egg & Black Bean Brunch TostadasMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 30, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      LOL, I’m finally into Fall too, Christine. I went reluctantly and only for the comfort food. Thanks so much for visiting and now I must check out that fabulous sounding Tostadas dish of yours!
      Robyn recently posted…Tuesday TidbitsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Miz Helen
    September 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    We will just love your Spinach Sausage Manicotti, yummy! This is a fantastic recipe and thanks so much for sharing it with us. Hope to see you again real soon at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen
    Miz Helen recently posted…Old Fashioned MeatloafMy Profile

  • Reply
    Diane (@SimpleLivingEat)
    October 2, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I always think of manicotti as so heavy. these look so tasty and light. PInned. Thanks for bringing this to Weekend Bites.

  • Reply
    Let's Get Real #59 - 365ish Days of Pinterest
    October 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I sure will give it a try!

  • Reply
    Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector)
    October 2, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Looks delicious! Thanks for linking up with SNF! Pinned to our party board!
    Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector) recently posted…Gooey Halloween Popcorn CrunchMy Profile

  • Reply
    Diane (@SimpleLivingEat)
    October 3, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Just wanted to let you know that your recipe is being featured on Weekend Bites. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week too.

  • Reply
    Shirley Wood
    October 4, 2014 at 4:28 am

    I have never actually made a manicotti dish myself, but I sure like to eat it! Your recipe is over the top delicious! I’m making a grocery list, this is on my menu now. Thanks for sharing with us at Home Matters Linky!
    Shirley Wood recently posted…How To Add The Fahrenheit Symbol To Your RecipesMy Profile

  • Reply
    October 5, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    I absolutely love this! Yummy. Pinned. It is so fun to party with you. Thank you. I hope to see you at our party on Monday at 7 pm. http://loulougirls.blogspot.com/
    Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  • Reply
    Tammy @ creativekkids
    October 7, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Oh, wow! This looks so yummy! I will have to try it, and I love to double it and freeze it! Thanks for linking up to the Tasty Tuesday’s Linky Party. I’ve pinned this post to Creative K Kids’ Tasty Tuesdays’ Pinterest Board.
    Tammy @ creativekkids recently posted…Tasty Tuesdays: Featured Posts from September #linky #foodMy Profile

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