This Gluten Free Manicotti Recipe will make you forget you're eating gluten free! The gluten-free manicotti shells are stuffed with a delicious meat and cheese mixture that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters!
I had planned on making gluten free skinny lasagna roll-ups for dinner, but gluten free lasagna noodles are hard to find in southern Delaware, so I had to improvise. That’s when I stumbled across these gluten free manicotti shells from Jovial at Walmart. I just love happy accidents like this! These manicotti shells are AMAZING! After you boil them for 4 minutes (according to package directions), they are still firm enough to stand and stuff, and then they continue cooking in the oven and come out perfectly tender!
You could stuff these with whatever you want to create your perfect meal! If you follow a vegetarian diet, leave out the ground turkey in this recipe, and you’ll have the perfect vegetarian pasta dinner! I have to admit, the flavors in this dish work together beautifully to make you feel like you’re eating in a fine Italian restaurant. Light some candles, dim the lights, and decorate your table with your finest dinnerware to create the perfect atmosphere for date night at home.
You’re sure to wow your guests with this elegant dinner. Pair it with a side salad to create a feast for the whole family to enjoy!
I will say, these manicottis take some extra effort on your part, and you may even feel a little frustrated while you’re trying to pipe the filling into the shells, especially when the spinach gets stuck. But the payoff in the end when you sit down to eat and your family begins to rave about the magnificent flavor explosion you have just created, will help you take pride in all the extra work you put in!
To pipe the mixture into the shells, use a gallon-sized ziplock bag or a piping bag with a large opening. Place the filling in the bag and snip about ½ inch off one of the corners. Stand the boiled manicotti shells on end on a plate and fill them one at a time by placing the snipped corner into the shell and gently squeezing the filling in until the entire shell has been filled. Warning: your hands are going to get messy! Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by adding 2 cups marinara to the bottom of it. Once you get the shells filled, add them to the baking dish and then top with the remaining marinara. Cover with foil and bake at 375° for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with a little parmesan to garnish and enjoy this delectable meal!
EQUIPMENT need to make Gluten Free Manicotti Recipe
- 2 medium skillets
- 9x13 casserole dish
- large mixing bowl
- gallon ziploc bag & scissors
Ground turkey: 93% lean ground turkey or lean ground beef work best
Garlic salt: if you don't have garlic salt, add ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon salt
Spinach: fresh or frozen will work. If using fresh spinach, sautée it to wilt it down. If using frozen spinach, thaw in microwave and squeeze in a cheesecloth or paper towels to remove the excess water
Ricotta cheese: ricotta cheese works best, but cottage cheese is an option as well if you prefer it
Parmesan cheese: you'll want to use a good quality parmesan cheese for this recipe. Both grated and shredded work great
Garlic powder: I know it seems overkill to use both garlic salt and garlic powder, but the powder adds more garlic flavor. You could substitute with one clove of minced garlic if you'd like
Gluten free manicotti noodles: Jovial makes great gluten free manicotti shells that hold up to the ricotta filling
Marinara: use your favorite marinara sauce for this recipe. You can use your own homemade sauce or pick up a jar at the grocery store. Rao's is my favorite store-bought brand
Substitute ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley for the spinach if you don't like spinach.
If you add the wilted spinach, ricotta cheese, parmesan, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a food processor and pulse it until the spinach is incorporated into the ricotta mixture, it won't get stuck in the piping bag the way large pieces of spinach will.
Top the stuffed manicotti with 1 cup mozzarella cheese before covering with foil for extra cheesy goodness.
How to stuff manicotti shells:
PREHEAT oven to 375°F
PRECOOK MANICOTTI NOODLES: In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add in manicotti shells, boil for 4 minutes, drain, and set aside
COOK GROUND TURKEY: Add ground turkey and garlic salt to a skillet and cook on medium high heat until cooked through, set aside
WILT SPINACH: In a separate medium skillet, spray with oil and add fresh spinach, cook on medium heat until spinach has wilted, and set aside
COMBINE RICOTTA MIXTURE: In a large bowl, add ricotta, parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cooked spinach, and cooked ground turkey, and stir to combine
ADD CHEESY MEAT MIXTURE TO PIPING BAG: Add mixture to a gallon zip lock bag or pastry bag and snip off about ½ inch of one corner
STUFF SHELLS: Stand cooked manicotti shells on end on a plate and pipe mixture into them
PREPARE BAKING DISH: Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by adding 2 cups of marinara to coat the bottom of the pan
ADD SHELLS TO BAKING DISH: Lay the stuffed manicotti shells in the baking dish and pour the remaining 2 cups of sauce over the top
COVER AND BAKE: Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. After 20 minutes, the manicotti will be cooked through, uncover, and serve!
Serving size is 3 stuffed manicotti shells. This recipe makes about 15 shells. Make as many or as few as you need and freeze the leftover cheese mixture for use at a later time.
Make cheese mixture ahead of time. This is a great option if you are making these shells for a large dinner party. Doubling the recipe is easy too!
For an easy vegetarian manicotti dish, leave out the meat.
If you want vegan manicotti, omit the meat and use a vegan ricotta cheese substitute.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place in a 375° uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese mixture has warmed through.
More gluten free comfort food meals to try:
Gluten Free Manicotti Recipe
- 2 medium skillets
- 9x13 baking dish
- large mixing bowl
- gallon ziplock bag & scissors
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
- ½ tablespoon garlic salt
- 5 ounces spinach
- 15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 box Jovial gluten free manicotti
- 32 ounces Rao's marinara
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add in manicotti shells, boil for 4 minutes, drain, and set aside
- Add ground turkey and garlic salt to a skillet and cook on medium high heat until cooked through, set aside
- In a separate medium skillet, spray with oil and add spinach, cook on medium heat until spinach has wilted, and set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, add ricotta, parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cooked spinach, and cooked ground turkey, and stir to combine
- Add mixture to a gallon ziplock bag and snip off about ½ inch of one corner
- Stand cooked manicotti shells on end on a plate and pipe mixture into them
- Prepare a 9x13 baking dish by adding 2 cups of marinara to coat the bottom
- Lay the stuffed manicotti shells in the baking dish and pour the remaining 2 cups of sauce over the top
- Cover the baking dish with foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees
- After 20 minutes, the manicotti will be cooked through, uncover, and serve!