Making a manicotti recipe with spinach can seem daunting. This easy slow cooker stuffed shells recipe is just the opposite!
Stuffing shells and making sure they are cooked to perfection without breaking, well, it can definitely be intimidating. This recipe, however, is the perfect option when you want a pasta dish, but don’t have time to stand over the stove.
Cheesy perfect pasta in a warm sauce has never been easier to make!
Slow Cooker Manicotti Recipe
Layering sauce and pasta in your slow cooker is a great way to save time but also give you a perfectly warm and yummy meal at the end of the day.
Admittedly, pasta can seem like the last thing you want to slow cook, but I’ve discovered this recipe makes it super easy to manage.
How do I keep the pasta from overcooking?
Simply start the recipe with uncooked pasta and follow the cooking time specifically. This recipe takes around 2 1/2 hours to complete in a slow cooker.
So, it’s definitely not one you want to let set all day long while you work. Instead, make this on a weekend or an evening when you can be home 2-3 hours before dinner needs to be served.
Can I use homemade pasta sauce for this recipe?
Yes! I love making big batches of marinara or meat sauce in my slow cooker then storing in large freezer bags until ready to use.
My freezer is often stocked with sauces I have cooked like this. It saves tons of money over time, and I love that I can control the ingredients better this way.
Can I add meat to this cheese manicotti recipe?
If you prefer to use a meat sauce, you can definitely do so for this recipe. You can use a combination of a basic marinara with your preferred ground meat or sausage.
Another option is to just use a prepared meat sauce and layer with your cheese-filled pasta.
Can I use frozen spinach for manicotti with spinach?
I have used frozen spinach in this recipe with success in the past. Just make sure you have thawed and squeezed all excess liquid from the spinach before mixing it into the cheese mixture.
If you aren’t a fan of spinach, there are other greens you can use in this recipe. Things like kale or even collard can mix into this easily.
I’ve been known to add onions, bell peppers, and various types of squash at times in my pasta sauce, so you know it works great in this recipe if desired.
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 8 oz manicotti pasta
- 15 oz Ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups Fresh Spinach, washed and dried (optional)
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray or line with a slow cooker liner.
- Pour in half of a family-size jar of marinara sauce.
- In a bowl, add ricotta cheese, egg, and parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- If desired, cut up some fresh spinach and add to the cheese mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper as well as a bit of Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
- Transfer your cheese mixture from bowl to a Ziploc baggie.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.
- Pipe the cheese into an uncooked manicotti shell.
- Layer your shells over the sauce in the Crock-Pot.
- Cover the shells with the remaining marinara sauce.
- Cook on high for 2 hours.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the pasta and cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 259Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 72mgSodium 900mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 17g
These recipes are calculated as a courtesy. They are not intended as medical advice or guaranteed accurate. Please do your own calculations if necessary.