Cheesy Beef Manicotti

A few years ago I shared a four cheese manicotti with meat sauce recipe and when I set out to update the photos I thought, hey, why not stuff the manicotti with the cheese and beef? So, here we are today with a spin-off of that original recipe – cheesy beef manicotti.

Baked cheesy beef manicotti on a white plate with a fork

Cheesy Beef Manicotti

Everything’s from scratch with this beef manicotti, but I wouldn’t give you side-eye if you decide to take a short-cut and use your favorite jarred sauce instead of simmering your own for thirty minutes. Sometimes it’s nice to take our time in the kitchen, but I get that there are times that call for speed and efficiency. No harm, no foul.

If you do make your own sauce, using the recipe I’ve outlined below, I recommend using San Marzano tomatoes – they are pricier, but their flavor just can’t be beaten. Seriously, those are some good canned tomatoes.

Photo collage with cooked beef in a skillet and tomato sauce in a skillet

This recipe makes enough for 12 stuffed manicotti and I like to freeze half of the manicotti since it’s just the two of us. I just assemble them, top them off with sauce and pop it in the freezer. It’s nice to have a comforting pasta dinner in the freezer for an easy dinner on a busy weeknight. All I do is let it thaw for a few hours in the fridge, top it with grated cheese, and then let it bake until it’s nice and bubbly.

On the other hand, if you’re feeding more than a few people go ahead and bake them all up in a 9 x 13 baking dish and you’ll get six servings. Some bread and a nice salad served alongside means you’ll have happily stuffed dinner guests at the end of the evening.

What’s old is new again with this cheesy beef manicotti – I hope you give it a try!

Baking dish with cheesy beef manicotti topped with sauce and melted cheese

More Baked Pasta Recipes


Cheesy Beef Manicotti

Cheesy Beef Manicotti |

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5 from 2 reviews

Manicotti stuffed with beef and cheese and baked in a homemade tomato sauce.

  • Author: April @ Girl Gone Gourmet
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian-American



For the ground beef

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 (24-ounce) cans whole tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the cheese filling

  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated provolone
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 12 manicotti pasta shells


  1. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and break it apart as it browns. Add the chopped onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Let it all cook together until the ground beef is browned and the onion and garlic have softened. Once cooked remove it all from the pan and set it aside to cool.
  2. In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat before adding the additional onion and garlic. Add the balsamic vinegar and scrape up all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Next, add in all of the tomatoes. Bring it all to a strong simmer and then reduce the heat so that it’s lightly simmering. Gently break apart the tomatoes as they cook. Add the thyme leaves, parsley, salt, and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes. Once it’s simmered you can either keep it the way it is if you like a chunkier sauce or, using an immersion blender or stand blender, puree the sauce until it’s smooth.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the manicotti and boil them for about five minutes or so. Drain them in a colander and then lay them out in a single layer on paper towels to cool.
  4. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the cheese filling. Mix all of the cheeses together in a large bowl until well combined. Stir in the cooked ground beef.
  5. To assemble the manicotti, first brush about a quarter cup or so of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Stuff each manicotti with the meat and cheese filling (the easiest way is to use your hands). Gently press the filling into the pasta until it’s filled end-to-end. Place the stuffed manicotti in the baking dish in a single layer.
  6. Once all of the manicotti are in the dish, pour the sauce over the top. Use whichever cheese you like and grate it over the top of the pasta (I like to use a mixture of all three, about 1/2 cup total). Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted on top. Let stand a few minutes before serving.


  • Serving Size: 2 Manicotti with Sauce
  • Calories: 615
  • Sugar: 6.6g
  • Sodium: 768.5mg
  • Fat: 30.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.1g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Protein: 31g
  • Cholesterol: 85.8mg

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!


  1. Giiirrrl, these manicotti look amazing! LOVE that you just did a spin off of your other manicotti recipe. Shoving the meat into the manicotti sounds like a pretty genius idea. 🙂 And I loooove that you made your own sauce, I know that sometimes we can’t all commit to that much time in the kitchen, but I’m betting it makes these manicotti out of this world. Be a doll and send me the whole tray… I need 12 to myself! 😉 Cheers, my dear!

    1. Yes, I think it would work well! I would add it towards the end of the cooking time for the beef. Cook it until it wilts down into the beef.

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