That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Joe’s Manicotti~

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Lent always offers a challenge when Fridays roll around…there are only so many cheese pizzas I can stomach.  Joe’s manicotti recipe is superb…the tender crepes wrapped around a tender ricotta filling and topped with sauce and cheese produce a meatless marvel.
Manicotti…adapted from Joe’s family recipe at

Makes two 9 x 13 pans.

Crepe batter:

9 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
Big pinch of salt
1/2 + 1/3  cups flour

Put all ingredients in blender and mix, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside in the refrigerator to rest for a couple of hours, so the flour will absorb the liquid.

Tomato sauce (or use your favorite marinara):

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes, pureed in a blender
1 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
About 1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried basil
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

Heat the olive oil in large pot.  Add onion and saute until soft but not brown, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste, and seasonings. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 30-40 minutes. Let cool.

Cheese Filling:

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste

2 pounds whole milk ricotta cheese
2+ cups freshly grated Parmesan
1+ cup coarsely grated whole milk mozzarella
2 eggs, beaten

Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook over low heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk a little at a time. Bring to a boil, stirring. Turn heat to low and simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes. Season generously with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let cool.
Add the ricotta to the white sauce, and stir to combine. Add the other cheeses. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the eggs.

To assemble: 

Spread a thin layer of sauce in two 9″ x 13″ baking dishes. 

Brush an 9-inch crepe pan, non-stick skillet or cast iron skillet with butter. Heat over medium heat. Stir up the crepe batter (the flour settles to the bottom) and add approximately 1/4 cup to the hot pan, tilting the pan as you do so to cover the bottom evenly. Place over heat and cook until batter is set and edges are beginning to brown. Don’t flip. Loosen edges with a spatula and slide out, soft side up, onto your work surface. (The first crepe is often a flop…toss and try again.)

Brush the pan with more butter and make the next crepe. While it cooks spread about 1/4 cup filling in a sausage shape across the bottom of the first crepe and roll it up like an enchilada. Place seam side down in the pan. Continue making and filling crepes, stirring up the batter often and brushing the pan with butter as necessary, until the filling is used up. You should fill all four pans.  Top each manicotti with a thin layer of sauce and a sprinkling of your extra mozzarella and Parmesan.

You can wrap and freeze the manicotti at this point, and freeze the remaining sauce separately. Thaw completely before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350º. Bake manicotti until puffed and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Let sit a few minutes. Reheat sauce. Serve with sauce and grated Parmesan.


I’ve linked this post to Your Recipe, My Kitchen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.  Thanks, Kristen!

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17 comments on “Joe’s Manicotti~”

  1. Delish! I have made these in the past and they are irresistible.

  2. I’m definitely going to try this because fish is getting a little much to stomach during Lent!

  3. wow 9 eggs that will diffinitely feed alot of people. I havent made these in years.. I always had to make two kinds, no one liked the Ricotta so I stuffed a pan with meatball the other with cheeses to make everyone happy. Lots of work for working 70+ hours a week plus we are open on Easter now. I am coming to your house to eat these I for one love them and really love the crusty look on these just perfect!

  4. These look delicious! Love manicotti…especially made with crepes.

  5. hat crepe recipe and crepe’s are looking drool worthy….

  6. WOW! Lizzy this looks really amazing, gloria

  7. This looks wonderful. I love manicotti made with crepes. It gives an old dish a new face. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. Sounds like a meal my guy would love! This looks really delicious. Yummy!

  9. Lizzy….This sure looks soooooo good. I’m for sure going to try this recipe……. love your photo’s. Bet Lambeau was eyeing those carrots.

  10. When I saw Manicotti as the title, I had to hurry on over here and check it out. First of all, your picture is gorgeous. It is not easy to take a picture of this kind of food. It looks so good!!
    Great dish for anytime!! :o)

  11. This is the blog I was waiting for!! OMG, they look so good. I can’t wait to try them.

  12. I hear ya about the pizza. These are a great alternative and I love the crepe idea!

  13. What a great Meatless Monday! I love that you did true manicotti crepes; it’s so easy to shortcut it and buy those pasta tubes…

  14. What a neat idea – I’ve never thought to make manicotti with crepes. Looks delicious!

  15. Terrific idea to make manicotti with crepes, they look so delicious!

  16. These sound wonderful! I love the idea of using crepes instead of pasta! Not to mention the filling sounds delicious! I will have to try this one :)!

  17. I always make my own manicotti crepes too….so much better than the store bought pasta tubes! This is very similar to my Mom’s 3rd generation recipe! Thanks for sharing! =)

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