Delicious Broccoli-Stuffed Manicotti with Buratta Cheese.  A cozy vegetarian dinner recipe that is loaded up with healthy broccoli- perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table. Video included.

Healthy delicious Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti. A cozy homemade vegetarian meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table. #manicotti #vegetariandinner #broccoli #broccolirecipes

Here’s a broccoli lover’s dream. Baked Manicotti filled with a savory mixture of broccoli, garlic, basil, ricotta and mozzarella, bathed in a quick homemade, “blender” marinara sauce and topped with optional Buratta Cheese. The manicotti cooks right in the sauce saving you the extra step of having to boil the pasta.

It’s surprisingly light and the broccoli plays the starring role here. Perfect for Sunday meal prep for the busy work week, or delicious enough for your special holiday dinner.

Watch how to Make Broccoli Manicotti | 60-sec video 

Healthy delicious Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti. A cozy homemade vegetarian meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table. #manicotti #vegetariandinner #broccoli #broccolirecipes

The recipe starts with 12 ounces or 6 cups broccoli florets.

12 ounces broccoli (6 cups)

Steam the broccoli until just barely tender, careful to not overcook.

steam the broccoli

At the same time saute onions and garlic- which will be used for both the filling and sauce.

Saute onions and garlic.

Place half the onions in the blender with the sauce ingredients.

make the marinara sauce

Blend until smooth and set this aside until assembly time.

quick marinara sauce

Then chop up the broccoli and make the filling- adding egg, ricotta, basil, sauteed onions and garlic,  and spices.

Make the broccoli manicotti filling

Then mix it all up.broccoli manicotti filling

Assemble the manicotti.

Assemble the manicotti.

Place half the quick marinara sauce on the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.

Using a piping bag- or a large ziplock bag (with the corner cut off) fill each manicotti.

stuff the manicotti

Dot any of the extra filling on each of the ends (or over the top of the sauce).

assembling manicotti

Cover with sauce.

Here, I had a little extra of the broccoli filling, so I dotted it over top.

Now, this is optional- but totally delicious…. add Burrata!

Slice 1-2 balls of creamy burrata cheese and place it over top.

broccoli manicotti with burrata

Bake the Broccoli Manicotti in a 400F oven for 40 minutes, covered tightly with foil.

Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh basil ribbons right before serving.

Healthy delicious Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti. A cozy homemade vegetarian meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table. #manicotti #vegetariandinner #broccoli #broccolirecipes

Serve with a leafy green salad and some crusty bread!

Can I make this with lasagna noodles? 

Yes. Grease a 9×13 baking dish, and layer, starting with 1/3 of the sauce, add uncooked noodles, 1/2 the filling, 1/3 rd of the sauce, then noodles,  the other half of the filling, more noodles, then last 1/3 rd of sauce. Top with Burrata. Press down a little, top with parchment and foil. Bake at 400F, 40-50 minutes (until easily pierced with a fork) uncover, bake until golden, 10-15 minutes.

Can this be made vegan? 

I have not tested this… but what I would suggest is: make the vegan Tofu Ricotta, skip the egg, and add vegan cheese. Make sure the filling is tasty, adjusting the salt if necessary.

Can this be made ahead? 

Yes, feel free to make any of the components ahead, or assemble the whole thing ahead, or even bake ahead and reheat ( bring to room temp first).

Can I use store-bought Marinara? 

Yes, but water it down with 1/2 cup water.  ( You’ll need 3 1/2 cups total).

Can I boil the pasta ahead instead of baking it dry? 

Yes. 😉

Healthy delicious Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti. A cozy homemade vegetarian meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table. #manicotti #vegetariandinner #broccoli #broccolirecipes

More recipes you may enjoy!

 

Enjoy the Broccoli Manicotti and have a great weekend.

xoxo

Sylvia

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Healthy delicious Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti. A cozy homemade vegetarian meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table. #manicotti #vegetariandinner #broccoli #broccolirecipes

Broccoli Manicotti with Burrata

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: vegetarian, main, pasta,
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Healthy delicious Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with optional Burrata. A cozy homemade vegetarian meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets (about 6 cups raw)
  • ——-
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 46 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  •  14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices ( or crushed or whole)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup, honey or sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning ( or thyme or oregano)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ——-
  • 15-ounces whole milk ricotta (or make the vegan tofu ricotta), 2 cups
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/81/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup shredded romano or parmesan (or vegan parm)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella)
  • 12  uncooked manicotti shells (7 ounces)
  • 2 burrata balls- optional, but delicious.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Steam the broccoli until just barely tender, (not too soft!) cool and chop.
  3. Saute: At the same time, in a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute onion 3-4 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, lower heat to medium and saute until golden and tender, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Divide.  Place half of the sauteed onions/garlic mixture in a blender (for the sauce) and the other half in a medium bowl (for the filling).
  5. Blend the tomato sauce: Add the canned tomatoes (and their juices) to the blender, (with 1/2 of the sauteed onions),water,  salt, maple, Italian seasoning, and olive oil. Blend until smooth, set aside.
  6. Make the filling: Chop up the steamed broccoli and add it to the bowl with the onions. Add the ricotta, egg, basil, lemon zest, salt, pepper, nutmeg and stir with a fork. Add the cheeses. If going the vegan route, taste for salt and pepper, adding more if you like.  Place the broccoli filling in a large piping bag ( or large zip lock bag- cutting off the corner to fit inside the manicotti).
  7. Assemble: Coat the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with olive oil. Pour half the tomato sauce to cover the bottom (about 1 3/4 cups). Using the piping bag, generously fill 12 uncooked, dry, manicotti shells (getting filling all the way to the middle) and nestle in the sauce. Dot the edges of the manicotti with the extra filling. Cover with the remaining sauce. It will seem a little runny but the uncooked manicotti will soak up much of the moisture here. Dot with any remaining filling if you like. Top with optional Burrata Cheese. Cover tightly with foil.
  8. Bake: Bake 50 minutes at 400 F. Uncover, test that manicotti is tender (check with a sharp knife)  then bake 10 more minutes, or until beautifully golden.
  9. Garnish with basil ribbons.

Notes

VEGAN: I have not made this vegan, but I suspect you could. Make the tofu ricotta,  skip the egg and use vegan cheese. Taste the filling and make sure it is flavorful, adding more salt if needed.

You can also use store-bought marinara but add 1/2 cup water. It is necessary to thin it out just a bit with this uncooked pasta. You will need 3 1/2 cups total with the water.

Lastly, you can cook the manicotti first if you prefer, then fill, up to you.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 Manicotti with Burrata Cheese
  • Calories: 539
  • Sugar: 8.9 g
  • Sodium: 671.8 mg
  • Fat: 28.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.6 g
  • Fiber: 4.4 g
  • Protein: 29 g
  • Cholesterol: 101.3 mg

Keywords: Broccoli Manicotti, Vegetarian Manicotti recipe, vegetarian comfort food recipe, vegan manicotti

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  1. OK ! So, this is an amazing recipe! I have never made Manicotti and i thought it was a nightmare getting the filling into the shells. LOL ! We tried the plastic bag and cutting an end, but utter failure ! So, we ended up using a small spoon to fill and flip it and use the spoon stem to push the filling in. A few cuss words later and It worked; Messy, but it worked. HA! The end product was very very good and we are going to make again soon for family. I’m determined to conquer the filling issue !

    1. Ahaha Jeff! I’m so glad you gave it a go! I tried to make it as easy as possible and, find that using a gallon-size zip lock bag (with a thicker plastic) works well- not sure if you tried that. In any case- happy you enjoyed this. 🙂

    1. I would bake until the sauce is bubbly, 30-40 minutes. You will need less sauce in this case as the dry pasta soaks this up a bit

  2. In the top part it’s says bake for 40, then 10 more uncovered but in the recipe part it says 50 minutes then 10 uncovered. Which is it for better results?

  3. Just made this for a family dinner. Everyone loved it, even my dad who doesn’t like tomatoes. The only thing I might do differently is undercook the broccoli. But this recipe’s a gem! Thanks Sylvia!

    1. Hi Laura- you know, I’m wondering how it turn out if put in raw ( perhaps pulsed in food processor first) I haven’t tried this… but it would save a step! I’ll try this next time!

  4. This recipes was a lot of work and disappointing when it was finally done. The manicotti wasn’t cooked enough and the tomato sauce too runny and tasteless.

    1. I’m sorry about that Kathy. It sounds like the Manicotti did not bake long enough- hence the runny sauce and uncooked pasta. I adjusted the recipe a bit. I wonder if you saved it, it might soak up some of the sauce overnight?

  5. This was not a simple recipe. Not difficult, but it used a lot of pans and appliances, like the blender.

    Mine was verrrry watery at the end. Did anyone else experience that?

    1. Hi Hillary- thanks for the feedback, did you use uncooked noodles, or did you cook them first?

  6. I made this recipe and double the sauce because life is like that for me! Double
    The sauce, double the plessure! The burrata was a nice touch!!!

  7. This is fantastic! Huge hit with my family (and a lucky coworker). Yet another feasting at home recipe that goes into my rotation. I’m back on the website to gather more recipes. I followed this exactly as written. Perfection.

  8. Made this for my family for our backyard Christmas Eve, it was a huge hit! Very flavorful and festive! I didn’t have enough ricotta so combined it with your tofu ricotta and used pesto instead of fresh herbs. Assembled the night before it baked up beautifully. Thank you, I love your recipes!

  9. Fantastic recipe and oh so good! I made it as a lasagne. I omitted the nutmeg b/c I’m not a big nutmeg fan although I can see how it would add some earthiness to the dish. The lemon rind was the grace note though – just fab!

  10. The store was out of manicotti so we made (pre-cooked) shells. I also used one box of Pomi marinara and dotted a little mozz since we didn’t have burrata. It was delicious and so easy. Thank you!

  11. Delicious! The broccoli really lightens the dish and complements the cheeses! Easy to assemble and fun to eat. Looking forward to making again soon!

    Thank you and cheers!

  12. I notice in the write up the Parmesan and mozzarella are not mentioned, only the ricotta.
    Should I use all three cheeses in the recipe or just the ricotta and the burrata?

  13. I don’t see manicotti in the ingredient list. Assuming it’s just whatever the standard package is? I’m going to make this right now!

      1. Alas, my little town (Ojai–I’m sure you know it) had not one pack of mancotti. I did have some jumbo shells on hand, so I went that way. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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