The Viral Stuffed Pasta Casserole Recipe Everyone Went Crazy Over (No Boiling Required) by Donna John

The Viral Stuffed Pasta Casserole Recipe Everyone Went Crazy Over (No Boiling Required)

Inserting a stick of string cheese inside an uncooked manicotti shell? Who wouldn't be intrigued by a baked pasta recipe like that? This stuffed manicotti casserole recipe went viral, so plenty of others were also intrigued. After trying this popular dinner recipe, I'm a fan!

This Italian manicotti casserole recipe has simple, basic ingredients: ground beef or ground Italian sausage, manicotti shells, mozzarella string cheese, spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and dried Italian seasoning. The string cheese is inserted into the uncooked shells, then layered with the cooked meat, spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, cheeses and Italian seasoning. Cover with foil and bake until the pasta is cooked through.

The chicken broth is what helps the pasta noodles become tender and cooked. Genius, right? Serve this hearty pasta casserole with a fresh garden salad and garlic bread for a dinner the whole family will dig into.

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Cuisine: Italian / American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6


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Recipe Notes

  • You can use a combination of ground beef and Italian sausage for this recipe. Use mild, sweet or hot Italian sausage based on your family's preference.
  • Use whatever casserole dish you have that will allow the manicotti noodles to fit on the bottom. I used a 13x9-inch dish, but an 11x7-inch casserole dish would also work. You could even use two smaller baking dishes so you can share one with friends or family.
  • The most tedious part of this pasta recipe was unwrapping the string cheese. This is a perfect time to grab the kids, wash their hands and let them unwrap the cheese for you. (Make sure they don't eat it, or plan ahead buy an extra package!)

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Brown the ground beef or Italian sausage in a skillet until cooked through.
  2. Stuff each uncooked manicotti shell with one string cheese and lay on the bottom of an oiled casserole dish.
  3. Top with the ground beef.
  4. Spread the jar of spaghetti sauce over the meat.
  5. Pour the chicken broth over the spaghetti sauce.
  6. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
  7. Top with the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese (to taste) and more dried Italian seasoning.
  8. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  9. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories: 706

Total Fat: 17.8g

Saturated Fat: 7.1g

Cholesterol: 210mg

Sodium: 502mg

Total Carbohydrate: 48g

Dietary Fiber: 3.6g

Total Sugars: 5.6g

Protein: 81g

Vitamin D: 0mcg

Calcium: 84mg

Iron: 45mg2

Potassium: 1041mg

Recipe cooking times, nutritional information and servings are approximate and provided for your convenience. However, 30Seconds is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe, nor may you have the same results because of variations in ingredients, temperatures, altitude, errors, omissions or cooking/baking abilities. This recipe has been analyzed by VeryWellFit. However, any nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and it is up to the individual to ascertain accuracy. To ensure image quality, we may occasionally use stock photography.

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Elisa Schmitz
OMG, Donna John , I love cheesy, saucy casserole dinners like this. Comfort food the whole family will rave about! #yum
Old school hearty cooking is a gut bomb in the making but worth it.
Teena Blakley
I made this exactly according to your recipe and instructions and the manicotti wasn't cooked enough it was really chewy. Disappointing
Donna John
Strange! Mine were perfectly cooked. Did you cover the pan tightly? That could affect cooking.
First time user of this website...... I was skeptical about this recipe and it did not disappoint ..... the problem with this recipe in my opinion is the string cheese. It's like chewing gum and nearly choked us, however the premise of the recipe is intriguing. I am wondering if the normal ricotta type filling would work, the shells were mostly cooked but not quite and were somewhat tough. I am not sure if I will attempt again or not.
Donna John
You could definitely do ricotta, but not sure why your cheese didn't melt. Ours melted inside the noodles and in no way choked anybody. Sounds like your family would prefer something softer, so think ricotta is a good choice.

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