Pasta night just got a healthy vegetarian twist with crazy delicious Pesto Veggie Manicotti!


This delish recipe has been in our family for ages, so it’s only fitting that I finally measure it out and type it up for you here. Yay!

There’s almost always a batch in my freezer at all times and my go-to when friends or family need a hearty vegetarian meal. Hopefully you’ll love it as much as we do!


T-Rex chefs, feel free to add ground turkey to the dish – it’s a delicious addition and frequently requested by my husband.  Simply brown the meat with your favorite Italian seasonings [parsley, oregano, basil, etc…] and a little garlic/onion powder to taste.  Mix into your cheesy veggie filling and you’re good to go!

No manicotti noodles? No problem! Simply boil up some lasagna noodles, spread them with the filling, and roll ’em up! The results are easy and delicious!

Feel free to use homemade or store bought pesto here. I love the one Buitoni makes and even have a few fun pesto recipes on ze blog. You can even make it with Kale Pesto!


  • 8 oz box of manicotti noodles (one box)
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots and/or zucchini
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 5 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan/romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/2-1 cup mozzarella cheese for topping (add as much as you want!)
  • season to taste with black pepper, salt, parsley, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder.
  • 16 oz fire roasted marinara sauce [see post for recipe] or your favorite red sauce

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Gently boil shells for approx. 11 min or until tender/al dente.
  3. Drain and arrange cooked noodles in a glass baking dish with a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom.
  4. Fun fact: if you roll the noodles in the red sauce it will help prevent them from sticking/wilting! Dice and sauté, onions and garlic together with shredded carrots and 1/2 tsp of olive oil.
  5. In a large bowl, fold ricotta, parm/romano cheeses, pesto, and torn spinach together with all your herbs and spices. Season to taste.
  6. Next, add your veggies to the mix.
  7. You are free to use your fingers, but putting the stuffing in a bag with a hole cut in the corner and squeezing is muuuch easier! Stuff the noodles gently and pour a generous pile of sauce on top.
  8. Top with sliced or grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese [use as much as you'd like!] and bake for approx. 20-30 minutes at 350 F. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • A little Italian blend seasoning in the filing is an amazing if you have any handy! Mushrooms (chopped and sautéed) are also an excellent addition.
  • Nutrition Facts below are an estimate from an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!