You are going to love this healthy turkey manicotti! It’s made with 6 different types of cheeses and it’s lightened up using ground turkey vs. traditional beef.
You are going to love this healthy turkey manicotti!
It's made with 6 different types of cheeses and it's lightened up using ground turkey vs. traditional beef.
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
Melts in your mouth
The blend of cheeses give this stuffed manicotti a unique melt-in-your mouth quality when everything bakes and melt together. Each bit it like a little cloud!
This manicotti recipe is lightened up using healthy and lean ground turkey. If you like the flavor of beef, you can opt for a half and half blend. By using a lean meat, you don't have the overly greasy taste and texture.
Feeds a Crowd
This makes 8 servings of 3 manicotti each. So is a great dish for family dinners or to make for holidays.
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
You'll need a short list of ingredient but quite a few cheeses! Six to be exact.
Here's everything you'll need to gather:
- Ground turkey. As mentioned, you can use ground turkey, ground beef or a blend of half and half depending on your p[reference. Choose lean ground beef to prevent your sauce from becoming greasy.
- Marinara, spaghetti or pasta sauce. These are all essentially the same, but feel free to choose your favorite tomato-based sauce. I love Rao's sauces but they are pricey. Go with what works for your budget.
- Manicotti pasta. You can also use cannelloni or jumbo shells if you prefer.
- Garlic. You can use minced garlic, garlic paste, fresh garlic, or garlic powder.
- Cheeses. These cheeses can all be found pre-packaged at most grocery stores. Of course you can grate your own cheeses if you prefer.
- Basil. This can be fresh or dried.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
Here's a snapshot of the steps involved. Full recipe, further down.
- Brown turkey.
- Add garlic.
- Cook manicotti, drain.
- Mix meat with cheeses.
- Stuff manicotti.
- Place in pan with sauce.
- Sprinkle with cheese and bake.
Very straight forward. The stuffing part takes a little bit of work so allow yourself time for that. Otherwise, this recipe is very easy to make.
★ Tips & FAQs ★
Use ground turkey or beef, or both.
When I recreated her recipe I decided to lighten it up a bit by replacing the ground beef with ground turkey. Choose whichever you prefer. Turkey's just a bit leaner. You could also do a mix of beef and turkey together. I do that a lot as well, just depends on what I have handy usually. Both are good!
This healthy turkey manicotti can be made ahead and frozen.
You can prep this in advance for busy weeknight and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days as long as the meat is cooked. Or you can freeze it and then bake it when you're ready.
Just bake it a little longer if you're putting it into the oven frozen. Probably about 10-15 minutes longer. You can loosely cover the top with a piece of foil coated in cooking spray if you're worried about the cheese on top burning.
What kind of baking dish is best for this manicotti recipe?
I use a large casserole dish. A 9x12 casserole dish (or larger) works best.
Need one? Shop large casserole dishes on Amazon
Leftovers can be stored in a airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Leftovers can be frozen for up to 5 months.
★ More Recipes You'll Love ★
Other ground turkey recipes
Looking for ways to use ground turkey as a healthier alternative to beef? Check out my spinach and turkey stuffed shells. They always get rave reviews!
More Easy Dinner Recipes
This healthy turkey manicotti recipe was featured on Foodie Friday!
Healthy Turkey Manicotti
- 16 oz manicotti pasta
- 48 oz spaghetti sauce
- 1 lb turkey or ground beef
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 16 oz shredded mozzarella
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 24 oz cottage cheese
- 15 oz Asiago, Parmesan and Romano cheese blend
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Prepare manicotti in large stock pot according package. Al dente is ideal so that they stay sturdy enough to stuff.
- Brown turkey (or beef) in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook time should be about 7-10 minutes.Add garlic for the last one minute of cooking. Drain away any excess fat.Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together all packages of cheese except one of the mozzarella packages.
- Fold in cooked turkey (or beef) and basil into cheese mixture.
- Put thin layer of spaghetti sauce on bottom of two 9 x 13" baking dishes.
- Gently stuff manicotti with turkey and cheese mixture using a spoon.Place stuffed manicotti in the baking dish.*
- Pour spaghetti sauce over the manicotti, then sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top.
- Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.