Oh.my.goodness. There are literally no other words. This is by far the easiest and most delicious pasta dish I have EVER made! For a Crockpot meal, it is also relatively quick – although not quick enough for us. We literally fished out a 3/4ths cooked manicotti because we wanted to try it so badly!
1 box manicotti shells (~14 shells)
1lb ground beef
32 oz container ricotta cheese
2 cups grated parmesan
2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 large jars of your favorite red pasta sauce
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs Italian seasoning
2 Tbs oregano
First, you will prepare the meat sauce. Brown the ground beef in a skillet, adding salt & pepper to taste. Add 1 jar of pasta sauce and 2 Tbs of sugar. Allow to simmer on low while you prepare the manicotti filling.
In a separate, large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1.5 cups parmesan, 1.5 cups mozzarella, Italian seasoning, oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Mix well. Add filling to a medium-large Ziplock bag. Snip off one corner to use as a piping bag to fill the manicotti.
Pour the other jar of pasta sauce into the bottom of the Crockpot. Take each manicotti shell and pipe it full of the filling mixture. Try to fill mostly from one side, and top off from the other side.
Set the manicotti in the crockpot as you fill them – eventually you will start stacking them!
Top with your meat + sauce mixture.
Cook on high 2.5 hours. In the last 30 minutes, add the remaining cheeses on top of the dish to melt.
Serve and enjoy! Original recipe inspiration from Thrifty T’s Treasures.
Nutrition information per manicotti: