Crock pot No Boil Manicotti

crock pot manicotti (1)

Did you know you can make no-boil manicotti in the crock pot? Why yes, I’ve done it and I’m sharing this fun tip with you. It’s nearly identical to the baked version except you crock’ it instead of bake it. The frozen version makes such a wonderful ministry meal for your family or others. However, this is a way to keep your kitchen cooler and beat the heat or run out for an errand and know your dinner is safe.

I start the same way as the baked method by pouring about 1/2 cup  marinara sauce in the bottom of a sprayed crock pot. I’m using partially frozen homemade marinade.

Cut a small corner of the bag; about  1/2″. You want the filling to flow easily through the opening, but you don’t want it to pour out too quickly.  Don’t cut it too small because there will be too much pressure and the bag could burst. Once you do it a couple of times, you will get the feel of piping cheese into the shells. I fill one side horizontally and then turn the shell and fill the other.


Place them as tight as possible without over lapping. An oblong crock pot is going to work best for this recipe. A small round one will not hold as many shells.

Cover shells completely with the remaining sauce.

Cover and crock on high about 2 hours or until fork tender. The shells need to be completely covered and not exposed.

Cover with remaining cheese the last thirty minutes of cooking time.

Crock pot No Boil Manicotti


  • Filling Ingredients (Place inside a gallon size freezer bag):
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese
  • Add: 1 ½ teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Remaining Ingredients:
  • 1-8oz. package manicotti
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Jar or can of favorite marinara sauce (I use the $1 can Hunts marinara when I don’t have homemade on hand)
  • cooking spray


  1. Combine filling ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag and gently knead until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Clip a small corner, about 1/2″, of the bag.Spray crock pot.
  3. Spread about 1/2 cup sauce in crock pot . Pipe all cheese and place in crock pot.
  4. Pour remaining sauce on top. covering completely.
  5. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  6. Crock on high for about 2 hours until shells are fork tender. Times vary so check to make sure it’s not dry.
  7. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese the last thirty minutes of cooking time.
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Have you ever crocked pasta without boiling?

63 thoughts on “Crock pot No Boil Manicotti

  1. Melissa

    I love this idea! I like Manicotti but stuffing the shells is something I’ve always found challenging. You’ve taken care of that with this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. admin

      The time varies according to your crock pot and how hot it gets. Mine is super hot, even on low. Try it for the minimum time on low and check with a knife to see if it’s tender.

        1. admin

          normally salad or something green, asparagus, green beans works well since my family doesn’t like peas or broccoli Hope you enjoy this easy recipe.

  2. Brenda

    I don’t have an oblong crockpot, and although it’s a big one, putting in a single layer would not make enough shells. Will they not cook if some overlap a little?

      1. admin

        I’ve never tried with Alfredo, but I think it would work as long as you use the same amount as the pasta sauce. Also, I’d use cooked shredded chicken and sprinkle over the pasta shells before topping with alfredo. Just make sure the shells are covered well because that’s what cooks the sauce and keeps the pasta from getting dry while cooking. You can dilute the sauce with a little bit of water. Hope that helps.

  3. Cynthia

    Thanks for this awesome recipe. My family really enjoyed it and it’ll be made again and again in the future. I have an oblong crock pot, so everything fit in there nice and snug. I did wind up cooking it for about 2 1/2 hours before the noodles were done completely instead of just the posted 2 hours.

  4. Brenda

    Can you substitute ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese? (For some reason, when I got groceries, that’s what I thought was the ingredient it called for.)

  5. Noel Lizotte

    I just found this recipe via pinterest … it’s on my menu for next week! Thanks for a great way to make manicotti without so much fuss!

  6. Linda P

    I found this on Pinterest and will be making this tomorrow, after I make my sauce today, of course. I was supposed to be making lasagna but remembered pinning this a few days ago, can’t wait to try it, easy manicotti, who knew? Thanks so much for sharing, will post my results tomorrow

  7. laney namanny

    I have a blog called Pintology where I test things from Pinterest to see if they really work or not. I tested this recipe and featured it on the blog today, it was awesome. Thanks for the great recipe.

  8. Kim

    Thanks for this idea! We tried it for dinner tonight & it was so much easier (& less frustrating!) than trying to stuff already cooked noodles. I love it!

  9. David

    THis looks -great-… however: can I assemble this in the a.m. and let it go -slow- all day without the pasta disintegrating?

    (still edible, i’m sure, but for presentation…y’know..)

    1. admin

      You’re right, it would dry out as an all day crockin’ meal. It would be better to start at lunch. How about assembling and freezing and crocking frozen to keep it longer in the crock? Try adding the fresh sauce on top of the frozen filled manicotti. Let me know how it works best for your schedule. Good luck.

  10. Ashley

    I made this the other day and it turned out great. I gave you the credit over on my food blog. Thanks for the great idea.

  11. EJ Leniger

    Made this recipe last night with a slight change of using ricotta and two eggs versus cottage cheese, and let me tell you it was absolutely yummmmoooo!!! Thank you for the recipe as I refuse to use my oven in the summer months!

  12. Meredith

    I made this a few nights ago, using ricotta instead of cottage cheese, it was delicious! Surprised my boyfriend because according to him, I can burn cereal lol. Making it again tomorrow night for “Italian night” thanks for the easy way of making manicotti!

  13. Laura

    you say this freeze well uncook how long would u say to cooked frozen the filled Manicotti shells add it to the crock pot with the sauce n cooked on low heat? i figure the that i can freeze the filled uncooked shells easyer without the sauce in ziplock bag add the sauce n topping when cooking in slower cooker ty

    1. admin

      Laura, this is exactly how I would make this a crock pot freezer meal. As long as the air is squeezed out completely or sucked out with a straw, see DIY vacuum seal, it would last a long while. I would crock it just an hour longer to thaw the cheese inside the shells ad cook in the sauce. Happy crocking!

  14. Kelly

    I saw no boil lasagna when I went grocery shopping but didn’t see any no boil manicotti. Will the regular manicotti work or should I boil them a little bit first?? Thanks!!

  15. Ruth

    Could I assemble in the am, keep in fridge and then turn on the crock pot 2 hours before as you suggested? I work all day, but have my nanny at home so I am trying to find a solution to not cooking it all day!

  16. Kimberlee

    Trying it for dinner tonight, it already smells fantastic! I’ve always LOVED cheese stuffed pasta (large shells, manicotti) but it’s kind of a pain in the butt filling the pasta, especially with a toddler running around your feet lol. Thanks for sharing it!! I’m looking forward to trying different variations too .

  17. Suzzanne

    Jackie– I love your website and am dying to try this — but I was wondering if I could use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese in this recipe as dh is not a big cottage cheese fan. Please advise– Thanks

  18. Jessica

    This looks wonderful! I have the “no boil” cannelloni noodles at home and want to use those, but on the package it says they need to be fully cooked before freezing (this will be a freezer meal as I am having a baby soon- planning ahead!). Do you think I need to pre-cook this dish before freezing? If so, how would you alter the cooking directions on the day of?

  19. Ellie

    I can’t beleive what I’ve done! I was thinking of another recipe when I put this on and set my crock pot on low needless to say, it’s not cooked, but I tried one anyway and it was good even uncooked. Hopefully next time I actually pay attention! Thank you for the recipe!

  20. Debi

    Making this tonight, but wondering if you think the recipe would work the same with the large shells in place of the manicotti, for future reference?

    1. admin

      My suggestion is to keep the cheese mixture as is to pipe out of the bag easier. Cook the hamburger separately and sprinkle on top of the stuffed shells before adding sauce or mixing in with the sauce if desired. Great question!

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