No Boil Cheese Manicotti


Do you want to make a casserole without a bowl, a spoon or a pot? You do? Then this is the casserole for you. I make this often and double to have extra in my freezer to give away.

You DO NOT cook the manicotti prior to filling and freezing. That’s what makes this recipe so easy. The other easy part is the method to mix the filling ingredients. You mix the filling in a freezer bag by kneading it.

You start by preparing your pans with sauce in the bottom.


You dump the filling into a gallon size FREEZER bag and gently knead until it is mixed up.

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Then you 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.


Fill all the shells dividing between two 8×8 pans or one 9×13.


Cover all the shells with the marinara sauce. I use Hunts when I don’t have time to make homemade marinara.


Sprinkle the reserved cheese on top.


Cover the pans with heavy duty foil labeled with thawing and cooking instructions. This is the most important part when you’re giving a casserole away. It’s handy for people to have the instructions right at their fingertips.


Shells are $1.50 at Wal-mart and the sauce is $1. Cheese prices range. I leave out the parmesan cheese sometimes and it’s still great. You can substitute ricotta, but try the cottage cheese. It makes a terrific ministry meal to give away to someone in need and it’s easy because there’s “no cooking” involved. P.S. Your family is a ministry too, so be sure to double this recipe to have enough for them and others in need.


No Boil Three Cheese Manicotti

No bowl, spoon or boiling required to make this frugal, freezer-friendly ministry meal for your family and another.


  • Filling Ingredients (Place inside a gallon size freezer bag):
  • 24 oz. cottage cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, reserving 1/2 cup for top
  • Add: 1 ½ teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Remaining Ingredients:
  • 1-8oz. package manicotti
  • ½ cup mozzarella 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 and gently knead until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Clip a small corner, about 1/2″, of the bag and proceed to fill manicotti according to desired tray size.
  3. 2-8×8 pans: Spread 1/4 cup sauce in each pan. Pipe 1/2 cup of cheese filling into each tray of manicotti. Top with 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/8 Parmesan cheese.
  4. 1-9×13 pan: Spread about 1/2 cup sauce in pan. Pipe all cheese into both trays. Pour remaining sauce on top. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
  5. Cover shells completely with sauce.
  6. Label and spray with foil to prevent cheese from sticking. Cover completely.
  7. Baking Day: Thaw 24 hours. Bake covered at 375 for one hour until shells are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
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Get ready for a frozen meal like this.

This is linked to southernsavers



20 thoughts on “No Boil Cheese Manicotti

  1. Cynthia

    I want to try this, sounds wonderful. How large is the can of sauce you are using? Also, as I was reading it I wasn’t sure what yo meant by piping cheese mixture into tray. I thought you literally wanted some directly into the tray under the shells. But after reading the whole thing I’m assuming you mean pipe it into the shells?

    1. sarah

      i use hunts pasta sauce all the time the size of the can is 24oz-26oz it depends on where you buy it. it is very good and the price is right .

  2. Nancy L.

    Hi Cynthia. I’m not Jackie, but if you’ll click on “Press” at the very top of the page, there’s a video of her making this on their local news. She pipes the filling into the manicotti from one end, flips it & finishes filling from the other side.

  3. Hope

    I love this recipe and make it all the time! I wanted to add that it works exactly the same with jumbo shells–one day I was out of manicotti but had a box of shells so I gave it a try and it was just as delicious!

    1. admin

      I was just thinking about this last night and wondered if I would be able to pipe the filling into an uncooked shell! Would I be able to get enough filling inside even though its tightly closed. Did you do it with uncooked? I’ve always boiled my jumbo shells, but I wanted to try it. Thanks for experimenting and sharing.

      1. Hope

        Sorry I’m just now seeing this a year later LOL but yes, I did it with the shells uncooked. Some of the shells were a little tight but at least in the box I get, there are usually many that are more open so I try to use those first. I still make this recipe all the time (both with manicotti and with shells) and I visit your site often! Thanks so much!

      1. Anna@stuffedveggies

        Thanks so much for this awesome recipe! I’ve made it for others before, but never for my own family, since we seldom eat cheese. This is Cheesefare week in our Greek Orthodox Church, so tonight I made it tonight for my family – it was a HUGE hit! And, so easy to make. Although I’m normally vegan, I tasted a couple of bites and it is awesome! (I have also tried my tofu & spinach recipe by this method, and it works well, too.) Thank you for a great recipe! : )

  4. Christine

    Thank you for the recipe. I found it on Pinterest, of course. We’re going to make it in a group freezer meal get together. You mention parmesan cheese in the instructions, but I don’t see it listed in the ingredients. How much parmesan is needed for this recipe? Thanks & I can’t wait to try it!

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