Delicious Broccoli-Stuffed Manicotti with Buratta Cheese. A cozy vegetarian dinner recipe that is loaded up with healthy broccoli- perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table. Video included.
Here’s a broccoli lover’s dream. Baked Manicotti filled with a savory mixture of broccoli, garlic, basil, ricotta and mozzarella, bathed in a quick homemade, “blender” marinara sauce and topped with optional Buratta Cheese. The manicotti cooks right in the sauce saving you the extra step of having to boil the pasta.
It’s surprisingly light and the broccoli plays the starring role here. Perfect for Sunday meal prep for the busy work week, or delicious enough for your special holiday dinner.
Watch how to Make Broccoli Manicotti | 60-sec video
The recipe starts with 12 ounces or 6 cups broccoli florets.
Steam the broccoli until just tender, careful to not overcook.
At the same time saute onions and garlic- which will be used for both the filling and sauce.
Place half the onions in the blender with the sauce ingredients.
Blend until smooth and set this aside until assembly time.
Then chop up the broccoli and make the filling- adding egg, ricotta, basil, sauteed onions and garlic, and spices.
Then mix it all up.
Assemble the manicotti.
Using a piping bag- or a large ziplock bag (with the corner cut off) fill each manicotti.
Dot any of the extra filling on each of the ends (or over the top of the sauce).
Cover with sauce.
Here, I had a little extra of the broccoli filling, so I dotted it over top.
Now, this is optional- but totally delicious…. add Burrata!
Slice 1-2 balls of creamy burrata cheese and place it over top.
Bake the Broccoli Manicotti in a 400F oven for 40 minutes, covered tightly with foil.
Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh basil ribbons right before serving.
Serve with a leafy green salad and some crusty bread!
Can I make this with lasagna noodles?
Yes. Grease a 9×13 baking dish, and layer, starting with 1/3 of the sauce, add uncooked noodles, 1/2 the filling, 1/3 rd of the sauce, then noodles, the other half of the filling, more noodles, then last 1/3 rd of sauce. Top with Burrata. Press down a little, top with parchment and foil. Bake at 400F, 40-50 minutes (until easily pierced with a fork) uncover, bake until golden, 10-15 minutes.
Can this be made vegan?
Can this be made ahead?
Yes, feel free to make any of the components ahead, or assemble the whole thing ahead, or even bake ahead and reheat ( bring to room temp first).
Can I use store-bought Marinara?
Yes, but water it down with 1/2 cup water. ( You’ll need 3 1/2 cups total).
Can I boil the pasta ahead instead of baking it dry?
Healthy delicious Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti. A cozy homemade vegetarian meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table. #manicotti #vegetariandinner #broccoli #broccolirecipes
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Enjoy the Broccoli Manicotti and have a great weekend.
Healthy delicious Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti with optional Burrata. A cozy homemade vegetarian meal that can be made ahead! Perfect for weeknight dinners or the holiday table.
- 12 ounces broccoli florets (about 6 cups raw)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4–6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices ( or crushed or whole)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup, honey or sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning ( or thyme or oregano)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 15-ounces whole milk ricotta (or make the vegan tofu ricotta), 2 cups
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (plus more for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8– 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup shredded romano or parmesan (or vegan parm)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella (or vegan mozzarella)
- 12 uncooked manicotti shells (7 ounces)
- 2 burrata balls- optional, but delicious.
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Steam the broccoli until just tender, (not too soft!) cool and chop.
- Saute: At the same time, in a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute onion 3-4 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, lower heat to medium and saute until golden and tender, 4-5 minutes.
- Divide. Place half of the sauteed onions/garlic mixture in a blender (for the sauce) and the other half in a medium bowl (for the filling).
- Blend the tomato sauce: Add the canned tomatoes (and their juices) to the blender, (with 1/2 of the sauteed onions),water, salt, maple, Italian seasoning, and olive oil. Blend until smooth, set aside.
- Make the filling: Chop up the steamed broccoli and add it to the bowl with the onions. Add the ricotta, egg, basil, lemon zest, salt, pepper, nutmeg and stir with a fork. Add the cheeses. If going the vegan route, taste for salt and pepper, adding more if you like. Place the broccoli filling in a large piping bag ( or large zip lock bag- cutting off the corner to fit inside the manicotti).
- Assemble: Coat the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with olive oil. Pour half the tomato sauce to cover the bottom (about 1 3/4 cups). Using the piping bag, generously fill 12 uncooked, dry, manicotti shells (getting filling all the way to the middle) and nestle in the sauce. Dot the edges of the manicotti with the extra filling. Cover with the remaining sauce. It will seem a little runny but the uncooked manicotti will soak up much of the moisture here. Dot with any remaining filling if you like. Top with optional Burrata Cheese. Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake: Bake 50 minutes at 400 F. Uncover, test that manicotti is tender (check with a sharp knife) then bake 10 more minutes, or until beautifully golden.
- Garnish with basil ribbons.
You can also use store-bought marinara but add 1/2 cup water. It is necessary to thin it out just a bit with this uncooked pasta. You will need 3 1/2 cups total with the water.
Lastly, you can cook the manicotti first if you prefer, then fill, up to you.
Keywords: Broccoli Manicotti, Vegetarian Manicotti recipe, vegetarian comfort food recipe, vegan manicotti