String Cheese Manicotti

This String Cheese Manicotti is stuffed with string cheese for a super easy weeknight meal. My kids loved it!

String Cheese Manicotti - Easy to stuff manicotti by using string cheese. Weeknight meals don't get easier than this. the-girl-who-ate-everything.comI got in my car this morning to go to our team’s Bible study and my car wouldn’t start. Of course it happened today when my husband is gone and not yesterday when he had the day off. It’s the little things you take for granted. That you can just get in your car and expect it to start. I remember being on a cross country flight and the people around me complaining that there wasn’t any wi-fii. People, I get it. But in the big picture, we are getting into a metal airplane and FLYING across the country. That’s pretty amazing. And now we’re mad that the magical wi-fii isn’t working so we can work thousands of miles up in the air on our tiny little computers that we can hold in one hand? Yep. First world problems people.String Cheese Manicotti - Easy to stuff manicotti by using string cheese. Weeknight meals don't get easier than this. the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

So first I had to find my jumper cables and then track down someone with a car to help me. I hate asking for help. It literally humbles me so much that I can’t do everything on my own. I had my friend use her tiny car to jump me but her battery wasn’t strong enough to start the whale of a car I have so I had to ask my neighbor. Double humble pie. Even though I’ve jumped my car before I always forget what to do and feel like I’m going to blow up my car with my kids inside because I made a stupid mistake. It terrifies me every time.

String Cheese Manicotti - Easy to stuff manicotti by using string cheese. Weeknight meals don't get easier than this. the-girl-who-ate-everything.comLet’s talk about how easy this String Cheese Manicotti is. I make a zillion school lunches every week for my kids so I always have string cheese on hand. Not that stuffing manicotti is that difficult but using string cheese makes it that much easier and my kids thought it was the coolest thing ever. Have you ever wondered why string cheese is stringy? You’ll be happy to know that it’s not because of some crazy chemical. It actually has to do with how it’s processed. It’s just mozzarella cheese that has been heated to 140 degrees where it becomes stretchy and the milk proteins line up in a row. That’s all. Nothing toxic or weird. So don’t feel bad about this.String Cheese Manicotti - Easy to stuff manicotti by using string cheese. Weeknight meals don't get easier than this. the-girl-who-ate-everything.comHere’s where I’m supposed to show me stuffing the manicotti with string cheese. Turns out those picture all looked way too X-rated (who knew) so we’ll skip those. A simple meat sauce goes on bottom and top and then you top it with cheese. You can definitely add whatever you want to spice this up. Just make sure you use a good spaghetti sauce.

String Cheese Manicotti - Easy to stuff manicotti by using string cheese. Weeknight meals don't get easier than this. the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Add a sprinkle of fresh basil and some Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a green salad with lots of croutons. My kids will only eat salad with croutons.

String Cheese Manicotti
 
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 package (8 ounces) manicotti shells
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) spaghetti sauce
  • 12 pieces string cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • (optional) basil, chopped
Instructions
  1. Cook manicotti according to package directions in salted water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, cook beef and onion over medium heat in a large skillet until meat is no longer pink; add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Drain meat. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Spread half of the meat sauce into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
  3. Drain manicotti. An 8 ounce package has 14 shells but I could only fit 12 in my baking dish and 2 of the shells ripped. Stuff each shell with a piece of string cheese. You could even use 2 pieces of string cheese but we thought one was plenty once it melted. Arrange manicotti over meat sauce. Place over meat sauce; top with remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
  4. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and garnish with basil if desired.
Notes
Source: slightly adapted from Taste of Home: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/easy-to-stuff-manicotti

 

String Cheese Manicotti - Easy to stuff manicotti by using string cheese. Weeknight meals don't get easier than this. the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

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Comments

  1. Is there enough filling in a manicotti roll with just one string cheese? It seems
    like it would not fill it enough. Not looking for more string cheese necessarily,
    but just seems like it would be a big empty space with just that…?

  2. oh yummy!!

  3. What an awesome idea! My sons would go crazy for this.

  4. Out of curiosity, what jar sauce brand do you usually by?

  5. What a great idea!

    And now I really want to see the stuffing the shells with the cheese photos LOL!

  6. I’d also like to know what spaghetti sauce you use. I love spaghetti (and pretty much anything else like it) but my kids don’t. I keep hoping if I find the “right” sauce they too will love it.

  7. Love this idea- seems much easier than stuffing with a cheese filling that drips out every where! Also, I super empathize about the car battery. I had the same problem a while ago and my friend and I were afraid we would blow something up. We googled and survived😊

  8. Hi all…
    Christy, this recipe is fantastic!! So easy, hubby approved and definitely a keeper. This is only the second time I’ve made manicotti in my life. The first time was in my very early 20’s with a recipe gotten from a pasta box when I was young and single in Seattle. Okay, back then, I’m like thinking, “I really don’t like tomato sauce, and that’s waaayyy too much sauce anyway, so I only used 1/2 that was called for in the recipe, and it’s also going to be too hard to stuff all that cheese mixture into soft noodles so I “think” they’ll get soft if I just stuff them raw. Yeah, you can see where this went ! LOL I had raccoons and stray cats forever on my back door apartment doorstep because I was a softy and fed any critter that would show up. NONE of them would eat it. I do mean NONE. I ended scraping up the sorry mess off the sidewalk myself 3 days later. So, 3 1/2+ decades later, I decided to try your version of manicotti, and boy, am I glad I did. I’m much older and wiser now, also, and know that 2 WHOLE jars of sauce and cooked noodles are VITAL to this turning out good. LOL I’m thinking about playing with this recipe a little and making a white seafood (crab, clams and shrimp) cream sauce, layering the sauce on the bottom, string cheese manicotti in the middle, more seafood white sauce on top with the mozz/fresh parm cheese thing on top. Thanks once again for another great recipe and a one last chance to finally get this one right!!

  9. Christy:
    Can I make this using ground turkey instead of ground beef?

  10. Have you ever tried freezing this to make ahead? I just don’t know how well the string cheese would freeze?

  11. This is a great idea! I’ve been using the America’s Test Kitchen recipe for ages. You use the lasagna noodles that you don’t have to precook, soak them in warm water for a couple of minutes so they are pliable, spread the feeling on and roll them up. So incredibly delicious and so much easier than attempting to stuff manicotti noodles. Love this idea though and definitely trying it soon!

  12. Have you tried using extra water or sauce and not cooking the pasta beforehand? I made some lasagna like that and we loved it…Just curios if it would work….I love manicotti so cant wait to try this!

  13. This looks really easy but one could also use a block of mozzarella cut to size.
    Also, I like to use fresh mozzarella for the stuffing. The texture and flavor are different and so great.
    My aged Italian friend, Mr. Ruggiero, of many years ago said oregano for pizza and basil for pasta.
    Just make sure that the fresh basil is not overcooked. It should only be in the sauce for less than 10 minutes or should just top the pasta once it is serve. Basil and many other leafy herbs lose the flavor of their volatile oils when overcooked.
    Personally, I love fresh basil on top of my pizza! : )

  14. thank you for this quick and easy recipe for my picky eater he said it was delicious and as fast as I put it on the table for the rest of the family it was gone. I must say 2 pieces of string cheese is better than one all in all a great recipe

  15. This recipe is so easy and delicious! Back to make it again!!!!!

  16. Genius! Going to try this in a slow cooker without precooking the pasta.

  17. Amazing recipe! We used sausage instead of hamburger meat and it was a total win! I think the string cheese was just enough filling for me plus the meat sauce. Great!