Sue Palladino of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, learned to make many Italian specialties from her husband's family, including a sublime manicotti that uses thin crepes, or crespelle, to enclose the cheese filling. But after her husband's heart attack in 1994, she began to adapt her family's favorite Italian recipes to their new way of life. To make a more healthful version of manicotti, egg whites replace whole eggs, and part-skim replaces whole-milk ricotta in the lightened up filling.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 1995


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • To make crespelle: Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Add water and salt; whisk until blended. Gradually whisk in whole-wheat and all-purpose flours until the batter is smooth.

  • Heat a seasoned crepe pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water dances on the surface. Rub it with a paper towel dipped in a little oil before cooking each crepe. Ladle 2 tablespoons batter into the pan and tilt to coat the bottom evenly. (The crespella should be thin; if the batter is too thick, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons more water.) Cook until the underside is light golden, 15 to 30 seconds. Turn over and cook until the second side is golden, about 15 seconds longer. Slide the crespella onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the crespelle as they are cooked. (You should have about 18 crespelle.) Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and set aside.

  • To make filling and assemble manicotti: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Add ricotta, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt and mix well.

  • Stir basil into tomato sauce. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce in each of two 9-by-13-inch or similar large, shallow baking dishes. Spread 2 tablespoons of filling down the center of each crespella; roll up and arrange in a row in the baking dishes. Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce over the filled crespelle. Bake until the sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Nutrition Facts

493.5 calories; protein 26.2g 52% DV; carbohydrates 60g 19% DV; exchange other carbs 4; dietary fiber 7.2g 29% DV; sugars 20.2g; fat 15.9g 24% DV; saturated fat 6.7g 33% DV; cholesterol 94.2mg 31% DV; vitamin a iu 4251.6IU 85% DV; vitamin c 97.9mg 163% DV; folate 44.4mcg 11% DV; calcium 438mg 44% DV; iron 6mg 33% DV; magnesium 49.1mg 18% DV; potassium 1173.2mg 33% DV; sodium 1936.6mg 78% DV; thiamin 0.2mg 17% DV.

Reviews (2)

Read More Reviews
2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
This recipe is a real family pleaser! I took it one step further and used egg substitute instead of the whole eggs and also added a touch of fat free mozzerella for texture. Delish!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I made this dish for my husband who is a very picky eater. I used manicotti noodles in place to the crepe and I also use egg beater in place of real eggs. I mix the ricotta cheese bread crumbs and seasoning. I add just a pinch of Parmesan cheese when the manicotti came out of the oven. I give this two thumbs up. I will make this again and again. Read More