EatingWell's Manicotti

EatingWell's Manicotti

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine September/October 1995

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.

Ingredients 6 servings

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  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese, (20 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves
  • 5 cups prepared marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, (1/2 ounce)


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To make filling and assemble manicotti: Preheat oven to 350 °F. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl until frothy. Add ricotta, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt and mix well.
  4. 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 information

  • Per serving: 494 calories; 16 g fat(7 g sat); 7 g fiber; 60 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 44 mcg folate; 94 mg cholesterol; 20 g sugars; 4252 IU vitamin A; 98 mg vitamin C; 438 mg calcium; 6 mg iron; 1937 mg sodium; 1173 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 3 vegetable, 2 medium-fat, 1 fat

Reviews 2

January 04, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
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.
October 19, 2009
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By: newyorkyankeesfan
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!!