I love anything stuffed or rolled. So when DH said he wanted chicken for dinner I couldn’t bring myself to make plain old chicken. Instead I used it to make an easy weeknight stuffed manicotti… with a twist!

Usually manicotti is stuffed with Italian cheeses & herbs – ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, etc. I do love the traditional stuffed manicotti but I don’t always have the ingredients on hand. And who has the time or energy to go buy them when the meal is totally unplanned. (I’m definitely not a meal planner.)

Easy Weeknight Stuffed Manicotti (With a Twist)

Easy weeknight stuffed manicotti with a twist


**Note: most my measurements are not measurements at all. The {amount of} ingredients can be changed up depending on what you like. For this recipe, I stuffed 6 pieces of manicotti.

  • Manicotti (6)
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh, diced small
  • a handful of chopped kale (literally)
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 oz cream cheese +a handful of cheddar (again, literally)
  • 1/2 can of diced tomatoes (7 oz fresh diced tomatoes) with the juice
  • olive oil

The Process:

Watch the following Insta-video to see how easy it is to make this weeknight stuffed manicotti. Don’t prefer video? Read on below for written instructions.

Set the oven to 350°. Oil a 9×9 glass baking dish.

Par-cook all ingredients.

It just means to partially cook everything so that it cooks much faster in the oven.

  1. Cook the manicotti according to package directions EXCEPT turn it off & drain a few minutes BEFORE it’s done to al-dente. Set it aside to cool.
    • always add salt & a little oil to the water before dropping in the pasta
  2. Brown the chicken in about a tablespoon of oil.
  3. Coat the bottom of a sautée pan & cook the onions, garlic, & kale until the onions & kale are slightly wilted.
  4. Combine the cheeses, chicken, & kale mixture in a large bowl & stir to combine well. Season to taste.
  5. Take a piece of manicotti & holding it in one hand with the opening on one end in your palm, hold it like a tube & begin spooning the stuffing into the manicotti (this is easier to see in the video).
    • this is much easier to do with your hands instead of a spoon
    • it can get messy so I like to use gloves
  6. Lay each piece flat along the bottom of the oiled baking dish.
  7. Top with diced tomatoes.
  8. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Allow to carry over cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve hot! No extra sauce needed!


  1. If you think outside the traditional box, these can be whatever you want them to be. Here’s a few suggestions:
    1. put a Tex Mex spin on it – change up the cheese, add cilantro, cumin, paprika, garlic powder & hot pepper(s). Top with homemade salsa.
    2. Make it Mediterranean style.
    3. Try a vegetarian version using egg-less pasta & cheese substitute (no chicken of course).
    4. Play around with all the ingredients (meat, veggies, cheese). If you like it, use it.
  2. If you don’t have a spray bottle for your oil, just use a paper towel or gloved hand to spread oil on the baking dish.

And that’s pretty much it! It’s an easy weeknight stuffed manicotti with a twist. It’s a kid-friendly weeknight dinner that can also be very elegant.

One last thing… to try this recipe later pin it for future reference.

If you try this recipe or any variation, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Maybe we can even swap recipes & I can share yours here at the 4th House! And as always… thanks for visiting!

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