Aunt Pam’s Manicotti

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I have been making this cheesy, meaty manicotti for at least  20 years.  I found this recipe in a Southern Living Annual Cookbook and have not stopped making it since.  I have tweaked it a little over the years  to make it my own.  I have made this manicotti for so many of my family’s special occasions – weddings, graduations, birthdays and numerous other celebrations.   

To my delight, my nieces Summer and Jennifer, have continued this manicotti tradition and we all consider it one of our favorite family recipes.  Traditions are so important to our family.  I love that our family traditions are continuing on with younger generations.   I also love that Summer and Jennifer are carrying on family traditions by making this manicotti.  Isn’t it funny how certain recipes can take your mind  right back to those family celebrations?  I would encourage you to find a recipe that your family loves and consider it “your family recipe.”  

I have also made this recipe using portabella and shitake mushrooms instead of sausage and beef and it was delicious.  I was having a few friends over who were vegetarians and substituted the meat for mushrooms and to my surprise we all enjoyed the mushroom dish! 


Aunt Pam’s Manicotti

Recipe by Cooking with Aunt PamCourse: MainCuisine: Italian


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 (8 ounce) boxes of uncooked manicotti shells

  • 1 pound of mild Italian Sausage

  • 1 pound of ground chuck

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup of white wine (remember when the rule of thumb when cooking with wine “if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it”)

  • 2 cups whipping cream

  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, drained

  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese


  • Cook pasta according to directions on package; rinse in cold water. Drain. Place in a single layer on a wire rack; set aside.
  • Cook sausage, ground chuck, onion and garlic in a large skillet, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and set aside. If you are using sausage in casing, remove casing from sausage and discard.
  • Add wine to skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits off bottom of skillet, bring to a boil. Add whipping cream, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often for about 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  • Combine meat mixture, tomatoes, and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Spoon mixture evenly into the manicotti shells; arrange shells in a lightly greased 13×9 baking dish.
  • Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and pour cream mixture evenly over shells; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 15 more minutes. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Broiling for the last few minutes will allow the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese to melt and bubble and create the perfect cheesy topping. Serve with a nice loaf of Italian bread and Caesar salad.


  1. Belinda Butler

    We all know this is the Coveted Family Favorite for Our Family! I’m Kind of Sad you are Sharing the Recipe! If Making for the First Time, Make Extra and Freeze! There is never any Remaining for Leftovers!

  2. Karen Griffith

    Love Love Love, Best Food, Best Family. Every one who tries this
    Will feel the Love, all food is made
    Straight from the Heart.

  3. Larry Jones

    I had Pam’s manicotti years ago. I still remember that meal! Awesome recipe! Awesome cook!
    Thanks for sharing your secrets.


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