Turkey Pesto Manicotti

Turkey Pesto Manicotti

Thanksgiving is around the corner and pasta is on my mind. Truly I could eat “pasta something” pretty much everyday. The truth is I have a hard time putting the fork down when it comes to such yumminess, so I try to limit these types of recipes to a few times a month. The more I write recipes the more I realize I have 10 or more variations to many of my recipes; I have created. Here is just one of my manicotti recipes and this one is perfect winter time. (side note) Like many of my soup stocks, I also freeze tomato bits, basil and garlic ends for such nights like this. Then I use variations of my favorite canned tomatoes with it to make a rich yummy fast sauce. You could always use a jar sauce but I would hope you will try it my way just once. When you have done this more then once, I’m sure you will find that it really does not take that much more time at all. oxox




by Ms Foodie

You will need:

1/2 to 1 lbs of ground turkey
1/2 large sweet onion

Avocado oil
1 Garlic head
3 cups Ricotta or cottage cheese
2-3 cups Mozzarella
3/4 cup Parmigiana
1/4 to 1/2 cup Pesto
1/2 cup Parsley
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 28 oz can Organic Crushed tomatoes 

1 28 oz Organic Whole Tomatoes (San Marzano are the best)

or one bag of Frozen tomatoes

5-8 large cremini mushrooms chopped small

1 box of Manicotti Noodles
Kosher salt for pasta water and Himalayan for sauce


Lets put this together, start by boiling water for noodles and add your kosher salt. Salt will flavor your pasta noodles and help bring the water to a boil faster. Preheat oven 375. Now chop onion, mince garlic and chop parsley (if using fresh). When noodles are parboiled (apx 5-6 mins) lay them on a damp paper towel or greased sheet, make sure to save at least 1 cup of pasta water before you dump it out. Now sauté onions with some oil in the same skillet. Next add turkey and a little himalayan salt. While cooking meat I like to  put together my cheese filling by grading my cheese’s. When turkey is done place in a bowl to cool, now add a little more oil and start to sauté your mushrooms. After a few minutes when the mushrooms are starting to cook down add rest of the garlic. When done add tomatoes crushed and whole, break tomatoes up with a spatula or large slotted spoon. Add italian seasoning, little himalayan salt then cover and simmer stirring a few times making sure nothing is sticking to bottom of the skillet.


In a large bowl add cottage cheese (or ricotta) parsley (save some for the top) 1.5-2 cups of mozzarella, 1/2 your parmesan, pesto and minced garlic. Give a stir and when meat has cooled add that to this mixture. Now add a ladle or two of sauce to the bottom of your baking dish, mix this part with a little reserved pasta water. Gently start stuffing your noodles with cheese and meat mixture, i stuff from both sides so I don’t split the noodle. Arrange in your casserole baking dish and spin them so they get a little sauce and don’t dry out while your stuffing.

Next ladle over as much sauce as you wish, we like ours super saucy. Now top with a mix of your remaining parm and mozzarella, then sprinkle parsley if you wish and add a few dabs of butter all over so your cheese will brown evenly.image

Pop in oven and bake 30-40 mins until you like the color and it’s bubbly. We like browned edges but light in the middle. Serve with or without bread and salad. Pictured I have a seeded baguette laying across the bottom. I made a simple spinach salad with cucumbers and dressed it with a bit of pesto, EVOO, black pepper and fresh lemon juice.



Hope you love it xoxo Ms Foodie

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