Deconstructed Manicotti Skillet with Zucchini Noodles

Deconstructed Manicotti Skillet with Zucchini Noodles

This spiralized, veggie packed version of manicotti is deconstructed, so the cheese and marinara sauce that typically fill the manicotti rolls are baked atop zucchini noodles, which are a manicotti replacement. Now, nothing can replace manicotti, but zoodles give your tastebuds that similar consistency! 

Deconstructed Manicotti Skillet with Zucchini Noodles

Manicotti will always remind me of holidays at my grandparents’ home. My grandfather always served manicotti at Christmastime as one of the appetizers, which was crazy, because we had seven fishes ahead of us.

Deconstructed Manicotti Skillet with Zucchini Noodles

The filling is unbeatable and pillowy – ricotta cheese and chopped spinach wrapped in manicotti noodles, topped with marinara sauce and baked to ooey gooey goodness.

If you’re looking for a fun way to use zucchini noodles, a healthier take on manicotti, or just love cheese and zucchini, try this healthier, lighter version.

Deconstructed Manicotti Skillet with Zucchini Noodles

The Blade A noodles are big and cook perfectly in the oven to an al dente texture. If you want to add some meat to this, a ground turkey or beef would work great. Otherwise, enjoy it as is!



Deconstructed Manicotti "Skillet" with Zucchini Noodles-

Deconstructed Manicotti Skillet with Zucchini Noodles

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes no salt added
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 basil leaves chopped
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 zucchinis Blade A
  • 2 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
  • For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 7.5 oz of ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 small egg


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place a large castiron or nonstick skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  • Add in the canned tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stir and let cook for 10 minutes or until your sauce is reduced fully. Five minutes in, add the basil.
  • While the sauce is cooking, mix together all of the ingredients for the "filling." Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Then, place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Once the skillet heats, add in your baby spinach and toss until wilted. Fold the spinach into the cheese mixture and set aside.
  • When the sauce is done cooking, remove half of the sauce and set aside. Make sure that the sauce is spread evenly on the bottom of the skillet and then top with the zucchini noodles. Top with the remaining sauce.
  • Next, make two pockets in the zucchini noodles on either side of the skillet and fill each with a dollop of the cheese "filling." Sprinkle over the skillet with the 2 tbsp of mozzarella. Season the top of the skillet with pepper.
  • Cover the skillet with tin foil and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the noodles soften and the cheese is completely melted.
  • Serve for two!

with love, Ali

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Recipe Rating


  • I feel like this is the perfect summer version of manicotti! I mean, if we're being honest, I really only love it for the cheese. So...this is ideal.
  • This looks amazing. Totally printing it out and adding it to my big stack of your recipes to try!!
  • This looks really delicious. I've done something similar before with eggplant (eggplant involtini), but I'm stoked to give it a try with zucchini. I bet it would also be tasty with a touch of lemon zest too. Yum - you always have such great ideas and you've made me use my spiralizer SO much more than I used to!
  • Any suggestions for what to use instead of ricotta cheese? My husband will not eat ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. We also practice a low carb diet so that is something I always look for in recipes. Thank you.
    • Just put it in and tell him it's Greek yoghurt or something! Actually, that's an idea - Fage zero is so creamy and wonderful, and you can bake yoghurt!
  • Yum yum, another one I will be trying soon...but maybe with low fat ricotta to get the calories down, assuming you can get it in Texas!
  • Yum. I can't wait to try this one. Definitely on the menu for next week. I made your pad thai over the weekend and my husband and I both enjoyed it.
  • Oh my god, tomorrow's dinner has just happened to magically appear to my inbox. thank you!!!
  • I made this last night and it was delicious!!!! Thanks for the great recipe!
  • How much of the red pepper flakes so we add? I don't see it listed in the ingredient list.
  • Our's turned out watery. Do you find the larger zucchini are less watery when cooked? It was still yummy, just messy. We aren't that picky though.
    • Did you cover it with tinfoil? Perhaps lower the heat, some ovens are different!
  • I made this last night and absolutely loved it! I sort of spread the cheese mixture over the top of the zucchini instead of doing dollops, so it ended up having a nicely melted, lightly browned "crust" over the whole thing. Delicious flavors!
  • I JUST HAVE TO SAY...WOW! I made this the other night and while my boyfriend expected me to to make something with my spiralizer (I seem to be somewhat obsessed since I got it) he continues to insist that he doesn't like zucchini. When he tucked into a bowl of the "manicotti", he got a blissful look on his face, and then exclaimed, "this is fantastic!" I should have doubled the recipe. I cant wait to make this again. Thank you for coming up with this.
  • just made a version of this and it turned out really good. I didn't have ricotta so it turned out being more like a tossed lasagna.... Or maybe upside down... and I didn't want to turn on the oven so I did it all in the pan on the stove top. And that work out just fine. Thanks for the inspiration
  • Drooled over this recipe when it came out on the blog, just making it now. I soooo should have made it sooner! Only me eating it, but that's ok, because it means I get to enjoy it for lunch tomorrow! I agree with Lu, best yet!
  • Just made this and YUM! It was so good. The fresh basil with the tomatoes and cheese was a great mix of flavors. Very cheesy & gooey. I'll definitely be making this again soon.
  • I actually picked this recipe from Ali's cookbook and made it today. This is meatless Friday for us Catholics and well this just fit the bill today. Absolutely delicious! I also doubled up the recipe simply because all of the ingredients sounded great. Mine also came out watery - but didn't mind because I spoiled the whole healthy concept by serving it with garlic cheese bread. Oh my I just couldn't let that wonderful sauce go to waste - the bread just sucked it up. IT WAS WORTH IT.
  • I made this and substituted the cheese for chickpea and cashew cheese I made at home. I did keep the egg and the Parmesan. SOOOOO GOOD!!!
  • I made this for dinner tonight. I didn't have ricotta so I mixed some sour cream with the parm cheese. We also added spicy crumbled Italian sausage because my boyfriend can't live without it! It was delicious. Was a tad watery but we didn't care at all!!!
  • This is a great recipe!! I made this tonight, as a double batch, so I put it in corningware to bake. I checked it at 25 minutes and felt like the zoodles were too crisp still, so I added more time. Then when we put into it, it was very watery. The flavored are all there, just wondering what I should have done differently. Thanks!
  • Just made this tonight! Delicious!
  • Wondering if anyone could give me some direction on how to make zucchini noodles like this? I see "Blade A" listed but I am not sure what tool was used.
  • Made this earlier, must admit it didn't turn out looking as good as yours :( but it was absolutely delicious, thanks for the recipe!
  • This might be my favorite spiralized recipe so far. We have made it many times. It's great with fresh tomatoes in season. We often add turkey meatballs. Definitely a keeper.
  • I made this for dinner tonight using my kitchen aid spiralizer. This was a fabulous meal. I also used fire roasted tomatoes as these are my favorite. SO, so good!
    • Yum! Sounds delicious!
  • So excited to try this out.
    • Yes! Let us know how it turns out!
  • I love my spiralizer but the blades are not marked A,B,C etc and I have a difficult time figuring out what size I need for my recipes. Thanks
    • In most cases, noodle shape is all about personal preference. Do your best to match the noodles shapes your spiralizer makes up with the ones made by the Inspiralizer!
  • I made this for dinner the other night and it was delicious! My only regret is that I didn’t double the recipe, because there was no leftovers. Thank you for another delicious recipe, you have become my go-to site for inspiration.
    • We're so happy you enjoyed it so much!!