Enchilada Manicotti to the dilemma rescue

Italian food? Mexican food?

Mexican food? Italian food?

I am torn too often between the two cuisines because I love them both.

When faced with this dilemma, what do I do?

How about a mashup of both?

Does the thought of this raise your eyebrows and titillate your taste buds?

My Enchilada Manicotti recipe is really the perfect solution for me when I can’t decide.

It satisfies my craving for enchiladas and pasta and with every bite.

It has a delicious seasoned meat and refried filling that is piped into al dente manicotti shells.

Next, it is covered with smoky fire roasted tomatoes and enchilada sauce.

Top it off with a combination of cheddar, jack and mozzarella cheese, a few garnishes of your choice, and you have a meal that is hearty, delightful, family friendly and company worthy to be sure.

The recipe comes together pretty quickly and has a list of ingredients that are familiar and unfussy. If you mise en place – as we say in the culinary world – or gather all of your ingredients before you start, you will wiz through this recipe.

If you need a suggestion on what to serve with your Enchilada Manicotti, I got ya.

I love to serve them with a simple Spanish rice and some Mediterranean string beans (fresh, frozen or canned green beans that are drained) which are seasoned with garlic and diced onions that are sautéed in olive oil, then add dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste.

The next time you want Mexican food or Italian food, give this mashup a try. It is double delicioso and delizioso!

Enchilada Manicotti

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

A mashup you will never forget.


1 ½ pound ground meat (I used a combination 85% Lean Ground turkey and Italian turkey sausage)
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dehydrated chopped onion (has great, intense flavor)
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
4-ounce can diced green chilies
15-ounce can refried black beans
28-ounce can mild enchilada sauce
15-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar and jack blend and mozzarella)
8-ounce box Manicotti pasta (should contain 14 shells)
Optional – chopped olives, chopped green or red onion, chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro or basil


Gather all of your ingredients and cooking equipment before you begin.

Add ground meat to a heated non-stick skillet and cook until done, chopping to separate meat into small pieces. Cook meat completely until it is no longer pink. Drain off oil released from the meat.

To the cooked meat, add cumin, salt, dehydrated chopped onion, garlic powder, diced green chilies, black beans and ¾ cup enchilada sauce.

Mix well until all the ingredients are well blended. Set aside.

Cook manicotti pasta shells according to directions for al dente. When pasta is done, drain, cool with cold water then remove pasta shells from pot and drain on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper.

Spray a large, rectangular baking dish (at least 13 x 9 inches) with non-stick cooking spray. Pour 1 cup of enchilada sauce into the baking dish and spread it over the surface of the dish.

Spoon about a quarter of the meat and bean mixture into a quart size plastic zipper storage bag. Seal the bag and clip off the tip of one of the corners.

Pick up a cooked manicotti shell and squeeze the bag to fill each shell with the bean and meat mixture.   

Place each filled manicotti shell into baking dish. Continue to refill the plastic zipper bag with the meat and bean filling until all the shells are filled.  If your baking dish is not large enough to lay them all flat, just stack them on top of each other.

Note: If you have any leftover meat and bean filling, just go back and pipe a little bit of it into all the pasta shells until you have used it all.

Pour the entire can of fire roasted tomatoes over top of the filled shells. Next pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the filled shells.

Top with shredded cheese. Add chopped onion and black olives if desired.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.

Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream if desired.

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