Deconstructed Zucchini Manicotti

Dinner, Healthy, Healthy (ish)

Zucchini Manicotti |

My favorite thing in the world to eat is pasta. Like, if I was seeing my last days and someone was like, Adrianna, what would you like to eat because dying sucks? I’d be like, BRING ME PASTA! A gigantic bowl of pasta bolognese with a glass of lambrusco would be it for me. So, it’s not really a surprise that the dish I crave the most when I’m trying to eat healthier is pasta.

Last year I got super into zucchini noodles with turkey meatballs every single night for like weeks, WEEKS. I actually first discovered the glory of spiralized vegetables from Ali’s blog, Inspiralized. At first I was like, uh, I dunno, I like real pasta but then I was needing something healthier in my life and this seemed like an awesome alternative.

Zucchini Manicotti |

And guess what? I felt A LOT better and of course, the pounds slowly came off (I was exercising a lot too, by the way). But zucchini noodles helped my brain think it was eating normal pasta. The flavors were still present so it made me really happy and satisfied.

This recipe is from Inspiralized! And I loooove the book. She’s pretty smart with a spiralizer, even figuring out how to make vegetable rice using the tool. I mean….really, really genius. There’s a carrot paella in here that looks incredible with carrot rice!

Zucchini Manicotti |

Zucchini Manicotti |

The next recipe I want to try is this clam zucchini linguine recipe. It looks soooo good and fresh.

A spiralizer comes with three blades: A, B, C and D (Ali walks you through all of this in the book). Before this recipe, I’d never even used another blade besides B, so she really did inspire me to make something that I normally wouldn’t ever do. When it comes to eating healthy, I really need ideas because I get bored fast! This book is really good in that department.

In a few weeks I’ll be starting a new healthy plan that will go 6 weeks. UGH. I’ll still be cooking my normal food for this space because butter is what I love but I’ll definitely be including new healthy dishes too.

In the meantime, check out Ali’s book and blog for new ideas, if you’re looking for new healthy stuff to cook!

Zucchini Manicotti |

Zucchini Manicotti |

Deconstructed Zucchini Manicotti

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serving Size: 1 (ten-inch) skillet of manicotti


For the Sauce

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 scant cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking spray or a teaspoon of olive oil
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 zucchini, spiralized with Blade A
  • 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and onion, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes and their juices, season with salt and pepper and stir. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. After 5 minutes, add the basil. Continue to simmer the sauce for 5 minutes more or until it is thickened.
  • Make the filling. Combine the cheeses and egg in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. When some water flicked onto the skillet sizzles, add the spinach and toss until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold into the cheese mixture.
  • Assemble the manicotti. Reserve half of the sauce and spread the remaining evenly on the bottom of the skillet. Place the zucchini noodles on top, then add the remaining sauce. Create two wells in the noodles and add the cheese filling. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the skillet and season with pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the noodles have softened and the cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Serving: 2g
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Recipe Rating

  • Reply almas.nathoo March 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Please I am looking for best hamburger recipe and as well as vege burger if you dont mind sharing

  • Reply Celeste @TheWholeServing February 27, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I’m so glad I found this post. I haven’t used my hospitalized in a while, I’m inspired to dust it off and get cooking.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply dominique @ February 24, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I’ve been wanting a spiralizer… this post makes me want it even more! Looks delicious!! 🙂

  • Reply Kari February 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I want a spiralizer so much but I don’t have any space left in my kitchen! 🙁

  • Reply Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life February 24, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I’ve got my eye on a better spiralizer than the one I currently have, but even though my zoodles aren’t perfect they are still delicious! I’m a huge pasta lover, but I also love my skinny jeans. Add to that the fact that I need GF pasta, and zucchini noodles become a healthy, every day option!
    I love the idea of turning them into a deconstructed manicotti too! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Ali’s book!

  • Reply Jenny @ The Peachy Pair February 24, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    An excuse to use my spiralizer? Yes, please!

  • Reply miss_tchiiif February 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

    this dish looks absolutely stunning ! its such a good idea to replace pasta by zucchini but I can just imagine how blissful this can be with parpadelle or linguine ! I’m off to try this asap (I don’t habe a spiralizer so I can’t go for the healthy version hehe)

  • Reply Kippy February 24, 2015 at 11:10 am

    This looks delish!! Did it turn out watery at all? That’s my only struggle when I make zucchini lasagna/pasta dishes, but this looks really good.

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme February 24, 2015 at 11:11 am

      There was a small amount of water but the recipe is smart because it tells you to cook the marinara sauce until it’s pretty thick, so when the zucchini releases a bit of water, it just makes it more saucy instead of watery.

  • Reply Jackie February 24, 2015 at 8:35 am

    I love Ali’s blog and can’t wait to get her book! These pictures are beautiful… I think they may finally convince my husband to try something zucchini based.

  • Reply Millie l Add A Little February 24, 2015 at 7:21 am

    This is such a fun idea Adrianna! I adore zoodles so this is so perfect for me!

  • Reply Rachel February 24, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Yum! And this looks beautiful! I have really been thinking about getting a spiralizer, but wasn’t sure just how much zucchini (or other veg) you’d need to make a complete dish. This looks awesome!

  • Reply Cristina February 24, 2015 at 5:21 am

    Wow that looks almost industrial! I too am a pasta fanatic looking for healthier options, so I may just have to try this!

  • Reply House cleaning Fulham February 24, 2015 at 3:20 am

    Looks very good and delicious. I love zucchini very much. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Felicia February 24, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Mm this looks really yummy! I love that slicing machine, looks really artistic.
    Thanks for a great recipe!