Pumpkin Manicotti

Go Bold With Butter

A visit to the pumpkin patch with my daughter always leaves me inspired to cook more with pumpkin! I have a few favorite baked pumpkin recipes that I make every year—yes, pumpkin pie is on the list—but it seems like this orange globe kinda gets the brush off when it comes to creating meals that are on the savory side.

One of my favorite fall dinners is a basic manicotti recipe that I’ve swapped out traditional spinach for canned pumpkin and topped with a sage and garlic infused white sauce. It’s great for serving a crowd and can be made up to two days ahead, and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake.

If you feel like roasting your own pumpkin instead of using canned, I recommend you try the sugar pumpkins for best flavor and tenderness thanks to their smaller size. Just cut pumpkin in half, add a tablespoon of butter to each side, season with salt and pepper, and roast cut side up on a baking sheet for 45-60 minutes or so at 350°F.

Pumpkin Manicotti
Makes 8-10 servings


1 (8 ounce) package manicotti noodles
3 cups milk
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided
1/8 cup fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
¼ cup flour
1 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated


Preheat oven at 350°F. Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. Once water comes to boil, add oil and salt water well and cook noodles for 5-8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse noodles and set aside.

In a saucepan, bring milk to a boil, lower to simmer and add garlic. Simmer for 15 minutes until garlic flavor infuses milk. Remove garlic from mixture and discard.

In a separate small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter, add sage leaves and cook until crisp. Remove sage leaves from butter pan to drain and set aside. Add 6 tablespoons butter to remaining sage butter in pan, and melt over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add reserved garlic-infused milk mixture and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, whisking so sauce does not stick or burn. Season with ½ teaspoon salt, remove from heat and let cool.

Layer a 13 X 9 inch pan with 1/2 cup of sauce.

In a large bowl, mix Ricotta, pumpkin puree, egg, nutmeg and salt. Add ½ cup Mozzarella and mix. Fill a large Ziploc freezer bag with pumpkin mixture, clip one corner with a ¼” cut and pipe manicotti tubes with Ricotta cheese mixture so a little bit overflows on ends.

Place manicotti tubes side by side in pan, repeating until you run out of shells and filling. Spoon remaining sauce on top of shells, top with remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle sage leaves on top of cheese, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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4 thoughts on “Pumpkin Manicotti

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    • Kenny said:

      It depends on why he won’t eat Ricotta. You could try goat cheese, which has a similar texture but different flavor. However, if the texture is the problem, goat cheese isn’t the answer…

  1. Thanks for your reply!! It’s the texture and taste he says..but probably just the texture 🙂 He doesn’t eat goat cheese, either. Thanks for trying!

  2. Marvissa said:

    Hi Ashley,
    My children do not like to eat ricotta either so I always substitute it with Mozzarella or a pizza cheese blend. I feel that it melts well, and the ricotta will not be missed