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Mexican Manicotti Casserole Recipe and Freezer Meal

Mexican Manicotti casserole is a delicious, easy to make, comforting, Low-Sugar meal. Enjoy this yummy Mexican Ground beef casserole dish full of Mexican seasonings and flavor. 

I made a dish a  few times, back in the old days, that required stuffing cannelloni pasta shells. That was an incredibly frustrating meal to prepare.

The cannelloni shells broke. I became a frustrated cook with Italian stuffing all over everywhere.  Except in those darned noodles!

All the same, we loved that dinner. Even though It looked like mangled lasagna. What’s the point? I’ll just make my Mom’s lasagna.

And that’s exactly what I did. For a LONG time. But one day…

That old manicotti recipe called me back. I wanted it to succeed! I wandered down the grocery aisle and found these manicotti shells. I determinedly placed the box of pasta shells in my cart!

Happily, I had a much better experience this time.

Mexican (Taco) manicotti is a really fun way to make manicotti casserole. I’ll make manicotti Italian casserole sometime. But for today I’m going with my Mexican taco filling.

Mexican Manicotti Casserole Notes:

Manicotti noodles are stronger than cannelloni. I found a REALLY small jam spoon in my silverware drawer; (a baby spoon would also work). The small spoon made it easy to push the stuffing into the manicotti shells without too much trouble.

TIPS for this recipe:

This is an easy Mexican casserole to prepare. Just make the stuffing. Then stuff and bake.

  1. Oil your baking pan to prevent the casserole sticking
  2. Be SURE to use the Manicotti noodles so your noodles are strong enough to stuff
  3. Use a very small spoon to push the stuffing into the manicotti


Mexican Manicotti Casserole

Mexican Manicotti casserole. The manicotti is unbaked when stuffed which makes putting this dish together easy!

Make Ahead Meal:

This is a great ground beef casserole recipe make ahead recipe. I like that! If I EVER have the meal planning forethought to think about dinner a day ahead, that is. For those of you that do, Just assemble the casserole and refrigerate it until needed.

You can make it the night before, or the morning of, the day you plan to bake it. 30 minutes before your bake time, remove your Mexican Manicotti Casserole from the fridge to warm up.

Freezer Meal Instructions:

You can also Freeze this Taco casserole in a tightly covered dish for up to 3 months. This a great make ahead freezer meal. Just Remember to LABEL the Foil wrap with the recipe name, DATE and Baking instructions. 

If someone you know has a tight schedule or family crisis. Pull this dinner recipe out of the freezer.  

Mexican Manicotti Casserole

Mexican Manicotti Casserole

Mexican Casserole Recipe Notes:

As I mentioned above a small jam spoon or baby spoon will work best to push the filling into the manicotti. Manicotti is a bit more durable and cannelloni however it will break if you get too rough with it.

This Taco Stuffed Manicotti casserole has instructions in the Recipe card for BOTH Microwave and Conventional oven instructions. Feel free to use whichever works best for you.

Mexican beef casseroles are a big crowd pleaser. I like to serve this one with a big green salad like our Kale Apple Salad or  garden berry salad. The sweet in these salads add a nice counterpoint to the Mexican flavors. 

Mexican Manicotti Casserole
Yield: 12

Mexican Manicotti Casserole

Mexican Manicotti casserole is a delicious, easy to make, comforting, Low-Sugar meal. Enjoy this yummy pasta dish full of Mexican seasonings and flavor.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans(I'm using non-fat)
  • 1 Tablespoon Taco seasoning (or one packet- to taste)
  • 1 (8 ounce) package manicotti-uncooked
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 16 ounces picante sauce(or any salsa of this type)
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 6 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion (additional for garnish)
  • 1 cup chopped ripe tomato(additional for garnish)
  • 1/2 Cup chopped pasilla pepper(additional for garnish)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet brown hamburger, onion and peppers. Season with the taco seasoning
  3. Add the refried beans and half the cheese. Stir and Cook to warm and melt the cheese.
  4. Stuff the uncooked manicotti shells with the hamburger mixture and place tightly together in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  5. Mix together the Picante(or any salsa of this type) and water.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the casserole.
  7. Pour the diluted picante sauce evenly over the cheese.
  8. Bake 45 minutes tightly covered. Remove the cover and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes until browned and bubbly.
  9. Serve with sour cream and additional onions, tomatoes and peppers for garnish.


This recipe puts the cheese topping on after microwave.

  1. Cover the dish with microwave-safe cover.
  2. Cut a few holes in the wrap or set the cover up so it vents slightly.
  3. Microwave on High power for 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully pull back the plastic wrap or remove cover to avoid steam.
  5. Remove the casserole from the microwave.
  6. Turn the shells over with tongs.
  7. Replace the plastic and microwave an additional 15 to 20 minutes on Medium power, until the shells are cooked and the liquid has been absorbed.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 368Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 101mgSodium 788mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 2gSugar 4gProtein 26g

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Mexican Manicotti Dinner-Pin Image

A south of the border twist on a favorite dish! Our Mexican manicotti casserole is a nutritious meal with amazing flavor, it freezes well and makes amazing leftovers! #manicotti #mexican #recipe #easy #cheese #beef

Inspiration for Mexican Manicotti

Ground Beef Stuffed Manicotti Casserole-Pin Image
Mexican Manicotti casserole is a delicious, easy to make, comforting, Low-Sugar meal. Enjoy this yummy Mexican Ground beef casserole dish full of Mexican seasonings and flavor.

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