Pumpkin Manicotti with Bechamel Sauce

This recipe has been featured in a How-To post on The Recipe Girl blog: Pumpkin and Spinach Manicotti

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep Time: 50 min

Cook Time: 1 hr, 45 min

Pumpkin Manicotti w/ Bechamel Sauce


2 boxes manicotti noodles, prepared to al dente & set aside to cool

1 sugar (pie) pumpkin, peeled, seeds scraped out & diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
salt and pepper

8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1 pound low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage
2 cups (packed) chopped fresh spinach
2 Tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 pound ball of mozzarella cheese, chopped into 1/4-inch cubes
1 large egg
Salt and pepper

5 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups low fat milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped fresh sage


1. Roast the pumpkin: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss pumpkin with olive oil and salt & pepper. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spread coated pumpkin cubes onto tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes; toss and then roast for 10 more minutes (until slightly tender). Let cool.

2. While pumpkin is roasting, prepare sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

3. In a large bowl, mix all filling ingredients together. Stir in cooled, roasted pumpkin cubes.

4. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with nonstick spray. Stuff noodles with filling using small cocktail fork or spoon (or see *Tips below).

5. Spoon a layer of sauce on bottom of pan, then lay stuffed manicotti noodles side by side on top of sauce. Cover with remainder of sauce. Sprinkle with fresh sage.

6. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.


*Another idea for filling the noodles… put filling ingredients in a couple of quart-sized bags. Snip the corner, rubber band the top of the bag and squeeze into the cooked noodles.
*All of the noodles might not fit into a 9x13-inch pan. You may need an additional 8x8-inch pan to make room.

Source: RecipeGirl.com


  1. postedOct 8, 2009 4:20 AM

    Now doesn’t this look simply glorious!!! It sure sounds like you had a blast at the conference, Lori. I hope to attend one someday. Great tip getting that dreamy filling all cozy. Thanks for sharing…

  2. postedOct 8, 2009 7:12 AM

    This looks wonderful and I’m anxious to try it, but how much is 1 pie pumpkin? Can you give me some idea as to the size of the pumpkin or the quantity of cubes? Thanks.

    • postedOct 8, 2009 10:43 AM

      Kathy, Pie pumpkins are smallish pumpkins that you’ll find in your market (they’re sometimes labeled as sugar pumpkins). I didn’t weigh weigh or measure it olut or anything, but I would imagine that when I cut it up, I came out with about 4-5 cups of cubed pumpkin. You can wing it on the pumpkin- however much you want in there is perfectly fine.

  3. postedOct 9, 2009 8:44 AM
    RecipeGirl's Mom


    This looks really good. Wish I was there to share. Guess I’ll have to make it for myself (ha). Then I’d get to eat it all!

  4. postedOct 12, 2009 4:20 PM
    Cait B

    My boyfriend and I made this tonight – or technically he “made” it as a surprise dinner and I “supervised” – at any rate, this was fantastic. The sauce is great, but I found that I ran low and had to make a separate small pan with red sauce – still fantastic! I think this might be our new go-to for a great fall dish. And thanks for the tip on using icing-style filling bags – it made a tough job so much easier! Can’t wait to make it again and check out your other recipes!

  5. postedOct 12, 2009 4:45 PM

    Oh doesn’t that look great! I would probably use squash since I have about 200 lbs of it to use up, but I love this idea!

  6. postedOct 12, 2009 4:48 PM

    This is right up my alley, Lori! I love anything pumpkin, I bet some goat cheese in the filling would be awesome, too. Really loving this!

  7. postedOct 13, 2009 5:34 AM

    Oh, yeah, this dish rocks. My husband would definitely love it. Perfect for fall.

  8. postedMay 12, 2010 10:49 PM

    The butternut squash substitution worked like a charm, and made enough filling for both a full round of manicotti *AND* a day-later lasagna!

    Both versions were extremely popular at my house, but because I was such a spazz with filling the manicotti, I think I’ll go lasagna in the future. But this is definitely getting added to my “fancy dinner/potluck” rotation. NOM!! Thank you!

  9. postedSep 26, 2012 7:27 PM

    How many cups of pumpkin does one sugar pie pumpkin yield?

    • postedSep 26, 2012 7:28 PM

      Hi Kathy- I’m not sure… but they’re all about the same size, aren’t they?

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