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Aldi Spinach & Cheese Manicotti (Priano) Review

Priano Spinach & Cheese Manicotti from Aldi, cooked with marinara sauce and mozzarella and served on a white plate.

You will need extra ingredients. Duh.

I was in a hurry (as usual) when I grabbed this Priano Manicotti from Aldi, so I didn’t realize I needed sauce and cheese (and a baking dish) to make this. Duh. I thought it was a “heat & serve” meal, because it was sold next to the other prepared entrees at my local Aldi. But, it’s really just a tray of naked noodle cocoons wrapped around cheesey goo. You have to prepare it at home with your own extra ingredients, and then bake it before serving.

Ingredients needed to prepare Aldi's Priano Manicotti with Spinach and Cheese.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s STILL a time-saver. With baking and cooling time, it was ready to eat in about an hour. And there were far fewer dishes to wash than making this from scratch.

A cooked manicotti from Aldi, covered in marinara sauce in a baking dish.

Anyway. I bought a $2 jar of Priano Marinara sauce, and I found a block of mozzarella on sale for $3 (at Publix). And I used some precious parmesan shavings that I bought for my caesar salads. Hmph! So the total cost to make this was about $11-12. At that point, and with the preparation effort, I’m not sure this manicotti was a worthwhile buy. At least, not compared to purchasing a frozen family-sized entree, like lasagna. Particularly because there is no meat. It definitely wasn’t some kind of magical bargain.

A hand holding an uncooked noodle wrap from a package of Aldi Spinach & Cheese Manicotti from Priano storebrand.

The manicotti are petite, and made from flat noodles that are wrapped around ricotta filling. The spinach is almost non-existent. In fact, I briefly considered that I’d hallucinated when I read the label — and perhaps there wasn’t any spinach at all. But my package clearly says “Spinach & Cheese.” Spinach is listed BEFORE cheese. Where’s the spinach, Aldi? Where??? I found a few tiny specks per bite, but I honestly thought they were parsley bits or some other seasoning. Mystery herbs.

A hand holding a black plastic tray with 10 uncooked manicotti from Aldi.

There are 10 small manicotti per tray. I ate two as a meal, but I had a massive amount of cheese on it to bulk up the calories. And dessert afterwards. Otherwise, I would have needed three manicotti for a semi-decent meal. The label says there are “about” 4 servings of 3 “pieces” per package — which is pretty sneaky — since 4 servings would be 12 manicotti, not 10. If you have a family of 4, only two of you are getting a real “serving.” Hunger Games style.

A glass baking pan with a layer of marinara sauce from Aldi poured into the bottom.

How to Cook Priano Manicotti

To make this, I poured half a 24 ounce jar of marinara sauce into the bottom of an 8 x 10 baking dish. Then I arranged the manicotti in two rows of 5, and topped with the rest of the sauce.

A hand holding a glass baking dish with two rows of uncooked Aldi Priano Manicotti over a layer of marinara sauce.

Because my cheese was in block form, I sliced it and laid the slices on top. I used a full 8 ounces of mozzarella, but I could have gotten away with half that much for a less cheesy result. I also sprinkled about 1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese on top.

Layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese over a pan of uncooked Aldi Manicotti.

I baked mine uncovered in a preheated 400 degree oven for 35 minutes, and then let it cool for another 10-15 minutes before serving.

A glass baking dish with a cheese-topped spinach manicotti from Aldi.

BTW, my opinion of the Priano marinara sauce is that it has a wonderful thickness, and an enticing smell, but it is far, far too sweet. I also added salt and pepper to mine, because it was oddly bland.

A hand holding a jar of Aldi Priano Marinara Sauce over a wooden table.

The manicotti pasta is delicate and tender, without being soggy or too soft. Due to the added bread crumbs, the ricotta filling maintains a pleasing structured shape after baking, but is still soft and creamy. I would have personally preferred less ricotta taste and more evidence of other cheeses — there is technically romano and parmesan, but it overwhelmingly tastes like ricotta. I think some added pepper helps bring out the flavor, too — it’s slightly bland.

A fork holding a bite of Aldi Priano Spinach & Cheese Manicotti.

As previously mentioned, the spinach appears to be AWOL. There are only a few confusing bits of…something greenish…inside the filling. I am still not sure it is spinach. I mean, it probably IS. But, how can we be sure???

Dramatic Conclusion

In conclusion, I am not sure I would purchase this again. I don’t hate it, but it wasn’t a great value, and it doesn’t deliver as much flavor (or spinach) as I’d hoped. Still, it was tasty, and not difficult to prepare.

Nutrition Facts from a package of Priano Spinach & Cheese Manicotti from Aldi.

Nutrition Facts and Price

There are 16 grams of protein per serving, but is that if you eat 2 manicotti? Or 3 manicotti? Nobody knows. There are also 10 grams of fat, and 2 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of sugar per mystery serving.

The 19 ounce tray of 10 manicotti cost $5.55 at my local Aldi. Per serving (without the extra ingredients), this is $1.39.

After preparation, the price per serving is closer to $2.75-3.

The Priano marinara sauce cost $2.09 at Aldi. I used Galbani Mozzarella cheese from Publix, which is normally $4.29. The Bel Gioioso shaved parmesan is $3.99 (at Publix), but I only used a portion of the package.

Ingredients in Aldi Manicotti with Spinach and Cheese from imported Italian Priano store brand.

Ingredients in Aldi Priano Manicotti

Here are the ingredients from the label:

  • Filling
    • Ricotta Cheese (Whey, Milk, Bacterial Culture, Salt, Citric Acid)
    • Toasted Wheat Crumbs (Wheat Flour, Yeast)
    • Romano Cheese (Milk, Bacterial Culture, Salt, Microbial Enzyme, Lipase)
    • Parmesan Cheese (Milk, Bacterial Culture, Salt, Lipase, Microbial Enzyme)
    • Spinach
    • Salt
    • Spices
  • Pasta
    • Enriched Durum Wheat Semolina (Enriched with Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
    • Water
    • Liquid Whole Egg

I’m impressed by how natural and simple these ingredients are. Good job, Aldi! I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.

This manicotti is made in Canada.

Detail of a spinach and cheese manicotti from Aldi Priano brand, sitting on a white plate.

Shelf Life

My tray of Priano Manicotti expired about 12 days after purchase. I had to throw away one serving, because one of the manicotti was bitter, like it had already spoiled. The rest were OK.

The End.

More Reviews of Aldi Products You Might Like (or Hate)

Check out a few other reviews of Aldi stuff I’ve written:

Author’s note: I have no affiliation with Aldi or Publix and I wasn’t compensated in any way for this review.

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