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Mexican Lasagna Bites

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  • Author: Cupcake from Brown Sugar
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 40-42 1x


  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1oz. taco seasoning
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 c. diced sliced jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 c. sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1416 Manocotti Shells
  • 5 eggs, whisked
  • 3 c. plain bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. ancho chilli powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/ 2 quarts vegetable oil
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 4 c. Fontina Cheese
  • 3/4 c. pico de gallo


  1. In a large pot with salted water, cook the manicotti shells until al dente. Once cooked, drain and turn to a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Lay out next to one another and place in the refrigerator to cool.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat and saute the onions for 2-3 minutes until softened. Now, add the ground beef and continue to cook until completely brown, about 10 minutes. Drain and remove from heat once cooked.
  3. Turning to a large bowl, add the taco seasoning, diced jalapeno, cilantro, and the diced tomatoes. Stir until well combined. Once the meat mixture is completely cooled, add the ricotta and white cheddar cheese. Stir until well mixed.
  4. TIP: Use diced tomatoes that have a Mexican flavor. I used chipotle diced tomatoes. I highly recommend using that flavor if you can find it.
  5. Remove the manicotti from the refrigerator, be careful to not split, take one manicotti and stuff it with the meat mixture by using your fingers. Make sure the manicotti is stuffed from each ends. Return the stuffed manicotti back to the baking sheet. Repeat process until all manicotti is stuffed. Turn to the freezer and let set for 15-30 minutes.
  6. Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer on 350 Degrees. Whisk the eggs in a large shallow bowl until whites and yolks are combined. Pour the bread crumbs into a separate bowl or plate and add spices (salt, paprika, ancho chili powder, onion powder) and whisk together. Remove the manicotti from the freezer and cut the manicotti with a sharp knife in 3rds or 4ths.
  7. Dip the manicotti in the eggs and roll into the bread crumbs. Carefully drop the manicotti pieces into the hot oil and allow to fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Remove from hot oil and place on plate lined with paper towel. Repeat process until complete.
  8. In a microwave safe bowl, add the fontina cheese and place in the microwave for 45 seconds at a time and stir after each segment until smooth. Add the pico de gallo to the cheese and stir until well mixed. Serve alongside with the manicotti bites!
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins