Traditionally manicotti recipes call for a mixture of ricotta cheese and herbs piped into the noodles before covering them in marinara sauce and popping them in the oven. But, there's so many other things the tasty tube can be filled with for a fun change of pace.

My wife and I enjoy cooking, but trying to find something new that our kids will also enjoy can be difficult sometimes. When I came across the recipe for Pizza-Style Manicotti in a recent issue of Taste of Home magazine (mock if you will, but I get pretty excited when it shows up in the mail), I knew it was something that wouldn't be too difficult to make, and while it would be different from traditional manicotti we've made in the past, I knew it would be "fun" enough for the kids to dig it.

The recipe calls for a stick of string cheese wrapped in a piece of deli sliced ham and pepperoni then stuffed inside the manicotti after cooking it according to the package directions. From there you pour marinara, or in this case, pizza sauce on top, pop it in the oven, and enjoy.

This got me and my wife thinking of other possible stuffing ideas for manicotti. Here's a few we came up with*:

*Please note, we have not tried any of the following, only guessing (and assuming) they would work. All bake times and temps based off Pizza-Style Manicotti recipe.

Philly Cheesesteak Manicotti

Wrap slices of deli sliced roast beef around sticks of mozzarella or cheddar cheese and a few thin slices of onion and green pepper and stuff into cooked shells. Cover with a can of cheddar cheese soup, and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Cheeseburger Manicotti

Brown one pound of ground beef, mix in shredded cheddar cheese and onion, and pipe into cooked shells. Cover with cheddar cheese soup and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Enchilada Manicotti

Put a Mexican spin on an Italian dish by browning ground beef and seasoning with taco seasoning packet. Stir in black beans and stuff into manicotti shells. Cover with enchilada sauce and shredded Mexican Cheese Blend and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Vegetarian Manicotti

Saute mix of diced carrot, green pepper, onion, zucchini, squash, or any other combination of your favorite veggies until crisp-tender. Stuff into cooked manicotti shells, cover with marinara sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Again, these are just ideas we batted around last night, we haven't tried these ourselves, so there may be some trial and error to any or all of them if you choose to give them a shot. And in the event you do give one a go, shoot me an e-mail and let me know how it turned out. I'd be more than happy to share your recipe here on the site.