Spinach & three cheese cannelloni

Spinach & three cheese cannelloni

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(43 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr

More effort

Serves 4
A delicious Italian-style veggie main - make ahead and freeze

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen uncooked
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal660
  • fat39g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs49g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre6g
  • protein32g
  • salt2.32g
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    For the tomato sauce

    • 1 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 3 garlic clove, finely sliced
    • pinch golden caster sugar
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 1 tsp dried oregano



      Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

    • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomato

    For the filling

    • 500g spinach, washed



      Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

    • 300g soft rindless goat's cheese
    • 100g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated



      Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

    • pinch grated nutmeg
    • 200g dried cannelloni tubes
    • 1 ball mozzarella, sliced


    1. First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a shallow pan, then fry the garlic for 1 min until fragrant. Add the sugar, vinegar and oregano. Simmer for a moment, then tip in the tomatoes and season. Simmer sauce for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked down to a thick sauce. Turn off heat and set aside.

    2. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the spinach in a large colander, then pour over a kettle of hot water to wilt it (you may need to do this twice). Pour over cold water to cool it down. Squeeze the spinach, then place it in a clean tea towel and wring out the water really well.

    3. Tip the spinach into a food processor and pulse to chop, then crumble in the goat’s cheese and half the Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then blitz until everything is finely chopped. Using a piping bag, or a plastic food bag with the corner cut off, squeeze the mix into the cannelloni tubes, then lay them, side by side, in a baking dish. Pour over the tomato sauce and top with the mozzarella and remaining Parmesan. The cannelloni can now be frozen for up to 1 month – defrost completely before cooking. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden and bubbling, then remove and leave to stand for 5 mins. Serve from the dish.

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    Comments (47)

    clarel's picture

    I have already given this recipe full marks but having made it several times now my conclusion is that like 'Pud' there is not enough filling but also that in common with some of the other recipes on here it doesn't feed 4 people. I'm cooking for 3 and it looks a bit measly when I serve it. Going to definitely do again but increase quantities.

    flocorcutt's picture

    This is yummy! Takes some time and patience to make, but well worth the effort.

    tburleton's picture

    Decided on this recipe for a dinner party at the weekend thought I'd get ahead
    but the filling only filled 120g cannelloni tubes which means there won't be
    enough !!!! which is really frustrating, has anyone else experienced this problem.
    Am now going to have to go out and buy more ingredients and start all over again
    not happy about that at all because of this I'm only awarding 3 stars.

    pixieloveheart's picture

    Very tasty! I used ricotta instead of goat's cheese. It is definitely worth investing in a piping bag!

    arellegee's picture

    Really delicious! I now use the tomato sauce recipe as a base for other dishes. Another great recipe from Barney. Do you have a recipe book?

    becc_a's picture

    I really like this recipe, but I didnt bother with the processor I just wilted the spinach in the pan and drained it them mixed with the cheese, I used ricotta. I find its a bit dry without the tomato sause so I made my own and topped with shavings of parmesan and bread crumbs to make it crispy. Def worth trying.

    annelisarkanen's picture

    Delicious, although made a mess with the make-shift piping bag. I'll invest in a proper one next time. Had to use sparingly to fill all the tubes...

    farahrahim7's picture

    it tasted verriii gud u knwwww. x even though it looks quiet discutingx

    btp100's picture

    Really good. I switch one of the cans of tomatoes for 5-6 fresh skinned tomatoes to make it taste a little...fresher. The tangy tomato sauce is pefectly complemented by all that lovely cheesiness. This makes for a delicious veggy meal when served with a nice salad.

    goldielocks's picture

    I made this recently and found it to be really tasty much better than what you would buy. I found using a food bag with the corner cut off as a piping bag to fill the cannelloni tubes reasonably usefull.

    The trouble I found with this method it was slightly messy. As I ended up with an air gap in the middle of the cannelloni tube and had to poke the mixture down with my fingers. Perhaps I need to purchase a piping bag to achieve a better result for next time.

    cat123's picture

    Really tasty, and easier than I expected from the 'moderately easy' tag (although that might be because I made it as a lasagne rather than stuffing cannelloni tubes - much less messy!). I left out the nutmeg as I didn't realise I didn't have any until I'd started cooking: I didn't notice anything missing but I'll have to try it again, with nutmeg, to double-check (that's my excuse, anyway!).

    hussaincurrimbhoy's picture

    lovely. we replaced parmesean cheese with ricotta (slight concerns about the fat content) but we still couldn't stop eating. 25 mins was perfect. just enough for 2 with enough for lunch tomorrow. will do this again now that i know its so easy.

    carolpwilson's picture

    Did this for a mixed group - veggie and non-veggie - and we all enjoyed it very much. Filling the cannelloni tubes was a bit tiresome but well worth the effort especially as the filling I produced seemed a bit moist! The vinegar and sugar gave the tomato sauce a good flavour. I'll try adding chopped mushrooms next time for a bit of added flavour. Would definitely make again - even for a non-veggie gathering,

    sweetbilly's picture

    I made this for supper with friends and we all loved it. I did cheat,
    I was short of time and used a well known brand of pasta bake instead of the tomato sauce. I also added sliced mushrooms.
    I will certainly cook it again.

    naoimhd's picture

    Lovely recipe and a real hit my in-laws!! I was lazy though, and used bought passata instead of making my own!!

    joannemtt's picture

    This dish was really delicious! I also experienced problems with the food bag - it split and ended up having to try and push the filling in to the pasta with the end of a wooden spoon! Will definitely invest in a piping bag for next time. Was worth the effort and the mess though. I also added more than a pinch of sugar to the sauce as it was quite sharp tasting.

    tanyah's picture

    This dish was delish, just add a pinch of sugar to the tomato sauce. It was so lovely I wished I had made double to freeze!
    Enjoyed by the kids too

    myfanwy's picture

    Great recipe. Added tuna to the cheese and spinach mix, which added a nice extra taste. I forgot to top each layer with the tomato sauce and only did so at the very end, but made sure there was enough so that the lasagne would cook.

    Frantic Flapjack's picture

    This was fabulous. I did make a few adjustments though. Added two pinches of sugar to tomato sauce and used Boursin garlic cheese instead of goats cheese. I didn't have enough filling though to fill 200g of cannelloni tubes. Served with mixed salad and garlic bread. The tip with the tea towel to squeeze out the water worked a treat too.

    benadam's picture

    My husband and I loved this recipe and I will make it again. However do not use the bag with a corner cut off unless it is a very robust bag. Mine split and the mess created was very green! Had to send my husband out to buy an icing bag before I could continue


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