Beef cannelloni

Beef cannelloni

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(29 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 1 hr, 20 mins


Serves 12
This is easier than you think to make and is so delicious, make double and pop one in the freezer

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal479
  • fat23g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre2g
  • protein31g
  • salt1.28g
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  • 1kg lean minced beef
  • 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…

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 660g jars passata with basil
  • large pinch caster sugar
  • 400g dried cannelloni tubes

For the topping

  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml whole milk
  • 140g soft cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 140g Parmesan, grated



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


  1. For the filling, dry-fry the beef in a non-stick pan on a medium-high heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned – about 10 mins. Remove and set aside. Add the oil and cook the onion for 5 mins, until soft. Add the garlic for 1 min more, then tip in the beef and 1½ jars of the passata sauce and the sugar. Simmer for 20 mins while you make the white sauce.

  2. Heat the butter in a small pan. When foaming, stir in the flour for 1 min. Add the milk gradually, stirring all the time to achieve a lump-free sauce, then bubble for 2 mins while stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the soft cheese with seasoning until dissolved. Set aside, covered with cling film to stop a skin forming.

  3. To assemble, pour the remaining tomato sauce into the base of 2-3 large baking dishes or 12 individual ovenproof dishes or foil containers. Spoon the beef into the cannelloni tubes using a teaspoon and lay on top of the sauce. Pour on the white sauce, then sprinkle with Parmesan. If freezing, allow to cool, then freeze wrapped well in cling film. To eat straight away, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook for 40-45 mins until the pasta is tender and topping golden. Defrost frozen cannelloni thoroughly, then cook as above for 50 mins-55 mins (or see tip).

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Comments (34)

keenoyt's picture

Just made this again but added a red pepper finely diced and fresh garlic to the cheese sauce and its still amazing! Omnomnom!

cshobbs's picture

Excellent! But, as suggested, I did replace the tubes with lasagne sheets, filled and then rolled up. I substituted the soft cheese with goat's cheese - great sauce.

simonekrieger's picture

This is a lovely recipe. Yes, filling cannelloni is diddly, but worth the effort. Don't bother trying a piping bag though as al that happens is the liquid runs all over your hands and the meat gets caught up in the bag! Using fresh lasagne sheets is a quicker alternative, but more expensive.

katy_t's picture

A new favourite in our house- absolutely delicious! I even used extra light soft cheese and it was fantastic...

janjanorsett's picture

The family loved this recipe found it easy albeit a bit messy was worth it though I added some red wine and a little beef stock for extra flavour will certainly be doing this again.

jweg1210's picture

Went down a storm with the whole family... but like everybody else I found filling cannelloni tubes tiresome and will do the recipe as a lasagne next time.

rubysoho's picture

I cooked this for family this eve. Would definitly make again. So glad I prepared it ahead as filling the cannelloni tubes was fiddly work. I advise having music on in the back ground, otherwise it gets a bit tedious!

I have a brother who can be a bit of a fussy eater, but he loved this.

Certainly a keeper!

dc1961's picture

Cannelloni tubes are a very fiddly option. Try laying sheets of lasagne and placing a line of sauce down the middle, roll both sides over to the middle (making a tube). If you do this in the dish, you won't have much mess and it definitely doesn't make as much mess as the actual tubes do.

susannahgrammar's picture

Declared the new favourite in our house. This is the best white sauce recipe I have ever encountered - 5 stars for preparation ease and taste.

keenoyt's picture

O...M...G! absolutely delicious! will definately make this again! so easy to make too! i think i will use a piping bag to fill the cannelloni next time tho lol

clairelou88's picture

really lovely! very fiddily though!

odettesproat's picture

This was absolutely delicious! I found it a bit fiddly spooning the mixture into the cannelloni tubes so next time I will just get lasagne sheets and do it like a lasagne instead. Partner and toddler loved it too and all went back for seconds!

Hawie's picture

Huge hit, my kids can't get enough of this. It was really easy to make and I agree that putting the garlicky cheese into the sauce was a real winner - gave it lots of flavour and made it really simple to make. It's fab to make a double batch just like that, too.

boistizon's picture

This was quick, easy and good to eat. I used only one jar of passata and made up the difference with red wine, I also found that it needed more oregano than suggested, but the cream cheese and herbs in the white sauce was lovely, will do this again when making lasagne.


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