Spinach & ricotta cannelloni

Spinach & ricotta cannelloni

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(52 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 40 mins


Makes 10 servings
Keep a few portions of this vegetarian classic in the freezer and you'll never be stuck for a satisfying supper

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal711
  • fat47g
  • saturates27g
  • carbs44g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre5g
  • protein30g
  • salt1.59g
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    For the tomato sauce

    • 3 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…

    • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 3 tbsp caster sugar
    • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 4 x 400g cans chopped chopped tomatoes
    • small bunch basil leaves

    For the topping

    • 2 x 250g tubs mascarpone
    • 3 tbsp milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 85g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated



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

    • 2 x 125g balls mozzarella, sliced

    For the filling

    • 1kg spinach



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

    • 100g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated



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

    • 3 x 250g tubs ricotta



      Ricotta is an Italian curd cheese. Made from whey, it is traditionally a by-product of making…

    • large pinch grated nutmeg
    • 400g dried cannelloni


    1. First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic for 1 min. Add the sugar, vinegar, tomatoes and some seasoning and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until thick. Add the basil and divide the sauce between 2 or more shallow ovenproof dishes (see Tips for freezing, below). Set aside. Make a sauce by beating the mascarpone with the milk until smooth, season, then set aside.

    2. Put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt it (you may need to do this in batches). When cool enough to handle squeeze out the excess water. Roughly chop the spinach and mix in a large bowl with 100g Parmesan and ricotta. Season well with salt, pepper and the nutmeg.

    3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Using a piping bag or plastic food bag with the corner snipped off, squeeze the filling into the cannelloni tubes. Lay the tubes, side by side, on top of the tomato sauce and spoon over the mascarpone sauce. Top with Parmesan and mozzarella. You can now freeze the cannelloni, uncooked, or you can cook it first and then freeze. Bake for 30-35 mins until golden and bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 mins before serving.

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    Comments (66)

    ilianatodorova's picture

    its fantastic meal

    auds_87's picture

    I made this dish at the weekend and absolutely loved it!! But I didn't use the cannelloni or lasanga sheets. I used a recipe for pancakes and made it with them. it was so easy, just make the pancakes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge and then when your filling is really just share it equally amongst the pancakes, roll them up and tuck into the dish! I would definitely make this recipe time and time again :D

    randomlight's picture

    messy fun! And very tasty too. I used ready made tomato sauce mixed with a tbsp of purée a little water and a few pinches of oregano,too make it more saucy.

    yic147's picture

    I thought this was delicious! I made half measures and it made 6 portions of 3 cannelloni tubes each, which I thought was more than enough - it was really filling! Maybe because I did individual portions there wasn't nearly enough of the mascarpone topping so I ended up whipping up a quick batch of Béchamel to finish the other portions off. I heeded everyone elses warnings about the sugar in the tomato sauce; as I was making half measures I used one and a half teaspoons instead of tablespoons and it worked really well. Also, the improvised freezer bag/piping bag was a triumph. Fun to make and scrummy to eat - my kind of food!

    badhabits777's picture

    To Roll up with Fresh Lasagne sheets.
    I used fresh cannelloni sheets in a 200g packet.
    Simply microwave the whole pack on high for 15secs and they will not split

    dpclough's picture

    OK, but a lot of effort, and ultimately not as tasty or satisfying as the 'Fresh lasagne with pesto' recipe on this website.

    dpclough's picture

    Very tasty. Used a wide butter knife to fill the tubes - easy to simply squash in.

    babytree's picture

    Really yummy!
    Although I'm vegetarian my husband and 3 children are commited carnivores so sneaking a veggie meal by them is usually tricky - the normal comment is 'nice but could have done with a couple of sausages on the side'! I'm pleased to report that no such comment followed dinner tonight - just lots of empty plates.
    I found the tomato sauce rather sweet, and though I'm not complaining, might use less sugar next time. I also used cheddar in place of the parmesan, not good for the waistline I know, but very tasty. I used a good quality icing bag (Lakeland!) to pipe the mixture (frozen spinach as suggested by another reviewer) and it wasn't too fiddly. Definitely going to be making it again.

    wrinkly's picture

    we made this the night and got half way through and realised we had nomascarpone cheese had a good look through the larder and found a packet of bechamel sauce ,tried it and it was very good

    balck777's picture

    Very nice. My only complaints are that it was a little too dry and quite high fat. I will definitely make it again, and next time I think I'll use a basic cheese sauce as the topping instead of the mascarpone sauce, as this accounted for about half of the fat content. Still, a very enjoyable dish.

    mamagregs's picture

    delicious! i use verdi lasanga sheets, softened in boiled water spoon in and roll! make it all in one go and freeze the rest!

    wrinkly's picture

    suggestion it is easier to use frozen hached spinach withcream it saves all the work of blending and saves all the the hard work of blending

    6dinnersid's picture

    Regular favourite in our house. Even the kids love it. Have made it as a lasagne before to save time (& mess) alternating the tomato & spinach sauce, then topping with the mascarpone mixture.

    yazz99's picture

    Absolutely delicious! It was very easy to make and tasted really impressive. One guest said, she makes cannelloni a lot and it's never tasted this good!
    Changes: I halved the recipe and I blended the spinach filling so make it easier to fill the cannelloni tubes.
    Tip: I used a sandwich bag with corner cut off to fill the tubes. I held the tip inside the tube when filling and it worked really well. It did look as it there wasn't enough of the mascarpone topping but it does spread in the oven.

    chezzap's picture

    Absolutely delicious and the first time I've made cannelloni. Each aspect of the recipe was straighforward. I didn't have a piping bag so filling the pasta tubes was tricky, despite using a plastic bag as suggested. The spinach needs to be chopped really finely to help filling the tubes (which I will do next time).

    I haved the recipe and it made 5 good portions.

    I will definately make it again, but I will also try and adapt it for my carnivore husband who likes his meat!

    emma-h22's picture

    I also usually use chopped frozen spinach for mine, works great just make sure u squeeze most of the water out so its not sloppy, but leave some so its not dry. I use a combination of ricotta and feta cheese for extra flavor which makes it delicious. I just put about half of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish, then the rest i pour over the top of the filled tubes. I leave out the mascarpone to make it lighter and just put a bit of grated cheese on the top of the tomato - yum!

    sicelo1's picture

    I halved the quantities (as a test run) and found it to be a bit dry! Otherwise, absolutely delicious. Should I add more milk or make a larger quantity of tomato sauce? Also, could I prepare this the day before?

    ladynellington's picture

    I made the 'healthier version' last night (and made a mighty mess as I didn't have a piping bag). My husband looked at it and asked 'Is there no meat in it?' but after a mouthful pretty much licked the dish clean!

    This is not necessarily a quick weekday fix, but boy-oh-boy was it worth the effort!

    pandora_mary's picture

    A fair amount of work and some very indulgent ingredients, but an excellent result. Definitely worth making every once in a while!

    gwendy71's picture

    Super, we have made this again and again and portion it for the freezer for our lunches. Very tasty


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