Beef cannelloni

Beef cannelloni

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(40 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, questions and tips

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29th Sep, 2013
Delicious! I used lasagne and rolled each sheet. Although I loved the cheese sauce made with the soft garlic cheese, I think next time - and there will definitely be a next time - I will use more milk to make the sauce more runny!
16th Sep, 2013
literally just made this and it was absolutely lovely. Made to the recipe, though i added fresh basil leaves to the mince as well as the basil passata. Prefer this dish to lasagne, much easier to serve!
14th Aug, 2013
This dish was delicious!! I persevered with the cannelloni tubes by filling them by standing them on end in the baking dish then leaning them down. This stops the filling coming out and ensures it does not spill all over the table! Mine needed about 10 minutes less than the time. But other than that it was a delicious meal for all of the family.
3rd May, 2013
Great change from lasagna. Used lamb mince instead and was delicious.
3rd Apr, 2013
Just made this again but added a red pepper finely diced and fresh garlic to the cheese sauce and its still amazing! Omnomnom!
26th Feb, 2013
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.
29th Dec, 2012
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.
13th Sep, 2012
A new favourite in our house- absolutely delicious! I even used extra light soft cheese and it was fantastic...
11th Sep, 2012
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.
17th Jun, 2012
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.


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