Spinach & cheese CANNELLONI

Spinach & cheese CANNELLONI

A juicy spinach and ricotta filling inside cannelloni pasta tubes, topped with a simple homemade tomato basil sauce and melted cheese.

This is one of my meals that I prepare to give to friends and a great one to prepare for dinners.

I love cannelloni and I make them often during most of the year.

Cannelloni are a dry tube-shaped pasta. It is stuffed with filling, covered with sauce and cheese and then baked in the oven. It does not need to be cooked before filling, it softens when cooked in the oven.

The most common variety is a spinach and ricotta filling topped with a tomato sauce which is the version I share today.

The spinach and ricotta filling is creamy, has the perfect ratio of spinach and ricotta and made tastier with the addition of Parmesan and cheese. It tastes so good that I can eat it in spoonfuls straight from the bowl!

Spinach & cheese CANNELLONI

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostCheap
  • Preparation time20 Minutes
  • Cooking time35 Minutes
  • Serving4/6 PORTION
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineItalian
555,16 Kcal
calories per serving
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  • Power 555,16 (Kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 40,61 (g) of which sugars 6,67 (g)
  • Proteins 28,97 (g)
  • Fat 31,80 (g) of which saturated 15,30 (g)of which unsaturated 7,71 (g)
  • Fibers 6,18 (g)
  • Sodium 908,09 (mg)

Indicative values for a portion of 200 g processed in an automated way starting from the nutritional information available on the CREA* and FoodData Central** databases. It is not food and / or nutritional advice.

* CREATES Food and Nutrition Research Center: https://www.crea.gov.it/alimenti-e-nutrizione https://www.alimentinutrizione.it ** U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov


  • 14 ouncesspinach (cooked fresh or frozen)
  • 25 ouncesplum tomatoes (750 g)
  • 1 clovegarlic
  • 4 tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
  • 1onion
  • 10 leavesbasil
  • 1egg
  • 5 ouncesparmesan cheese
  • 9 ouncesricotta cheese (250 g)
  • pasta (cannelloni about 14 tubes)
  • 9 ouncesmozzarella
  • q.s.salt
  • 1 pinchblack pepper (powder)



  1. Preheat the oven to 180 ° C / 350 ° F / gas 4. Place the spinach and a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over low heat.

    Season with sea salt and black pepper, cover and leave to sweat.

    Stir occasionally until the spinach is cooked through. Place in a bowl and set aside to cool a little.


  1. Dice the onion.

    In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and gently sweat the onion until soft.

    Add the tomatoes, whole garlic and basil. Let it simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt.


  1. Squeeze the moisture from the spinach into the bowl. Put the spinach on a cutting board so you can chop it up. Return the spinach to the liquid in the bowl.

    Mix the ricotta, egg, Parmesan and add spinach.


  1. Fill a pastry bag with the spinach mixture.

    Pour the mixture into the cannelloni tubes and place them in a 20 cm x 25 cm baking dish.

    Spread the tomato sauce on the cannelloni. Slice the mozzarella and place the slices on top of the cannelloni, sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil.


  1. Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden.

    Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving, sprinkling with basil leaves.


What’s the difference between cannelloni and manicotti?

Manicotti is also a dry paste tube. It’s the Italian-American version of cannelloni.  The difference is that manicotti is larger with ridges, whereas cannelloni is smooth.


Spinach: Use frozen for convenience (defrost, remove excess water before use) or fresh if you have plenty of it;

Cottage cheese: Make sure you use a full-fat one

Grated cheese: Parmesan and flavored cheese such as cheddar are suitable.

Egg: used for binding but can be skipped

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