Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

On the menu tonight – Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni! I love Italian food and I’m always looking for something different to make. While searching the internet for inspiration, I came across a picture of this cheesy plate of deliciousness. But I was a little curious about the noodle – cannelloni. It looked like manicotti, so I researched the difference between cannelloni and manicotti.

The two noodles are indeed very similar – the main difference is thickness and texture. The manicotti noodle has ridges, a little thicker and larger than the cannelloni noodle. Every type of pasta has a purpose. Manicotti is usually filled with only with cheese and the sauce will have meat and vegetables. Cannelloni is usually filled with meat or vegetables with cheese inside. The sauce is usually tomato based or a béchamel.

I don’t usually make filled pasta dishes but decided today was the day I start. This dish is filled with a delicious mix of fresh spinach and ricotta mix inside the cannelloni, topped with tomato sauce and cheese.

The next time you’re trying to figure out what to make for dinner, try something different. Try this spinach and cannelloni dish!

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 6-8

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni


  • 1 box Cannelloni pasta
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • Spinach Ricotta Filling:
  • 8 oz spinach
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • Use your favorite recipe or your favorite jarred sauce.
  • In this version, I used a jarred sauce.



Spinach Ricotta Filling:


Wash and drain spinach, letting some water cling to spinach leaves. In medium pan, melt butter over medium high heat.


Add spinach and cook until leaves are wilted and soft. Season with nutmeg to taste.


Drain cooked spinach in a colander, pressing down firmly to remove excess liquid.


Finely chop drained spinach and gently combine with egg and ricotta.


Season mixture with salt and pepper.


Cook pasta according to package


Tomato Sauce:


Heat olive oil and garlic in a pot over medium heat. Gently heat garlic for a minute; add crushed tomatoes.


Simmer gently about 10 minutes.


Season sauce with salt and pepper.


Remove from heat and stir in basil leaves.


3. Preheat oven to 375.




Using a piping bag or a small spoon, pipe or spoon about 2 tbsp of spinach filling evenly into each cannelloni.


Spread ¼ cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a medium, oven safe dish.


Arrange filled cannelloni on top and pour tomato sauce over.


Sprinkle Parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses on top and bake until tomato sauce is bubbling and hot around edges, about 15-20 minutes.


If you don't have cannelloni noodles on hand, you can use this filling in mannicotti, large shells, you could even use lasagna noodles - either rolled or turn it into a spinach ricotta lasagna.

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