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Thursday, April 9, 2009


Cannelloni is one of my favorite things to order at an Italian restaurant.  Which means I had to figure out a way to make it at home, of course!  I gave it a try this week and it was so so yummy.  Here’s what I did!

Recipe type: Main Dish, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
  • FILLING: will fill ~8 cannelloni, maybe up to 10
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked & shredded
  • ¼ C fresh, shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • ½ C shredded mozzarella
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or use garlic press
  • 1 T chopped fresh basil (maybe a little more than 1 T)
  • ¼ t pepper
  • ½ t salt
  • SAUCE:
  • 1½ C jarred marinara (you could make your own, but this is faster and tasted great)
  • ½ C cream
  • 24 grape tomatoes, smashed up a bit (I pulsed in the blender a few times)
  • ¼ – ½ C shredded asiago cheese
  • Ideally I suppose you make your own pasta, roll it into thin sheets and cut into rectangles. Yeah, THAT’S gonna happen around here”¦.so, I tried two readily-available pastas.
  • Barilla No-Boil Homemade Style (Flat) Lasagna Noodles: These were PERFECT. Boil 3 minutes, CAREFULLY remove from the water (it’s easy to crack them in the middle, so be gentle!). Filling them is a cinch”¦just lay the rectangle out portrait (you know, tall-wise), lay your filling across the noodle near the end, then roll up! (I had a few cracks when I took them out of the water, but the noodle overlaps itself when you roll it up, so it wasn’t a problem) Pictured RIGHT.
  • Manicotti Shells: I also tried manicotti shells. They didn’t taste quite as good, and they’re harder to stuff. So, I will definitely do the flat, no-boil lasagna noodles from now on. Pictured LEFT.
  1. Mix filling ingredients.
  2. Mix sauce ingredients and warm on the stove (doesn’t need to cook too long or get too hot).
  3. Spray a rectangular casserole dish or metal cake pan with spray oil. Stuff cannelloni (see noodle descriptions above). Place stuffed cannelloni in the pan. Cover with sauce.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Mangia!
Makes approximately 8 cannelloni”¦Nate and I each ate 2, and the girls had 1 each. Fed our family of 4 with 2 cannelloni left over.



  1. 1

    Why haven’t I made this at home? I always forget about it I guess. Thanks for the recipe. It looks awesome!

  2. 2

    I just copied down this recipe!!! It looks too delish to pass up….thanks for sharing.

  3. 3
    Jane Maynard

    I forgot to mention…I liked the chicken in there (that’s what macaroni grill does)…but nate was saying he thinks it would be really good with some ground beef and/or prosciutto or pancetta or something like that….which I agree would be good. but I do like chicken cannelloni, myself.

    bottom line – playing around with different meats could be tasty. or just going without meat would be good, too!

  4. 4

    I wish that you’d include an approximation of how many this serves, that’s really helpful with recipes when you’re cooking for just yourself or yourself and one other, so you can plan your weekly groceries ahead of time. I’m big on leftovers, and thus only need or want to cook a few times a week, or want to know if I can send my man off to work with whatever’s left over. So… servings please!!!

  5. 5
    Jane Maynard

    I went back and specified how many we ate and had left over. hope that helps. thanks!

  6. 6

    FYI: I learned from the Cooks Illustrated mag that you needn’t cook the no-boil lasagna noodles to get them pliable enough to roll up canelloni/manicotti. Put pretty hot water in a 9/13″ glass dish and drop the noodles (TJ brand is excellent, btw) one at a time into the water and move them around a bit with the tip of a knife while they soften so they don’t stick together (~5 min. does the trick). Next, lay them out on a towel while spreading the filling on them, leaving about 1/4 of the noodle bare. Roll toward the bare end and you’re golden. Way easy!

  7. 7

    🙂 I’ve been meaning to try to make my own pasta for sooo long now but yeahh it hasn’t been happening. Nor do I ever make my own sauce. This look awesome though!

  8. 8
    Kim T

    That looks yummy! I’ll have to try it next week. Thanks for posting it.

  9. 9

    Did you use spinach in your recipe?

  10. nope! you could, but what you see in the picture is basil. if I were to add spinach, I would sautee it a bit to get the water out, then add to the filling. I’m sure it would taste great!

  11. one more thing – thanks kim! what a great thing to know about the no-boil noodles. I will totally try that next time!

  12. 12

    Wow, it looks beautiful, I want to eat it right off my computer screen.

  13. This is real comfort food. I think I might like even without the chicken.

  14. 14
    Jane Maynard

    oh, yes, I’m sure it would be good without the chicken…anything stuffed with cheese has to be, right? 🙂

  15. 15

    Great recipe! I made a lasagna with it instead of cannelloni… layered uncooked lasagna noodles with homemade tomato sauce and the chicken mixture (cottage cheese instead of ricotta to keep the fat in check and no mozzarella), topped it with a bit of mozzarella cheese. Healthy and delicious!

  16. 16
    Jane Maynard

    sounds yummy, alexa – thank you for sharing – great modification! 🙂

  17. 18

    My question is the same as Rena’s…cream? What kind? I’m a newbie to cooking and I’m not sure what to be looking for when shopping.

    • Jane Maynard

      just 1/2 cup of whatever cream you find at the store – whipping cream, heavy cream, heavy whipping cream are all names I’ve seen cream called. hope that helps!

  18. 19

    I use dry cannelloni pasta and stuff it. Hold the uncooked noodle your hand, cover one end with the heel of your hand. Into the other side you insert the stuffing (small) spoon by spoon. Lay it down on the casserole dish and make sure to add enough liquid to be absorbed into the pasta. I stuff ground turkey with curry spice sometimes, yummy.

  19. 20
    amanda lopez

    I love this recipe but i do add marinated artichokes and pieces of cooked bacon to the chicken mixture it makes for a very flavorful filling thanks for the recipe loved it 🙂

  20. 21
    Par gimbal

    I make this with Italian sausage with a kettle ham oe prosciutto and Parmesan. Isoften an onion ad garlic and whiz it all up with one egg. Sausage is cooked soconsistency is grainy. On tablespoon of stuffing spread out and rolled up.

    If you are stiffing manicotti you can put all the gooy stuff into a Baggie cut off a pretty good sized corner an inch or so and use it like a pastry bag.

  21. Your recipe looks great !! Try this with your no boil lasagna: Place noodles in a deep dish. Pour boiling water over them and let sit for 5 minutes. Lift onto to clean kitchen towel. Place another on top to absorb any excess water. Stuff and complete your recipe. So easy

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