Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

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recipe by Kamran Siddiqi http://sophisticatedgourmet.com/

  • Time icon
    Total Time
    1hr 30mins
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon

This is a nice and basic, kid-friendly, cannelloni recipe that can easily be adjusted to your own tastes. The original recipe is actually quite light, despite the amount of cheese used. The Spinach filling is lacking in any strong flavor – great for picky children, but for those adults craving some more flavor, add a couple cloves of minced garlic to the spinach before cooking the spinach down. For the sauce, the lemon zest is an interesting addition– meyer lemon zest works nicely here as it’s not as pungent and intense as normal lemon zest, but the lemon zest isn’t a necessary addition to the sauce. The original recipe calls for 1 onion; I’d go with a small onion, or a little more than half of a medium-sized onion, unless you love a rather oniony tomato sauce. If you’d prefer more garlic flavor in the sauce, mince both cloves of garlic (or use a garlic press) and add them to the sautéed onions before adding in the tomatoes, bay leaf, basil, salt, and pepper. One thing to keep in mind: you don’t want to use all of the liquid you squeezed out from the spinach when mixing it with the egg and ricotta. You just want enough (about 1/4 cup / 60ml) to moisten the mixture some. Using all of the liquid from the spinach will result in a soupy mess, so do keep that in mind. For those not too keen on sauce, don’t be stingy here– you’ll need the entirety of the sauce for this recipe and you’ll want to make sure to cover every bit of the cannelloni shells before popping the pan in the oven. Any exposed shell will be crispy on the outside if not covered in sauce.

recipe updated Oct 8, 2019


  • Spinach icon
    400 g (about 12 ¾ cups)
  • Extra virgin olive oil icon
    Extra virgin olive oil
    as needed
  • Nutmeg icon
    ¼ tsp (about 0.59 g)
  • Salt & pepper icon
    Salt & pepper
    as needed
  • Olive oil icon
    Olive oil
    as needed
  • Onion icon
    1 (about 140 g)
  • Garlic clove icon
    Garlic clove
    2 (about 12 g)
  • Canned tomatoes icon
    Canned tomatoes
    2 (about 800 g)
  • Bay leaves icon
    Bay leaves
    1 (about 0.2 g)
  • Fresh basil icon
    Fresh basil
    1 sprig
  • Lemon icon
    ½ (about 29 g)
  • Ricotta cheese icon
    Ricotta cheese
    250 g (about 1 cups)
  • Egg icon
    1 (about 50 g)
  • Parmesan cheese icon
    Parmesan cheese
    1 tbsp (about 9.45 g)
  • Cannelloni icon
    14 (about 291.67 g)
  • Mozzarella cheese icon
    Mozzarella cheese
    250 g (about 2)


  • kCook icon Wooden spoon
  • kCook icon Stove
  • kCook icon Cutting board
  • kCook icon Saucepan
  • kCook icon Ceramic baking dish - 13 x 9 x 2"
  • kCook icon Small bowl

Step preview

  1. Pre-heat oven - 180°C
  2. Add spinach and extra virgin olive oil to a clean saucepan
  3. Cook - low heat
  4. Add nutmeg and salt & pepper to the saucepan
  5. Cover
  6. Cook gently until softened
  7. Transfer content of saucepan to small bowl and let cool
  8. Return saucepan - low heat
  9. Add olive oil and onion to the saucepan
  10. Cook until softened - low heat
  11. Add garlic clove, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, fresh basil and lemon to the saucepan
  12. Simmer slowly until thickened and continue - 20 min
  13. Transfer vegetables to cutting board and reserve liquid
  14. Chop
  15. Return vegetables to small bowl
  16. Add ricotta cheese, egg and parmesan cheese to the vegetables
  17. Stir until combined and continue
  18. Pipe cannelloni onto a clean ceramic baking dish and continue
  19. Transfer content of saucepan to ceramic baking dish
  20. Scatter fresh basil over the ceramic baking dish
  21. Lay out mozzarella cheese the ceramic baking dish
  22. Drizzle with olive oil
  23. Season with salt & pepper
  24. Bake until light golden - 35 min, 180°C
  25. Let rest - approx 5 min
  26. Serve
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