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 Apr 5, 2018


  • Spinach icon
  • Extra virgin olive oil icon
    Extra virgin olive oil
  • Nutmeg icon
  • Salt & pepper icon
    Salt & pepper
    as needed
  • Olive oil icon
    Olive oil
  • Onion icon
  • Garlic clove icon
    Garlic clove
  • Canned tomatoes icon
    Canned tomatoes
  • Bay leaves icon
    Bay leaves
  • Fresh basil icon
    Fresh basil
    about 2 sprigs
  • Lemon icon
  • Ricotta cheese icon
    Ricotta cheese
  • Egg icon
  • Parmesan cheese icon
    Parmesan cheese
  • Cannelloni icon
  • Mozzarella cheese icon
    Mozzarella cheese


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