wikiHow to Make Vegetarian Cannelloni

Three Parts:Making the SauceStuffing the CannelloniBaking the Cannelloni

Stuffed cannelloni is not only delicious but also fun to make--you can even get the whole family involved in stuffing the pasta tubes. There are hundreds of variations on the classic vegetarian stuffed cannelloni, but for a classic recipe, scroll down to Step 1.



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Four 400g cans chopped chopped tomatoes
  • Small bunch basil leaves

Ricotta Filling

  • 8 oz. spinach, stemmed
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 10 cannelloni tubes
  • Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top

Mascarpone Topping

  • Two 250g tubs mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp milk

Part 1
Making the Sauce

  1. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 1
    Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. While the pan is heating, crush eight cloves of garlic and add them to the oil. Stir the crushed garlic in the oil for one minute or until it starts to soften.
    • If you are short on time, you can choose to use store-bought tomato sauce instead. Store-bought garlic and basil tomato sauces work particularly well for this recipe.
  2. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 2
    Add the vinegar, sugar, and tomatoes to pan. These ingredients will make up the majority of your sauce. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let the sauce cook for approximately 20 minutes. Make sure that you stir the sauce occasionally so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom.[1]
  3. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 3
    Add the basil to the sauce. Once the sauce is done simmering, you can add the basil, give it a good stir, and then set the sauce aside. Either keep it in the pan or put in a container if you plan on making your cannelloni later in the day.
    • You can also separate the sauce into two different baking dishes if you prefer to have the sauce under the cannelloni. Or, pour half the sauce into the baking dish and save the other half of the sauce to pour over the cannelloni.
  4. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 4
    Make the mascarpone topping. This is an optional step but highly recommended. Scoop 250 grams of mascarpone (approximately two tubs) into a medium sized bowl. Add three tablespoons of milk to the mascarpone and beat the ingredients together. Add any desired seasoning and then set this topping aside.

Part 2
Stuffing the Cannelloni

  1. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 5
    Preheat the oven to 400°F (204.4°C). While the oven is heating, fill a large with water. Add a dash of salt and bring the pot to a boil. You don’t want to cook the cannelloni the whole way through--the goal is actually just to soften them up a little bit. Place the cannelloni into the water once it is boiling. Cook them for several minutes. They should should begin to get a little softer while still retaining their shape.[2]
    • You can also use square pasta pieces, rather than traditional cannelloni. Lightly heat them as well.
  2. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 6
    Rinse your spinach. Once rinsed, do not pat it dry. Instead, transfer it to a frying pan and bring it to medium-high heat. Stir the spinach until it becomes wilted--this should take about one minute. Once wilted, place the spinach in a colander and use the back of a spoon to press out any remaining moisture.[3]
    • If you are pressed for time, you can also use a package of frozen chopped spinach. Simply stick it in the microwave and then place it in a colander and use the back of a spoon to press any excess liquid out.
  3. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 7
    Place the spinach on a chopping board. Chop it finely using a large chopping knife. The spinach will make up part of the filling, so the finer you chop it, the smoother your filling will be.
  4. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 8
    Scoop the ricotta into a medium bowl. Add the spinach to the ricotta. Use a large wooden spoon to mix the ingredients so that they become smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the filling is seasoned to your taste, add one egg and stir it into the mixture. If you aren’t planning on using the filling right away, cover it with tin foil or plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge.[4]
    • There are many variations on what you can add to the filling of the cannelloni. You may also wish to consider adding some pine nuts, a touch of nutmeg, or roasted vegetables.
  5. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 9
    Snip of the corner of a large resealable bag. This will be your filling device. If you happen to have a piping bag lying around, you can use that instead. Scoop the ricotta filling into the plastic bag. Carefully squeeze the bag so that the ricotta mixture fills up the cannelloni.
    • If you chose to use the pasta squares, lay them out flat. Use a spoon to scoop ricotta filling onto the squares in a neat line down the middle. Roll the pasta sheet up and around the filling.

Part 3
Baking the Cannelloni

  1. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 10
    Lay the pasta tubes side by side. They should not be lying on top of each other, but rather perfectly side by side (so you can fit as many into the dish as possible without the pasta sticking together).[5]
  2. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 11
    Pour the toppings onto the cannelloni. If you chose to make the mascarpone sauce, spoon it onto the cannelloni. Pour the rest of the sauce onto the cannelloni and sprinkle parmesan on top of the sauce.
    • If desired, you can pour half of the remaining sauce onto the cannelloni and keep the rest in a bowl. When the cannelloni is done cooking, heat up the remaining sauce and let your dinner guests spoon as much sauce as they would like onto their cannelloni.
  3. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 12
    Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil. Place the dish in the oven and bake it for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes have passed, remove the aluminium foil and continue to bake the cannelloni for another 20 minutes or until the top becomes golden.
  4. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Step 13
    Remove the cannelloni from the oven. Let it stand for five minutes before serving it up. Enjoy!
  5. Image titled Make Vegetarian Cannelloni Final


  • If you can't find cannelloni tubes you can use sheets of lasagna - soak them in boiling water until they are soft enough to roll.
  • Kids can be good volunteers to help stuff the tubes if they are familiar in the kitchen.
  • The range of stuffing is actually as limited as your imagination. Try out different sauces, fillings, and combinations.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 Mixing bowls,
  • Casserole dish or other baking dish
  • Piping bag or zip lock bag
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Aluminum foil

Article Info

Categories: Pasta and Noodles | Vegetarian