Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni Recipe

This is the simplest cannelloni recipe you will ever make! No more fuss and bother trying to get the filling into those tricky breakable tubes or having to use a piping bag - this spinach and ricotta cannelloni recipe uses flat lasagne sheets made from fresh pasta so that they are flexible and easy to roll up into tubes.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes

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Ingredients for Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni Recipe

  • 1 Medium Red Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves / 2 Teaspoon Garlic Puree
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
  • 1 Tablespoon Pesto (Shop bought is absolutely fine!)
  • Splash of Red Wine (Optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive OIl
  • 700 ml (25 fl oz) Passata
  • 300g (1 and 1/3 cup) Baby Leaf Spinach
  • 450g (2 cups) Cottage Cheese (Preferably Low Fat / Fat Free)
  • 250g (1 and 1/5 cup) Ricotta
  • 6 Fresh Lasagna Sheets
  • 150g Mozzarella Ball
  • 10g (1/8 cup) Freshly Grated Parmesan

Equipment Needed:

  • Sharp Knife and Chopping Board
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Large Saucepan
  • Oven Proof Dish (Approx size 27 cm by 22 cm)
  • Cheese Grater


  1. Pre heat the oven to 200 0 C / 400 o F / Gas Mark 6
  2. Peel and finely chop the red onion. Crush the Garlic Cloves (if using) and place the saucepan on a medium heat.
  3. Add the olive oil to the pan and once hot, tip the onion and garlic puree into the pan and stir well. Leave to cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
  4. Meanwhile, microwave the spinach leaves, whilst still in their bags, for 2 minutes. Cut a hole in the bags and then squeeze the spinach allowing the excess liquid to  drain away through the cut hole. You might want to stand over a sink or bowl whilst doing this, and take care - the bags will be hot! Consider wearing rubber gloves whilst doing this if it is too hot to handle!
  5. Measure the tomato puree and add to the onion and garlic in the saucepan. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds. Pour the passata into the pan along with the pesto and a splash of red wine (optional). Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for five minutes.
  6. Whilst this is cooking, place the ricotta and the cottage cheese into the large mixing bowl. Add the spinach and stir until well combined.
  7. Once the tomato sauce is ready, remove from the heat and start to assemble the cannelloni. Begin with placing 2-3 ladles of sauce into the bottom of the oven proof dish, ensuring there is enough to cover the bottom of the dish.
  8. Take a single lasagne sheet and lay it on your work surface or chopping board vertically. Scoop a large generous spoonful of the spinach / cheese mixture and place it along the short edge of the pasta sheet. Roll up the sheet and filling starting with the short edge. 
  9. Lay the rolled up tube on top of the tomato sauce and continue making the cannelloni tubes until you have 6 tubes nestled next to each other in a row in your dish.
  10. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the pasta.
  11. Drain the liquid from the mozzarella and cut into slices (approx 12) Place these on top of the tomato sauce. Grate the parmesan cheese and finish by sprinkling this over the mozzarella
  12. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden on top.  

This cannelloni recipe freezes well. It can also be made up to a day in advance and simply popped in the oven to cook when you are ready!