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VEGAN CANNELLONI

Vegan Cannelloni with spinach and ‘ricotta’ is a creamy and delicious dairy free Italian pasta dish that’s easy to make using a handful of simple ingredients!

up close view of plated vegan cannelonni.

If you’ve gone plant based and have been missing this Italian pasta dish, you will be smitten with this easy cannelloni recipe!

Similar to my Manicotti recipe, Cannelloni are no boil, large pasta tubes filled with vegan ricotta and spinach, then topped with pasta sauce and baked until bubbly.

It bakes up with lightly crispy edges on the top, a creamy, tender center and is full of amazing flavor!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • Egg and Dairy-free. The filling is egg free and made with a dairy-free ricotta. And it’s just as creamy and delicious as traditional cannelloni!
  • Easy to customize. Adjust the ingredients to suit specific dietary restrictions. Plus, you can change up the sauce to suit your taste.
  • Freezer friendly. Make it ahead and freeze for later. Read on.
top down view of ingredients used to make vegan cannelloni recipe.

Ingredient Notes

All you need are a few simple ingredients! Here is everything, including variations:

  • Cannelloni I used these no boil cannelloni tubes from Amazon (affiliate link) since they are not locally found. Use your favorite brand. Alternatively, manicotti tubes are just as good and generally easier to find in the US. Make this gluten-free by sourcing its GF version.
  • Vegan Ricotta – I used my fan-favorite Cashew Vegan Ricotta for this recipe. You can also use my Tofu Ricotta for a nut free version. I recommend doubling the recipe. Store bought is great too and one less thing to clean up!
  • Spinach – Frozen spinach is super convenient and easy. If you rather use fresh, just steam, drain any water, and give a good rough chop. Feel free to double this spinach, it will also help to fill extra shells!
  • Pasta Sauce – I used Rao’s and Muir Glen marinara sauce. If you’re up for making homemade, my Marinara Sauce is super easy and tastes amazing!
side by side photos of vegan ricotta mixed with spinach.

How To Make Vegan Cannelloni

  • Mix together the ‘ricotta’ and spinach.
side by side photos showing the process of making vegan cannelloni.
  • Place half of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Fill each uncooked cannelloni with the spinach ricotta mix. I used this reusable piping bag (affiliate link).
  • Place filled shells in the baking dish and top with the remaining sauce.
  • Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more.

Let cool and you’re ready to enjoy!

It’s a delicious Italian pasta dish and I know you will love it too!

top down view of freshly baked vegan cannelloni in a baking dish.

Cannelloni FAQs

What is the easiest way to stuff cannelloni?

Hands down the easiest way is using a piping bag or large ziplock bag with the corner cut. That way you can easily squeeze the ricotta into the shell with little mess. I used to use a long handled iced tea spoon and it was clumsy and time consuming, although doable!

What is the difference between cannelloni and manicotti?

Both are long pasta tubes with the main difference being manicotti has a ridged surface, and cannelloni is smooth.

Should I boil cannelloni?

No, that’s what makes this pasta so great to work with. There is no need to boil before prepping because it cooks right in the baking dish with the pasta sauce and filling. Easy peasy!

Can I freeze Cannelloni?

Yes, you can prepare and freeze cannelloni before baking. Simply use freezer safe containers, cover tightly, and store in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. When ready to bake, follow the instructions adding an extra 10 minutes to the cooking time.

How To Store + Reheat

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 – 6 days in a covered container.
  • Freezer: Cooked and uncooked cannelloni is freezer friendly and will last in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze cooked, let cool completely and store in freezer safe containers. For uncooked, prepare as directed and freeze in a freezer and oven safe sealed container. Bake as directed, adding 10 minutes extra.
  • Reheat: Reheat leftovers in the stove set at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, warm in the microwave.
  • Meal prep: Because cannelloni stores and reheats well, it’s a great option for weekly meal prep!
side angle view of freshly baked vegan cannelloni in a baking dish.

Serving Suggestions

Wondering what to serve with cannelloni? Just like other Italian pasta dishes, it pairs well with a few toppings, slice of bread, and side of soup or salad.

Here are a few of my favorite options:

More Vegan Italian Recipes!

top down view of plated vegan cannelonni with items surrounding.

If you try this easy pasta recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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Spinach ‘Ricotta’ Cannelloni

Vegan Cannelloni is an easy Italian pasta dish made with dairy-free ricotta, healthy spinach, and flavorful sauce for a delicious and hearty meal! This cannelloni recipe is egg-free and can be made gluten-free.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 7 – 8 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Italian, Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 3 cups vegan ricotta (Cashew Ricotta or Tofu Ricotta)
  • 2024 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 4 cups pasta sauce (or homemade Marinara Sauce)
  • 1418 cannelloni tubes (or manicotti), see notes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the ricotta and spinach.
  3. Place 2 cups of pasta sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Fill each tube with the spinach ricotta mix using a gallon ziplock bag with corner cut or piping bag.
  5. Place filled shells in the baking dish and top with the remaining sauce.
  6. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 – 10 minutes more. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Serves 4 – 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 – 7 days. 

Freezing for later: Make as directed and store in a freezer safe container that’s sealed well. Store in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. When ready, bake from frozen as instructed, adding an extra 10 minutes to the cooking time.

Notes

Cannelloni tubes are typically no boil, whereas manicotti shells require cooking first. Just in case, be sure to check the package for instructions. If precooking the pasta tubes, reduce cooking time by 10 – 15 minutes.

If using any of the linked recipes, you’ll want to double them for this recipe.

Any leftover spinach ricotta will be great on a sliced and toasted baguette.

If you have a favorite vegan cheese, add it over top before or after baking.

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5 Comments

  1. My family is new to Vegan life, but I have loved trying your recipes! My cheese loving son loved this and didn’t know there wasn’t cheese in it!

  2. Jeanette Paisley says:

    Does one mic the ricotta and spinach together? This part seems to be missing from the instructions.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Oops, thank you for pointing that out! I’ve included it in the recipe card, line 2. :)

  3. This may sound like a silly question, but do you cook your shells first? I typically do, but with all the new ways people prepare things, I wanted to make sure.

    Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Not a silly question at all, Tomi! It depends on the shells you are using. I believe most cannelloni shells are no bake so you can just fill them and bake. Manicotti tubes will typically need to be cooked first. So check the package instructions before using to make sure if they are no bake or require cooking first. If you do cook the noodles before stuffing, you can reduce the oven time by 10 minutes or so. I’ve added a note in the recipe card! Thanks for asking, it’s super helpful for everyone as I can address the question. :)

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