Vegan Ricotta & Spinach Cannelloni

by Steph Sunshine at StephSunshine.com

Yield18 stuffed cannelloni

Prep Time75 minutes

Cook Time30 minutes

Total Time105 minutes

Ingredients

  • 18 cannelloni noodles

Vegan mascarpone sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy Greek yogurt (such as Kite Hill Almond Milk Greek Style)
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutritional yeast

Spinach & Tofu Ricotta Filling

  • 1 batch tofu ricotta
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 5 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella shreds

Basil Marinara Sauce

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tsp. garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • handful fresh basil leaves, torn (about 3 g.)

Instructions

  1. Start by making the mascarpone sauce: Add cashews, yogurt, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, almond milk, 1/4 tsp. salt, and nutritional yeast to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Next, make the filling: Prepare the tofu ricotta and blend together with 1/4 tsp. each of garlic powder and onion powder, and 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg. While you're blending the ricotta, wilt your chopped spinach. You can either pour hot (boiling) water over it and allow it to soak until it's wilted, or place the spinach in a mesh sieve over top of a saucepan of boiling water. Your spinach is ready when it's dark green in color and reduced in volume. Mix the ricotta together with the spinach and vegan mozzarella shreds.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add your minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then, add crushed tomatoes, water, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper, and stir. Cook on medium heat for an additional 5 minutes. Then, stir in your torn basil leaves and remove from heat.
  4. (Optional, but recommended) If your cannelloni noodles require pre-boiling, boil them for 2-3 minutes less than directed on the package (or about 7 minutes). You may want to cook a few extra noodles than you'll need, in case some of the noodles tear.
  5. Spread half of your marinara sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish (9x15" or 11x16"; or use two smaller casserole dishes). Then, stuff your cannelloni noodles with filling and place in the dish. I recommend using a piping bag with a large round tip to fill the noodles (or you can cut off the corner of a Ziploc bag). Top with the remaining marinara sauce, then spread your mascarpone sauce over the cannelloni as desired (I like to spread it down the middle of the noodles). If you're baking your noodles raw, make sure your sauce coats all of the noodles so they can soften in the oven.
  6. Cover your casserole dish with foil and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Add an additional 15 minutes to baking time if baking raw noodles (or see your package for instructions). Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes & Hints

Soak your cashews in water for 3 hours, or boil for 10 minutes to soften them.

I found that my cannelloni noodles turned out better when they were pre-boiled, even though the package stated that they could be baked raw.

When stuffing your cannelloni, avoid messes by keeping a small plate nearby to rest your piping bag on.

To use manicotti instead of cannelloni, see the instructions in the post above.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for several months.

Reheat in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes.

StephSunshine