April 25, 2021
This vegan cannelloni is stuffed with tofu and spinach ricotta, immersed in a homemade marinara sauce, and topped with a creamy vegan mascarpone sauce. It's the perfect dish for a dinner party or special occasion, but it's easy enough to make any night of the week. And even picky eaters will love it!
When you make this vegan cannelloni recipe, don't forget to serve it with a side of vegan garlic bread. Or, if you're looking for more recipes for vegan pasta dishes, you might like my baked ziti, butternut squash ravioli with mushrooms, lasagna, or stuffed shells.
Cannelloni noodles can be hard to find in the United States, but I was able to order them online. In most US supermarkets, the closest thing you'll find is manicotti, which you can use, but it's much larger than cannelloni. (Scroll down for instructions on adapting this recipe for manicotti.)
Most cannelloni noodles can be baked in the oven without boiling first. But the noodles I ordered turned out better when they were boiled ahead of time, even though the package indicated that they could be baked raw. So I would recommend boiling your noodles so they're at least partially cooked unless you're sure that they will soften well in the oven.
To fill the noodles, I used a pastry bag with a piping tip. I found that pre-boiling the noodles also made them a little easier to fill, since some of the noodles were not perfectly round when dry, and I couldn't fit the piping tip inside. If you don't have a pastry bag to fill the noodles with, a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off will also work!
To use an 8 oz. box of manicotti instead: be sure to boil your manicotti before filling them, 2 minutes less than directed on the box. Because manicotti shells are so much bigger than cannelloni, you will need to double the filling to fill 12 manicotti shells.
Yield18 stuffed cannelloni
Prep Time75 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time105 minutes
Start by making the cashew cream 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.
Next, make the filling: Prepare the tofu ricotta cheese 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.
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 for an additional 5 minutes. Then, stir in your torn basil leaves and remove from heat.
(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.
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 your ricotta mixture 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.
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.
Soak your cashews in water for 2 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 shells instead of cannelloni shells, 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.
Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.
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