Chicken Cannelloni (With or Without Spinach)

Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 2 hrs
Cook 30 mins

I'm not even sure where this recipe came from, it's been around so long. It sounds complicated, but it's really pretty simple, and goes together pretty quickly. And leftovers are great! If I'm making this for grownups, I add spinach, but if it's a family meal, I leave the spinach out. Sometimes, I will let the chicken marinate in white wine and thyme overnight before I begin.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a large skillet, simmer the chicken breasts, onion, broth, wine, and thyme, until chicken is done.
  2. Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and allow them to cool slightly.
  3. While the chicken breasts are cooling, strain the chicken broth to remove the onions and thyme.
  4. Reserve the broth into a large saucepan.
  5. Put the onions and thyme into your food processor.
  6. Chop or tear the chicken into big chunks, and put into food processor with the onions and thyme.
  7. Pulse the chicken in the food processor until finely chopped (you may need to divide the chicken into 2 batches).
  8. (I've also used my old, heavy meat grinder for this).
  9. Prepare spinach, if using. Wash well, chop, and lightly sauté in a saucepan with 2 tbs olive oil until done to your preference. I personally don't like "mushy" spinach. You may also substitute frozen chopped spinach, but be sure to squeeze it out really well.
  10. In a large bowl, mix the chicken/onion mixture with the ricotta and cottage cheese, spinach, 1/2 c parmesan, nutmeg, and white pepper.
  11. Mix thoroughly; set aside.
  12. In a large saucepan, melt butter.
  13. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn.
  14. Whisk in the reserved chicken broth, stirring constantly.
  15. Add the wine, and then the milk, stirring constantly, until sauce is velvety-smooth.
  16. Simmer, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes, while you start to assemble the canneloni.
  17. Assemble the canneloni: Lay 4-5 egg roll wraps out on the counter.
  18. Place approx 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken/cheese filling on center of wrap, and roll up, setting aside.
  19. Repeat until you're done.
  20. When sauce is done simmering, pour approx 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  21. Tilt, to make sure it's spread evenly.
  22. Arrange canneloni in dish, and top with remaining sauce.
  23. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup parmesan.
  24. Cover with foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.
  25. During last 10 minutes, take the foil off so that the parmesan browns.
  26. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.


Most Helpful

I didn't follow the recipe exactly but it was a great basis for making what was in my head. I had some cannelloni noodles and was looking for a recipe. This worked great and was a huge hit with my family. I left out some ingredients that I didn't have on hand, but it was loved so much that I would like to make it again following the recipe closer. I did add garlic powder to the broth as some other reviewers said they added garlic. I didn't have fresh but powder worked.

Tanya P. July 13, 2016

Delicious!! I also added about 3 cloves of garlic to the chicken while it was simmering. I used all skim ricotta. I loved using egg rolls in this - so easy. I used a heaping 1/4 cup of the filling for each one, and that was plenty. I also had to divide this into two pans -- 15 of these wouldn't fit in a 9x13. I did find that it needed some salt - both in the filling and the sauce -- and that you get plenty of sauce with this. I might cut the milk down about 3/4 a cup next time (I used a blend of evaporated milk & skim). I served this to DH and friends with a green salad, Recipe #23162 and followed it up with Bev's wonderful Recipe #24521.

newspapergal April 02, 2007

I also added 2 cloves of garlic when simmering the chicken and used frozen chopped spinach that I lightly sauted until it was "dry". Used all ricotta cheese and a combination of fat-free evaporated milk and 1% milk.DH thought it tasted very rich and was surprised when I told him it was relatively low-fat!I used recipe# 96087, Fresh-Made Manicotti or Cannelloni Crepes Shells, instead of the egg roll wraps and got 16 filled cannelloni. We all enjoyed this- thanks for posting it,Elissa!

Leslie in Texas January 13, 2007

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