Cannelloni pasta tubes packed with a cheesy ricotta and chicken filling, and topped with a creamy and delicious tomato sauce. Simple, super easy to make, and SO tasty!
Thank you, ADA Mideast, for sponsoring this post! All opinions are always 100% my own.
Cheesy chicken stuffed cannelloni baked to a creamy and tender perfection. A classic recipe made EASY. These lovely bundles of joy will melt in your mouth!
This cannelloni is a quick recipe that comes together with some fresh spinach, chicken, and ricotta cheese, all topped with an easy creamy sauce.
The sauce on its own is Half & Half, seasonings, and parmesan. The addition of all the cheese in this cannelloni makes the flavors pop even more. Besides, one serving of milk, cheese or yogurt provides 8 grams of protein and 9 essential nutrients.
The flavors of cheese and milk and yogurt run pretty deep on this blog, including one of my all time favorite recipes, Spinach Artichoke Chicken.
We’re also celebrating June Dairy Month, so you’re free to eat up all the cheese and milk that your heart desires! 😉
June Dairy Month is a time to celebrate America’s dairy farmers, who provide us with healthy dairy foods. If you have a minute, please hop on over to Drink-Milk.com and meet some of Ohio and West Virginia’s dairy farming families.
You can also check out my own Ohio Dairy Adventure and see me in dairy farming action.
Just in those two States, dairy farm families raise more than 274,000 dairy cows on about 2,500 dairy farms. In an average year, Ohio and West Virginia dairy cows produce approximately 5.6 billion pounds, or about 656 million gallons of milk.
To get the full benefits of milk, according to the USDA, adults should consume three servings of dairy – milk, cheese, or yogurt – each day. A serving size is 1 cup of milk or yogurt, and 2-ounces of cheese.
My point is that you need this Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni in your life. Especially in June! The cows will appreciate it.
HOW TO PREPARE CANNELLONI
Bonus tip about this recipe? You don’t have to precook the pasta! Say whaaaat?! *raising the roof*
Edit: Some commenters have said that their tubes needed to be precooked because they were still crunchy after baking. I suggest to precook the cannelloni tubes in boiling water for 5 minutes before filling with the chicken mixture.
- The cannelloni tubes are filled with a warm mixture of chicken (use cooked leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken), cheese, and fresh spinach.
- The prepared cannelloni are then transferred to a baking dish and arranged over some pasta sauce. Use your favorite pasta sauce, homemade or store bought.
- For a finishing touch, the cannelloni are topped with a combination of Half & Half and cheese, a liquid that the cannelloni will cook in while baking.
20-ish minutes later, din din is served! The entire recipe should not take longer than 40 to 45 minutes, from start to finish. The dish is easy to make, kid friendly and makes for some great leftovers.
The ricotta gives a deliciously creamy texture and the sauce results in a beautiful golden crust. Just go make it, dinner-makers!
MORE CHEESY PASTA RECIPES:
- Cannelloni Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese
- Creamy Chicken Asparagus Shells and Cheese
- White Cheddar Shells and Cheese with Shrimp and Peas
- Skillet Baked Gluten Free Pasta with Ground Turkey and Tomatoes
- Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Alfredo Casserole
To meet Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers, learn more about how farmers care for their cows and follow milk’s journey from farm to fridge, visit Drink-Milk.com, and follow the American Dairy Association Mideast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS USED IN THIS RECIPE
Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni
- 12 cannelloni tubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cooked chicken breasts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese
- 1 bag (8 to 10 ounces) baby spinach
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup pasta sauce
- 1 1/2 cups half & half
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Cook cannelloni tubes for 5 minutes in boiling water; rinse and set aside to cool for a few minutes, or just until cool enough to handle.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and saute for 2 minutes; stir in garlic and chicken and continue to cook for 4 minutes.
- Add milk and simmer for 2 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Stir in ricotta cheese until well blended.
- Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes, or until wilted.
- Remove from heat and let stand a few minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
- Spoon pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
- Using a spoon, your hands, or even a piping bag, stuff the prepared chicken mixture into cannelloni tubes.
- Arrange the cannelloni in a single layer on the bottom of the previously prepared baking dish. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine half & half, parmesan, basil, oregano, nutmeg, salt, and pepper; whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the half & half mixture over the cannelloni.
- Bake in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown and the cream is reduced.
- Remove from oven and let stand 3 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened.
- Spoon the sauce over the cannelloni and serve.
- For those keeping track of their WW points, try using fat free Half & Half, as well as fat free Ricotta Cheese, and this will cut down your points to 11.