Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni

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!

Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're 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.

Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're SO tasty!

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.

feeding-calf

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. 

Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're SO tasty!

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.

Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're SO tasty!

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.

Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're SO tasty!

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:

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.

ENJOY!

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TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS USED IN THIS RECIPE

Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're SO tasty!

Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni

Katerina | Diethood
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 they're SO tasty!
4.50 from 20 votes
Servings : 6 Serves
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting Time 5 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
    Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're SO tasty!
  • 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.
    Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're SO tasty!
  • 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.
    Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni - 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 they're SO tasty!
  • Remove from oven and let stand 3 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened.
  • Spoon the sauce over the cannelloni and serve.

Notes

WW FREESTYLE POINTS: 14
  • 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. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2 Cannelloni Tubes + Sauce | Calories: 434 kcal | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Protein: 38 g | Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 10 g | Cholesterol: 122 mg | Sodium: 411 mg | Potassium: 545 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 675 IU | Vitamin C: 5 mg | Calcium: 248 mg | Iron: 2.5 mg | Net Carbs: 23 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: baked cheese recipe, cannelloni, cannelloni recipe, chicken pasta, chicken pasta dinner recipe, easy baked pasta recipe, pasta dinner, potluck pasta recipe
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54 comments on “Creamy Ricotta Spinach and Chicken Cannelloni”

  1. Katerina, this is a very tasty recipe. Thank you for posting this.
    The flavours come together quite nicely. It is now a family favourite.

      1. Yeah…15mins prep my ars …but it all tasted delicious…next time I’ll take more time in fixing this up instead of rushing. I had to use manicotti . I am a perfectionist when I cook man oh man. I was not happy with the way they looked…

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Hi!
      Yes, you can prep it beforehand and then bake later, but be sure to let it cool to room temperature before putting it away in the fridge for later. Keep it covered.

  2. I made this recipe Keto friendly by using Folio cheese wraps instead of pasta tubes, switched the milk for almond milk and used straight cream instead of half and half. I found a sugar free marinara on Amazon and the experiment began! I didn’t know if this would turn out but it was amazing! My whole family loved it! Thank you for sharing this recipe, it’s a keeper for sure!! ❤️😍

  3. Recipe so hard to see for all the annoying pop ups. Really want to try but do t want to have to copy the recipe to paper to try
    I have tried hard to close all the ads with no success. I guess I will delete the recipe. Too bad

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      At the very top of the post there’s a button that says “PRINT RECIPE”, or the one next to it that says “JUMP TO RECIPE”. You don’t even have to scroll down; just hit one of those two and it will automatically take you to the print section, or scroll you down to the recipe card. You won’t have to bother with the ads. But those ads do help me with running this site. It’s free for you to get the recipe, but it’s not free for me to provide the free content for you. I hope you understand. Best, Katerina

  4. Avatar photo
    Julia Courtemarsh

    I could definitely follow Gigi’s suggested changes. I had to cook longer than the 20 min for the sauce to thicken and this made the pasta tough. I seasoned the chicken and still found it to be bland.

  5. I made this with a couple adjustments. I wanted to make it gluten free for my dad but couldn’t find gluten free cannelloni so I used gluten free lasagna noodles and turned this into lasagna! I used a jar of tomato basil sauce (about 2.5 cups). I also cooked the noodles (12 of them). In a 9×13 dish I layered half tomato sauce, half noodles, all of chicken mixture, rest of noodles, rest of sauce, topped with the half and half sauce. I cooked it 30 mins and it looked a little soupy when I pulled it from the oven but after letting it sit for 5 mins it soaked up a little and was perfect. Very tasty!

    1. You can use Jovial 100% organic brown rice gluten free Manicotti. The tubes are small like cannelloni. They’re delicious! Available on Amazon.

  6. Avatar photo
    Dawn @ The Kitchen and a Latte

    This sounds and looks really good 🙂 I think I would precook the pasta as well. In a crockpot with some extra sauce should definitely cook the noodles without precooking if you ever do this in the slow cooker.

  7. I am wanting to make this is cannoli the same as manicotti shells? I didn’t see anything that said cannoli when I looked in the grocery store.

    1. As is, I don’t think this is a hit. But it was tasty enough that I think I’ll try again with a couple changes:
      – cooking the noodles for 2 or 3 mins longer than recommended
      – adding some egg and Mozzarella cheese to the filling as binders
      I did season the chicken quite a bit (following other suggestions), and I’m glad I did.

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