Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni

Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni

Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni

A hearty stuffed cannelloni that has spinach, chicken and béchamel filling, baked with a fresh homemade tomato sauce. This is a treasured family recipe. The recipe may sound time consuming. Don’t let that put you off. It is definitely worth a try. The dish can be prepared a day ahead and kept in the fridge until you are ready to pop it in the oven.

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In a food processor, blend the spinach and chicken to a purée.

Here is the blended chicken and spinach

Add the spinach-chicken purée to the béchamel sauce, adjust salt to taste

Stir well to homogenize the mixture. Now this will be your filling.

Here is your fresh tomato sauce you prepared.

Grease a large ovenproof dish that will fit the cannelloni in one layer.Fill the cannelloni with the chicken, béchamel and spinach filling using a piping bag.

Drizzle the tomato sauce, covering the stuffed cannelloni.

Add the grated Swiss cheese on top.Bake in a preheated oven to, 200°C/400°F. Once the cheese melts, cover with foil and bake for 20- 25 minutes

Ready to enjoy an unforgettable taste!!

Ingredients:

  • 250 g. / 9 oz. cannelloni
  • 2 cups of Swiss cheese (Emmental cheese), grated
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 1 kg/ 2lb. 4 oz fresh ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (no need to peel)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of freshly grated white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil

For the filling:

For the chicken and spinach:

  • ½ chicken, weighing about 600 g. /1lb. 5 oz.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 400 g. / 14 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

For the béchamel sauce:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of freshly grated white pepper
  • 2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  1. Clean the chicken, set in a pot and cover with water. Place on high heat.
  2. Spoon the scum out as it appears, once it reaches a boiling point, add the bay leaves and cardamom pods. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer until fully cooked.
  3. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and strip into small pieces. Set aside.
  4. Over medium heat sauté the thawed spinach for 5 minutes,(no need to add oil) just to reduce the amount of water in the spinach. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In a food processor, blend the spinach and chicken to a purée.

To prepare the béchamel:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter starts foaming, add the flour and whisk for 5 seconds.
  2. Slowly add the milk and whisk constantly while the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and season with salt and white pepper. Add the grated Parmesan and stir to incorporate.
  3. Add the spinach-chicken purée to the béchamel sauce, adjust salt to taste. Stir well to homogenize the mixture. Now this will be your filling.

To prepare the tomato sauce:

  1. Pour the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is tender.
  3. Add the tomatoes, salt, white pepper and dried basil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Puree in a food processor. Set aside.

To assemble the dish:

  1. Grease a large ovenproof dish that will fit the cannelloni in one layer.
  2. Fill the cannelloni with the chicken, béchamel and spinach filling using a piping bag.
  3. Drizzle the tomato sauce, covering the stuffed cannelloni.
  4. Add the grated Swiss cheese on top.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven to, 200°C/400°F. Once the cheese melts, cover with foil and bake for 20- 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Note: No need to pre-boil the cannelloni before stuffing, since the cannelloni will absorb the sauce and filling while cooking in the oven.

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