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Vegan Eats: Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

by Courtney
Vegan Eats: Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

Have you missed my delicious vegan recipes? Well luckily for you, I’ve got plenty more in the works. Today, however, we are focused on the classic Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni – the standard vegetarian meal at all events and functions. Usually made with dairy-based ricotta, this dish not often made vegan friendly. Until now!

The hero of this dish is obviously the vegan ricotta, which I have worked on several times before finding a consistency and taste that I liked. Note that this is a savoury ricotta mix – I am still working on a sweet version, so stay tuned for that! This recipes also requires a bit of prep, so make sure to start a few hours before you plan to eat.

Anyway, no-one likes recipes where the author waffles on for hundreds of words before giving up the actual recipe, so here it is – Vegan Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni.


 


Vegan Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

Serves two with leftovers.

INGREDIENTS

Spinach & Ricotta Mix

  • 1 cup slivered almonds (soaked for at least 2-3 hours)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered
  • 250g frozen spinach
  • 2 teaspoons minced or fresh garlic
  • 1/2 vegan cheese, shredded

Red Sauce

  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 1 heaped tablespoon minced or fresh garlic
  • 1 & 1/2 cans diced tomatoes 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Dash of red wine
  • Olive Oil

Rest of Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegan breadcrumbs (optional)
  • Cannelloni tubes
  • Vegan cheese (for topping)


METHOD

Spinach & Ricotta Mix

  • After soaking slivered almonds, drain and add to blender or bullet mixer with raw cashews, nutritional yeast, onion powder, mustard powder, mixed herbs, non-dairy milk, salt & pepper and the juice of the lemon quarters.
  • Mix until smooth, adding a little bit of water at a time if too thick.
  • Defrost spinach in microwave then add to mixing bowl with garlic, vegan cheese and the ricotta mixture.
  • Stir well and put to the side.

Red Sauce

  • Dice onions, then add to saucepan on medium heat with the garlic and olive oil, cooking for two minutes.
  • Then, add the tomato paste, paprika, soy sauce, water & red wine and stir for another minute or so, then add the diced tomatoes and brown sugar.
  • Turn down heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes. If you have time, I would recommend simmering on very low heat for up to two hours, as this really brings out the rich tomato flavour. If you choose to do this, make sure to check regularly and stir, adding small amounts of water if necessary.
  • Add salt & pepper to taste, then remove from heat.

Putting it all together

  • Spread approximately half of the red sauce across the bottom of a baking dish.
  • Fill the cannelloni tubes with the spinach & ricotta mix, then place on top on the red sauce in baking dish, making sure to place them close together.
  • Once all cannelloni tubes have been filled, pour the remaining red sauce on top of the cannelloni tubes.
  • Sprinkle some extra vegan cheese and the vegan breadcrumbs on top. I also sprinkled some shredded fresh basil on top too.
  • Place in oven and bake at 180 degrees celsius for around 35-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and has turned golden brown.
  • Remove from oven once ready and enjoy with a fresh garden side salad!


Notes

  • As I mentioned above, this recipe requires some forward thinking and pre-planning. When making this for dinner, I usually soak the almonds for a few hours in the morning, then begin preparing the red sauce mid afternoon so I have time for it to simmer and really bring out that rich, tomato flavour.
  • Depending on the size of the cannelloni tubes you get, you will likely have leftover spinach & ricotta mix. I like to use this for spinach & ricotta pasties, so I always make sure I grab some puff pastry if I haven’t got any at home. I’ll probably add another recipe here for those!
  • As always, this dish always tastes a thousand times better if you drink red wine whilst cooking.

Remember – eating just one vegan meal a day can make a really big difference. It is an easy and tasty way to help the planet, the animals, and yourself!


 

2 comments

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2 comments

Dimitrina Vasileva April 12, 2020 - 10:10 am

Let me preface this comment by saying both my husband (omni) and I (vegan) absolutely HATE tofu. Hate the texture, hate the flavour, have tried it in all kinds of ways, and just have never been able to find a way to make it palatable. My husband literally gags when trying to eat it. HOWEVER, thanks to you I have finally found a way to prepare it that we both not only tolerated, but very much enjoyed! I decided to give it a chance because of the fantastic reviews, although I was a little worried that they were coming from already-converted tofu-enthusiasts. But there was no need to fear: the meal was a total success!!! I didn t tell my husband that we were eating tofu or he would never have agreed to even try it. It wasn t until he had nearly finished it that I admitted to what it was. Anyway, thanks again for this delicious recipe! I only used half the ricotta so far: the rest will be going on toast tomorrow ?? I encourage other people who usually dislike tofu to try it. It s just so good!

Reply
Courtney April 13, 2020 - 12:29 pm

Hey there, thank you so much for trying my recipe and commenting your thoughts! Maybe the reason you liked this recipe so much is because there isn’t actually any tofu in it! Not sure where you got that from, but if you do want to try a tofu recipe that doesn’t taste like tofu, my Vegan Sausage-Less Rolls are amazing! Thanks again for your support!

Reply

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