CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI

Hello there. As you know if you’ve been following along here lately, I’ve recently returned from a trip to DC where we visited my son and 2 grandchildren. Life goes on during our visits, my son goes to work, the kids go to school, so I often stay home and prepare dinner to enjoy as a family when everyone returns home. My son has a lovely, bright kitchen that is enjoyable to work in. And since he likes to cook as much as I do, he has all the right equipment. So on this trip to DC I decided to make a recipe that I’ve recently perfected after enjoying a similar version prepared by my friend Brenda. It’s a very yummy Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni recipe.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

For The Filling

  • 9 0z. Box Oven Ready (no boil) Lasagne Noodles (I prefer Barilla brand)
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 Lb. Ground Chicken
  • Salt & Coarse Ground Pepper to Taste
  • 5 oz. Package Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
  • 14 oz. Can Artichoke Hearts Packed in Water, Drained Well & Chopped
  • 7.5 oz. Package Chive & Onion Cream Cheese (I prefer Philadelphia Brand)
  • 8 oz. Grated Mozzarella Cheese (about 2 Cups)

For the Béchamel Sauce

  • 6 T. Butter
  • 1/3 Cup Flour
  • 3  1/3 Cups Milk (I use 1%)
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

For the Marinara Sauce

Here’s How To Make It:

You may wish to assemble this dish ahead of time so about 15 minutes before you plan to start the baking process, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Spray an 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray and set it aside.

Fill a shallow dish with hot tap water and soak the noodles until they are pliable. Transfer the noodles to paper towels and pat them dry.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the ground chicken.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Throughly cook over medium heat, breaking the meat into small bits using a wooden spatula. Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Place the fresh spinach in a microwave safe bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and microwave on high for 2 minutes or until wilted.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Drain and cool the spinach, thoroughly squeeze out all the excess water. It is amazing how you start with what looks like a whole bunch of spinach and it diminishes down into a small little ball.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Next rough chop the spinach. Thoroughly drain the artichokes and chop them up as well, and mince the garlic.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.comCHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Into a medium size mixing bowl add the minced garlic, chopped artichoke hearts, chopped spinach, cream cheese and mozzarella cheese.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Finally add the cooled, cooked ground chicken.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Mix to combine and set aside.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

How to Make the Béchamel Sauce

Before we get started I have a disclaimer to make. A true Béchamel Sauce has nutmeg in it, however, I do not think this is a pleasant additive and always leave it out, as I have done here. If you’re a purist be my guest and add a pinch of ground nutmeg to this sauce. 

Melt the butter in a medium size frying pan. Add the flour and stir constantly for 2 minute to cook the flour and remove the raw taste.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Slowly add the milk and whisk constantly until you achieve a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer and whisk until the sauce thickens. I use a flat whisk for this purpose, one of my all-time favorite cooking utensils, and one I can’t live without. In fact, I gave this flat whisk as a gift to my son.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Once your Béchamel Sauce has thickened add the parmesan cheese, stir to combine and remove from the heat.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Pour about half of the sauce into your prepared baking dish.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

This recipe will make about 15 Cannelloni, so take about 1/15th of the filling (about 1/4 C.) and place it on the short side of a lasagne noodle. Roll the noodle up and repeat until you have used all of the filling.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Arrange the cannelloni in rows in the baking dish and cover with the remaining Béchamel Sauce.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Bake in oven preheated to 375°F for about 30 minutes or until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbling hot.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Now I have a confession to make. Ever since I discovered Victoria Brand Marinara Sauce I have completely stopped making my own sauce. That’s because this sauce is WAY better than I can make myself, so there is no sense in even trying to improve upon this. It is SO GOOD I feel like I’m eating sauce in Italy.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Heat the ready-to-serve Victoria Marinara Sauce in a saucepan. Spoon the warm sauce into pasta bowls. Place an individual serving of Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni on top of the sauce. Garnish with fresh basil.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Serve with toasted garlic bread and a fresh green salad and you’ll have a wonderful and delicious meal to serve your family.

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI RECIPE | www.AfterOrangeCounty.com

Now for the handy-dandy printable recipe…

 

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Here's an easy way to make Cannelloni using no boil lasagne noodles. The results are delicious and elegant! This is a favorite of my husband's and it's impressive enough to serve as an entree for an elegant dinner party.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 7 servings
Ingredients
  • For The Filling
  • 9 0z. Box Oven Ready (no boil) Lasagne Noodles (I prefer Barilla brand)
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 Lb. Ground Chicken
  • Salt & Coarse Ground Pepper to Taste
  • 5 oz. Package Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
  • 14 oz. Can Artichoke Hearts Packed in Water, Drained & Chopped
  • 7.5 oz. Package Chive & Onion Cream Cheese (I prefer Philadelphia Brand)
  • 8 oz. Grated Mozzarella Cheese (about 2 Cups)
  • For the Béchamel Sauce
  • 6 T. Butter
  • ⅓ Cup Flour
  • 3⅓ Cups Milk (I use 1%)
  • ½ Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • For the Marinara Sauce
  • Two - 24 oz. Jars Victoria Marinara Sauce
  • Fresh Basil for Garnish
Instructions
  1. You may wish to assemble this dish ahead of time so about 15 minutes before you plan to start the baking process, preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray an 13" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. To Make The Filling
  4. Fill a shallow dish with hot tap water and soak noodles until pliable.
  5. Transfer noodles to paper towels and pat dry.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the ground chicken.
  7. Throughly cook over medium heat, breaking meat into small bits using a wooden spatula.
  8. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  9. Set aside to cool.
  10. Place spinach in a microwave safe bowl.
  11. Add ¼ cup water and microwave on high for 2 minutes or until wilted.
  12. Drain and cool the spinach, thoroughly squeeze out all the excess water, then coarsely chop it up.
  13. Into a medium size mixing bowl add the minced garlic, chopped artichoke hearts, chopped spinach, cream cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  14. Finally add the cooled, cooked ground chicken.
  15. Mix to combine and set aside.
  16. To Make the Béchamel Sauce
  17. Melt butter in a medium size frying pan.
  18. Add flour and stir constantly for 2 minute to cook the flour and remove the raw taste.
  19. Slowly add milk and whisk constantly until you achieve a boil.
  20. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking, until the sauce thickens.
  21. Add parmesan cheese, stir to combine and remove from the heat.
  22. Pour about half of the sauce into prepared baking dish.
  23. Take about 1/15th of the filling (about ¼ C.) and place it on the short side of a lasagne noodle.
  24. Roll the noodle up and repeat until you have used all of the filling.
  25. Arrange cannelloni in rows in the baking dish and cover with remaining Béchamel Sauce.
  26. Bake in oven preheated to 375°F for about 30 minutes or until top is browned and sauce is bubbling hot.
  27. Heat the ready-to-serve Victoria Marinara Sauce in a saucepan.
  28. Spoon warm sauce into pasta bowls.
  29. Place an individual serving of Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni on top of the sauce.
  30. Garnish with fresh basil.
  31. ENJOY!
Notes
Serve with toasted garlic bread and a fresh green salad and you'll have a wonderful and delicious meal.

Inspiration for this recipe came from: From A Chef's Kitchen

Inspiration for this recipe came from www.fromachefskitchen.com

So there you have it: CHICKEN AND SPINACH CANNELLONI

Thanks so much for dropping in!

Express Yourself!

No blog post is truly complete without a word from you. I’d be so delighted if you’d leave a comment below.

All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.  This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  It’s what helps to make this blog possible. Thanks very much for your support.

Comments

logo

LET'S SOCIALIZE!

SUBSCRIBE

and be the first to see the latest & greatest from After Orange County

We hate spam and promise to keep your email address safe.