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Beef Cannelloni Bolognese [Italian Recipe]

beef cannelloni
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If you’re like me and have a deep affection for Italian recipes, cannelloni is right up your alley! I find the process of making them incredibly enjoyable, almost as if each tube of pasta is a small project that yields big flavors. There’s really nothing quite like it in the world of stuffed pastas, except maybe stuffed shells, but even they don’t quite compare to the fun and satisfaction of making Beef Cannelloni Bolognese.

Why Will You Love this Recipe?

  • Straightforward Ingredients: Everything you need for this dish is easy to find in your local grocery store. No special trips to gourmet shops required!
  • Versatile for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a cozy family dinner or a more festive gathering, this dish fits right in. It’s hearty and comforting, perfect for any table.
  • Hands-On Fun: The preparation involves hands-on stuffing of the cannelloni, making it a great recipe to involve friends or family. Turn the kitchen into your own little Italian bistro for the evening!
how to make beef cannelloni bolognaise

Recipe Variations

  • Change Up the Meat: While ground beef is traditional, feel free to use ground turkey, pork, or even a plant-based meat substitute for a twist.
  • Go Veggie: Skip the meat altogether and opt for a ricotta and spinach filling if you prefer something lighter.
  • Cheese Options: While mozzarella is a classic choice, don’t be afraid to mix in some parmesan, pecorino, or even a bit of gouda for a change in flavor.
cannelloni bolognaise with bechamel

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beef cannelloni

Beef Cannelloni Bolognese

Author: Laura Bais
This Beef Cannelloni recipe, also known as Cannelloni Bolognese, features tubes of pasta stuffed with a savory ground beef mixture, layered between rich red and creamy béchamel sauces, then topped with melted mozzarella. It's a hearty, comforting meal that perfectly blends the robust flavors of a traditional Italian dish.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5 portions


Red Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • cup white or rosé wine
  • 14 ounces canned peeled tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Ground Beef Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.1 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A pinch of black pepper

Béchamel Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • cups milk
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Other Ingredients

  • About 16 cannelloni tubes
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese


Cooking Red Sauce

  • Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; sauté until translucent.
  • Pour in wine and let the alcohol evaporate for about two minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, water, salt, sugar, pepper, bay leaf, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Cooking Ground Beef

  • In another pan, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add ground beef and cook until browned.
  • Stir in tomato paste, add water, salt, and pepper. Simmer until thick enough for stuffing the cannelloni.

Making Béchamel Sauce

  • Melt butter in a small pot, stir in flour and nutmeg, and cook for a few minutes on low heat.
  • Gradually add milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add salt and pepper.
  • Cook until the sauce thickens, about three minutes.

Assembling and Baking

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Spread a layer of red sauce in a baking dish.
  • Fill cannelloni with meat sauce, arrange over the red sauce.
  • Cover with béchamel sauce, then sprinkle with mozzarella.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
Keyword bechamel sauce, bolognese, cannelloni, ground beef recipe, italian recipe, white sauce dip for nachos
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