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Cannelloni with Ground Beef and Béchamel


I love this Cannelloni Recipe. When I don’t have the time or the energy to make a Baked Lasagna, this dish is my go-to!

This cannelloni recipe has all the same goodness and edge of my lasagna, but is quicker and easier to pull together.

I like to purchase the pasta tubes that are made with semolina flour, and note that they are smooth, not the grooved type. I love the Cannelloni Shells from Rustichella d’Abruzzo. They are ‘no-boil’ but I still boil them for about 3 minutes to reduce overall cooking time in the oven by at least twenty minutes and better control the firmness of the tubes.

P.S. I know there is confusion on the difference between cannelloni and manicotti. By most accounts, manicotti is more like an Italian crepe and is also considered the Italian-American version of cannelloni.

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  • Author: Carrie Pacini
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


I love this Cannelloni Recipe. When I don’t have time or the energy to make a baked lasagna, this is my go to dish.



2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 1/2 lb of ground beef (85% lean)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Dried cannelloni tubes (12 tubes)
1 béchamel recipe (included below)
2 cups marinara sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Béchamel Ingredients
2 cups milk (2% or whole)
1 Bay leaf
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 375F

  1. Prepare the meat filling by heating the oil and a medium saucepan. Add the onion, sauté until translucent. Stir in the ground beef, crumbling it and stirring until it is no longer raw. About 4 minutes.
  2. Take the cooked ground beef and add it to a bowl and let cool. Once cooled, mix in the parsley, 3/4 cup of mozzarella shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Make the béchamel sauce by heating up the milk in a sauce pan with the bay leaf.  Add the butter and whisk. Add the flour and continue to whisk while bringing the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is thick like a gravy and smooth whisk in the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and 1 tsp of nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. Bring large pot of water to a boil and cook cannelloni according to the package directions to al dente. If they are no-boil, I still like to boil for about 3 minutes, but do what you are comfortable with.
  5. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Then spread 1/2 cup of the béchamel over the marinara sauce.
  6. Using a spoon, fill the pasta the meat mixture. Arrange the pasta on top of the marinara and béchamel sauce in the baking dish.
  7. Spoon the rest of the marinara sauce on top of the pasta, spreading it out to cover all of the pasta. Pour the rest of the béchamel sauce on top of the marinara sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Let stand for about 5 minutes prior to serving.


  • Serving Size: 5

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