Spinach and Tofu Ricotta Cannelloni

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This is one of my favourite meals to cook when people are coming over for dinner, as it’s so easy to do a big pan full to share. It’s also a go-to when cooking for meat lovers as it never fails to impress – it’s one of those ‘see how normal/delicious vegan food is?!?’ dishes. It takes a bit of time to prepare, but is totally worth it.

The addition of mushrooms and walnuts provide some great texture and flavour, as well as nutritional goodness. The dish is full of protein, iron, fibre, magnesium, vitamin c, d, b12 and more, so eat up!

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Spinach and Tofu Ricotta Cannelloni
(serves 6-8)

1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, diced
1/2 tsp oil
1 cup walnuts
250g frozen spinach
1 box cannelloni tubes (the type that don’t need pre-cooking)
Vegan cheese, to sprinkle on top (optional)

Sauce:
1/2 tsp oil
1 medium brown onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 400g tins crushed tomatoes (or equivalent fresh)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
Handful fresh basil, torn
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper

Tofu ricotta:
450g firm tofu
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Handful of basil, torn
Salt and pepper

Toast the walnuts in a pan over low heat, then chop finely and set aside.

Saute the mushrooms over medium heat in 1/2 tsp oil for about 3-5 minutes until soft, and set aside.

Defrost spinach and set aside.

For the sauce, saute onions in 1/2 tsp oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and stir in tomato paste and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for five minutes, then take off heat. From here, you can whizz up the sauce in a blender/with a stick blender if you’d like a smooth consistency, otherwise you can leave it chunky.

For the tofu ricotta, crumbled the tofu with your hands into a large bowl. Don’t worry about pressing any liquid out of it, as a wetter mix is better for assisting the pasta tubes to cook. Add garlic, oil, lemon juice, yeast flakes and basil and stir well. Add mushrooms, walnuts and spinach and mix through. Taste for seasoning.

To assemble, spread a small amount of the tomato sauce across the bottom of a large baking dish. This is important as the dry cannelloni tubes need to come in contact with some moisture on all sides to ensure they cook properly.

Fill tubes with tofu mix, however you please. I used to use a butter knife to poke it in but these days I just get my hands dirty as I find it’s quicker and easier. Lay the tubes side by side in the dish

Cover with remaining sauce, and poke a knife between each tube to allow a bit of sauce to seep in between them. Sprinkle with cheese and pop in the oven. Cook according to your cannelloni package.

Not only is this delicious straight away, it makes great leftovers and is surprisingly yummy cold too!

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10 responses »

  1. wow this looks great – I like spinach and cheese combos but it is a bit lacking for me – with mushrooms and walnuts this sounds so much more my sort of canneloni – I have plans for tomorrow night’s dinner or I would be going straight for this! but have bookmarked

    • I know what you mean…when I first started making this recipe, I used just spinach and tofu-ricotta – but it definitely was lacking something. The mushrooms and walnuts just add another depth of flavour and texture that make it extra delicious. Hope you enjoy it if you try :)

  2. I so agree! I am drooling at this right now, I used to love ricotta before I became a vegan and I love cheesy stuff! These cannelloni look just wonderful, love the idea by adding mushrooms & walnuts together! And I bet these are great leftovers…really yummy!

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