Chicken Cannelloni with Spinach and Artichokes is elegant enough for a special dinner for two. Flat, no-boil lasagna noodles work perfectly for the cannelloni and you don’t even need to boil them!
Most baked pasta dishes are not easy to do on a small scale. It’s too much food and who wants to eat the same thing for an entire week?
This Chicken Cannelloni with Spinach and Artichokes is easy to do on a small scale. It’s elegant enough for a special dinner for two and you don’t even need to cook the pasta first.
What is the difference between cannelloni and manicotti?
Cannelloni and manicotti are terms that get used interchangeably, however, subtle differences exist.
- Cannelloni is made with sheets of pasta or crepes and rolled to contain the filling.
- Manicotti starts with large dried pasta tubes and is then stuffed.
Tips for making Chicken Cannelloni with Spinach and Artichokes:
- For this Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Cannelloni, flat no-boil dried lasagna noodles (such as Barilla) work perfectly in place of fresh pasta sheets or crepes.
- The noodles require only a short soaking in hot tap water so that they’re pliable for rolling.
- Place the noodles on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to dry before placing the filling on them.
- Because it’s just my husband and myself, I didn’t want to purchase an entire container of ricotta cheese for the filling. What generally happens at our house is we use only a small amount and then have to figure out how to use the rest. Ricotta does not keep as well as cream cheese after opening and I end up throwing half of it out.
- Instead, I used spreadable cream cheese flavored with onions and chives. I only used half of an 8-ounce container here. However, I find the remainder of a cream cheese container easier to use up than leftover ricotta.
- Use frozen artichoke hearts if possible. Frozen artichoke hearts have better flavor than canned. If you can find them in a bag versus a box, you’ll be able to remove what you need and return the rest to the freezer for use at a later date.
- The Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Cannelloni is then smothered in a creamy Parmesan bechamel. A bechamel is a simple, white roux-based French sauce that actually has roots in Italy.
- When topping the cannelloni with the sauce, be sure to leave the edges slightly uncovered so they get nice and crispy when baked.
Delish! If you love the chicken, spinach and artichoke combination, be sure to try my Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Puff Pastry Parcels!
More great pasta recipes you’ll love:
- Spaghetti Pie with Three Cheeses
- Baked Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Bacon and Taleggio
- Tomato-Topped Hatch Green Chile Mac and Cheese
- Shrimp, Scallop and Artichoke Lasagna
- Lasagna with Pesto, Green Beans and Potatoes
- Baked Spaghetti Frittata with Broccoli Rabe, Bacon and Three Cheeses
- Cheese-Stuffed Pasta Shells with Chunky Garden Marinara Sauce
- Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Browned Butter, Parmesan and Pecans
- Gnocchi with Spinach and Avocado Goat Cheese Sauce
Chicken Cannelloni with Spinach and Artichokes
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- Non-stick cooking spray
- 12 flat no-boil lasagna noodles - such as Barilla
- 1 container (5-ounce) fresh baby spinach - packed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves - cooked and diced (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 box (10-ounce) frozen artichoke hearts - thawed, patted dry and coarsely chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 package (8-ounce) cream cheese - room temperature
- 3 scallions - minced (approximately 1/4 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese - divided
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese - divided
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups milk - whole or 2%
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Fill a shallow pan with hot tap water. Soak the lasagna noodles until pliable while preparing the filling. When pliable, drain and pat dry with paper towels.
- Place spinach in a microwave-safe container and add 1/4 water. Microwave on high for 2-2 1/2 minutes or until wilted. Drain, cool, squeeze out any excess water and coarsely chop. Season the spinach with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Combine spinach, chicken, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, scallions, garlic, 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Set aside.
- Heat butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly, being careful not to brown it.
- Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened. Stir in salt and pepper, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of nutmeg.
- Pour 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Place even amounts of the chicken filling on one of the short sides of the lasagna noodles. Roll up and arrange in a row on the bechamel sauce.
- Pour remaining sauce over the cannelloni. Sprinkle remaining Mozzarella and Parmesan over the top.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until top is lightly browned and sauce is bubbling.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.