Chicken Cannelloni with Spinach and Artichokes

4.71 from 17 votes
1 hour 20 minutes
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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!

Photo of Chicken Spinach and Artichoke Cannelloni on green printed napkin in white baking dish.

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!

Photo of Chicken Spinach and Artichoke Cannelloni in white baking dish on green patterned fabric.

More great pasta recipes you’ll love:

Chicken Cannelloni with Spinach and Artichokes

4.71 from 17 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
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!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Pizza and Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 437 kcal


  • 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.


MAKE AHEAD:  Can be assembled to the point of baking 1-2 days ahead of time.  Refrigerate until ready to bake.  Let sit out at room temperature while the oven preheats.  You may need to add additional baking time.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Assemble, wrap securely and freeze 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator then bake as directed, adding additional baking time as needed.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 553mg | Potassium: 522mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 656IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 537mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment, star rating or post your photo on Instagram and tag @fromachefskitchen.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was the entree that was prepared by our hostess for our Cookbook Book Club luncheon yesterday and it was fabulous. I plan to make this over the weekend. I dearly love Italian foods especially Lidia Bastianich dishes and this was my favorite dish. I thought it was amazing.

    Carolyn Haley

    1. Hi, Carolyn, Thanks so very much and so happy you enjoyed this! I appreciate hearing from your Cookbook Club; what a fun idea!

  2. In the “Equipment” section it mentions an 11 x 7 baking dish, yet in the “Instructions” it says to use a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Which will fit the ingredients best?

    1. Hi, Cindy, Thanks so very much for your question and thanks for catching that! I’m in the process of updating this post with fresh information so that it’s suitable for a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. The 11 x 7 is the older information; just didn’t catch that section yet. The recipe NOW is written for a 13 x 9-inch. Thanks so much and hope you enjoy!

  3. If you make it ahead you wouldn’t pour the sauce over it ahead of time? Or would you make the sauce the day you are cooking it?

    1. Hi, Leslie, Thanks so much for your question. You definitely can pour the sauce over the pasta if making ahead. You can also store the sauce and filled pasta rolls separately–just wrap tightly so they don’t dry out. Hope that helps and thanks again!

    1. Hi, Deb, Thanks so much for your question. You absolutely can make them a day or two in advance and then just bake it off. You’ll need to increase the baking time if it’s cold out of the fridge. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  4. Even the picky eaters at our house had seconds of the inexpensive, easy, and delicious recipe! I copied the recipe and gave it out to those I work with. Thank you for sharing!

  5. 5 stars
    Love cannelloni. This looks so rich and creamy, perfect comfort dish for the winter blues. And the artichoke, cream cheese, spinach, chicken filling sounds fantastic.

  6. These look really yummy! I would love to try them but I don’t see how much milk to use listed in the ingredients.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  7. I love how you adapted this recipe for a smaller number of people, I plan to make this ahead, and then just pop it in the oven before dinner time. Thanks for the recipe. Now I’m off to check out some of your other Italian casseroles like butternut squash lasagna.