Classic Italian Food

Homemade cannelloni

Ingredients – cannelloni

  • 1kg minced beef
  • 1 medium – large onion
  • 8-10 mushrooms
  • 1 tin/carton chopped tomatoes
  • 6 freshly crushed large cloves garlic (or use cheats garlic)
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp gravy browning
  • 1 Oxo stock cube
  • 2-3 tsp gravy thickening
  • 30 cannelloni tubes

Ingredients – cheese sauce

  • 75g butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1710ml whole milk
  • 750g mature or extra mature cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients – garlic bread

  • Cobs sliced in half or slices of bread
  • Freshly crushed garlic (or use cheats garlic)
  • Butter

Method – cannelloni

  1. Dice the onion and mushrooms.
  2. If using fresh garlic, crush the cloves straight into a large frying pan. Otherwise add the cheats’ garlic. Add the oil and butter. Heat the pan.
  3. Add the onion and mushrooms and quickly fry for about a minute. Add the minced beef and cook the beef quickly. NOTE: If you leave the minced beef slightly rare, then it will be better in the long run. This is a pre-prepared meal that is to be cooked at a later date. This will make the finished meal nicer.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stock cube and gravy browning. Mix through thoroughly.
  5. Add the gravy thickening, stir in well then remove the pan from the heat.

Method – cheese sauce

  1. Melt the butter in a pan.
  2. Add the flour and beat vigorously.
  3. Gradually add the milk to create the béchamel sauce.
  4. Add the freshly ground pepper and cheese. Mix in well.

Construct the cannelloni

The important thing to consider here are the quantities. This recipe will make 10 portions of cannelloni portioned up into trays to be frozen and used at a later date. Foil trays with lids are readily available for purchase in supermarkets. They can also be bought online (Ebay, Amazon, etc) and the prices may be better if buying in bulk.

The smaller foil trays take THREE cannelloni pasta rolls. Stuff each one with the beef filling and put three filled cannelloni in each tray. Top with cheese sauce and leave to cool. Label the lids and secure to each foil tray when the contents are cool and then freeze.


I used the small foil trays to create individual portions. If you are cooking for a large family get together, place the stuffed cannelloni in a larger tray and cover with the cheese sauce.

The great thing with this is that the preparation can be done the day before, then refrigerated overnight and baked the following day when needed.

Add a big bowl of salad and garlic bread and it makes life easier for you. Perfect in the run up to and over the festive period.

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