Skip to Content

Vegetarian Cauliflower and Ricotta Cheese Cannelloni

Cauliflower and ricotta cheese cannelloni on a simple tomato base, topped with mozzarella, bechamel sauce & parmesan then baked until golden.

This recipe takes a while to make but it is essentially 3 simple things that can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen and baked when needed.

Close-up vegetarian cauliflower and ricotta cheese cannelloni being served from a baking dish.

Vegetarian Cauliflower Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Tubes

Cannelloni is the king of pasta bakes as far as I am concerned.

I’ve already got a take on a classic spinach cannelloni with goat cheese and a beef cannelloni they are some of my favourite comfort food recipes.

This version is a little unusual, cauliflower cannelloni may not be traditional but it is delicious!

I adore cauliflower and I use it in all sorts of ways, I’ve got a wonderful curried cauliflower veloute soup, a roasted pomegranate molasses cauliflower steak and of course an Indian aloo gobi recipe.

Just like all of those recipes, this offering is vegetarian!

The dish starts with a really simple tomato sauce, I say a sauce, it is nothing more than passata infused with garlic.

Then we have pasta tubes stuffed with a cauliflower and ricotta cheese puree.

Finally. it is topped with a combination of mozzarella, bechamel sauce and a generous sprinkling of parmesan cheese… and it is delicious!

Vegetarian cauliflower and ricotta stuffed and baked cannelloni.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use a piping bag?

Using a piping bag is the easiest and to my mind, the best way of getting the filling into the pasta tubes.

At a push, you could use a “sandwich” bag and cut off a corner, but that can be hit and miss.

Can I use fresh pasta?

Absolutely, cut the pasta into strips 7½-10cm or 3-4″ wide and add some of the filling. Then roll it up keeping the overlap at the bottom of the dish.

You will only need to bake the dish for 25-30 minutes if you are using fresh pasta, you may need to grill the top to get a little extra colour.

Can I cook this in advance?

Yes, you can take two approaches, you can freeze the dish either uncooked or cooked and then defrost or cook from frozen.

To cook from frozen but uncooked, cover with foil and cook for 1 hour at 160°C or 320°F then turn the heat up to 200°C or 400°F and cook for another 30 minutes. Finally, slide under the grill for 3-4 minutes.

To cook from cooked and frozen, cover with foil and place the oven for 1 hour at 160°C or 320°F, then turn the heat up to 200°C or 400°F and cook for another 15 minutes. Finally, slide under the grill for 3-4 minutes.

I’ve got a bit of filling left, what can I do with it?

Stick it in the fridge and save it, it is superb spread on toast, a sandwich or crackers.

Overhead vegetarian cauliflower and ricotta stuffed and baked cannelloni served on a plate.

Serving Suggestions

This cauliflower cannelloni recipe is a hearty old dish and as far as I am concerned it doesn’t need any heavy side dishes.

However, it is nice with a little well-dressed side salad or some salad leaves.

The cheesy bechamel sauce also leaves lots of stuff on the plate that absolutely must be cleaned up with bread.

I usually opt for some garlic bread, or even better, cheesy garlic bread.

Overhead vegetarian cauliflower and ricotta stuffed and baked cannelloni.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But, if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section of the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • 28cm or 11″ Saucepan with a steamer basket. Or some other equipment to steam the cauliflower.
  • 15cm of 6″ saucepan.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
  • 25cm by 15cm (10″ x 6″) baking dish.
  • Food processor.
  • Stirring and serving spoons.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or a combination of measuring jug, cups and spoons.
  • Piping bag with a nozzle a little smaller than the cannelloni tubes.
Vegetarian cauliflower and ricotta cheese cannelloni being served from a baking dish.
Yield: 2 Servings

Cauliflower and Ricotta Stuffed Cannelloni Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This baked cauliflower cannelloni is a perfect winter warmer, a beautiful cauliflower and ricotta cheese puree baked to perfection with bechamel sauce and mozzarella.


  • 125g (10) Cannelloni Tubes
  • 125g (4oz) Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese
  • 35g (⅓ Cup) Grated Parmesan Cheese

For the Cannelloni Filling:

  • 400g (3-4 Cups) Cauliflower Florets
  • 200g (¾ Cup) Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
  • ½ Tsp Dreid Basil
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • ⅛-¼ Tsp White Pepper

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 200g (¾-1 Cup) Tomato Passata

For the Bechamel Sauce:

  • 15g (1 Tbsp) Butter
  • 15g (2 Tbsp) Flour
  • 125ml (½ Cup) Milk
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch White Pepper


  1. Heat a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add enough water so that it does not come up higher than the base of a steamer basket, bring the water to a boil, add the cauliflower florets and steam them for 15 minutes or until very tender.
  2. Add the steamed cauliflower to the bowl of a food processor along with the ricotta cheese, dried oregano, basil, salt and white pepper and pulse to form a smooth puree. Have a taste and add more salt if required. Set this puree aside to cool completely whilst you make the bechamel and tomato sauces.
  3. Heat a 24cm or 10" frying pan over a low-medium heat and add the olive oil.
  4. Bash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and peel them, then throw them into the pan with the olive oil and cook them for 5 minutes.
  5. When the garlic is fragrant and starting to become golden, pour in the tomato passata and cook for as long as it takes to make the bechamel sauce.
  6. Heat the butter for the bechamel sauce over a medium heat in a 15cm or 6" saucepan and when it has melted add the flour, then cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Stir in the milk little by little, making sure that all of the previous milk has been incorporated before you add any more, keep going until you have a nice smooth white sauce and then season with salt and white pepper, use your tastebuds to get this right. Then set aside for a minute.
  8. Remove the garlic cloves from the tomato and pour the sauce into the base of a 25cm by 15cm (10" x 6") baking dish.
  9. Transfer the cauliflower puree to a piping bag with a nozzle just a little smaller than the cannelloni tubes and then fill the tubes, transferring them to the baking dish as you go. I find standing the tubes on a spatula as they are filled helps with this process.
  10. Slice the mozzarella cheese and layer it over the tubes, then pour over the bechamel sauce.
  11. Grate the parmesan cheese and sprinkle it over the dish, cover it with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C or 350°F, then remove the foil and cook for another 25-30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 992Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 138mgSodium: 2121mgCarbohydrates: 85gFiber: 13gSugar: 12gProtein: 43g

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health

Friday 11th of November 2016

It looks absolutely delicious. Love how you made cauliflower really interesting in this dish :) Sharing this, off course and saving it for later to try ;) I love cauliflower and I LOVEEE cheese hehe ;)

Brian Jones

Monday 14th of November 2016

Thanks Natalie it is a great dish, a bit involved but well worth the effort.

Platter Talk

Friday 11th of November 2016

Beautiful pictures of a very healthy dish. I haven't made cannelloni in years. Perfect fall food!

Brian Jones

Monday 14th of November 2016

Haha, cheers Dan.

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours

Friday 11th of November 2016

This has made me hungry. I'm feeling the cold weather suddenly, got lurgy too, and this sounds just perfect for how I feel. Cauliflower is a great flavour, and is a perfect partner to cheese flavours.

Brian Jones

Monday 14th of November 2016

Booooo to the lurgy, hope you feel better soon. Cauliflower and cheese are such wonderful bedfellows.

Angela - Patisserie Makes Perfect

Friday 11th of November 2016

This looks so delicious, I love cauliflower and to serve it like this is really inventive. This looks great Brian!

Brian Jones

Monday 14th of November 2016

Thanks Angela.


Friday 11th of November 2016

This dish sounds phenomenal! I love that you've added cauliflower to the ricotta filling. Yum!

Brian Jones

Monday 14th of November 2016

Cheers Kate, it adds a really lovely flavour.

Skip to Recipe