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Chicken Cannelloni with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Chicken Cannelloni with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Chicken Cannelloni is one of those wonderful dishes you can make ahead, clean up your kitchen, and have ready to just stick in the oven an hour before dinnertime. It is elegant and delicious, perfect for a special occasion. The Parmigiano Reggiano cheese combined with the chicken and pork flavors the meat and keeps it tender. The addition of chopped pistachios gives an unexpected crunch. Chicken Cannelloni is also easy to prepare and appealing to young and old. It may well become an everyday family favorite.


Tomato Sauce

  • 1 28- ounce can San Marzano diced tomatoes liquid drained
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Pinch sugar

Chicken Cannelloni

  • 1/4 cup onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 ounces pancetta diced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts chopped
  • 12 ounces fresh pasta sheets*
  • 2 cups Parmesan Cream Sauce



  • Purée tomatoes in a food processor with garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and sugar. Set aside.


  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • In a food processor chop the onion, garlic, and pancetta. Add the ground chicken and pork and process for a few seconds. Add the Parmigiano Reggiano, egg, cream, salt and pepper and blend a few seconds more. Transfer the contents of the food processor to a cold metal bowl. With a spatula, fold in the pistachios. Keep the mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the cannelloni.
  • Cut the pasta sheets in half, they should be at least four by six inches. Bring a large pan of water to a boil, add 3 tablespoons of salt and cook the pasta sheets for 3 to 4 minutes. You want to soften them, but not overcook them. Drain, then lay them on a wet tea towel. Sprinkle with some water, cover with another wet tea towel before adding a second layer of pasta to prevent them from sticking.
  • Put 1 ½ cups Simple Tomato Sauce in the bottom of a large casserole dish (9- x 14-inches).
  • To make your cannelloni, take a fresh pasta sheet, put it on your work surface and with a towel or paper towel pat it dry. With a spatula, spread about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture over the middle of the pasta sheet, leaving one inch at the top and bottom. Roll up in jelly-roll style. Transfer the rolled cannelloni to the casserole. Repeat with the other sheets.
  • Cover the cannelloni with the Parmesan Cream Sauce and top with a few scattered dollops of tomato sauce. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes.


*The fresh pasta sheets used in this recipe are easy to handle and result in tender cannelloni. If you can’t find fresh pasta sheets and don’t have time to make them yourself, you can substitute crepes. Crepes roll nicely and are tender and delicious, making them an excellent alternative to fresh pasta.
Adapted from Parmesan.com

This recipe is part of a series promoting delicious Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano Night, a virtual global dinner party happening on October 25, 2014. If you love Parmigiano (and really, who doesn’t?), be sure to celebrate Parmigiano Reggiano Night on October 25 using the free Parmigiano Reggiano App. This app will allow you to be part of a global dinner party celebrating the king of cheese. Don’t miss out on the fun, sign up for the app right now!

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