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Chicken Cannelloni Margherita

Chicken Cannelloni Margherita. Cheesy stuffed pasta rolls baked on a bed of tomato sauce. Filled with a combination of creamy ricotta, chicken, garlic and herbs. Fantastic comfort food.

Chicken Cannelloni Margherita close up photo.

Chicken Cannelloni Margherita


Originally published May 2013.

Our family loves a good baked pasta dish and this Margherita version of Chicken Cannelloni is one of our favourites. Not just because of all that delicious cheesy goodness on top, but because this one is so simple to make.

It relies on only a few simple ingredients for the bright, fresh classic Margherita flavour combination of tomato, basil and mozzarella.

Chicken Cannelloni Margherita featured image on white plate.

Chicken Cannelloni Margherita.

No canned tomatoes here, the simple sauce is made from from fresh tomatoes and garlic quickly sautéed together in a pan. The chicken is also quickly stir fried then mixed with some rich ricotta cheese and basil to create the filling for the cannelloni.

We like to roll up fresh lasagna sheets rather than stuff cannelloni tubes. That’s because it’s much faster and easier but you can use the pasta tubes as directed on the box if you prefer.

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Chicken Cannelloni Margherita photo with title text for Pinterest

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Chicken Cannelloni Margherita close up photo.
Yield: 8 cannelloni

Chicken Cannelloni Margherita

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Chicken Cannelloni Margherita - Cheesy Pasta rolls baked on a bed of tomato sauce and filled with a combination of creamy ricotta, chicken, garlic and herbs. Fantastic comfort food.


For the tomato sauce

  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 large ripe tomatoes diced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chili sauce or chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to season

For the cannelloni filling

  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced small
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

To prepare the cannelloni

  • 8 fresh lasagna sheets
  • 12 ounces mozzarella cheese grated
  • about a dozen basil leaves


To prepare the tomato sauce

  1. Saute the garlic in the oil over medium heat for just a minute before adding the tomatoes, brown sugar, chili sauce, salt, pepper.
  2. Continue to cook until the tomatoes soften and the compote reduces to a chunky jam-like consistency. Add the balsamic vinegar in the final minute or two of cooking.

To prepare the filling

  1. Stir fry the chicken and garlic in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Do not over cook, remember, the chicken will be going back into the oven. If you overcook it at this stage it will be very dry after being baked.
  2. Set aside to cool for 10 or 15 minutes then add the basil, ricotta, egg yolks, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese.
  3. To prepare the cannelloni
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If your lasagna sheets are very large you can cut them in half. sheets about 6×6 inches is about right but you can make almost any size work. If the sheets are too stiff, just soak them in warm water for a few minutes until they soften sufficiently to roll.
  5. You will need 2 8x8 inch baking dishes or a large baking dish of the equivalent size.. Spoon a thin layer of the sauce to cover the bottom of the pan/s.
  6. Spoon 1/8 of the filling onto each lasagna sheet and gently roll the sheet up into a tube about an inch thick. I find spooning the filling onto the center of the sheet and then rolling works best. As you roll. the filling disperses throughout the pasta tube you are forming.
  7. Place the cannelloni in the pan and cover with the remaining sauce, a layer of basil leaves and then sprinkle on the grated mozzarella evenly. Bake for about 40 minutes until the sauce bubbles and the cheese is melted and begins to brown.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 554Saturated Fat 8gCholesterol 156mgSodium 485mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 2gSugar 7gProtein 40g

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Friday 7th of June 2019

Barry another wonderful hit for me! Thank you very much. Everything I have tried is so delicious. This will definitely be made often! I know it seems like it would be a sin - however - sometimes due to seasonal issues at times the tomatoes are not very good or flavorful. Should a person have to resort to canned how many cans and what size would I need? I am guessing i would just heat through until the right consistency and water gone and continue with the rest of the recipe. Sorry I made you cover your eyes! But seriously at times the tomatoes are picked to early then shipped and they have no taste or they are all battered up.


Saturday 25th of May 2019

Could you please give the chicken amount in weight? I live in a fairly remote area, and the size available seems to vary from week to week. Am looking forward to giving this a try!

Barry C. Parsons

Saturday 25th of May 2019

Large breasts are about 6 or 7 ounces. so 1/12 to 2 pounds.

Debbie Walsh

Friday 7th of September 2018

This looks delicious and I'm anxious to try it. Im curious if you've ever tried it with ground chicken?

Barry C. Parsons

Wednesday 12th of September 2018

I never have, I like the texture of the small pieces of chicken better,


Wednesday 25th of October 2017

Have made this twice now! It's delicious, best cannelloni recipe! Thank you


Tuesday 7th of May 2013

So delicious and easy to make. My family loved it. Great for entertaining. It has been added to our 'do again' list.

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