Spinach Crème Fraiche Gluten Free Cannelloni

The heart of this gluten free cannelloni is its creamy filling of spinach sautéed in garlic and onions combined with dairy-free cream fraiche. The pine nuts add a contrasting crunchy texture to the filling.
a portion of gluten free cannelloni

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Cannelloni is an elongated, tubular pasta filled with vegetables, cheese, or meat. This gluten free cannelloni recipe is filled with spinach, pine nuts, and dairy free creme fraiche. 

Most cannelloni are baked and topped with bechamel sauce, but I added a simple tomato sauce to this one. It gives it a balanced flavor of sweet-tangy tomato in addition to the creamy bechamel.

warm serving of gluten free cannelloni

The Gluten Free Cannelloni Pasta

At the heart of the dish is dried gluten-free cannelloni, a convenient and easy alternative to making fresh pasta. Unlike its fresh counterpart, dried cannelloni offers a longer shelf life and is perfect for those looking to keep gluten-free options on hand. 

Where can I buy gluten free cannelloni or manicotti? Some labels use the name manicotti instead of cannelloni. Don’t panic; they’re the same. They refer to it as manicotti when it’s dried pasta made from a manufacturing machine, while cannelloni refers to fresh pasta. 

Your local groceries and online shops like Amazon and Walmart should have them. 

newly baked cannelloni

The Creamy-Crunchy Spinach Filling

The filling begins with sautéing fresh spinach, garlic, and onion until the vegetables are tender. The key is to cook down the spinach until most of the moisture has evaporated, ensuring that the filling isn’t too wet, which could potentially make the pasta soggy. 

Once sautéed, the mixture is mixed with dairy-free creme fraiche and pine nuts. Pine nuts give a crunch and a nutty flavor that contrasts beautifully with the creamy filling. 

oven hot cannelloni

The Sauces: Béchamel and Tomato

No cannelloni is complete without the proper sauce, and this dish features two: a gluten-free and dairy-free béchamel and a simple tomato sauce. 

The béchamel sauce, made with vegetable stock, cornflour and oat cooking cream, is seasoned with nutmeg and black pepper for added depth. 

The tomato sauce provides a tangy contrast. It is made from crushed tomatoes seasoned with herbs, salt, and pepper, then simmered until thickened.

cannelloni ready for baking

Main Ingredients & Substitutes

  • Gluten-free Dried Cannelloni/Manicotti pasta – use a gluten and dairy free cannelloni or manicotti tube pasta. 
  • Plant-based Creme Fraiche—The best dairy-free creme fraiche is oat-based, like Oatly and Oddly Good. It’s the same creme fraiche used for the best vegetarian sandwich recipe. If you can’t find it, plant-based cream cheese is another option.
  • Dairy-Free Cooking Cream—Choose the cream made specifically for cooking savory dishes. Regular dairy free double cream also works, but it tends to be a bit sweet, so adjust the seasoning for the bechamel.
  • Fresh spinach—Fresh spinach is always good, but you may also use frozen whole leaves. Ensure the frozen spinach is properly thawed and excess water removed before sauteeing.

SUBSTITUTION TABLE

Original IngredientsSubstitute With
Creme Fraiche DF, GFCream Cheese DF, GF
Cooking Double Cream DF, GFDouble Cream DF, GF
Farabella GF CannelloniManicotti GF Tubes

Step By Step Process

STEP 1 – Preparing the Filling
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and onion, season with salt and pepper, then sautée until soft and translucent.
  • Add the washed spinach, then cook until it is wilted and most moisture evaporates. Remove from heat.
  •  Chop sautéed spinach before mixing in the dairy-free creme Fraiche. Add in the pine nuts and set aside.
STEP 2 –  Make the Béchamel Sauce
  • In a saucepan, mix cooking cream, vegetable stock, cornstarch, nutmeg and salt.
  • Cook in a medium heat while whisking continuously until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
STEP 3 – Prepare the Tomato Sauce
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then sautee minced onion and garlic.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, Italian herbs and a pinch of chili flakes. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until it thickens.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
STEP 3 – Assemble & Bake the Cannelloni
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Fill each cannelloni tube with the spinach mixture using a piping bag or a small spoon. Arrange the filled cannelloni in a single layer.
  • Pour the béchamel sauce over the cannelloni and the remaining tomato sauce.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the top is golden.
a portion of gluten free cannelloni

Spinach Creme Fraiche Gluten Free Cannelloni

By Bakefree
This gluten free cannelloni has a creamy filling of sautéed spinach combined with dairy-free cream fraiche and pine nuts.
Note: Use the unit converter if needed. This recipe is measured by weight (metric) for accuracy.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 portions

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

Cannelloni and Filling

Béchamel Sauce

  • 200 g cooking cream, dairy-gluten free
  • 50 g corn starch
  • 300 g vegetable stock
  • 1 g nutmeg
  • 1 g salt

Tomato Sauce

  • 15 g olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 400 grams canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 g dried basil or oregano
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Preparing the Filling

  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and onion, season with salt and pepper, then sautée until soft and translucent.
  • Add the washed spinach, then cook until it is wilted and most moisture evaporates. Remove from heat.
  • Chop sautéed spinach before mixing in the dairy-free creme Fraiche. Add in the pine nuts and set aside.

Cooking the Béchamel Sauce

  • In a saucepan, mix cooking cream, vegetable stock and cornstarch. Add nutmeg and salt.
  • Cook in a medium heat while whisking continuously until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cooking the Tomato Sauce

  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, then sautee minced onion and garlic.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, chili flakes, salt and Italian herbs. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until it thickens.
  • Season with black pepper powder. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assembling & Baking the Cannelloni

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Fill each cannelloni tube with the spinach mixture using a piping bag or a small spoon. Arrange the filled cannelloni in a single layer.
  • Pour the béchamel sauce and the remaining tomato sauce over the cannelloni.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the top is golden.
Keyword gluten free cannelloni
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gluten and dairy free pastry chef

Hello! I bake insanely delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar, vegan and nut-free sweets and savory. My neighbors and friends are the tasters.

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