Make our beef cannelloni recipe, then check out our turkey cannelloni, butternut squash cannelloni, courgette and ricotta cannelloni and more pasta recipes.

How to make the perfect beef cannelloni: cook's tips

  • Swap beef mince for veggie to make this vegetarian, or add red or green lentils to the ragu to bulk out the sauce
  • This recipe is easily doubled, and freezes well if you have any leftovers
  • Make the ragu a day ahead and chill overnight – this will improve the flavour of the filling, as everything infuses better once chilled

How to serve beef cannelloni: alongside a green salad with an Italian-style balsamic salad dressing, or with garlic bread for a family favourite

Beef cannelloni recipe


  • 8-10 cannelloni tubes
  • 25g finely grated parmesan


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 100ml whole milk

White sauce

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 400ml whole milk
  • grating of nutmeg


  • STEP 1

    First, make the ragu. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the carrot, onion and celery for 15 mins until very tender. Stir in the garlic and tomato purée, and fry for another minute. Add the beef mince and fry until browned, about 6-8 mins.

  • STEP 2

    Pour in the wine and bubble for a few minutes, then add the bay leaf, chopped tomatoes, stock and milk. Bring to the boil, then cover and gently simmer for 45 mins-1 hr or until lightly thickened and glossy (remove the lid for the last 15 mins to reduce the sauce if needed). Leave to cool slightly, or cool completely and freeze for up to three months.

  • STEP 3

    Melt the butter in a pan. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk vigorously to make a thick paste. Add the milk, a splash at a time, continuously stirring until all the milk has been added and the mixture has thickened and is velvety. Season with a grating of nutmeg and a little salt and pepper.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Arrange the cannelloni tubes in a baking dish so they fit snugly inside. Working with one tube at a time, hold the cannelloni up in the dish and fill to the top with the ragu using a teaspoon. Put the tube back down and repeat with the remaining cannelloni. Don’t worry if some spills out into the dish – any left-over ragu can be spooned around the pasta to fill in any gaps in the dish.

  • STEP 5

    Pour the white sauce over the cannelloni and smooth the surface. Top with the parmesan and bake for 40-50 mins or until the top is golden and a fork goes into the pasta easily with no resistance. Serve with a green salad or garlic bread.

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