A white cast iron pan filled with tubes of pasta in a tomato sauce with basil leaves on top

Butternut squash cannelloni

  • serves 4
  • A little effort

Nutty squash, leafy greens and a creamy tomato sauce come together in this cannelloni recipe, perfect for a veg-centric weekend feast


Make this comforting butternut squash cannelloni, then check out our courgette and ricotta cannelloni, ricotta and kale cannelloni, cauliflower cannelloni and more pasta bake recipes



  • butternut squash 500g, peeled and cubed
  • olive oil 2 tbsp, plus extra for the casserole
  • leeks 2, halved and thinly sliced
  • chard 200g bunch, stalks finely chopped and leaves shredded
  • garlic 3 cloves, thinly sliced
  • red chilli 1, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ricotta 250g
  • lemon 1, zested, plus a squeeze of juice
  • dried cannelloni tubes 250g
  • plum tomatoes 3 x 400g tins
  • mascarpone 250g
  • nutmeg ¼, finely grated
  • parmesan (or veggie alternative) 50g, finely grated, plus a little extra
  • basil a handful of leaves


  • Step 1

    Cook the squash in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Tip into a colander and leave to drain for a few minutes before putting in a large bowl with plenty of seasoning and mashing until completely smooth.

  • Step 2

    Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat, and gently cook the leeks and chard stalks with a pinch of salt for 15 minutes until soft. Add the shredded chard leaves, garlic and chilli, and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Tip into the large bowl with the squash and mix well. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, season and mix again.

  • Step 3

    Cook the cannelloni tubes in another large pan of lightly salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until just softened. Drain well, leave to cool for a few minutes then cut each tube horizontally in half.

  • Step 4

    Tip the tomatoes into a large jug and use a stick blender to whizz until completely smooth, then season. Scrape the mascarpone into a small bowl, season with the nutmeg, a little salt and plenty of black pepper, then add the parmesan and 100ml of water to create a creamy sauce.

  • Step 5

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and oil a shallow 30cm casserole. Pour the tomato sauce into the base of the casserole, spreading it into an even layer. Use the squash mixture to stuff each of the cannelloni tubes full, then stand them on their ends in the dish, nestling them into the sauce. By the end they should be packed fairly tightly with the sauce in and around each tube. Dot over the mascarpone mixture, then grate over plenty of parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling, then scatter with basil leaves to serve.

Try more comforting pasta bake recipes 

Baked Sausage and Kale Pasta Recipe

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 843
  • Fat 46g
  • Saturates 26.2g
  • Carbs 73.8g
  • Sugars 23.6g
  • Fibre 11g
  • Protein 28g
  • Salt 0.8g