Stuffed Cannelloni

This past weekend just screamed comfort food. Not sure what it was; it could have been possible burnout from work, or the idea that I simply wanted to do something special for my wife, but it was a comforting weekend.

As I often do, I take a look around my pantry, and refrigerator, looking for simple things to put together. I had my mind on pasta, and at first, I thought of making some lasagna. After some conversations in Facebook regarding what friends were making, something popped out with one of the Italian girls. They were making a sauce with bacon. For some reason, I could not get sauce with bacon out of my mind on Sunday. I first thought of the standard carbonara, but then after scanning my ingredients decided to come up with something new. Something wonderful. Something ever so tasty and comforting. Stuffed cannelloni with chicken, bacon, and ricotta.

Stuffed Cannelloni with Chicken and Bacon

If you do not know what cannelloni is, it is often referred to as manicotti in the states. A big hollow shell that you fill, ladle sauce over, and bake. What could be better than that!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 slices of cooked bacon, chopped, reserve bacon grease
  • 1 boneless, skinless, chicken breast, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp marsala wine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 8 oz cannelloni/manicotti shells, boiled for 8 minutes
  • 15 oz, part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped

Bechamel Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of hot milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Begin by making your bechamel sauce. Bring a small pot of milk to medium heat, not a boil. During this time, melt the butter on medium to low heat, stir in the flour, and continue to stir for a couple of minutes. Slowly add in the milk, and whisk continuously for an additional 2-3 minutes.  You will notice the sauce will become smooth, and thicken. Add in the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Give one final stir, and set aside.

To another large skillet, use the reserved bacon fat and cook down the mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Toss in the diced chicken, marsala wine, and fennel seeds, cooking until the chicken is cooked through. This should not take very long. Remove the cooked mixture to a bowl and set aside to let cool.

Now, cook your noodles according to the package. Once cooked, drain the noodles, and rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking.

To your cooled chicken mixture, add the ricotta cheese, chopped bacon, mozzarella, and the chopped basil leaves. Mix well.

To your casserole dish, spray with cooking spray, or lightly butter the bottom and edges. With a small spoon, knife, or piping bag, stuff your shells with the chicken mixture, making sure you fill from one end to the other. Repeat with the remaining shells, placing them in the greased casserole dish.

Mix the bechamel sauce, and pour over the top of the noodles. Place the dish in a preheated, 350 degree oven for roughly 35 minutes, or until the sauce is lightly browned, and bubbly.

Sprinkle with some more grated parmesan cheese, and plate and serve.

Trust me when I say comfort. This was a real winner and the chicken and bacon combination was very nice. Thanks to my Facebook friends for chiming in on keywords sauce and bacon. Enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

One thought on “Stuffed Cannelloni

  1. This does look like the ultimate comfort food, yum! It appears from your recipe that the chicken is NOT pre-cooked? Is this the case?

    Thanks!

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