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Video: Cannelloni



Packed with flavor, this fat-free, grain-free, and dairy-free version of a favorite Italian recipe is sure to please your taste buds! Baked zucchini takes the place of the cannelloni pasta shells and is stuffed with a creamy potato-based cheese sauce, and then nestled in a bed of a delicious tomato and herb sauce, all topped off with dollops of baked potato cheese.



  • 3-4 small zucchinis

Potato cheese:

  • 3 cups roughly chopped potatoes
  • 1 cup roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsps garlic powder, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsps dried oregano or basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Tomato sauce:

  • ¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups jarred crushed or diced tomatoes or 2 lbs fresh plum or cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup loosely-packed basil leaves, to serve


Add 3 inches of water to a medium pot, insert a steaming basket, add the chopped potatoes and carrots, and cover. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Remove the potatoes and carrots from heat and place in a food processor along with the onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, dried oregano or basil and lemon juice. Process until smooth. If the potato cheese is very runny, transfer it to a bowl, cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel and set aside at room temperature for 1-2 hours to thicken.

Prepare the sauce by placing a ceramic non-stick pot on medium-high heat. Add the on-ions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 5–8 minutes. Add a bit of water if needed to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and tomato paste, and cook, stirring continuously, until the tomato paste caramelizes and turns dark, 1-2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, dried oregano, dried thyme, and red pepper flakes. Stir until evenly mixed. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick, 30-40 minutes. Leave as is, or if you want a smooth sauce, transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.

To prepare the zucchini cannelloni, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer to cut thin wide strips of zucchini. Press the zucchini strips between paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Arrange three strips on a cutting board on top of each other, slightly overlapping. Place a heaped tablespoon of the potato cheese sauce on one end and roll up tightly. Set aside. Repeat with remaining zucchini strips, making about 10-12 cannelloni in total.

Spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish. Arrange the cannelloni in the tomato sauce; then drizzle or spoon the remaining potato cheese sauce on top.

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling along the edges and golden on top. Cool for 5 minutes, then garnish with basil leaves and serve.

Serves 4-6


  • If you prefer the cheese to be firmer, let the cannelloni cool longer than 5 minutes to allow the potato cheese to firm up more. Either way, it tastes delicious!

Categories: International, Italian, Courses, Main Dishes, Fat Free, Grain Free

This item posted: 18-Mar-2024

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