Vegan Cannelloni with Meat-Free Mince

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These vegan cannelloni with meat-free mince are legit delicious and will please the entire family. No one will actually believe they’re vegan!

Vegan Cannelloni on plate with cutlery view from above

For the past 10 or so years, I’ve been making cannelloni using the same recipe that I adapted and perfected over time to make these Italian bits of happiness so delicious that I have to fight over them with my husband. That particular recipe contains beef, and since we cut back on meat a lot lately, I don’t make them as much.

I was craving them one day recently, so I thought, why not try and veganize that recipe and see how it goes. To my surprise, they tasted a great deal like the real thing and made an outstandingly good meal. 

What do you need for this vegan cannelloni recipe?

I used some Meatless Farm mince to make them, but you can substitute with your favorite plant-based mince. The Meatless Farm mince has a very nice texture that resembles meat a lot when cooked, and the taste is definitely on point. 

You’ll also need vegan substitutes for all the cheesy things that normally go in cannelloni: mozzarella, Parmesan, and cream. In the UK, I love the Violife grated mozzarella, which has a texture that’s very similar to real mozzarella.  

The same company also makes a great alternative to Parmesan cheese. For the cream, I like to use the Elmlea Double Plant Cream Alternative, but as always, feel free to substitute with your favorite vegan products. 

You’ll also need some breadcrumbs to make this recipe — don’t skip them as their point is to absorb the extra liquid from the sauce so you have a thick filling to work with. You don’t want too much liquid in the filling because you won’t be able to roll the cannelloni.

I like to make cannelloni with fresh lasagne sheets because I don’t have to cook them first. I use them as they are, and the oven time is enough to get the al dente texture. 

Vegan Cannelloni inside look

How to make the cannelloni?

There are three steps to this recipe. You’ll need to make the filling first, and in the meantime make the tomato sauce. The final step is to assemble the cannelloni and bake them. 

Make the sauce

1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic over moderate heat until the onion is soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes.

2 Add the mushrooms and herbs and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the meat-free mince and cook until it changes its colour. Stir often to break any lumps. Season to taste.

4. Stir in the parsley, chopped tomatoes, and stock. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. Allow to cool slightly and stir in the breadcrumbs (they will absorb the extra liquid).

Vegan Cannelloni steps

Make the tomato sauce

1. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes on moderate heat, until the onion is soft. 

2. Stir in the tomatoes and basil. Add 200 ml water and season to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce is thick.

Assemble the cannelloni

1. Preheat the oven at 190C/375F. Grease a 30 x 18 cm (12 x 7 inch) ovenproof dish and add the sauce to it. 

2. Sprinkle some vegan mozzarella over each pasta sheet. Spoon 1/8 of the filling across one end of the sheet. Roll the pasta tight to enclose the filling. Place the cannelloni in the dish, seam side down. 

Assemble cannelloni step by step

3. Beat together the cream and parmesan and season to taste. Spoon the mixture over the cannelloni as evenly as possible. 

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown on top. 

Extra notes for the best vegan cannelloni 

  • If you’re not a vegan, you can make this as a vegetarian cannelloni recipe, and use regular cheese and cream — still a great choice for meatless Mondays. 
  • Vegan cream might not have the same texture as real cream, so try to use a variant that you know it has a very similar thickness so you don’t end up with a white sauce that’s too watery. 
  • Don’t reduce the amount of olive oil used and be generous when greasing the dish. This is how you get the sauce and the filling to be slightly greasy, resembling the real thing.
  • The white cream sauce will mix with the tomato sauce when cooking and when you’re transferring the cannelloni to plates, so don’t bother mixing it up before baking. The result is beyond delicious, by the way. 
Vegan Cannelloni inside look cut

If you liked these vegan cannelloni with meat-free mince, why not dig into some of my other vegan recipes:

Vegan Lentil Soup with Kale

Instant Pot Cauliflower and Cashew Curry

Aubergine and Red Lentil Curry

The Ultimate Vegan Zuppa Toscana

Looking for more delicious inspiration? 😄 Follow Skinny Spatula on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Yield: 8

Vegan Cannelloni with Meat-Free Mince

Vegan Cannelloni on plate with cutlery view from above

These vegan cannelloni with meat-free mince are legit delicious and will please the entire family. No one will believe you they're vegan!

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200 g Portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried sage
  • 400 g plant-based mince
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp dried breadcrumbs

For the tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To assemble

  • 8 sheets fresh lasagne (approx. 7 x 5 inches)
  • 100 g grated vegan mozzarella 
  • 200 ml vegan cream 
  • 75 g grated vegan parmesan

Instructions

Make the sauce

1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and garlic over moderate heat until the onion is soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes.
2 Add the mushrooms and herbs and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the meat-free mince and cook until it changes its colour. Stir often to break any lumps. Season to taste.
4. Stir in the parsley, chopped tomatoes, and stock. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. Allow to cool slightly and stir in the breadcrumbs (they will absorb the extra liquid).

Make the tomato sauce

1. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes on moderate heat, until the onion is soft.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and basil. Add 200 ml water and season to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce is thick.

Assemble the cannelloni

1. Preheat the oven at 190C/375F. Grease a 30 x 18 cm (12 x 7 inch) ovenproof dish and add the sauce to it.
2. Sprinkle some vegan mozzarella over each pasta sheet. Spoon 1/8 of the filling across one end of the sheet. Roll the pasta tight to enclose the filling. Place the cannelloni in the dish, seam side down.
3. Beat together the cream and parmesan and season to taste. Spoon the mixture over the cannelloni as evenly as possible.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly brown on top.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 552Total Fat: 65gTrans Fat: 1gCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 6gSugar: 17g

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.

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