This Italian dish is so rich and delicious that you can serve it to everyone. Using homemade, gluten-free egg pasta, covered with creamy sauce, marinara, or Bolognese/meat sauce, your family and guests won’t believe it’s gluten-free. Kids who “hate spinach” beg for second helpings of this gluten free chicken cannelloni. Serve it as a side or main dish.
Note: This is another recipe from my upcoming cookbook, Carla’s Best 125 Gluten-Free Recipes.
Gluten Free Chicken Cannelloni with Homemade Pasta
My cookbook recipe testers had much to say about this recipe such as, "Best recipe so far!" and "Oh so good. The pasta was so easy to make too."
For the Pasta Sheets:
- 1/2 recipe Gluten-Free Egg Noodle Pasta recipe
For the Filling:
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 6 ounces (1 cup) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, along with its liquid
- 8 ounces gluten-free cream cheese or ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
For the Creamy Sauce:
- 1 cup gluten-free chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup brown rice flour
- Gluten-Free Marinara Sauce
- Gluten-free Bolognese/Spaghetti Sauce with Meat
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Ready-made gluten-free basil pesto sauce* (Buitoni) or freshly chopped basil (optional)
To Make the Pasta:
- Make the pasta dough as directed in the Egg Noodle Pasta recipe.
- Cut the dough into twelve 4 x 4 squares. Freeze the scraps to use in soup. Stack the sheets of dough on top of each other. (They won't stick as long as you have rolled them out using starch.)
To Make the Filling:
- Cut the chicken breasts into pieces, no larger than 2 x 3 inches, and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces and their dripping water to the bowl of your food processor.
- Top the chicken with spinach, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt, and pepper. Pulse to mince chicken and until a paste-like mixture forms. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To Make the Creamy Sauce:
- Add broth, cream, water, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil. Sprinkle in the rice flour and whisk constantly until thick. Set aside for later use. If you prefer tomato-based sauces, use your favorite gluten-free marinara or Bolognese/meat sauce.
To Make the Cannelloni:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add just enough sauce to a 9 x 9-inch baking dish to cover the bottom.
- Add a sheet of pasta to a chopping board. Add a generous amount of filling down its center. Bring up the sides, just to meet each other, to form a roll. (The filling will not fall out as it is thick.) Transfer the cannelloni, and set, seam side down, on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Repeat until the filling is used up or the dish is full.
- Pour the remaining sauce on top of the cannelloni in the baking dish. Be sure to cover every inch of the pasta with sauce.
- Top with grated Parmesan and then shredded mozzarella.
- Bake on center shelf of the oven for 20 minutes to create tender pasta, and a bit shorter for al dente/a bit chewy. Broil for one minute or so if you desire to brown and crust the cheese topping.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes prior to serving. When plating the cannelloni, if you have some ready-made basil pesto sauce, add a stripe across the cannelloni or sprinkle with freshly chopped basil. Serve the cannelloni as a side dish or two per person along with a large salad.
The key to successfully making this dish relies upon how thinly you roll the pasta. Using a pasta machine is the best way to achieve this.
To save time, use a ready-made gluten-free sauce.
If you do not add enough filling to the dough, you will need a larger dish.
One recipe tester used the filling recipe to stuff zucchini as in this Zucchini Boats Recipe
Nut Allergies - *Note that pesto sauce contains nuts.
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