Tofu & Spinach Cannelloni (Manicotti)

This is an old recipe from Nasoya tofu that I’ve been making for years. It’s great comfort food for me, and because the tofu-to-pasta ratio is so good, I don’t feel so guilty eating the white-flour shells. I’ve also added a little bit of shredded carrot and nutritional yeast to the mix with great success, so I’ve included that in the recipe below. This also freezes quite well, so I often double the batch. If you’re lucky enough to have access to good vegan cheese (like Daiya), then you can certainly sprinkle some of that on top during the last few minutes in the oven. However, I’ve served this to omnivores who loved it and said it didn’t seem as though it was “missing anything”. Enjoy!

Tofu & Spinach Cannelloni (Manicotti) - Vegan, Low-Fat, Gluten-Free

5.0 from 3 reviews
Tofu & Spinach Cannelloni (Manicotti)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 8 cannelloni/manicotti noodles (gluten-free, as required), cooked al dente
  • 1 16 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1o oz. package of frozen spinach, thawed and chopped – or 1 bag of fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 16 oz. firm or silken tofu
  • ½ cup soaked cashews, drained and finely ground (optional)
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Shredded vegan cheese, such as Daiya (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a nonstick skillet, saute the onions in the oil until translucent. Stir in the spinach and turn off the heat.
  2. In a bowl, mix the tofu, cashews (if using), carrots, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the spinach-onion mixture to the tofu mixture and stir until well-mixed.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. Pour a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of a 9×13″ pan.
  5. Fill each cooked shell with filling using a small spoon. Line the filled shells up in the pan and cover with the rest of the pasta sauce.
  6. Cover the pan with foil to keep the shells from drying out.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes,or until bubbling.
  8. If adding vegan cheese, sprinkle it on top for the final 2 minutes in the oven.

UPDATE

November 2, 2011 – I’ve been adding 1/2 cup of soaked cashews to this to make it even creamier. It’s totally optional, but I’ve added it to the ingredients above. Also, I realized that I’ve been mistakenly referring to these as Manicotti – I’ve since updated the recipe for Cannelloni as well.

27 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    This looks so good!!! Manicotti is one of my favourite dishes ever!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jennifer!

      Reply
  2. Amy says:

    I haven’t had manicotti in forever! This looks especially good, I might have to make some now :)! I am sure nobody was missing the cheese on the top, the tofu filling sounds like it would have been delicious!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Amy – let me know if you make it! I also have another recipe for it coming, but you use grilled eggplant for the “shells”… low carb but delish! :)

      Reply
  3. Wow, these look amazing. I just made a veg version and will definitely try this version.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks for your comment! Let me know how they go! :)

      Reply
  4. SJ says:

    I made this tonight for dinner. We all LOVED it! This was a lot easier to make than I was expecting. This has become a new favorite in our house. My husband DOES not want to do a vegan diet, but he is more than happy eating vegetarian. He was surprised that no ricotta was in the dish.

    Reply
  5. Emma says:

    I know this is a v.old post but found it searching for “vegan cannelloni” and made the recipe this evening! It was delicious. I added the optional cashews, and put everything for the filling in the food processor and pulsed in the spinach onion mixture too. I also didn’t cook the noodles before and covered in plenty of sauce they cooked in 30 mins or so :) Big thank you, I’ll definitely be making this one again. Looking forward to the leftovers I stashed in the freezer…

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Emma, I’m so glad you liked it. I like freezing the leftovers too, makes for such a great last-minute meal!

      Reply
  6. Lauren says:

    Since coming across your blog last Saturday while searching for vegan cannelloni, I have made three recipes from your site and all have been delicious. While eating the cannelloni my husband said “I could eat this until I get sick”. Your recipes look AMAZING and I can’t wait to make more of them for my friends and husband (and myself of course) vegan and non-vegan alike. I have spent a good deal of time browsing through them making a mental wish-list of near future meals. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad that you liked this recipe, it’s one of my all-time faves. Keep in touch!

      Reply
  7. Jesse James says:

    To elaborate on one comment – stuffing the shells is rough if you cook them beforehand.

    I stuff the uncooked shells, using a baby spoon – really makes it easy to stuff as opposed to stuffing cooked shells. Cover with the sauce and leave in the refrigerator overnight and then cook and they’re perfect.

    This takes all the frustration out of stuffing the shells and I do it much more often now that it’s so easy.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Jesse! That’s a great idea – thanks so much for sharing it, I will definitely try that :)

      Reply
  8. Marina says:

    This recipe looks amazing! I did notice that while the nutritional yeast is in the ingredients, it isn’t anywhere in the actual recipe. I could probably figure out where to add it in, but I thought I’d let you know!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Good catch! Fixing it now – thank you!

      Reply
  9. Hi this sounds great for a make-ahead vegan dinner party I’m going to tomorrow night! Did you press the tofu or is that not necessary? It’s unusual to not see pressing mentioned but it IS a creay filling soooo….I don’t know.
    Thanks!
    DDW

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      I don’t normally press the tofu. Mainly because I’m just too lazy. Hah! Let me know what you think of the cannelloni – I think it would be perfect for a vegan dinner party :)

      Reply
  10. hermandelacour says:

    I have just put this in the oven but couldn’t wait for it to cook before I sent you this comment. It’s awesome, I could not stop eating the filling! This would make a fantastic dip or sandwich spread. I can’t wait to make more of it. Thank you for taking the trouble to share.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Ha ha! You’re right, it would make a great dip or sandwich spread. I had some leftover this week, and I used it mixed into pasta. Thanks for taking the time to write :)

      Reply
  11. Alicia Yvette Cruz says:

    I found this recipe today and was short a few items but I made it work and it was great! I used bow tie pasta and didn’t have cashews or carrots. But it didn’t matter because my husband and I loved it! I would of never imagined to add lemon! I will definitely do this again. Thank you!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      That’s great! You have to use what you have on-hand, right? Glad to hear it was a hit, even with all the changes :)

      Reply
  12. karin desnoyers says:

    Wow, superb. My 9 year old enjoyed it so much, he suggested I make batches of it and freeze it, so he could have it as a “snack” when ever he wanted!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Oh wow, that’s great! It’s a great freezer recipe – I often double the recipe and do that myself :)

      Reply
  13. Taneesha says:

    I’m doing a vegan challenge for 21 days and was craving manicotti so I searched and your review was the easiest and sounded the best. I blended all my ingredients together and added mushrooms. I seasoned the tofu mixture with salt, prettier, oregono, and basil. I also used store bought tomatoes sauce that I topped the pasta with along with diced tomatoes and nutritional yeast and roasted garlic. The filling was so good my husband said honey I don’t mind trying these vegan dishes. It took me about 40 minutes to prep. My cashew butter took the longest

    Reply
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