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Quinoa and spinach cannelloni

Quinoa and spinach cannelloni is one of my favorite dishes that I like to make without meat. When I first made this recipe, I thought it’s a unique recipe like nobody ever saw before; nobody could think at such an ingenious recipe. This is kind of what happens when you reinvent the wheel. Apparently, this recipe was made in every imaginable way possible, so what makes this recipe special?

Why try quinoa and spinach cannelloni

If you dislike ricotta, this recipe uses feta. If you don’t really enjoy spinach’s taste, this recipe uses much more quinoa than spinach. And finally, if the thought of making Bechamel sauce makes you want to order take-out food, search no more. This is the recipe to make!

How to cook quinoa

I avoided quinoa for years because it’s hard to cook and smells a bit weird when cooked wrong. So I searched and found the best way to cook the quinoa, and I will share it with you. The first step is washing the quinoa. This step is essential not to remove the dirt and dust, but to remove the bitterness. I measure and place quinoa in a bowl, add water, rub them a little, change the water, and repeat 3-4 times. Afterward, I add quinoa in a saucepan and add a double quantity of water. If, in the beginning, I had one cup of quinoa, I add one cup of water. I then boil it until all water evaporates and let it sit with a lid for 15 minutes. Fun fact, this is how I cook my rice, too.

Quinoa in the quinoa and spinach cannelloni recipe is meant to replace meat and to celebrate quinoa. But, as you might know, quinoa taste is a little blunt, so with some spices’ smart addition, you transform a “meh” recipe into a hit. Not a single cannelloni was thrown from this batch, and believe me when I tell you that we did not want to eat anything else than these cannelloni. I was actually disappointed when the whole tray was over. It is not a recipe you want to make in a small batch.

Filling the canneloni

I do not like to brag, but finding the best combination of spices took me almost 2 hours and countless trips from the kitchen to the living room to ask my husband’s opinion.

And the voting was unanimous: mix cooked quinoa with spinach and cheese and add my perfect spice mix. This contains salt, pepper, basil, grounded caraway seeds, garlic powder, and dried summer savory.

Cooking the quinoa and spinach cannelloni

Place the filled cannelloni in a pan and add tomato juice, a little water, and shredded cheese. Let it cook for 45 minutes until the water evaporates, and the cannelloni turns soft.
Serve them warm, with sour cream on the top.

quinoa canneloni

Quinoa and spinach cannelloni

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This quinoa and spinach cannelloni variation is easy to make and tasty, served with sour cream, and a glass of white wine.


  • 250 g Cannelloni (24 pieces)
  • 300 g Quinoa (1 and 2/3 cups)
  • 200 g hard cheese (2 cups)
  • 150 g spinach (5 cups)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ½ tsp grounded caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried summer savory
  • 100 g shredded cheddar cheese (1 cup)
  • 200 g tomato sauce (1 cup)
  • sour cream for serving


  1. Wash the quinoa: Place the quinoa in a bowl and wash it for 2-3 times in cold water to remove all the bitterness. Cook the quinoa: In a tall pot, put 1 cup rinsed quinoa and two parts water. Boil on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes until all moisture evaporates. Set it aside, cover, and let it sit for 15 minutes. This step ensures you get the perfectly cooked, fluffy quinoa.
  2. At this time, boil and chop the spinach. We used frozen spinach; all we had to do was place the frozen spinach in a pot and cook it until it's defrosted, and then we let it cool a little and chopped it.
  3. Mix quinoa, spinach, and grated hard cheese in a big bowl and add all the spices. You can adjust the spice quantities to your own taste.
  4. When everything is mixed, fill the cannelloni with the mix and place them in a pan.
  5. Pour tomato sauce and cover with grated cheese.
  6. Bake them for 45 minutes at 200 degrees C (392 F), until the tomato juice evaporates and the cannelloni turn soft.
  7. Serve warm with sour cream and grated parmesan. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 255Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 724mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g

Did you make this recipe? Share your experience with us, comment below or tag @basilbunch.blog on Instagram and hashtag it #basilbunchblog. We would love to see your creations!

1 thought on “Quinoa and spinach cannelloni”

  1. Pingback: Cheesy corn quesadilla - New recipe from Basil Bunch

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