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.