This Vegan Cannelloni is a healthy and low carb spin on cannelloni! It has a creamy vegan spinach filling and wrapped in grilled eggplant slices and baked! It’s Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
I know what you are thinking….cannelloni that’s grain, gluten and dairy free? Seriously Carmen, who are you kidding! I will admit, I too was skeptical about creating a healthy vegan cannelloni recipe, but this dish turned out to be so good!
Noodles are replaced with thinly sliced eggplant, which are perfectly tender and firmly contain the filling. The spinach & basil filling is so tasty, I couldn’t help but eat it by the spoonful. It’s smooth and creamy, just like traditional ricotta, with hints of lemon, garlic and basil. I added in raw spinach to increase the iron and protein and to make the filling a more vibrant green. I think the spinach could be substituted for more basil or even kale.
I topped the vegan cannelloni with a quick and easy tomato sauce but feel free to use any tomato sauce you have on hand. You can prepare the filling, tomato sauce and grill the eggplant up to a day in advance and assemble everything and bake prior to eating. These eggplant cannelloni are also great as left overs and will last 3-4 days (SA has had it every night for the past 4 days and he HATES leftovers). I hope you enjoy!
Here are a few other vegan recipes you will love:
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Vegan Beet & “Goat Cheese” Bites
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- Roasted Pumpkin with Honey, Thyme & Pecans
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Tacos
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Basil & Spinach Filling
- 2 cups cashews soaked for minimum 4 hours
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or parmesan for SCD)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup basil
- 3/4 cup spinach
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 Eggplant
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp honey or other sweetener optional
- salt & pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped basil
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan optional
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Drain the soaked cashews and place them in a blender or food processor with the garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and almond milk. Blend until the cashews have broken down into a creamy consistency. Add in the spinach and basil and continue to blend until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside (this can be made up to a day in advance)
- Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. Lightly salt each side and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes to remove excess moisture. After 15 minutes wipe the eggplant with paper towels to remove the salt.
- The eggplant can be grilled for 2-3 minutes per side on a well oiled grill or baked in the oven for 15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius. Once cooked remove and set aside
- To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a pot on medium heat and add the garlic. Allow to cook until soft before adding in the can of chopped tomatoes and sweetener. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes until it begins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and pour a small amount of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.
- Place about 2-3 spoonfuls of the spinach and basil mixture onto the end of each slice of eggplant and roll tightly, placing them seam side down on top of the sauce in the baking dish.
- Pour the remainder of the sauce overtop the rolls and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Serve straight from the oven sprinkled with parmesan and chopped basil.
Would love to make this dish, but you don’t include the main ingredient; eggplants! How many do you need for this recipe?
I can’t believe I missed the most important ingredient, thanks for pointing that out! Depending on the size, 1 large eggplant or 2 medium sized ones.
This recipe looks absolutely fantastic! Now I have to go grocery shopping for some eggplants–YUM!
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Can’t wait to try this, looks delicious!
This looks wonderful and I can’t wait to make it. However I can’t have any nuts! Amy suggestions on what I could use instead in the filling?
Cashews are not nuts
Hey Jordan, there are some Vegan ricotta’s out there, I g gg aren’t tried them as of yet. But you could use tofu . Look up a good recipe for vegan ricotta.
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Maybe add the size can you’re using. I bought a 15 oz can of tomatoes and I’d probably use twice as much.
Awesome recipe though!
If like my husband you were joining in doing veganuary and now staying vegan this recipe is a god send. so tasty and so very healthy
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I made this dish last night and my husband and I are in absolute love !
Every bite is moreish and delicious !
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful creation.
Yea!! I am so happy to hear that you and your husband enjoyed it! Thank you for the kind comment 🙂
What do you soak the cashews in? Need a little more info.
Soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes
Thanks for the recipe. Parmesan is not vegan.
That’s why its listed as an optional topping 🙂
Hi! I’m excited to try this! I am wondering if it reheats well? I’d like to make it tonight, but there’s no way I can eat all of it :/ How long does it stay good?
Yes you definitely can reheat this. I would say it will last about 4 days in the fridge. Let me know how it goes!
This sounds so good, but can you tell me if it should be raw or roasted cashews that are soaked? Thank you!
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This was really delicious! A keeper!!
So happy to hear you liked it!
This is a tasty looking recipe, can’t wait to try it. One question, what do you soak the cashews in???? I I consider myself an experienced cook, but don’t find this info anywhere, I’m guessing water??
I’m not necessarily off traditional protein but I have friends that are AND I’m a curious/adventurous fellow.
For those that asked there is a standard vegan “cashew cream” recipe that I believe this is based upon. That calls for raw cashews to be soaked for four hours and then processed.
I was going to ask but then I consulted the Al Gore International Library…
Thanks for the very interesting idea! Can’t wait to try it 🙂
So, soak the cashews in boiling water recipe says 4 hours but a reply to another says boiling water for 10 minutes big difference which is it please
Thanks for pointing that out! When I originally wrote this recipe I thought that cashews had to be soaked in water for a few hours to soften but I have since learned then soaking them in boiling water for just 10 minutes will have the same effect.
Well I haven’t much hope (my other 2 comments , questions got NO response, nut I’l give it a try. I have made the recipe. Delicious, BUT there is way more filling than needed for the 2 eggplants called for in this recipe. Any suggestions as to what to do with the rest. Can you freeze it for later use, same recipe?..
My apologies for the delay in replying Blair, I am happy that you enjoyed the recipe, it freezes really well so you can save it for another time, it should last 2-3 months in the freezer. Alternatively you could cut raw zucchini into thin slices, spread the cashew mixture onto the slices along with some chopped sundried tomatoes and then roll it up into small bite sized appetizers.
This recipe is sooo good and I have sent it to all of my vegan friends. My husband and I are not vegan but I make this recipe all the time. We love it!
So happy to hear that this recipe is a repeat even for non vegans!
Just made this eggplant cannelloni recipe, unbelievably good. I added a finely chopped onion to the tomato sauce and used fresh tomatoes finely chopped, instead of canned.
I also added the Parmesan to the filling because for some reason it wasn’t thick as the picture showed and as I rolled the eggplant it just oozed out the side. The Parmesan and a little breadcrumbs seemed to make all the difference. I know Parmesan is not vegan but neither am I.
This was incredible! I would use a large can of tomatoes for more sauce, and possible add lentils to the mixture for more protein.
I have avoided eggplant for years as I am not a fan, but Have been looking for recipe that we might enjoy. This is the one! Thank you so much for sharing, will definitely make again. Of course it’s always a plus when I get to play with my Vitamix.
AMAZING! Thank you!
New to Vegan (first week) . . . following a breast cancer diagnosis. I’m not liking much and being pretty critical. This is soooo delish!! I’m Italian and the filling tastes just like ricotta cheese to me. My first experience with ground cashews and nutritional yeast. LOVE IT!! I’ve already shared with friends.
Raw or roasted cashews?
If I choose to bake eggplants in the oven. Do I have to turn them? Or 15 minutes on one side? Do I have to oil them before the oven? Peel them? How do you get such beautiful stripes? Thank you!
Yes I would brush them in oil and cook them for 10 minutes, flip and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. You don’t have peel the skin off. To get the grill marks I would recommend baking them in the oven on a grill pan
This vegan cannelloni recipe looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to try it out for myself. Thank you for sharing!
l made the recipe it came out great i served with speggitti sqaush there was no left overs i will be eating more totally vegan meals from now on