Muegge Classic Cannelloni with a Twist...

When Kyle and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day, we'd only been dating 3 months, but we'd already been engaged for 1 month...!! Yeah... when you know, you know, right?! Yup!! My parents were out of town that year and Kyle and I decided to make a special evening at their house vs. trying to fight the crowds at the popular restaurants or deal with his manly roommates (love you Rick and Joe, and whoever else called that house home at that time!!). So, we decided we'd cook a new meal and do it together and spend the evening alone with great food. The problem was... what to eat?! We did some research on things we liked but had not cooked before. Usually when Kyle and I go new, we go Italian. It's comfort food for both of us. After days of research we decided on cannelloni but we couldn't find a recipe we both liked. I do not like beef or pork in pasta... I usually want chicken or no meat. Kyle would eat it all, ha! So that made it easy, chicken... But... then what else? We found most recipes had spinach and of course ricotta and Parmesan cheese, so from there we just winged it. We pieced together parts we liked and weeded out what we didn't and came up with this... an amazing, filling, very delicious dish. We serve this anytime we have somebody new over for dinner, so if you've ever eaten at my house, you've been served cannelloni... guaranteed!

Over the years we've found some ways to simplify the recipe - mainly making it the night before and cooking it the day of the dinner party. Which is WONDERFUL! No dishes the day of, no staying in the kitchen all afternoon... great! I've been craving it for some time now, but as stuffing those shells can be mighty time consuming, we decided to make it as a lasagna. I would do this again to serve Kyle and I but I think it is much more company presentable as cannelloni. I'll share instructions for both!!

Muegge Classic Cannelloni


1 lb chicken breast; boneless, skinless, cubed
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
1/3 cup white onion, chopped
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) pkg sliced button mushrooms
2/3 pkg baby spinach
1 (15 oz) tub whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 pkg Manicotti/Cannelloni shells OR 1 pkg lasagna noodles
1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1 (16 oz) jar Spaghetti sauce
Parmesan cheese, for topping


In a large pot, boil water for pasta. Cook according to directions on package to al dente. Drain pasta and set aside.

In large pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook just about one minute, to infuse flavors into oil.

Place the chicken in the pan and cook until slightly pink in the center. * NOTE: I should have added the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper her... BUT... I forgot!! So, add it now!! *

Add mushrooms and finish cooking chicken.

And... here is where I remembered to season my meat... haha!

When the meat has finished cooking, add in the spinach and mix it in just until it begins to wilt.

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large mixing bowl, mix ricotta cheese with 1 cup Parmesan cheese, set aside.

Use a slotted spoon to drain the chicken and veggies and place them in your food processor.

Use the food processor to shred the chicken mix finely.

Thoroughly mix shredded chicken into cheeses.

For traditional cannelloni: stuff the mixture into shells, gently (these shells tear easily). You can use a piping bag to do this but Kyle and I generally hand stuff them. Place stuffed shells in 13x9 baking dish. Cover one half of shells with Alfredo sauce, the other half with spaghetti sauce. Bake about 20 minutes, until sauces bubble. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese grated over the top.

For lasagna: butter a 13x9 baking dish and spread thin layer of Alfredo sauce on half the dish and a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the other half.

Lay down 4-5 lasagna noodles.

Layer with 1/3 stuffing mixture.

Keep your Alfredo/spaghetti sauce boundaries and spread Alfredo on one half and spaghetti sauce on the other.

Repeat layers with noodles, filling and sauces twice more. Top of with noodles and remaining sauce.

You *could* do Alfredo on one layer, spaghetti sauce on the next, but we like to keep them separate since Kyle prefers spaghetti sauce and I prefer Alfredo sauce! Bake about 20 minutes, until sauces bubble. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese grated over the top.

As I said earlier, you can make this recipe early, just don't bake until time to serve and make sure you allow 45-50 minutes to bake since the dish will be cold. Also, this recipe doubles very easily. You can feed a lot of people very easily!!

I cooked it straight through from chopping the chicken to baking and it took about 45 minutes start to finish - not too bad!! Enjoy!!