This vegan cannelloni recipe is a delicious soy-free dish to warm you up on a chilly evening. Roasted root vegetables are stuffed inside pasta tubes, smothered in a homemade romesco sauce and sprinkled with breadcrumbs for a crispy crust. This elegant dish uses the best of winter’s seasonal vegetables and makes a great vegan holiday dish.
In the region of Spain where I live it’s traditional to eat cannelloni on the 26th of December. The idea is to use up all the leftover bits of animal carcass from the day before by rolling them in pasta and serving them with a béchamel sauce.
Luckily, cannelloni are super easy to veganize. You can roll pretty much anything in pasta tubes. Unfortunately, a search for canelones veganos turned up the typical spinach-tofu combo or a tvp Bolognese filling with soy cheese on top.
These are soy-heavy recipes and, although I love tofu, some people need to avoid it due to allergy. So I set out to create a tofu-free, tvp-free, soy-free recipe using just the goodness of fresh vegetables.
Because I’m preparing this vegan cannelloni recipe for the holidays, I decided to use seasonal winter vegetables – because it’s always a good idea to use seasonal vegetables. The sauce I chose is in keeping with traditions of the region.
Romesco sauce is typical of Catalonia and made from roasted tomatoes, nuts and (like most things Spanish) a generous glug of olive oil.
I had to adapt my romesco sauce recipe from when I prepared it previously to accompany roasted leeks because it was quite strong for this vegan cannelloni recipe, but this “lightened-up” romesco recipe is the perfect accompaniment to the roasted root vegetables.
These vegan cannelloni turned out to be colourful and attractive on the plate. If you’re serving them for the holidays or a special event, I’d suggest pairing them with another colourful and seasonal dish like this beet and sweet potato tartare. Or if you’re looking for other traditional Spanish dishes made vegan check out this delicious mushroom fideua recipe.
- 6 medium-sized tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- ¾ cup (175 ml) olive oil, divided
- About 5 cups (875 grams) of mixed root vegetables – I used a small turnip, a parsnip, 2 carrots and a medium-sized sweet potato.
- 1 leek
- The leaves from a large sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- Pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup (70 grams) raw almonds
- ½ cup (70 grams) raw hazelnuts
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) vegetable stock or water
- 20 cannelloni pasta sheets or tubes
- ½ cup (35 grams) bread crumbs
- Parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Cut a cross in the bottom of each tomato and place them bottom-side up in an oven-safe dish. Stick the garlic cloves in the crosses on the tomatoes and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast until the skin on the tomatoes is blackening on top – 45 minutes to an hour. Keep an eye on the garlic and remove them once they are soft and roasted.
- Meanwhile, peel and slice all your root vegetables and the leek into 1 cm (1/4 inch) cubes. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper to taste and the chopped rosemary. Spread the veggies out over one or two sheet pans, without overcrowding, and roast until the vegetables are tender – 15 to 20 minutes.
- Toast the almonds and hazelnuts in a dry pan over medium heat.
- Once the tomatoes and garlic are roasted and cooled enough to handle, peel off the skin. Finely dice two of the tomatoes and add them to the roasted root vegetables. Place the remaining four tomatoes in a blender with the roasted garlic and puree. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in ½ cup (120 ml) of olive oil. Add the almonds and hazelnuts, 1 teaspoon salt and the stock or water. Blend into a pourable sauce – it’s okay if it’s still a bit chunky from the nuts. If it seems too thick, add a bit more stock or water.
- Prepare the cannelloni pasta sheets or tubes according to the package directions. Cover the bottom of a large oven-safe dish with a bit of the sauce to prevent your cannelloni from sticking. Taste your root vegetable filling and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary. It also helps to mash the vegetables a bit with a fork – it makes filling the cannelloni easier. Fill the pasta and arrange the cannelloni in your dish. Pour over the sauce, making sure that no pasta is exposed or else it will dry up in the oven. Sprinkle over the bread crumbs and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are toasted and the cannelloni are warmed through. Garnish with chopped parsley.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1393Total Fat: 81gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 52gCholesterol: 233mgSodium: 1935mgCarbohydrates: 114gFiber: 20gSugar: 24gProtein: 60g