Vegan Cannelloni for a veganized version of an Italian classic.
Cannelloni are the less famous cousin of lasagna and I could not resist to veganize them. To prepare these vegan cannelloni, I followed the traditional recipe from Umbria (a region of central Italy), substituting the meat with seitan, the egg with flaxegg, and the béchamel with, well, vegan béchamel.
These vegan cannelloni are incredibly healthy. I was shocked when I first recorded the nutrition facts to discover that they actually perfectly fit my diet. Not excessive in fat, very high in protein and carb. They also have a decent amount of vitamin A and iron. All of that without missing on the flavor. The recipe is for about 6 servings. Here the nutrition facts for 1 serving.
|Vegan Cannelloni – 1 serving|
I already had some ingredients so I omitted the prices.
- 250gr of cannelloni (I actually used a little bit less, and left over 6 rolls. Also be careful with cannelloni and check the ingredients list because many of them have eggs. 3$ for 250gr)
- 500ml of tomato sauce (2.2$)
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 250ml of soy milk or other non dairy milk at room temperature (1.6$)
- 2 tbsp of white flour
- 1/2 tsp of Nutmeg
- 500gr of seitan (3.2$ for enough vital gluten to prepare 1 kg of seitan)
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp of ground flaxseed and 4 tbsp of water)
- 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 splash of red wine (optional)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Herbs to taste( I used bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and marjorane)
- Start by parboiling the cannelloni for about 1 minute. Put enough to leave some space between each roll.
- Put them aside. They will stick a little when you will use them but you can gently split them.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pot and the chopped garlic.
- When the garlic is golden brown, add tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover with a lid and let it simmer at low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Let’s prepare the béchamel
- Heat up two tbsp of olive oil, add the sifted flour and quickly whisk to obtain a roux.
- Add the milk and keep whisking.
- Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Once the béchamel becomes dense, pour in a small bowl and cover it with some wrapping film, so it will not form a skin on the top.
Now for the filling
- Prepare the seitan as you prefer it (I baked it) and ground it using a food processor.
- Finely chop onion, carrot and celery.
- Sauté them until the onion is soft, then add the ground seitan.
- Add salt, pepper and your favorite herbs.
- Simmer with a splash of wine for about 10 minutes.
- Let the seitan filling cool down for 10 minutes.
- Add the flax eggs and the nutritional yeast.
- Start filling the cannelloni using a teaspoon, a sac à poche or, if you are lazy like me, your hands.
And finally the vegan cannelloni
- In a baking pan pour a layer of tomato sauce and béchamel.
- Lay down the cannelloni one next to the other.
- Top with the rest of the tomato sauce and béchamel. You can also add some extra nutritional yeast.
- Cook in a preheated oven at 180ºC/350ºF for about 15 minutes.
- Serve them hot.
These vegan cannelloni are incredible and definitely worth all the preparation. Other variations include using spinach and (vegan) ricotta or a mushroom ragù. Generally speaking, I prefer cannelloni to lasagna because they keep the filling together and give you a better balance of flavors when you bite them. Enjoy!