Chicken cannelloni is a really fancy dish made with chicken, mushrooms, and a creamy marsala sauce rolled in fresh lasagna noodles. Try to make this for your next dinner – the flavor is incredible!
If you love CREAMY pasta with mushrooms, try my creamy chicken and mushroom pasta recipe!
This recipe was originally posted May 5, 2015, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
Cannelloni – A Fancy Dish
This is my go-to recipe for those “fancier” parties. My mother actually made this for my engagement party a few years back. It has always been a crowd pleaser because it’s so different from your typical pasta dish. Every bite has a perfect combination of the chicken and mushrooms with the creamy Marsala sauce or “roux.”
What is Cannelloni?
No, this is not a cannoli. Cannnolis are rolled pastry desserts filled with sweet cream cheese. But take that idea and make it a savory dinner, and you have cannelloni.
Cannelloni is basically rolls of pasta stuffed with a meat and cheese mixture, topped with sauce. If you search for Cannelloni recipes, you will find a variety of ideas including pasta filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, topped with a tomato sauce.
My version has a creamy marsala sauce and is stuffed with chicken. It’s absolutely divine!
Cannelloni vs Manicotti
What is the difference between cannelloni and manicotti? Honestly, most home cooks confuse them and make them exactly the same. In fact, if you google “manicotti recipe” you’ll find instructions telling you to roll lasagna noodles and stuff them with meat, cheese, and top with sauce – just like cannelloni. They even sell pre-made manicotti shells at the store.
But did you know that some Italian chefs actually differentiate between the two by making manicotti with fresh pastry? They make manicotti with crepe shells and only stuff them with ricotta cheese and spinach.
How to Make Chicken Cannelloni
Today we are going to make cannelloni with chicken and a homemade creamy marsala sauce. If you love cheese, you will love this dish. And don’t be scared by the fanciness – it is actually simple! I’ll take you through every step.
Can you use oven-ready lasagna noodles to make cannelloni?
Cannelloni are usually prepared with fresh pasta dough, but that can be a bit pricey and not all stores carry fresh pasta dough. I’ve made this recipe with oven-ready lasagne and it tasted just as great. Although the package might say “no boiling required” you will need to boil it in order to roll the filling inside.
This is what you’ll need to make your homemade dish:
- Chicken tenders
- Cajun seasoning, to taste
- Onion, chopped
- Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Sweet Marsala wine
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Heavy cream
- Fresh lasagna pasta (dry works too)
- Shredded Italian blend cheese
Here are the steps for the recipe. You can skip down to the printable recipe card for the full details too.
1.) Brown the Chicken
Season the chicken and brown the chicken on the stove. Make sure it is fully cooked and then set it aside.
2.) Fry the onion, garlic and mushrooms
This part will make the kitchen smell amazing! It’s my favorite step.
3.) Make the creamy sauce
Add the flour, Marsala wine and heavy cream to the skillet.
4.) Add chopped chicken to the same skillet
After you add the chopped up chicken, spice it up with some red pepper flakes, Parmesan, and salt.
5.) Make the roux in a saucepan
Grab a saucepan and heat up the butter and flour.
6.) Add more ingredients to the roux
Slowly add the heavy cream, milk, Marsala wine, and white pepper. Once the sauce has heated, add in the Parmesan cheese.
7.) Prepare the lasagna noodles
Boil them. Adding olive oil will prevent them from sticking to each other. Once boiled, lay the noodles on paper towels to cool.
8.) Fill the noodles
Spread some of the chicken and mushroom mixture into each noodle.
9.) Roll them up
Roll the noodles up tightly and make sure the filling won’t fall out.
10.) Spread the roux in a baking dish
In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of the roux and place each rolled cannelloni into the dish.
11.) Top with more roux
Spread a generous amount of the roux on top of the cannelloni and sprinkle with the shredded Italian cheese blend.
12.) Bake them!
Cover with foil and bake! You can choose to garnish with chopped parsley if you want, for some extra flair.
My recipe makes about 20-24 5×7 cannelloni. If your noodles are a different size than 5×7 it could make a different amount.
Full Recipe Instructions
Chicken Cannelloni Recipe
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- Cajun seasoning to taste
- 1 lb mushroom
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 10 oz package fresh lasagna pasta dry works too
- 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
- For the Roux:
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream cream
- 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Season the chicken tenders with salt and Cajun seasoning to taste. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil to medium high and cook the chicken until full cooked. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, cook the chopped onion and minced garlic over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent.
- slice the mushrooms and add them to the onions.
- Once the mushroom has cooked for about 5 minutes, add in the flour stir until combined. Then add in the Marsala wine and heavy cream.
- After the cooked chicken has cooled, dice it up into small pieces and add it to the mushrooms. Then add in the red pepper flakes, Parmesan, and salt. Stir until combined and set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat butter and flour over medium heat.
- Slowly add the heavy cream, milk, Marsala wine, and white pepper.
- Once the sauce has heated, add in the Parmesan cheese.
- Cook the lasagna pasta according to the package, making sure to add a generous amount of olive oil to the pasta water to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other.
- Using tongs, remove the lasagna from the pot and lay onto sheets of paper towel.
- Each piece of lasagna should be 5x7 inches. Spread about 1 heaping tablespoon of the chicken and mushroom mixture into each piece of lasagna. Then roll tightly and compress the filling from each opening using your fingers. I do this to make sure the filing is well packed inside, and won't fall out.
- In 9x13 inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of the roux and place each rolled cannelloni into the dish. (You may need an additional baking dish if you want to make all of the cannelloni)
- spread a generous amount of the roux on top of the cannelloni and sprinkle with the shredded Italian cheese blend.
- Cover with foil and bake at 360 degrees for 50 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
More Dinner Recipes
Try one of these for your next dinner!
- Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Gnocchi (VIDEO)
- Baked Caprese Chicken
- Chakhokhbili (Georgian Chicken Stew with Herbs)