Butternut Squash Cannelloni with Ricotta and Kale and a Lemony Sage Brown Butter Sauce

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stuffed cannelloni It’s that time of year when you start seeing butternut squash all over the place, it’s my favorite kind of squash so I usually always have one on hand sitting on my counter ready and waiting for me whenever I need it. I’ve made scones with butternut squash, individual lasagna, stuffed shells, gnocchi, ravioli, tossed it in salads, soups, risotto’s. I made other lasagna, sformato, tarts and even pizza with it, and I’m sure I missed a few, but never stuffed it into cannelloni, until now!cooked squash Fresh ricotta, kale, parmesan and a little lemon zest gets mixed into the tender baked squash for a very flavorful filling.pasta sheets Try to get a hold of some good quality fresh pasta sheets, you could make your own if you like especially if your doing it for a crowd or for the holidays but this is my quick mid-week version.  I like to cut my store bought pasta sheets in half, I find the cannelloni gets too doughy otherwise. So for every sheet of pasta I can make two cannelloni.filled cannelloni Spoon on a generous amount of filling then roll them up and place each one seam side down on a buttered baking dish.stuffed cannelloni

When finished, spoon the nutty brown butter sage sauce that has a touch of lemon all over the cooked cannelloni, tossed together a nice salad, and dinner is ready!

Butternut Squash Cannelloni with Ricotta and Kale and a Lemony Sage Brown Butter Sauce
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 package of good quality premade pasta sheets
  • 1 lb. ricotta drained of liquid
  • ¼ cup of chopped cooked kale, squeezed and drained (swiss chard or spinach will also work)
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped and smashed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • xxxx
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 10 sage leaves
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds. Add squash to a parchment lined baking sheet then drizzle both halves with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until tender and knife tip goes through easily, about 45-60 minutes. Let it cool completely then scoop out the flesh and discard the skin.
  3. Add ricotta, egg, grated cheese, garlic, zest and squash into a food processor and pulse, just until mixed. You can also whip it all together by hand.
  4. Add in the chopped kale little by little folding in between, just making sure the greenness of the kale doesn't overwhelm the ricotta mixture.
  5. xxxxx
  6. Cook pasta sheets for 2 minutes in boiling water, then cool them in an ice water bath. Drain on tea towels.
  7. xxxx
  8. For assembly, cut pasta sheet in half, my package had 8 sheets so I was able to make 16 cannelloni from it. Add filling then roll up placing them seam side down on a buttered baking dish.
  9. xxxx
  10. For the sauce, melt butter in a sauce pan on medium until bubbly and golden brown, throw in all 10 sage leaves, let them sizzle and get crisp.
  11. Take sauce off heat and squeeze in juice from ½ lemon.
  12. xxxx
  13. Spoon a tiny bit of sauce on top of each shell and sprinkle each with grated parmesan or romano. Loosely cover with foil and place in 400 oven until filling is cooked, around 15 minutes, remove foil spoon remaining sauce on top along with the crispy sage leaves. Place back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove and enjoy!
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  1. I will make the Cannelloni with butternut squash sliced very thin and wrapped around a Cannelloni tube t bake then fill with the butternut squash/ricotta mixture. Less bread in my life.

  2. I made this last night using small flour tortillas and it worked really well! The filling was delicious and the tortillas had just the slightest crunch. I halved the recipe and was able to generously fill 6 small taco sized tortillas. Thanks for the great recipe, Marie!

  3. Now that’s the way to kick off the Fall season. Gorgeous!
    Your photos are always so pinnable Marie!

  4. This looks wonderful. Would this recipe work with cooked manicotti shells? What would I do so the pasta would not dry out in the baking process. I do not have a local grocer that sells fresh pasta.

    • Yes, I’m sure Kathryn, butter your cassarole dish first, put your filled manicotti shells on top, spoon some of that sage butter sauce on each but then cover the dish with foil, when the filling is heated through put the remaining sauce all over.

  5. Just made this tonight. The whole family LOVED it, even my 1 and 2 year old. Will definitely be adding it to our list of recipes. I will even make it next week for a friend who just had a baby. Thanks!

  6. Denise Brosch says

    Oh my! Oh looks like Sunday Dinner to me! YUM!

  7. Hi, Marie…..I have pureed butternut squash in my freezer. I was wondering if I can substitute this for the roasted squash, and if so, how much? I wouldn’t put it through the food processor, just add it to the mixture. Any thoughts?

  8. It must be fall! These look so good!

  9. Marie, just the other day I was thinking of Butternut squash and what I might like to make with it. This recipe sounds wonderful……and, looks delicious!!

  10. Looks wonderful and I’m sure it tasted even better. I always want to eat everything you cook.

  11. Another one to pin. I love butternut squash ravioli and this sounds much easier. I’ll be trying this one soon.

  12. A stunning picture — an appropriate tribute to a stunning dish. I don’t find pasta sheets locally, so I’d have to save this for a weekend splurge — and I most definitely will be making it!

  13. Ma va, Marie! You have out done yourself this time. This sound so good, and perfect for Fall. I adore butternut squash. How is it that something that tastes so good can be so good for us? This is a winner!

  14. This looks so delicious. As soon as our weather ccols a little more this is going on my list.

    Please do not take offense, but do you have a typo on the recipe and instructions #5 and #7 or is that just a place holder?

  15. Yum. I adore butternut squash. Do you think you could omit the ricotta from the filling? I’m not a huge fan. But I love the idea of butternut squash wrapped in pasta!

  16. Looks delicious! Definitely want to make this. Where can you purchase the fresh pasta sheets in Chicago? Thanks!

    • Rosemary, I know Mariano’s has them and so does Standard Market, Whole Foods does too but I bought them once and they were all stuck together, so be careful to check that out.

  17. I never bought fresh pasta sheets…where do you find them, Marie? I’d love to try this using the crepes I make when I Make Manicotti…do you think that would work as well? I love butternut squash!

  18. Mary, try an egg roll wrapper, I saw Giada do that on her show once! If you want it vegetarian, no pasta at all, stuff a large portobello cap, hmmm, I might even try that!

  19. Oh Marie- I’m with you on butternut squash. i love all the recipes you have posted using this sweet vegetable, and this one is sure to be on my table this fall.

  20. Marie, the stuffing is so healthy. Wondering what, other than pasta sheets, what could use?


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