Canelones de Verduras (Vegetable Canelones)

Hola!

My guess is that you are confined at home…like me, and almost, the rest of the world. But guess what? I am here, trying to give you some ideas on what to make for dinner. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see that almost everyday I try to make a different and simple recipe for you. I am aware that we can’t go to the supermarket everyday as we used to (well, or every other day lol), so I am trying to make recipes with simple ingredients. 

Today, I am making Vegetable Canelones. Delicious, and a good way to eat veggies if you don’t like to eat them on their own.  If you are a meat lover, check out the Meat Canelones. 

For the dough, I used that classic canelones pasta shape that we use in Spain. If you can’t find those, you can use lasagna pasta. (Boil the lasagna pasta and cut it the size of the canelones. Each canelon is a square, approximately 4 inches x 4 inches.

Vegetable Canelones

Ingredients for 20 canelones:

  • 1 box of canelones dough (You can substitute it for lasagna pasta).
  • Approximately ½ lb spinach
  • 1 pint of mushrooms, chopped (I used cremini and shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ½ lb whole canned tomatoes  (don’t add the juice)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • ½ cup Cheddar Cheese, grated (to broil on top of the Canelones)

For the white sauce/bechamel sauce: 

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium pan and place on low heat.  The bottom of the pan should be entirely coated with butter. Once it’s melted, add 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.  Whisk constantly until the flour is combined. Add 2  cups of milk and stir until the sauce thickens. Add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg or just a small pinch (nutmeg has a lot of flavor!).

Canelones: 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  1. Boil the canelones following the directions on the box. Once they’re done, lay ou tthe pasta on the counter- I always spread them on top of a dishcloth. The pasta shouldn’t touch each other.
  2. Cook the mushrooms on medium heat with a generous drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. It will take about 3-ish minutes for the mushrooms to be cooked. Transfer them to a clean plate. Using the same pan, cook the onion until translucent, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Once translucent, add the red pepper and cook until softened. 
  3. Add the spinach and the garlic to the onion mixture. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the spinach is almost cooked. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Add the mushrooms and the canned tomatoes. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  5. Add this mixture to the food processor or blend it up with a hand blender and blend it briefly, leaving some chunks (you might need to do this step in batches). 
  6. Allow the mixture to cool a little bit. 
  • Stuff the mixture in the middle of the canelones dough, once done, roll it up and transfer to a baking sheet.  (At this point, you can freeze the Canelones for up to 3 months).
  • Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 F and then broil it for 2 minutes to brown the cheese.

Optional: Good bread is also good to serve with and to dip into the sauce.

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