Joy Of Spanish Cooking

Canelones de Carne

Hola!! Jump to Recipe

I can’t believe that in less than one month it will be Spring. I am looking forward to it. This past weekend has been great, the weather was amazing in Maryland. I am just hoping not to get more snow…

Today I made Canelones de Carne, which translates to Meat Cannelloni. Of course, this is another one of my grandma’s top recipes. I don’t know how she does it, but these canelones are out of this world. (If you are not a meat lover, check out the spinach and mushrooms canelones that I previously posted on this blog.)

It’s traditional in Spain to eat these canelones both the day after Christmas, and for Kings’s Day, January 6th. I realize it is neither of these days, but after traveling recently to Spain, these were definitely on my mind. Plus, you can, of course, serve these any day of the year.

The traditional recipe calls for veal brain. For me, that is totally optional! I appreciate using all parts of the animal, but I would understand if you didn’t want to use it. It is also probably difficult to find. My grandma uses it because its extremely flavorful. But as I said, it’s not required.

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

Canelones de Carne (meat)

Canelones de Carne, which translates to Meat Cannelloni. Of course, this is another one of my grandma’s top recipes!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course dinner, Lunch
Cuisine spanish
Servings 4 Servings


  • 7 oz Ground Veal
  • 7 oz Ground Pork
  • 1 Chicken Breast Shredded
  • 2 Tomatoes Grated
  • 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 Veal Brain OPTIONAL
  • 1/4 cup Cognac Substitue for white wine
  • 20 Canelones 1 box (You can use lasagna noodles and cut them in half
  • 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese Grated
  • 2 Tbsp Butter

For the Sauce:

  • 2 cups Warm milk Whole milk or 2%
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg


For the Sauce:

  • In a sauce pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter cook on low heat until it melts. Once the bottom of the pan is coated with butter, add 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour.  Whisk constantly until the flour is brown-ish. Add 2 cups of milk and the nutmeg and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens This is a béchamel sauce. If it looks too thick, add an extra 1/4 cup of milk. 

To make the canelones:

  • Cook the canelones pasta (or similar pasta) according to the package.
  • In a large pan, cook all the ingredients EXCEPT for the veal, and set the heat to low. Stir occasionally, the mixture has to be juicy, otherwise add a little bit of water.  The mixture should be on low heat for about 35 to 45 minutes.
  • If you are using the veal brain, boil it for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pot.
  • After cooking the mixture for 35 to 45 minutes, you can add the veal brain into the pan.
  • Place the mixture into the food processor and blend it to a fine consistency. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender or another substitute.
  • Stuff the mixture in the middle of the canelone dough.
  • Roll up all of the canelones. Pour a little bit of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish and then add the canelones in a line (or two lines depending on the size of your baking sheet.) Add only one layer.
  • The canelones can be touching one another,but make sure they are not overlapping. Add some of the white sauce, the grated cheese, and small pats of butter on top (butter is optional).
  • Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 F, and then broil it for 2 minutes to brown the cheese.


I always make a little more sauce then I probably need.  I add some of the sauce to the plate first and I also fill an extra gravy boat so people can add more if they want. It’s delicious! It’s also great to serve good bread for dipping in the sauce.
Make Ahead: You can make the mixture one day in advance. 

4 thoughts on “Canelones de Carne”

  1. Looks yummy! But veal brain? LOL – my grandmother’s recipe cards had the strangest things too sometimes…I’ve learned to substitute just like you did! 🙂

Comments are closed.

Canelones de Carne

by Ivette time to read: 3 min
%d bloggers like this: