beef cannelloni with bechamel sauce
Print Recipe

Beef cannelloni

Beef cannelloni is one of the easiest dinners you can make with your kids especially if, like us, you use leftover or batch cooked ragu. Older kids can help make the cheese sauce, while kids of all ages will enjoy filling up the pasta tubes!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dinner, pasta
Servings: 4


  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 350 g beef mince
  • 1 carrots chopped
  • 1 pepper chopped
  • 2 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Italian herbs
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 100 ml red wine or water

For the cheese sauce

  • 40 g (2 tbsp) butter
  • 40 g (2 tbsp) plain flour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) Milk
  • 1 tsp Mustard powder
  • 100 g Cheese grated plus extra for the top
  • 1 x 400g jar passata
  • 400 g dried cannelloni tubes


Make the mince

  • Heat some oil in a large non stick frying pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for a few minutes until it has softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute or two.
  • Add the mince and cook for 5 minutes or so until it has browned.
  • Stir in the carrots, peppers and tinned tomatoes. Add the stock cube, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and herbs and 100ml of water (or red wine) and mix everything together one last time. Simmer for 20 minutes while you make the cheese sauce.

Make the cheese sauce

  • Melt the butter in a small pan. Add the flour and stir into the butter until it is well combined. Cook for a minute.
  • Add the milk a little at a time stirring continuously as it thickens. I normally start with a tiny bit at first and only add the next bit when that’s fully combined as I find it stops it going lumpy.
  • Add the mustard powder if you have any as it will bring out the flavour of the cheese more.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.

Make the cannelloni

  • Preheat the oven to 200C / 180C Fan /Gas 6 / 395F.
  • Pour the passata over the base of a large oven proof dish.
  • Spoon the beef sauce into each cannelloni tube using a teaspoon and lay on top of the passata.
  • Pour over the cheese sauce, and then grate a little cheese over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for for 40-45 minutes. It’s ready when the pasta is tender and topping is golden.
  • You can freeze the uncooked cannelloni wrapped well in clingfilm. Defrost thoroughly then cook for 50-55 minutes.