Cannelloni with Basil Tomato Sauce

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An easy, healthy dish with all the flavor of creamy, carby Italian pasta. What more could you ask for? We’ve spiced the lean sausage in this Cannelloni with Basil Tomato Sauce with pepper, fennel, sage, and oregano, all rich in beneficial nutrients. The delicate pasta wrapping ties the cannelloni recipe together with a solid, yet light base. The finishing touch is a colorful sash of marinara and basil. Because the bulk of this recipe rests in the lean sausage filling, you can serve these crowd-pleasers at dinner without worry.

Cannelloni with Homemade Turkey Sausage

Cannelloni with Homemade Turkey Sausage

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 2 cannelloni | Calories: 314 | Total Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 627mg | Carbohydrates: 38g | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g| Protein: 21g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 9


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cannelloni or manicotti shells, optional lasagna sheets
  • 1 jar tomato-basil spaghetti or marinara sauce, no sugar added
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to suit taste
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8- 10 torn basil leaves for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
  3. Meanwhile, add all the sausage ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cook ground turkey sausage (all sausage ingredients) in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking into small pieces while cooking. Ensure the turkey loses its pink color before removing from heat.
  5. Drain, discard any fat, and add 1 cup of the sauce to the mix. Remove from the heat.
  6. Cut cannelloni lengthwise. Spoon sausage filling in the center and press pasta back together. Repeat with all the rolls and cover with remaining sauce. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through and bubbly.
  7. Garnish with torn basil leaves, if desired. Enjoy!

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2 Comments on "Cannelloni with Basil Tomato Sauce"

  1. Debi  December 2, 2016

    Do the cannelloni need to be precooked? How do you cut them without them falling apart?

    • Nichole Furlong  December 3, 2016

      Hi Debi!

      Pre-cook the cannelloni according to the instructions on your package. Cut the shells after they have been cooked. They won’t fall apart!


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