Gluten Free Cannelloni with Béchamel

Did you ever spend the better part of a day working on a recipe, and think you may never make it again?  Because it’s too much work?  That’s how I was feeling as I worked on this dish – until I took that first bite.  Oh, my goodness, this was absolutely divine!

Cannelloni con Besciamella – Cannelloni with Béchamel is a labor-intensive dish that is well worth the time and effort, it is swoon worthy!  Recipes like this one are a wonderful way to pass a Sunday afternoon.  For those who can’t spend all that time, I have broken down the recipe into four steps, some of which can be made ahead.  So, whether you go for the entire recipe or spread it over 2 days, I’ve got you covered.  Also, see notes at the end for shortcuts!

8 Servings

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The pasta dough was made with Better Batter Original Blend, and I used my KitchenAid pasta roller attachment to roll out the sheets of fresh pasta.

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1. the Marinara        2. the Filling        3. the Pasta        4. the Béchamel

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Step 1 – Make the marinara sauce (can be made ahead)

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the onion and garlic and cook 2 minutes on low heat.  Add the tomato paste in the center of the pan.  Let it toast for a minute then stir it all together.

Add the tomatoes, seasoning, sugar and red pepper flakes.

Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  I like to use a simmer mat, so the bottom doesn’t burn.  Toward the end of cooking, use a stick blender to process into a sauce.

Step 2 – Make the filling (can be made ahead)

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 sweet onion, divided use
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small celery stalk
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup beef stock
  • 1 tsp. arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp. fresh grated orange zest

Cut half of the sweet onion into small dice (about 1/3 cup).  Add the olive oil to a stainless-steel skillet on medium low heat.  Cook the diced onion and ground pork, breaking up the meat with a spatula.

Add the wine and continue cooking slowly, stirring frequently until most of the liquid evaporates.

Mince the carrot, celery and remaining onion in an electric chopper.

Add the minced veggies to the pork and stir well.

Make a spot in the center of the pan and add the tomato paste.  Let it toast for a minute before stirring it into the pork and veggies.

Add the broth with salt to taste.

Sprinkle the arrowroot evenly over the mixture and stir it in.  Simmer on low until the filling has thickened.  Stir in the baby spinach.  The filling should be moist, but not watery.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the orange zest and parmesan.  Set it aside while you make the pasta and béchamel.

Step 3 – Make the pasta

Combine 140 g. flour and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs and olive oil together.  Add the flour mixture and beat with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes to form a soft dough.

Bring the dough together and sprinkle with more flour, then wrap in plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 sections and work with one piece at a time.  Begin feeding it through the pasta roller, starting with the thickest setting.  Pass it through several times, adding more flour as needed, then begin increasing the roller setting each time until you have a sheet that is thin without tearing the dough.

For this recipe, setting 3 on a KitchenAid pasta roller attachment is the perfect thickness.  Repeat with each section and lay the sheets on floured parchment or wax paper.

Cut each section into 5-6″ pieces.

Step 4 – Make the Béchamel

  • 1-1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. arrowroot flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a small nonstick saucepan.  Whisk in the arrowroot flour and cook 2-3 minutes over low heat, whisking constantly.

Drizzle in the milk, cream and broth and whisk continuously until thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.  Keep warm.


Finally!  The hard work is done, and it’s time to assemble.  Preheat the oven to 400º.

Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Ladle enough marinara to cover the bottom of the pan, and top with a few ladles of Béchamel.

Spoon the filling evenly onto each section of pasta.

Roll each section into a cylinder and arrange the bundles in a single layer, seam side down in the casserole dish.

Spread the remaining sauce over the cannelloni, then top with more Béchamel.  Be sure that all of the pasta is generously covered with the sauce, including the edges.  Sprinkle the top with grated parmesan cheese and cover the dish with foil.

Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.

As the pasta bakes it will absorb liquid and thicken the sauce.  The filling is delicious and moist.  Garnish with fresh basil and dig in!


I won’t tell if you use a gluten free jar sauce (wink!).

Use a wine that you can/would drink.  Do NOT use cooking wine!

♪♫ Don’t skip the fresh orange zest.  It adds a subtle burst of amazing flavor to the finished dish!

♫♫ Homemade pasta is fabulous, but if you’re not up to the task, try to find fresh gluten free lasagna sheets such as Taste Republic.  You will need about 8 lasagna sheets for this recipe.  Lay them out on floured parchment and cut each sheet in half.  I do not recommend using dry pasta in this recipe, as it needs to be cooked in advance in order to roll properly and will not absorb enough liquid, resulting in a soggy finished dish.

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Gluten Free Rigatoni Pasta

I’m really excited to be using my KitchenAid® so much this year!  Just look at this beautiful Rigatoni pasta!

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I made it with my KitchenAid® pasta press attachment, using the gluten free Artisan Flour Blend from Better Batter.

For a limited time, when you shop Better Batter and use my (affiliate) code MGFC30 at checkout, you will receive 30% off any non-sale item! 

CLICK HERE to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to try the flour that I call my little miracle in a bag!

When making extruded pasta, the consistency of the dough is everything!  Too dry and the dough will not hold together, too much liquid, and you will have trouble extruding the pasta and the rigatoni will collapse with the weight.  I’ve made these before, but it took a few tries to get the hydration just right.  It’s a bit finicky, like pie dough.

Below I have provided the exact ingredient measures that I used for this 2-serving recipe, and it’s my “go-to” for extruded pasta.  Like any dough, it may vary a bit from batch to batch.  Once you know what the dough should look like, you can adjust by adding a bit more flour or water as needed.

Note that you can double or triple the recipe for a larger family.

2 Servings 



Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed to incorporate.  You should have a crumbly mixture, like this.  Do not add water.

To test the consistency, pinch a piece of the dough.  It should hold together, like this.

Use a stiff spatula to gather the dough together into a ball.

It’s important to give the dough time to hydrate.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

When ready, set up the pasta press attachment.  I’m using the rigatoni plate, one of six that comes with the pasta press.  It’s very hard to find gluten free rigatoni, so this is going to be a special treat!

Cut the dough into sections, you want to break off pieces about the size of a walnut.  Set up a tray lined with wax paper, and sprinkle with gluten free flour.  Turn on the mixer and begin feeding small pieces of dough into the press.

As the pasta extrudes, cut it to the length you prefer.  You can make mezzi rigatoni or full size.  Spread the rigatoni out on the floured tray in a single layer.

See how the rigatoni have held their shape, with nice defined ridges?

*Remember to follow food safety guidelines, fresh egg pasta should be refrigerated (or cooked) within one hour.

To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Add the pasta and cover until it returns to a boil.  Fresh pasta cooks very quickly, no more than 3 minutes total!

Use a spider strainer to gently remove the pasta and place in serving bowls.

Aren’t they beautiful?  Top with your favorite sauce and serve it up!

Notes ♪♫ Curious about that meat sauce?  It’s actually a Beef Guazzetto, or Italian Beef Stew.  It is a perfect accompaniment to the hearty rigatoni pasta.  Get the recipe here.

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Gluten Free Gnocchi with Chicken and Roasted Cauliflower

Look at this beautiful tray of gnocchi!  Would you believe it’s gluten free?  It is so good to know that we can still enjoy some of our favorite meals, minus the gluten!  This dish features fresh homemade gnocchi, one of my favorite pasta shapes, tossed in a flavorful skillet of chicken, sausage and cauliflower.

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4 servings

For the gnocchi:

When you shop Better Batter and use my (affiliate) code MGFC30 at checkout, you will receive 30% off any non-sale item! 

CLICK HERE to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to try the flour that I call my little miracle in a bag!


For the skillet:


To make the pasta, whisk together the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat together the eggs and olive oil and add to the flour mixture.  With the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until a soft dough forms (about 1 minute).

Press the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it rest 10 minutes.

Lightly flour your work surface and gnocchi board.  Use a bench knife to divide the dough into 4 even pieces.  Work with one piece at a time and keep the rest covered so that it doesn’t dry out.  Roll each piece of dough into a long rope about 3/4″ wide.

Use the bench knife to cut the rope into 1/2″ pieces.

To form the ridges, roll each piece over the gnocchi board using your thumb, a butter knife or bench knife.  Keep the board and your fingers floured to prevent the gnocchi from sticking.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper and flour lightly.  Place the finished gnocchi on the baking sheet.  If not using right away, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

*Always follow food safety guidelines, pasta made with fresh eggs should be refrigerated within 1 hour.

Now it’s time to finish the dish!  Cut the chicken into 1.5″ cubes and toss with 3 tbsp. rice flour, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.  Let it sit at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables.

Dice the onion, zucchini and cauliflower.  Slice the sausage into coins.  Toss the veggies and sausage with olive oil and Italian seasoning.  Spread the mixture on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes at 400º.  Roasting the veggies adds so much flavor to the dish, don’t skip this step!

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil for the pasta.  Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat.  Begin browning the floured chicken in a little olive oil.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning several times to get good color on all sides.

When the chicken is almost done, cook the pasta.  Cover the pot if needed, to keep the water at a boil.  Remember fresh pasta cooks quickly, 3-4 minutes is all it takes!  It will float to the top when done.

Add the roasted sausage and veggies to the skillet with a little chicken broth, folding gently with a spatula as the liquid begins to thicken.

Use a spider strainer to gently lift the cooked pasta out of the water and add it to the skillet.  If too dry, add a bit more chicken broth or a ladle of the pasta water.  Toss gently and continue cooking 1-2 more minutes to get a little browning on the gnocchi.

Transfer to a serving platter and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, grated cheese and Italian parsley.

Just look at this amazing pasta dinner, all from scratch and its gluten free!  It is SO delicious and leftovers are just as good!

Notes ♪♫ This post, first published in 2018 was long overdue for an update.  My original pasta dough was made with brown rice flour and tapioca starch.  I’ve since found that a good all-purpose gluten free flour can work just as well.  I have made this recipe several times with Better Batter Original Blend.  If you use a different brand, be sure that your flour contains xanthan gum.  If not, you will need to add it to help your dough hold together without crumbling or tearing.

Original post 06/17/2018                                                    Updated 01/20/2022

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