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Crab & Ricotta Cannelloni


Rich ricotta and succulent crab meat come together bechamel-based pasta dish. Crab and Ricotta Cannelloni is a perfect date-night meal, any night meal, or just an excuse to eat crab covered in bechamel sauce. This dish is great as a main course served with a side salad or on its own for a low-maintence clean-up recipe that is sure to please any dinner guest or picky family member.

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Rate this recipe 3.9/5 (38 Votes)


  • 1 (8-ounce) box cannelloni or manicotti pasta, about 12 shells
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup parmesan, grated, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk, warmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg


Servings 6
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 75mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, 3/4 cup parmesan, egg yolk, basil, crab, salt, and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Fill the cannelloni with the crab mixture and place in a buttered baking dish. Top the filled cannelloni with the bechamel sauce and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately.


In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy, about 10 minutes. Do not allow the sauce to boil.

Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate.)

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