Monday, 13 May 2013

Turkey Cannelloni

Cannelloni filled with Turkey

When I was 14 years old my best friend's parents decided to move over the border to Queensland.   We did so much together, from catching the bus to school to riding our horses every afternoon that were stabled in the same paddock.  Apart from being devastating it was also quite exciting.
We kept in touch often via phone calls or posted photographs and remained best friends.

 A few months later my mother dutifully put me on the Greyhound bus - at midnight of course - for the journey to visit my girlfriend in Queensland.   I was too excited to sleep - this was such a great adventure and I didn't want to miss a minute of it!   I noticed every bus stop and town along the way, all by streetlight.

The first day there we rode her horses and just enjoyed being together.
On the second day we were going to the newly opened Dreamworld.
I was full of anticipation and could hardly walk my legs were shaking so much.  That was the best day, a country girl riding high on the roller coaster and every fast moving ride on offer.
I have been back many times over the years, taking our children to experience all possible and they too have the love of the roller coaster and upside down rides.

The next day we went driving to Surfer's Paradise.  Strolling around the shops and examining everything in  Ripley's Believe it or Not.  Then we had lunch at a not so little Italian Trattoria which is where I first had Cannelloni.   It's funny how you assimilate food with life experiences, remembering intricate details about what and where you ate at different times.  I can picture the open air Trattoria on the corner and the aroma of that amazing cannelloni.

Turkey breast has 35 calories and 1 gram of fat per 1oz (28gram) 
serving which makes it a healthy non-vegetarian version.

It is super quick to make, is great heated up the next day and excellent to freeze for another time.

Turkey Cannelloni Recipe

Turkey filling:
500g lean turkey breast, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1 bottle Tomato passata, fresh basil leaves and grated mozzarella for topping.

1 x 250gram packet purchased cannelloni shells

Mix all of the turkey filling ingredients together, stirring until well combined.
Place olive oil in 2 large dishes just to coat the bottom.
Take each cannelloni shell and literally stuff the filling into half way with your fingers, then turn over and stuff from the other side.   Place slightly apart on the baking dish to allow tomato passata to drip between each shell.

Pour over the passata straight from the bottle until the shells are just covered.  Place whole fresh basil leaves randomly on top then cover it all with grated mozzarella.

Cover tray with foil and place in 180C oven for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and cook for another 10  minutes until mozzarella is nicely browned.  Remove and serve with a green salad and fresh bread to mop up any tomato juices.

This will make approximately 21 filled cannelloni shells.

This is my modern version of Cannelloni which I hope you enjoy.  You can make it also with half turkey/half pork combination.  I am working at improving my food photography skills but the flavour and aroma are undeniably sensational.

If you have enjoyed my post, kindly comment or recommend it to your friends.  Buon appetito Merryn.


  1. that looks divine. I am developing a new love of turkey mince, as long as it has enough other flavours around it as I find it quite bland on its own. Might have to try this one - thanks!

  2. Thank you for your kind words Mel. Yes turkey mince is great with the right additions and most ingredients slathered in passato and cheese are wonderously improved.