“Canelons”, our Catalan version of Canneloni

Catalan-style cannelloni is a typical dish in Barcelona. It is made by filling rectangular sheets of pasta with meat, fish or vegetables, rolling them up. Then, we cover them with béchamel sauce and gratinating them with cheese. Superb!

Canelons are eaten all year round in Barcelona but the most typical occasion is Boxing Day, taking advantage of the roast meat leftover from Christmas lunch. But Catalan cannelloni —canelons or canelones— are a little different from Italian canelons. Try both and discover which are the differences.

For me, these are the basic differences between Catalan and Italian cannelloni: here, in Barcelona, they are stuffed with roast meat, while there minced meat, mixed with a sofregit of tomatoes, is added directly.

Cannelloni made in Barcelona

Well, I have to say that cannelloni are a relatively recent addition to Catalan cuisine. They were introduced by the Italian chefs of the Barcelona bourgeoisie at the end of the 19th century. From then on, they began to become very popular across the country and appear in cookery books.

Why do you have to eat them? First of all, because they are delicious! Obviously. Besides, cannelloni has the flavour of Barcelona and Christmas time, because of that any local good restaurant in town cook their special canelons for Christmas time. Meat, fish, seafood, veggie, it has got many classes of cannelloni. Try them on! You don’t regret!


Ingredients (4 people)

  • 16 cannelloni wrappers
  • 200 g pork loin
  • 100 g veal
  • 200 g chicken
  • 2 chicken livers
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Béchamel sauce
  • grated cheese
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water


Boil the cannelloni wrappers in a pan with water, salt and a drizzle of oil.

Cool, spread on a cloth and dry.

Roast the meat seasoned with salt and pepper with the cinnamon, garlic, onion and tomato.

When half roasted, prepare a wine reduction. Stain the juice, remove the cinnamon stick and put it through the mincer.

Mix the mince with some béchamel sauce and spread over the cannelloni wrappers.

Roll the cannelloni wrappers, place them on the buttered baking tray, coat with the béchamel and put the grated cheese and some knobs of butter on top.

Bake at 180ºC for 15 or 20 minutes to warm and brown.


Add a drizzle of dry sherry when you cook the Béchamel sauce

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