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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Creamy Baked Crab Cannelloni

30 MINPrep Time
30 MINCook Time
by Giada De Laurentiis
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
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This decadent pasta dish is perfect for special occasions! Cannelloni are stuffed with a flavorful mixture of crab and ricotta, then coated in a creamy, velvety béchamel sauce. This was originally an older recipe of mine that I recently gave an update to, and now I think it's most delicious than ever.


Creamy Baked Crab Cannelloni

Creamy Baked Crab Cannelloni


Main Course

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Creamy Baked Crab Cannelloni


  • 1 box (8 ounces cannelloni or manicotti pasta (about 12 shells))
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (plus extra for serving, optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Bechamel Sauce (recipe follows)
  • For The Bechamel Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk (warmed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg


  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.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, 3/4 cup Parmesan, egg, basil, garlic, crab, salt, and pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Butter a 13-by-9 baking dish. Pour about a cup of the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the cannelloni with the crab mixture and place in the baking dish. Top the filled cannelloni with the remaining Bechamel Sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with extra basil if desired. Serve hot.
  5. For The Bechamel Sauce:
  6. 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, and simmer until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and nutmeg. (The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool and then cover and refrigerate.)



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
42 grams
35 grams
24 grams
Saturated Fat
14 grams
131 milligrams
1524 milligrams
1 grams
10 grams
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4 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Lauren - May 06

    For Christmas dinner, I made this cannelloni recipe with one change … I added spinach to the crab/ricotta stuffing. It was amazing – everyone loved it!

  • Author's avatar image
    Kk - Jan 17

    I made this for a holiday gathering and I am not a fan. Neither did anyone else care for it too much

  • Author's avatar image
    Candace Beittel - Jun 09

    Can this be made a day ahead?

  • Author's avatar image
    Joan Weakland - Jun 09

    This looks like a delicious prep-ahead entree when you want to spend time with guests and prep the majority of the meal in advance.

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