Pesto Provolone Cannelloni Pasta

June 11, 2017 (Last Updated: September 26, 2020) by Emily

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.

Homemade basil pesto is spread over fresh cannelloni pasta recipe and baked in a luscious cheesy provolone bechamel sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, comfort food heaven!

Homemade basil pesto is spread over fresh cannelloni pasta and baked in a luscious cheesy provolone bechamel sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, comfort food heaven!

This is proper cheesy comfort food heaven and is a fabulous vegetarian meal that will soon be a family favourite. This delicious pasta dish is fairly simple to make and to put together. It’s a great weekend meal that can be eaten as a traditional Italian starter or main course.


This pesto provolone cannelloni pasta is something I’ve been making for quite some time now. I decided to combine my love for pesto, cheese, and pasta all in one cheesy baked comfort food dish and it’s SO damn delicious!

The cannelloni is fairly easy to make, it requires homemade pesto (this is a must) homemade cheese (bechamel) sauce and fresh lasagne sheets which you can either make yourself or use store bought fresh lasagne sheets which are what I used to make this recipe.
Ok so let’s back up and talk about pesto for a second.

I have to say pesto is one of the best sauces in the world (for me anyway). Every time I make it I can’t help but lick the bowl clean afterward as if I was a child again baking something chocolatey and delicious (I still do this btw).

I prefer to add a little more parmesan than you normally see in recipes and I do prefer parmesan to pecorino in my pesto because it adds more tang. Also in most pesto recipes, you will see they will tell you to toast the pine nuts. I prefer not to, I like the creaminess that the un-toasted pine nuts give the pesto.

Homemade pesto is a must here, it’s the most important part to this recipe and the jarred stuff you get in the supermarket really shouldn’t be called pesto. It tastes nothing like the homemade stuff and will not taste anywhere near as gorgeous as this.

To make this cannelloni pasta, simply make a basic cheese sauce (see recipe below) with lots of provolone cheese then add a couple spoonfuls to the bottom of an oven proof dish.

The luscious pesto is mixed with a little cheese sauce before being spread over the cannelloni pasta (lasagne sheets) with an extra sprinkling of cheese. Then it’s rolled up and placed in the baking dish. The provolone cheese sauce is poured over the cannelloni and topped with mozzarella before being baked in the oven until it’s bubbling, melted and delicious.

Easy as that, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, It’s truely a comfort food favourite of mine.

Ciao until next time!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTERESTto see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

For more pesto recipes try;


Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
Homemade basil pesto is spread over fresh cannelloni pasta recipe and baked in a luscious cheesy provolone bechamel sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, comfort food heaven!
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Pesto Provolone Cannelloni Pasta

Homemade basil pesto is spread over fresh cannelloni pasta and baked in a luscious cheesy provolone bechamel sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese, comfort food heaven!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 858kcal
Author Emily Kemp


For the pesto:

  • 2 cups (50g) Basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (60g) finely grated parmesan
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper , to taste

For the white sauce:

  • 2 oz (50g) butter
  • 2 oz (50g) plain flour
  • 19 fluid oz (550ml) milk
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 7 oz (200g) provolone picante , grated
  • 1 tbsp parmesan ,freshly grated
  • 3.5 oz (100g) ball of mozzarella
  • 9 lasagna sheets ,fresh
  • salt and pepper , to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4.
  • To make the pesto add the basil, garlic, lemon, parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil and a little salt and pepper in a bowl. Blitz until completely smooth with a hand blender. This will make an extra smooth pesto, set aside.
  • Bring a pot of water to the boil. Meanwhile, make the white sauce. In a pan on a medium heat add butter until melted. Then add the flour and stir until it has formed a thick paste. Cook the flour out for a minute then gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. stir slowly until it starts to thicken. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and 2/3 of the provolone cheese. Continue to stir until thick and set aside. 
  • Add 5 tbsp of cheese sauce to the pesto, stir and set aside. Add two small spoonfuls of cheese sauce to the bottom of an oven proof baking dish and spread out evenly, set aside.
  • Add one lasagna sheet to the boiling water for a couple seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean work surface. Spread 1 tbsp of pesto over the lasagna sheet then sprinkle with a little provolone cheese. Roll the lasagna sheet up and place in the baking dish. repeat with the rest of the lasagna sheets.
  • Pour the remaining white sauce over the top of the cannelloni and top with the mozzarella. Put the cannelloni into the oven and bake until bubbling and golden, around 20 minutes. Leave for 5/10 minutes to cool slightly and enjoy!


*please note this recipe was tested and developed using metric measurements all imperial measurements are approximate


Calories: 858kcal
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We'd love you see what you're getting up to in the kitchen!



  • Reply
    May 20, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Oops! Too eager to comment on this delight! 5 stars of course!😁5 stars

  • Reply
    May 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Oooh!! Pesto AND cheese!!My favourite things together in one dish! Cannot wait to try this!! Looks absolutely scrummy!!😋😋

  • Reply
    James | Thyme to Mango
    June 23, 2017 at 8:37 am

    These photos are giving me all the comfort-food-vibes, and now I’m hungry beyond words. Agreed there is nothing better than homemade pesto, I always have a jar sitting in my fridge right next to my unbelievably large collection of cheese!

  • Reply
    Christina | Christina\'s Cucina
    June 11, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I love anything with besciamella, so bring it on!! Looks fabulous!

  • Reply
    Nayna Kanabar
    June 11, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    I adore pasta in any form or shape , this recipe looks super delicious and tasty. Does it freeze well???

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      June 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you Nayna. I’ve never frozen this before but I don’t see why it wouldn’t freeze well, let me know if you try it.

  • Reply
    June 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Pesto and Provolone are a great combination! This looks like an amazing recipe I must try.5 stars

  • Reply
    Cricket Plunkett
    June 11, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    This has my name all over it! Love the you use provolone instead of mozeralla!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    This looks divine. I’ve been looking for a pesto recipe to try, too and I am going to try yours. Amazing recipe.5 stars

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    This recipe is delicious and very interesting, amazing photography!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Oh, wow, that looks amazing 🙂

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.