If you can make a lasagna, you can make canalones. The filling in this recipe includes ground beef, bell peppers, and onions.
The bechamel incorporates juices from the beef and pepper filling. You can easily augment the recipe for the filling, or even include some of last night’s leftovers into the mix!
Beef, Pepper, and Onion Canalones
- 1 pack lasagna noodles (16 sheets)
- 6 Tbsp whole butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp canola oil (or sunflower oil) (for browning the beef)
- 2 large white onions (medium dice)
- 2 lbs ground beef (preferably around 85% lean)
- 12 oz tomato puree
- 1 large red or green bell pepper (medium dice)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup white wine
- 5 Tbsp flour (all-purpose)
- 12 oz cheddar cheese
- Slowly cook the onions in a large saute pan with 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil, stirring frequently.
- In a separate large saute pan, heat the canola oil until it is nearly smoking, and carefully add the ground beef in large chunks.
- Quickly brown the ground beef, and then combine the ground beef with the onions.
- Make sure to break up the chunks of ground beef at this stage.
- Add 2 cups of whole milk and cook at a low simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated.
- Do not boil the ground beef.
- This will take some time to cook off the liquid.
- Add the 1 cup of white wine and cook until the liquid has nearly evaporated.
- Add the tomato puree and bell pepper and cook for an additional hour at a low simmer, stirring frequently.
- Strain the liquid out of the cooked filling mixture, reserving both the liquid and the dry filling separately.
- This dry filling will be rolled inside of the lasagna noodles.
- At this stage, you are ready to prepare your noodles and make the bechamel sauce that the canalones will be cooked in.
- To prepare the noodles, drizzle them in olive oil and place them into the baking dish and cover them with boiling water until they are submerged.
- Carefully touch the noodles to make sure they aren’t sticking together.
- The hot water will par-cook the noodles until they are soft enough to easily roll.
- When the noodles are cooked through, after about 20 minutes, you can remove them from the hot water bath and set aside on parchment, adding a little oil to ensure they don’t stick together.
- To make the bechamel, heat 4 Tbsp butter in a sauce pot, and then stir in the flour.
- Combine thoroughly with a spatula, and cook at low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly so the mixture does not burn on the bottom.
- In a separate saucepan, heat your 2 cups whole milk to a gentle simmer.
- Using a whisk, slowly whisk in the milk into your butter and flour mixture, making sure to stir out any lumps.
- Cook gently on low heat, stirring the mixture frequently.
- Add the drained liquid from your beef and pepper filling that you strained earlier to the bechamel, and whisk to combine.
- Now, taste and adjust the beef-flavored bechamel with salt and pepper.
- In the bottom of your baking dish, place a small layer of bechamel sauce.
- Place about 3Tbsp of beef filling on top of the end of a lasagna noodle, and carefully roll until the filling is encased in noodle.
- Cut off remaining excess noodle, if desired.
- Carefully place the filled noodles next to one another in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the remaining bechamel over the top of the filled canalones.
- Cover with cheddar or your baking cheese of choice, and cook at 380-400F until the cheese on top is a perfect golden brown.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow to cool before cutting and serving.
The true glory of this dish lies in the leftovers…this is one of those foods that just tastes better when reheated in the oven the next day.