Difference Between Manicotti and Cannelloni

Several dishes look alike and create a lot of confusion. If you are a cook or a chef, it becomes extremely important to know the details about everything you are using for the preparation of a particular dish. For example, there are types of Maggie and noodles available in the market that can be used for making different dishes. They can be difficult to distinguish as they all are noodles but still, they cannot be used in place of each other.

Among these is pasta that is liked and eaten by people all over the world. There are different types of pasta, some similar, some different used for making dishes. For example, manicotti and cannelloni.

Manicotti vs Cannelloni

The main difference between Manicotti and Cannelloni is that both of them were invented at different times. Manicotti was introduced later on in the year 1946, while 1907 was the year when cannelloni came in the notice. Both of them include different types of fillings, which make the manicotti more sour and tangy, while cannelloni can be of different taste depending on its ingredients and sauces. Except for all these differences, they also differ in terms of their physical appearance and texture.

Manicotti is an Italian America Pasta. The structure or texture of this is slightly rigid, and tubes are larger in size. The thickness of the tube is also more. The word Manicotti means little sleeve. It belongs to Tubular pasta and requires few minutes to be cooked. It is filled with fillings of cheese and other ingredients and then baked.

Cannelloni belongs to the Italian Cuisine and is a type of lasagna in a tube/cylindrical shape. It is served with the sauce on top and filled with meat and spinach mostly. The tubes are smooth and long in shape and are thin. It can be cooked as fast food as it requires only a few minutes.

Comparison Table Between Manicotti and Cannelloni

Parameters of ComparisonManicottiCannelloni
Meaning in ItalianLittle sleeveLarge reeds
Filled withCheeseMeat and spinach
Originated in19461907
TubesLarger thickerSmaller and thinner

What is Manicotti?

Manicotti is cylindrical-shaped pasta. It contains lots of calories and is not advised to eat on a daily basis, and as it contains cheese, it is not preferred by vegans. It can be used for two type’s vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, depending upon its ingredients. Cooking it is very easy as it can be cooked in 2 or 3 ways maximum. It can be served wet or dry depending upon the preference of the consumer. It is always baked but can also be cooked on the stove if required.

The steps needed for the dish that can be made with the manicotti is the following:

  1. Manicotti has to be cooked foremost until they become soft, and later on, water should be rinsed completely.
  2. The oven has to be preheated at 175 degrees C.
  3. Then preparation of filling should be started, for this cheese, eggs, parsley, and salt should be mixed in a bowl.
  4. Then sauce (any sauce of choice) should be spread on the baking dish, then the manicotti should be filled with the previous filling of cheese and put on the sauce, and then the remaining sauce should be spread over the manicotti along with the extra cheese.
  5. Bake for around 45-50 minutes until bubbles start showing up.

What is Cannelloni?

Cooking Cannelloni does not require any professional experience. It is very much easy. For cooking it, the first step is boiling it in salty or saline water until it gets a little soft. It should not be overcooked as later on, it has to be baked with other ingredients. After cooing it, they should be placed on a clean towel or piece of cloth. Then, it should be filled with the help of a spoon or filling. The filling can be anything. It can be chicken, meat, spinach, sauces, cheese, and whatever is preferred.

After this, they should be placed in the baking dish, and cheese or sauce can be used on top of it. It should be baked until the bubbles appear. There are types and varieties of Cannelloni available in the market. It is very soft to chew and does not have a large tube; therefore can be eaten easily.

They come in the category of Tubular Pasta and take about 7 to 8 minutes to get ready. To make Cannelloni main ingredient is Durum Wheat Flour. The most famous and used substitutes for this are large shells and lasagna sheets.

Main Differences Between Manicotti and Cannelloni

  1. Both of the pasta has a slightly different texture. If observed closely, Manicotti is a bit rigid, whereas Cannelloni is quite smooth. Therefore cutting and chewing a manicotti can require a little force, whereas it won’t be required in cannelloni as they can be eaten and cut easily.
  2. Both of their names are derived from Italian words, Manicotti translates to little sleeve, and it also resembles the tube shapes of the pasta, whereas Cannelloni literally means the large reeds that signify its large tube or cylindrical shape.
  3. Both of them are filled with different fillings. Manicotti is mostly filled with cheese and tomato sauce, and that is also a reason why it tastes sourly, while cannelloni is mostly filled with meat and spinach making it more healthy, but it can also be filled with sauces according to the choice.
  4. Both of them originated or were introduced in a different year. Cannelloni is older as it was introduced earlier in the year 1907, while Manicotti was later on introduced in 1946, making it a younger type. Therefore people were more familiar with Cannelloni, and Manicotti sometimes is considered a type of it.
  5. Last but not least, they are also different in terms of the appearance of their tubes, the tube of Manicotti is slightly larger and thicker in size, while the tube of Cannelloni is a little bit shorter and thinner. The difference can only be noticed if seen closely.


Therefore, with the help of the above article, you’ll be able to differentiate between manicotti and cannelloni and can use them in different dishes. It is quite impossible to differentiate among them by looking at it. And due to this confusion, some people tend to use both of them interchangeably. And some also believed they are made from the same noodles.

Pasta is an Italian dish, mostly served in Italy and America, including many parts of the world. Every nation has its own version of pasta made with different sauces and spices, but the one ingredient that remains common in all of them is tubes of pasta.


  1. https://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/cedarvillereview/vol19/iss1/15/
  2. https://www.africaportal.org/publications/sacu-regional-integration-and-the-overlap-issue-in-southern-africa-from-spaghetti-to-cannelloni/

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