Sunday, October 13, 2013

Olive Garden Lobster Cannelloni With Shrimp Copy Cat Recipe

I went out to lunch with my oldest grandson yesterday and we went to one of my favorite places, the Olive Garden.  They had a new item on the menu that I have not had so had to try it.  It was amazing.  The entire lunch was amazing because I spent some quality one-on-one time with my Sam plus we shared one of my favorite foods, their mussels.  I love them.  Sam and I joked that next time we were getting two because we like them to much to share them.  It was a joke though because we took half of our food home, not being able to eat even half of what we ordered. That is one of the greatest things about going there, taking home left overs.

But back to the lobster cannelloni on the menu that I ordered.  The cannelloni shells are stuffed with cheese and lobster and covered with an amazing sauce with mushrooms and shrimp.  I immediately had to check the internet for a copy cat recipe and found this one I’m sharing with my changes.  I’ll have to go buy some lobster tails to make it for next special occasion.  Maybe book club. 

If you are looking to go out and eat, this get 5 stars (5 out of 5) from me.

One 8 ounce package cannelloni 
12 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound cooked small unthawed frozen shrimp (50% for inside and reserve rest for sauce on top)
1/2 pound cooked lobster meat (I’m using lobster tails)
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley and thyme
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and white and black pepper (Only use the white if you have it)
1 cup fresh baby spinach
2 cups sliced button mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole with olive oil spray or what ever you have.

To cook the pasta, combine 6 quarts water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and gently rinse in cold water. Toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil so it does not stick together and set aside.

Melt 8 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes to make a roux, stirring frequently. Add the milk and half and half (you may add any combination you like of milk/cream) and whisk to combine well. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and cook for 5 minutes, until very thick and the floury taste is gone. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (you may use black if you like), and the nutmeg. Remove from the heat and press plastic wrap onto the surface of the sauce so that a skin will not form; reserve.

Clean and slice your mushrooms and baby spinach and reserve. 

Chop your lobster, ½ the shrimp, herbs, garlic and onion and set each aside.

Combine the remaining 4 tablespoons butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the chopped shrimp, lobster, herbs, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of the sauce. Gently toss to combine. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper.  Let it cool slightly.

Stuff each of the cannelloni with the shellfish filling and place them side by side in the prepared casserole.

Sauté your mushrooms in a little butter and add them with your spinach to the remaining white sauce. Pour the sauce over the cannelloni, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan, and bake until heated through, bubbly, and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Makes about 8 servings (2 cannelloni per person). To serve add a little of Parmesan shavings.  Make sure you have bread sticks to complete the meal.

I’ve modified the recipe I found because it did not have the spinach or the mushrooms and I felt it was  an important part of the recipe.  I also know it had some cream in it so I added a little half and half because the copy cat recipe did not have any.  You do not need to, but it makes a richer sauce so I just made it 1/5 half and half.  You could add cream if you have that.  Just keep adding and tasting until you get a total of no more than 5 cups of dairy.

A secret of mine is to use Lasagna noodles to make cannelloni.  I hate trying to fill cannelloni so just use Lasagna  and roll them up with the the ends face down.  Sure a lot easier and I'm all for easy.

Another suggestion is you can also use crab or lobster or both.  See if you don't think this is 5 stars worthy.

I'm going to be out in this beautiful weather today and having brunch with my son and his family so I don’t have to cook today.  Hope your day is special too.

Be happy and may God bless you and yours. 


  1. My husband and I went to Olive Garden today and he suggested this meal to me. I got it and OMG it was so good! I'm so glad to have found your copycat recipe because I definitely want to try to make this at home. :)

  2. I loved this meal when they had it at Olive Garden. They longer cared it on the menu. I went to Maggiano's and tried their cannelloni. It was not as good as Olive Garden. I am definitely going to try this recipe.

  3. To save a little time with the noodles, you could use the no-bake lasagna noodles and place them in hot water for a couple of minutes. Just enough to get them to roll, but not fully cooked. I do that when I make Manicotti.

  4. they need to add the lobster cannelloni or I won't go back just joking but really olive garden people add the cannelloni's again it was my favor dish of them all

  5. Yummy! That’s something that you should really cook at home. And your modified version looks so delectable! At first, I can’t tell if the meal in the photo is the actual Lobster Cannelloni you ordered in the Olive Garden, or the one you made yourself. Thank you for sharing your foodie experience and the recipe for this delightful meal. Cheers!

    Megan Anderson @ Cafe Fina

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