Crab and Prawn Cannelloni with Leeks, Fennel and Dill

Written by Karen Coakley


This is a wonderful recipe that will see you impressing over Christmas at any dinner party or even at home when a lighter change is in need after all the turkey, chocolate and taytos.

It also makes the ideal Christmas Eve dinner, light and elegant and perfectly relaxed served with a crisp salad and some beautiful sour dough.

The crab and prawns have a natural sweetness which works really well with the leeks, I also grate in some fennel and finish off the flavours with lemon and dill. Nothing over powers anything here and you want all the delicate flavours to come together. I keep the white sauce on the thin side as you want the dish to remain light and silky.

I really hope you enjoy his recipe as much as I enjoyed creating it. It’s definitely a keeper in this house and I hope in yours too.



  1. Pre heat and oven to 200 degs. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, add the leeks and fennel and cook for a couple few minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper and a little lemon zest.
  2. Place the cooked prawns into a mini chopper or blitzer and blitz for a second or two, you don’t want to make mush of them so be careful.
  3. Put the crab, prawns, leek mixture and ricotta into a bowl and mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper, a little lemon zest and a small bit of fresh dill.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan and when it’s melted add the flour, whisk well and allow it to cook for a minute of 2. Pour in the milk but by bit whisking all the time until you have a smooth white sauce. You want this to be on the thin side so add more milk if it’s too thick.
  5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, the juice of half a lemon, a little lemon zest and 1-2 tsp of chopped fresh dill.
  6. Take a cannelloni tube and use a knife to push some of the crab meat mixture in. You can also use a piping bag. I filled 13 tubes with my crab mix.
  7. Take an oven proof dish (one that will fit the cannelloni in 2 rows snugly) and place a small layer of white sauce in the bottom of it. Take the filled cannelloni tubes and arrange them neatly allowing a little space between then.
  8. Pour over the remaining sauce and top with fresh grated parmesan… go light with this as you don’t want the cheese to over power. You’re looking for everything to compliment each other in this dish.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins until the cannelloni is cooked and the sauce is golden and bubbling.
  10. Serve with some light veg or a green salad and crusty sourdough.
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