5-Ingredient Cannolis

I’ve never shared with you my mega simple recipe for 5-Ingredient Cannolis! So many recipes… so little time! But I really wanted to squeeze this one in before the holidays. So I dropped everything, walked to the store (I don’t drive… did you know that?), grabbed my ingredients, and got busy. Lucky for us, this impressive recipe is sneaky simple. I’m talking 15 minutes of active work simple.

Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success:

The most important part of this recipe is draining your ricotta cheese. It MUST drain. At least 12 hours, preferably overnight. If you use it as is, your filling will be wet and grainy and make your shells soggy. To drain, you’ll want to place the cheese in a fine mesh strainer and cover it with a piece of saran wrap. Place some pie weights (or just dry beans) on top of the saran wrap and place the strainer over a bowl. Pop the bowl in the fridge until needed. You’ll be surprised to see how much liquid comes out!
As mentioned earlier, I used store bought cannoli shells. Bellino cannoli shells are very good and what I use if my local pastry shop is out of fresh ones. You can also make and use your favorite homemade cannoli shell recipe.
Although I prefer a simple cannoli with just a dash of vanilla extract, feel free to make these your own! Add in orange zest, chopped pistachios, or even sprinkles! Just be sure not to make the filling too chunky if you plan on piping it into the shells.

  • 8 cannoli shells, homemade or store bought will work
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Optional:
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange zest


  1. Place the ricotta cheese into a fine mesh strainer and place it in the fridge to drain for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. When you're ready to make the filling:
  3. In a large bowl combine the drained ricotta cheese, confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and orange zest (if using); mix well. Using a spatula, carefully scrape the mixture into pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch open tip. Use at once, or refrigerate until needed; filling can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
  4. When ready to serve, pipe the filling into one end of cannoli shell, filling shell halfway, then pipe into other end. If you don't have a piping bag, you may spoon the filling into the shells. Repeat with remaining shells.
  5. Place remaining mini chocolate chips on a small plate. Dip each end of the cannoli into the chocolate chips, then lightly dust with confectioner's sugar. Serve at once.

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