Parmesan Cannoli: the low-carb appetizer recipe made with parmesan cheese

Total time: 20 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
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By Cookist

This recipe is something special! This Parmesan Cannoli is a low-carb, paleo-friendly version of a sweet cannoli. It’s an easy appetizer recipe that is shaped like cannoli! The texture reminds you of a typical cannoli—crispy on the outside, with a smooth ricotta filling on the inside.

To make it, you only need ricotta, parmesan, and hazelnuts. If you don’t have all the ingredients, don’t worry, it’s easy to change up the recipe and stuff the cannoli as you want. It’s the perfect appetizer for those following a low-carb or paleo diet! You might even like it more than the sweet variety!


If you can’t find hazelnuts (or don’t like them), you can use other nuts for this recipe: pistachios, almonds, or walnuts.

You can swap the ricotta for cream cheese or mascarpone.

A non-stick pan (or well-seasoned cast-iron) pan will work best for this recipe.

You can use the cannoli shell recipe for tacos too!

If you want to make them meaty, feel free to add bits of cooked bacon to the ricotta filling.

Feel free to add fresh herbs like basil, oregano, cilantro, or parsley.

It’s easy to play around with different flavors and textures in this recipe. Create different cannoli shell and filling combinations:

Add Italian seasoning to the cannoli parmesan shell, and use cream cheese in the filling.

Use cool ranch dip in the filling, and add dill to the cannoli shells.

Use taco seasoning in the parmesan shell, and use refried beans for the filling.

Use the parmesan shell recipe to make parmesan crisps that can be used in salads, stews, soups, and dips.

How To Store Parmesan Cannoli

Store the cannolis in the fridge (in an airtight container) for up to 3 days.

To make it ahead of time, you can mix the ricotta filling and store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Make the parmesan cannolis and allow it to cool completely. Store the cannoli shells in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Fill the cannoli just before serving.

You can freeze the shells in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 

Parmesan cheese, grated
230 g
1 tsp
1 tsp
ground hazelnuts

How To Make Parmesan Cannoli

Add a spoonful of the grated parmesan to a non-stick pan over medium heat.

Allow the parmesan to melt. Lift with a spatula and carefully place on a sheet of baking paper.

Use a cannoli mold to roll the melted parmesan while it’s still warm and soft. Leave it to cool.

Meanwhile, mix the filling. Mix the ricotta with pepper and chives.

Transfer the ricotta mixture to a large piping bag and use it to fill the parmesan cannoli.

Dip the cannoli into the crushed hazelnuts.

Serve and enjoy!


If you can’t find parmesan cheese in a store near you, you can also use cheddar cheese. Just note that the crisps won’t be as crispy!

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