What’s there not to love about these stuffed shells? Chicken, spinach, and three different kinds or cheese stuffed into a cute little pasta shell, and smothered in spicy tomato sauce – that is my kind of dinner! Stuffed shells are so versatile, you can really add any meat, cheese or veggies you have in the house to create an entirely different meal. One of my favorite things about stuffed shells is that they freeze amazingly well, which is great since this recipe makes a ton of food. Simply freeze them in a mini loaf pan topped with tomato sauce, and then just pop them in th oven when you want to eat.
Spinach and Chicken Stuffed Shells
Yields: About 15 large shells
15 large shells, boiled and drained
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup parmesan or romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Marinara sauce – homemade or store-bought
Cook shells according to package directions. Be careful not to overcook them or they will tear easily when trying to fill them. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, ricotta, spinach, parmesan cheese, and the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into shells. *Tip: For easier filling, fill a gallon ziplock bag with the filling and snip a quarter size hole off the corner of the bag. Then you can just pipe the filling into the shells.
Spread half of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Arrange shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes. Serve alongside additional marinara sauce.
*Freezer Friendly Tip* – Freeze extra servings of stuffed shells in individual mini loaf pans. (Do not bake the shells before freezing). When its time bake them, let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then bake as directed above. You can also bake them frozen, but it will take longer.
Source: A Cooking with Chrissy original recipe.