Perfect for busy weeknights, you can make this delicious and hearty meal for your family without spending hours over the stove.
Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells
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This is an easy comforting dish that my entire family loves. Loads of juicy chicken stuffed into tender pasta shells and fully smothered in cheese.
Cooked chicken is at the heart of this recipe, and makes this a great way to use leftover chicken. Prepared rotisserie chickens found at your local store are an awesome time saver for these recipes too! When they go on sale, I buy a few, remove all of the chicken and freeze it in 1 cup portions. Perfect for quick recipes, chicken sandwiches and more! And save the bones, when you get enough you can also make a delicious chicken stock too!
This recipe calls for cheese and lots of it… FOUR types of cheese to be exact, so cheese lovers beware – you will not be able to resist! I love the taste and texture of ricotta cheese, however, cottage cheese is a good substitute if it’s all you have on hand. The parmesan cheese gives just the right about of zing, while the mozzarella and cream cheese make it oh so creamy, ooey and gooey. Any macaroni and cheese fan will not be able to resist the cheesy goodness found in these tender pasta shells!
How to Make Stuffed Shells
- Boil shells until tender.
- Make filling in a bowl and stuff inside of cooked shells.
- Combine sauce ingredients (per recipe below) and pour over shells.
- Bake until bubbly.
- I use the jumbo pasta shells because they hold lots of filling.
- You can substitute cooked cannelloni in place of shells.
- No large pasta? No problem, this can be made as a layerd casserole. Simply add your favorite cooked pasta to the bottom of a dish and layer the chicken and sauce and bake as directed.
- Swap out the chicken for ground chicken or leftover turkey
- Ham works well in this recipe
- Go meatless and add cooked mushrooms in place of chicken
- Stuffed shells can be filled with anything from pizza toppings, to broccoli and chicken or even our favorite taco filling!
- You can add veggies to the chicken mixture. Good options include:
- Swap up or add seasonings or fresh herbs to taste.
To make this into a meatless meal, simply omit the chicken altogether and replace it with a combination of chopped fried mushrooms, zucchini and onions and use an alternate cream soup such as cream of mushroom or cream of celery. The possibilities are endless!
This recipe is made in a 9×13 pan however I also often divide it into two 9×9 dishes and bake one for dinner one night and the other a couple of days later for two meals. We serve this with a side of steamed broccoli, a fresh side salad and a loaf of crusty bread for a delicious meal!
More Easy Pasta Recipes
- Chicken Tortellini
- Chicken Tetrazzini (or turkey)
- Fajita Pasta
- Easy Chicken Spaghetti
- Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
- Baked Macaroni & Cheese
- Beer Cheese Macaroni
- Beef and Tomato Macaroni Soup
- Creamy Macaroni & Cheese Casserole recipe
Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells recipe
- 1 pound jumbo pasta shells
- 2 cups chicken cooked and shredded
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 10.5 ounces condensed cream of chicken soup
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 4 ounces herb & garlic cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Boil and drain pasta shells until al dente. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, garlic powder, parsley, and salt & pepper to taste.
- Pour cream of chicken soup into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir in evaporated milk and whisk until mixed.
- Add cream cheese to soup mixture stirring over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- Fill pasta shells with chicken mixture and place in a 9x13 pan. Top with sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake until hot & bubbly (about 25 minutes).
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