Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells recipe
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Chicken Stuffed Shells is a complete meal that is easy, creamy and prepared in record time! Juicy chicken stuffed inside of tender pasta shells and smothered with cheese on every level. 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!
I use the jumbo pasta shells because they hold lots of delicious filling. Stuffing the shells is easier than it looks, I usually just get a bit messy and use my hands! However, if you don’t have jumbo pasta shells on hand, you can substitute cooked cannelloni and fill them the same way. Another great option for this recipe is to use your favorite cooked pasta on the bottom of the dish and layer the chicken and cheesy soup mixtures for a cheesy chicken casserole instead.
If you want to round out this meal by adding a vegetable, simply add spinach, broccoli or peas to the chicken mixture (or all of the above). You just need a nice hearty mixture to fill the shells along with the cheese.
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!
- 1 lb jumbo pasta shells
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 12 oz evaporated milk
- 10.5 oz condensed cream of chicken soup
- 4 oz herb & garlic cream cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
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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