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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

These shells can be stuffed with pretty much anything from pizza toppings, to broccoli and chicken to delicious taco filling!

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.

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.

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!

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Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells recipe
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. Boil and drain pasta shells until al dente. Rinse in cold water and set aside.

  3. In a medium sized bowl combine the shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, garlic powder, parsley, and salt & pepper to taste.

  4. Pour cream of chicken soup into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir in evaporated milk and whisk until mixed.

  5. Add cream cheese to soup mixture stirring over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese

  6. 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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This recipe for Cheesey Chicken Stuffed Shells tastes so much like macaroni and cheese with chicken, you will love it!
This recipe for Cheesey Chicken Stuffed Shells tastes so much like macaroni and cheese with chicken, you will love it!

Holly

27 comments on “Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells recipe”

  1. Looks delish! I can’t wait to try this!

  2. I am definitely gonna make this, maybe video along with it if it’s ok with you? looks so good!

  3. What else could I use besides ricotta??? I don’t really care for it but the rest sounds amazing.

  4. I have a weakness for cheese… seriously, anytime I see anything with cheese, especially a cheese sauce, I go crazy. Adding to my recipe file!

  5. I would say cottage cheese instead of ricotta. The cottage cheese is not as rich.

  6. Trying this out as I type. Sauce and ricotta mixture needed a little more flavor. I added salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, basil, and garlic to taste. Sorry I love, love spice and it kills me to see recipes that don’t have them. Spices are your friends, don’t be afraid to use them! 🙂

  7. So creamy and delicious, pure comfort! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great summer weekend and come back to see me real soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. I love stuffed shells and these are even cheesier than my recipe. Will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday.

  9. I bet feta chese would be yummy as well… also add some peppers, onions, and maybe artichokes…

  10. I have made this twice now…first time followed this exact recipe and it was good but just not right. Tonight i made it again, added garlic powder, onion powder salt, pepper and various seasonings to the filling along with some crispy crumbled bacon. To the sauce i added some garlic, extra milk (it was WAY to thick the first time) , fiesta blend cheese instead of just cheddar and a small pinch of nutmeg and I also sprinkled the top with the remaining of the shredded cheese i had and broiled it just untill it started lightly browning on top. OMG it was unbelievably yummy.

  11. Not a big fan of ricotta or cottage cheese anything else that I could use ?

  12. I believe I’m gonna try cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese to make mine 🙂

  13. Nancy, the whole idea of stuffed shells is to stuff them with cheese. The cheese tastes different when it melts and cooks. It would have to be a crumbly cheese to be used as a stuffing, so maybe you could try shredding some provolone or mozzarella and mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with the ricotta.

  14. Instead of ricotta or cottage cheese try tofu. I have made the substitution many times. I use firm tofu, pat it dry and break it up with a fork to get it to the texture if the ricott cheese. It’s yummy.

  15. The first direction is to boil the pasta and drain it. Then it says leave it in the pot of water. Are we leaving it in the water or no? Or just in the pot?

  16. I made this it was sooo yummy! Also made it with the manicotti shells && it worked great && made it as a lasagna, both worked great && were delicious!!

  17. I make a similar recipe. But I stuff them with the chicken, stuffing, peas, onions and a cup of mayo. Covered with cream of chicken soup.

  18. This looks delicious, but I’m concerned about leaving the shells in the water that long. Wouldn’t they overcook and fall apart?
    Thanks!

  19. Instead of ricotta I used sour cream, Italian seasoned bread crumbs, mozz cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper, in the chicken mixture! It was amazing!!

  20. If you add an egg to ricotta cheese it will not be so dry.

  21. I too would like a response to the pasta questions?
    Do you leave them in the water? Or drain and leave in the pot?

  22. You drain the shells from the hot water and put them back in a pot of cool water.. this keepa them from overcooking in the hot water but keeps them flexible to work with

  23. Can’t wait to try it. Think I’ll add some spinach in the stuffing.

  24. I’ve substituted cottage cheese for ricotta cheese in prior recipes that called for ricotta. So if you aren’t a huge ricotta fan, you may want to try that substitution.

  25. how many servings does this make?

  26. It appears to make 8…

  27. where’s the recipe

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