I am not a fan of stuffed, layered or baked pastas, mostly because I hate ricotta cheese. We had a late Christmas dinner back in early February at my brother’s house (dad was in town), and my sister-in-law made stuffed shells. I gobbled them up at a time when food itself didn’t sound good at all, and have been craving them ever since. When I saw this recipe for stuffed shells with spinach and chicken, I knew I had to try them! They were a huge hit with all of us, and we only had a few leftover. The only thing I will change next time is to use a different sauce (probably my homemade marinara if I ever get around to making another batch!) as we weren’t huge fans of the jarred sauce I bought. I will definitely make these again soon, and have already added this to my freezer meal plan for after baby gets here!
Spinach and Chicken Stuffed 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.
Source: From Cooking with Chrissy