Stuffed shells are little pockets of joy. Pockets with cheesy goodness tucked right inside. You can stuff them with anything your taste buds desire (which for me is usually cheese). But sometimes you have to say let’s try making this a little healthier… and that is just what I did. That’s the beauty of stuffed shells, you can feed your pasta craving while giving it a healthy kick. Load these babies up with spinach and add some chicken for a protein boost. Go ahead. Try it.
Jumbo Stuffed Shells with Chicken
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 42, or 1 box, jumbo pasta shells (the shell size was little larger than an egg)
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, boiled
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1½ cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed
- 1/3 cup pesto
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded and separated
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- fresh basil for garnish
- Cook shells according to instructions on the box. Al dente.
- Preheat oven to 400˚F
- Boil and shred chicken breasts.
- In a medium bowl, add the shredded chicken, spinach, pesto, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and salt and pepper. Mix together.
- In a 9 x 13- inch baking dish, evenly spread a cup of marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the dish.
- Stuff each shell with a dollop of the cheese, chicken, and spinach mixture, and place shells over the marinara sauce in the baking dish.
- Top each shell with a tablespoon of marinara sauce, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over each shell.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Then, to brown the cheese slightly, change the heat to broil for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.