Sunday, May 29, 2016

Recipe: Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells


***Update 2016: This recipe is still one of our favorites. It's been awhile since I made them but my inlaws came up for dinner the other night and wanted pasta. I decided this was the perfect meal. Enjoy the posts from past years. It's a keeper. The original post was back in 2010. 

**NOTE** I made this originally last March and posted it then, but yesterday I made it again and then happened upon Tasty Tuesday and decided to Re-post it, since it is such a yummy meal and everyone raves about it! So...from the original post a year ago... Yesterday we had company for lunch. I get immense pleasure from cooking for not only my family, but others as well. I decided on a dish that we have had twice before and it was such a huge hit that even the pickiest people like it. My youngest wasn't sure about it because she's not a fan of spinach, and one of our guests (whom we'd invited last minute) even said they were pretty good....and he's pretty finicky. I've linked to this before (I got the recipe from Paula Deen's site) but thought I'd include the full recipe here.

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells (Paula Deen)

Ingredients
  1. 1 (12-ounce) box uncooked jumbo pasta shells
  2. 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  3. 2 cups fresh chopped spinach
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  7. 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  8. 1 (5-ounce) package shredded Parmesan cheese
  9. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  10. 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  11. 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  12. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  13. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  14. 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  15. 1 (26-ounce) jar prepared spaghetti sauce (any variety)
Instructions
  1. Cook shells according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 13x9-inch baking dishes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine chicken and next 11 ingredients. Stir in 1 cup shredded mozzarella. Spoon into shells.
  4. Spread half of spaghetti sauce into prepared baking dishes. Arrange shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  5. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.
I have found that it's easiest to fill the shells with my medium scoop. I also made the filling the night before and stuffed them in the morning.
Stuffing these shells is so easy with the scoop...one good size scoop perfectly fills one shell. Can I tell you that this smelled so good I could have just eaten it raw!!
Filled shells ready for their last layer of sauce!
Ready to pop in the oven. I also only used one pan and layered the shells. One recipe made about 34 shells.

I also served garlic bread. Sometimes when I'm in a jam I'll just buy already prepared garlic bread from the store and it's good. But there's really nothing better than doing it yourself. I know there are so many recipes out there, but I usually just keep it pretty basic. Salad tied it all together....and for dessert: Angel Food Cake with blueberries, strawberries and homemade whipped topping. Of course, I just realized I didn't take pictures of the dessert. I think my husband thinks I'm weird to take pictures of food....oh well.
Buy a plain loaf of italian bread (or french)...on second thought, buy two!!! You can never have too much.
topping ingredients: butter, parsley flakes and fresh garlic
I used two cloves per stick of butter and two loaves took me two sticks...oh, the smell of garlic permeated my kitchen!!!
Add all the ingredients to the softened butter
Spread on both sides of sliced bread and bake at 400 till browned on both sides. I flipped them over once. I could have broiled them, but I was using my pampered chef stone ware and it wasn't recommended.

We had a wonderful meal, great conversation and then played the wii. It was a fun day with friends. Tomorrow I'm going to share a great way for reheating leftover garlic bread!!
With Joy UNquenchable,

3 comments:

  1. Stuffed shells are some of our favorites. I usually just use spinach, but adding chicken sounds delicious. Will definitely include it next time I make them. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  2. That looks and sounds really good. I will definitely try it sometime.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks totally delish. Thanks for sharing I'll have to try this one.

    ReplyDelete

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