This amazing Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells recipe is an easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!
Italian food is one of my favorite dinners during the week, especially pasta dishes. I also eat pizza probably more than I should, but it's SO good! I think the thing I like most about pasta dishes is how easy they are to make. This stuffed shells recipe is no exception. I usually make the whole recipe in the evening while my kids do homework at the table. However, I've also been known to prep this recipe to the point of baking, then covered the dish, and pop it in the fridge for my husband to bake later.
My kids have always loved helping in the kitchen. Whether I'm baking or making dinner, they want to get their hands in there. My 7-year-old started helping me with meals being cooked on the stove or in the oven towards the end of last year and loves it! I do the cutting and anything “dangerous” and he stirs and helps assemble. This stuffed shells recipe is great for budding cooks. They can use their hands or a paring knife to help shred/chop the chicken (you decide based on everyone's comfort level with knife handling), mix the filling, fill the pasta shells, and assemble everything in the baking dish. You'll just need to cook and cool the pasta and take care of putting the dish in and out of the oven.
You might also be amazed at what your picky eater will eat if he or she has prepared the dish themselves. Every time my kiddo helps make dinner (especially one like this stuffed shells recipe where he can do so much) he beams with pride during the whole meal and loves to see everyone enjoy his cooking.
Hungry for more easy dinners?
Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 45 mins Yield: 3 to 5 servings (about 15 shells)
6 ounces jumbo shells pasta
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 heaping cup shredded or diced cooked chicken
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley, plus more for garnish
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup your favorite red pasta sauce
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse will cool water. Toss with a little olive oil or vegetable oil to prevent sticking if you're not filling the shells immediately. (You can prep the shells in the morning, cover them and refrigerate until you're ready to cook later in the day.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, chicken, egg, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper until evenly incorporated.
- Place 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce in a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Spread the sauce evenly over the bottom of the dish.
- Fill each pasta shell with about 2 tablespoons of the filling. Place the filled shells in the prepared baking dish on top of the sauce.
- Once you've filled all the shells, spoon the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
- Cover the dish loosely with foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.
- Carefully remove from the oven and take off the foil. Sprinkle with more parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
Cut down on your prep time, by using up leftover chicken from another meal earlier in the week or grab a rotisserie chicken at the store.
Sneak some veggies in by added 3/4 cup rinsed and chopped spinach to the filling.