Jumbo shells stuffed with a chicken, spinach and ricotta mixture and baked up. Comfort food at its finest!
So, are you keeping warm? My phone currently says it’s 0 degrees and feels like -14 degrees. And that’s warmer than it was this morning. So, we’re making progress! It’s supposed to be 38 this weekend which will be a much appreciated heat wave.
Chicken Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- 1 box jumbo pasta shells
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked & shredded
- 30 oz. ricotta cheese I used part skim
- 1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1/3 cup milk I used 2%
- 1 package frozen spinach I use a steamer bag & squeeze out any excess water
- 28 ounces jarred marinara sauce I used Trader Joe's Tomato Basil
- shredded Italian cheese blend about 1/4 cup
- If you're not starting with cooked chicken, you'll need to start by cooking it. I trim mine, season with salt, Montreal chicken seasoning, and garlic pepper, then boil.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add your noodles, and cook until tender. Drain and lay out on a cutting board so the shells are separated and not stuck together.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Once your chicken is cooked, add it to the bowl of a KitchenAid stand mixer. Add the ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, parsley, basil, milk, and spinach to the chicken and mix with the paddle attachment until the chicken is shredded and all the other ingredients are blended.
- If you started with cooked & shredded chicken, just add all the listed ingredients to a large bowl and stir together until well combined.
- Take a 9 x 13 pan and spread enough marinara sauce to the bottom to just cover it.
- Start assembling your shells - put a spoonful of ricotta mixture into each shell then add it to the prepared pan, open side up. Repeat until you're out of shells. My 9 x 13 pan held 20 shells. I also had enough mixture and shells to also make another 8 x 8 pan for later.
- Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the shells.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, carefully remove the foil and sprinkle the shells with cheese. However much you like. Then return to the oven, without the foil, and continue baking until the cheese is melted - probably about 5 minutes, depending on how much cheese you used.