Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells

 This is offically my new favorite baked pasta dish.
Read on to see why we all loved it!

Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells...an incredible, creamy, stuffed to the brim recipe that your whole family will love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

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I may or may not have been slacking in the hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, family dinners as of recent. Our weekends have been full and when we did have a spare night at home with the kids we had been opting for take-out Chinese or our favorite local pizza joint.

Both of which are FABULOUS.

I will not back door them.

BUT.  It was brought to my attention that I hadn't made a big, classic Sunday dinner in quite a long time.  They were right.  I hadn't.

Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells...an incredible, creamy, stuffed to the brim recipe that your whole family will love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

Shockingly, after scouring my website I realized I had only ever featured ONE stuffed shell recipe and it was a Mexican dish nonetheless!

What have I been doing?  Obviously neglecting my favorite ethnic dish.  Italian.  Pasta of all kinds. Hot pasta covered in any kind of sauce {butter, marinara, alfredo} anything really.  If I could eat pasta every day I would.

My hips wouldn't fit through the door, but I'd be happy.  I remember going to Venice, Italy in high school and I had the very best carbonara dish in a small restaurant with checkered tablecloths off an alley of a cobblestone street.  It had little bits of bacon and runny egg and lots of freshly cracked pepper.

It was glorious.

Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells...an incredible, creamy, stuffed to the brim recipe that your whole family will love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

This recipe makes one 9x13 dish and another 8x8 dish.  Yeah, that seems like a lot but my family of five busted through that in dinner one night and lunch the following day.

The husband and I debated.  Should I freeze the 8x8 baking dish for another day?  I went back and forth.  Finally he said, "just bake it off, we'll eat the leftovers, we always eat leftover pasta".

He was right.  All was gone within 24 hours.

The kids had a snow day on Monday {ahem, ice day} so we all gobbled them up while we were stuck inside the next day.

Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells...an incredible, creamy, stuffed to the brim recipe that your whole family will love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

How pretty are these?

They are stuffed to the brim with cottage cheese, cream cheese, shredded chicken, spinach, garlic, Parmesan cheese and more.  Then they are covered in a rich marinara {I happen to LOVE the Simply Nature brand from ALDI} and finally during the final 5 minutes of cooking you sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top....

....and perfection is made.

Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells


2 c. shredded cooked chicken
2 c. frozen, drained spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. cottage cheese
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 T. dried onion flakes
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. dried Italian seasoning
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 large jar marinara sauce
2 c. mozzarella cheese

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and 8x8 baking dish. Pour enough marinara in the bottom of both dishes, enough to cover.
2.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients, reserving 1 c. of the mozzarella cheese to top at the end.
3.  Boil the pasta until al dente, not overcooking.  Rinse the shells and lay on a baking sheet to cool.
4.  Stuff each shell generously, filling to the top, laying on top of the marinara sauce, pouring more on top of the stuffed shells.
5.  Cover each dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
6.  Remove the foil, top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and bake another 5 minutes or until melted.
7.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.  


Chicken & Spinach Stuffed Shells...an incredible, creamy, stuffed to the brim recipe that your whole family will love! (sweetandsavoryfood.com)

A few of our other favorite baked pasta dishes?


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