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Chicken Parm Stuffed Shells

These cheesy, marinara-covered Chicken Parm Stuffed Shells are a mash-up of two delicious dinners: stuffed shells and chicken parmesan!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken Parm Stuffed Shells
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 339kcal
Cost $7.32

Ingredients

Chicken & Shells

  • 32 jumbo pasta shells
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 and 1/2 cups cooked and chopped crispy chicken (See Note 1)

Cheese Filing

  • 1 container (15 oz.) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups freshly grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh basil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: dried oregano, dried thyme, dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (~2 cloves)

Topping

  • 1 jar (24 oz.) Rao's Marinara Sauce, divided
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • PASTA SHELLS: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt (1 teaspoon for every 4 cups) and then add in the pasta shells. I usually cook a few extra in case some fall apart. Cook for 1 minute less than the package says to al dente. Drain the shells and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and allow them to be easily separated. Drain off any water and separate shells onto a sheet of parchment paper on the counter.
  • CHEESE FILLING: Place the ricotta cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup chopped basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried parsley, and minced garlic in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper (I add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Stir until combined. Transfer this cheese mixture to a large (gallon sized) zippertop plastic bag. With scissors, snip 1-inch off the corner of the bag and "pipe" the cheese mixture into each of the 32 shells. Each shell should get a heaping 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture (which should fill 32 shells just over halfway full).
  • ASSEMBLY: Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce along the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add cheese-stuffed shells in baking dish on top of the marinara. Press the chopped chicken pieces into each shell on top of the cheese mixture, using up all the chicken. Spoon remaining sauce over stuffed shells, being mindful to cover all the pasta so it doesn't dry out during baking.
  • BAKE: Cover dish with foil; bake 30 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
  • TOPPING: Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add panko; stir to coat. Cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle over baked shells along with remaining 2 tablespoons basil. Enjoy hot!

Notes

Note 1: I use Tyson's ® crispy chicken strips and bake according to package directions. Once baked, I let slightly cool and then chop into small bite-sized pieces.

Nutrition

Serving: 6servings | Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.2g | Protein: 26.9g | Fat: 16.7g | Cholesterol: 75.8mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 6.7g