03 September 2012

Cheesy Chicken Shells

My family loves my Cheesy Chicken Shells, so I thought I would share the recipe. It makes a lot of shells, so unless you're feeding more than 4, you'll have some to freeze, too.

{enjoy the view} Cheesy Chicken Shells

Ingredients:

30 uncooked jumbo shells
about 4 c. {enjoy the view} spaghetti sauce
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
15 oz. container of ricotta cheese (get the good, imported stuff!)
2 c. diced or shredded chicken
3/4 c. chopped frozen spinach; thawed & drained of excess water
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook jumbo shells according to package directions (about 9 minutes). Do not overcook. Drain & set aside. I put them on a cookie sheet to cool after I drain them. It makes them much easier to handle.

 

Coat a 9X13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce evenly over bottom of pan.


It's easiest to use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery deli, but today I had some chicken breasts that needed to be used. I cut the breasts into strips, sprinkled them with a little season salt and garlic powder, and browned them in olive oil. I let them sit on a paper towel to get rid off excess oil, then once they were cool, I shredded them with a fork.


For filling: In a large bowl, stir together egg whites, ricotta cheese, chicken, spinach, and garlic powder. Add mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and mix well.


To assemble: Spoon mixture into shells (fill more or less to preference) and place filled shells in a single layer in baking dish.

(we like full shells!)

(this pan is to eat tonight)

(and this pan is to freeze for later)

Spread remaining sauce on top of shells and sprinkle with cheese, if desired.


Bake about 30 minutes. If you want the shells to stay softer, cover the pan with foil.


Note: I fill the shells pretty full, so this recipe usually makes around 28-30 shells for me - YMMV depending upon how much filling you use per shell.

Enjoy! Let me know if you try it!
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