It’s stuffed shell season and chicken stuffed shells are here for that.
This recipe combines two of my favorite things in one dish: stuffed shells and chicken pot pie. I love the creamy flavors of chicken pot pie, but honestly, I hardly ever make it because I’m not the best at making pie crust.
So, I thought about pairing the chicken pot pie with pasta, but went a step further and made time to stuff some giant pasta. Because, honestly, the stuffed shells are elite.
This recipe is perfect for people who:
- they like stuffed shells but they don’t like tomatoes or red sauce
- I love chicken pie filling
- I don’t like to make pie crust
- I want a giant comfort tray
- want a convenient, prepared meal that can be frozen and provided
and really, anyone who loves carby, creamy, comfort food!
What are stuffed shells?
The stuffed shells are the best casserole. These are giant pasta shells, called conchiglioni, in Italian. The cooked shells are stuffed with stuffing, placed in a casserole or baking dish, covered with sauce and cheese, and baked. Just like lasagna or manicotti, you can fill the shells with just about any sauce you can think of. More often than not, you’ll see them stuffed with ricotta and topped with marinara or meat and cheese sauce. I chose creamy chicken pot pie here because chicken pot pie is basically a creamy chicken gravy, perfect for stuffing shells.
How to make Chicken Stuffed Shells
- Cook the onions and garlic. – Fry the onion and garlic in a little butter until soft and transparent.
- cooking the chicken – add the chicken and lightly brown. It does not need to be cooked as it will continue to cook in the sauce.
- Add flour to make a roux – sprinkle flour over chicken, onion and garlic, stirring to coat well with flour. The flour should cook and adhere to the chicken, giving it a golden coating.
- Add chicken broth and milk. – slowly pour in the chicken broth while whisking. Add milk and simmer until sauce thickens.
- add cheese – add cheese and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Cook the shells: Cook the shells in salted water 2-3 minutes less than al dente depending on the package. Drain, shake in cold water, then drain well. We do this after making the filling so that the filling has time to cool down.
- fill the shells – Pour a generous amount of sauce into a large baking dish/casserole dish. Add the frozen peas to the remaining sauce. Adding frozen peas to the sauce just before cooking helps ensure they don’t get mushy. Fill each pasta shell with a generous amount of filling. Arrange the stuffed shells in the sauce dish, carefully placing them side by side. Top the shells with the remaining sauce, as well as mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- cook the cockles – place baking dish in a 375°F oven and bake until sauce is bubbly and cheese is golden.
Enjoy! Enjoy the rewards of your efforts. Allow the shells to cool slightly before you dig into what may very well be the best stuffed shells you’ll ever make.
Chicken Stuffed Shell Ingredients
- giant pasta – you will need 1 jumbo pasta box for this dish. They usually come in 12 oz boxes. The shells are available in three sizes, small, medium, and jumbo. You want the giant box.
- butter and flour – butter and flour are cooked together to make a roux, this is what will thicken our chicken pot pie sauce
- onion and garlic – onion and garlic are classic savory seasonings that add a lot of base flavor to the sauce
- chicken – you can’t eat chicken pot pie without chicken. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but if you have any leftover cooked chicken, you can use that too!
- pea – I personally love peas in chicken pot pie! Frozen peas are the best peas because they are picked and frozen at their peak. We will add them at the last moment, without defrosting them or letting them get very hot so that they retain their shape and pea texture during cooking.
- chicken broth and milk – a mixture of chicken broth and milk makes the sauce creamy and full of chicken flavor
- mozzarella and parmesan – a mix of mozzarella and parmesan here is key. The mozzarella gives the sauce a creamy cheesy kick and a hint of Parmesan on top while the shells bake, it adds a deep cheesy umami and light crunch.
- plate pack – You might be tempted to skip this, but freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley adds some much-needed fresh herbaceousness. Also, finishing your casserole fresh from the oven with whole parsley leaves is very nice.
What shells to buy for stuffed shells
Giant shells are the shells you want. They usually hang out near lasagna and manicotti in a big box. They come in 12 oz cans and 1 can has enough shells to fill a standard saucepan.
Tips and Tricks for Stuffed Shells
raw your shells
In general, there are two cooking times on pasta-in-shell boxes: one for al dente and one for cooking. Use the cook time to bake so your shells don’t overcook. If the box doesn’t come with a cook time, be sure to cook your shells 2-3 minutes before the cook time. Firmer, undercooked shells are easier to fill and break less. The shells will continue to cook in the oven and become tender and perfectly cooked.
Don’t worry about the broken shells
It is inevitable that some of the shells in the box will break. Or maybe it gets too excited and fills a shell too much and it cracks. Don’t worry, just put it in your pan, the sauce on top plus the cheese will hide the fact that it’s broken.
What size baking dish for stuffed shells?
A standard 9×13-inch casserole or baking dish will work well for your stuffed shells. If you have a pan that you use for lasagna, this is what you should be looking for. That being said, you can cook stuffed shells in any heatproof container, it doesn’t have to be a rectangle. You can use a loaf pan or even a cast iron skillet.
Prepare chicken stuffed shells
You can prepare and assemble the entire casserole the day before, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before cooking. Add 15 minutes to bake time, cover with foil if top starts to get too brown.
You can also make the sauce the day before and mix the next day. If you do, loosen the sauce a bit before spreading it in the pan by leaving it in the microwave for a minute or two, stirring well after it has heated through.
How to freeze stuffed shells
Make the stuffed shells in an aluminum mold and wrap well. Freeze the entire dish. You can store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How to reheat stuffed shells
- four micro where – Simply scoop out a serving, cover and reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until very hot.
- four – Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 minutes or until heated through.
How to reheat frozen stuffed shells
Cover pan with foil and bake from the freezer for 1 hour 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is golden.
What to serve with stuffed shells
I think these stuffed shells are a complete meal, but salad and bread are always good! A simple kale salad and the best fluffy garlic rolls would make this the ultimate dinner.
Have a good filling of shells!
Chicken Stuffed Shells
All the chicken pot pie goodness stuffed into giant pasta shells and baked with a golden layer of cheese
To serve 8
- 12 ounces giant pasta ~1 box
- 5 Soup the butter Pull apart
- one AVERAGE onion peeled and diced
- 2 cloves Afflict chopped up
- 2 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 coupe all purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken soup sodium is not preferred
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/4 coupe fresh flat leaf parsley very finely chopped
- said ounces frozen peas ~1 bag
- salt and freshly ground pepper taste
- one coupe Parmesan finely grated
Chicken Stuffed Shells
Amount per proportion
Calories from fat 202
% Daily value*
big 22.4g3. 4%
saturated fat 10.5g66%
Cholesterol 139 milligrams46%
Potassium 592 milligrams17%
The carbohydrates 51.6g17%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.