Chicken and Veggie Shells is an easy recipe that is loaded with vegetables, that takes a minimal amount of active preparation time. And it is easy to make a big batch; this recipe makes enough to serve at least 6. This is a hearty meal perfect for snowy days, that is best served with a glass of red wine.
The shells are stuffed with a mix of shredded chicken, bell pepper, garlic, broccoli, spinach, and a bit of carrot. The taste of the pasta, sauce, and cheese still shines through making this recipe is a clever way to sneak more vegetables into your meal. You can adjust the amounts of the vegetables based on your preferences, next time I might add more spinach since it was overpowered by the other veggies.
I loved how the bell pepper and broccoli added a nice texture of the meal – and even Charles, who doesn’t like broccoli, happily ate this meal. You could pick different vegetables, but I recommend picking vegetables that don’t have too much water content (zucchini and mushrooms might not work as well).
You can pick any tomato sauce for this recipe. I usually keep some homemade sauce in my freezer, but I happened to be out so I used a jar of vodka sauce that I picked up at the grocery store – I think Mario Batali’s brand is great.
This was my first time making shells, and I liked how this meal is so easy to assemble. The only real work was chopping up all of the veggies and mixing the filling, but that only took about 10 minutes. Filling the shells, pouring sauce over, and topping with mozzarella took about another 10 minutes. Then the shells go into the oven to bake for 45 minutes.
I should mention that this recipe made more than is shown in the casserole pan – I also cooked a smaller pan of shells.
20 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 5 Total Time
- 20 Pasta Shells
- 2 cups Part Skim Ricotta
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 head Broccoli
- 1 small Red Bell Pepper
- 1/2 cup Frozen Chopped Spinach
- 1 1/2 cups Shredded Chicken
- Tomato Sauce
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
- First, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the shells and cook them according to the directions on the box. Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese and vegetable filling. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, garlic, eggs, and Parmesan together. Season with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Trim the broccoli into small florets, and finely chop the bell pepper. Thaw the spinach and squeeze out all of the water.
- Stir the broccoli, bell pepper, spinach, and chicken into the cheese mixture.
- Drain the pasta, and let it cool for a few minutes before stuffing the shells.
- Pour enough sauce in the bottom a casserole dish to cover the bottom of the dish. Fill the shells one by one and place them in a single layer in the dish.
- Spoon tomato sauce over the shells and top with the mozzarella.
- Bake for 45 minutes and then serve right away.