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Chicken-Stuffed Shells With Tomato-Cream Sauce

Updated on May 5, 2017
Chicken-Stuffed Shells With Tomato-Cream Sauce
Chicken-Stuffed Shells With Tomato-Cream Sauce | Source
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My family and I enjoy a good pasta dish and are always on the lookout for a new one to try. Occasionally, I come up with one of my own, and the dish in this article is one of them. It is quick and easy to make; so easy, in fact, that you can have your kids help you with it (I myself had a junior helper assist me for this article). I hope your family likes this dish as much as mine does!

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: Serves six

Ingredients

  • 22 pasta shells, (about half a box)
  • For the filling :
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • For the sauce :
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 heaping tablespoons flour
  • 3-3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup white cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cups grated asiago cheese
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, (optional)
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Chop your spinach into pieces about this sizeStep 3: Preparing the fillingStep 4: Filling the shellsStep 4: Place the shells in a single layer in the dishStep 5.1: Make sure you use heaping tablespoons of flour (as shown here) when making the sauceStep 5.2: Add the milk a little at a time so lumps will not form in the sauceStep 5.3: The sauce with the seasonings and tomato paste addedStep 5.4 Melt the cheese into the sauce 1/2 cup at a timeStep 6: Evenly cover the shells with the sauce and garnish with parsley flakes
Chop your spinach into pieces about this size
Chop your spinach into pieces about this size | Source
Step 3: Preparing the filling
Step 3: Preparing the filling | Source
Step 4: Filling the shells
Step 4: Filling the shells | Source
Step 4: Place the shells in a single layer in the dish
Step 4: Place the shells in a single layer in the dish | Source
Step 5.1: Make sure you use heaping tablespoons of flour (as shown here) when making the sauce
Step 5.1: Make sure you use heaping tablespoons of flour (as shown here) when making the sauce | Source
Step 5.2: Add the milk a little at a time so lumps will not form in the sauce
Step 5.2: Add the milk a little at a time so lumps will not form in the sauce | Source
Step 5.3: The sauce with the seasonings and tomato paste added
Step 5.3: The sauce with the seasonings and tomato paste added | Source
Step 5.4 Melt the cheese into the sauce 1/2 cup at a time
Step 5.4 Melt the cheese into the sauce 1/2 cup at a time | Source
Step 6: Evenly cover the shells with the sauce and garnish with parsley flakes
Step 6: Evenly cover the shells with the sauce and garnish with parsley flakes | Source
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and set it aside.
  2. Boil pasta shells according to package directions; add a tablespoon of olive oil to the water to keep the noodles from sticking to one another.
  3. While the noodles are cooking, prepare the chicken filling. Combine the ground chicken, parmesan cheese, spinach, bread crumbs, and seasonings together in a medium-sized mixing bowl, stirring well to make sure everything is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  4. Once the pasta shells are done, allow them to cool for a couple of minutes so they will not burn your hands. Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture, setting the filled shells in the greased baking dish in a single layer. (If there is any chicken left over, just distribute it evenly among the shells.)
  5. Prepare the sauce once the shells are filled. Melt the butter in a skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat, allowing it to brown slightly. Add the flour to the butter and stir it in well. Cook for about a minute, then slowly begin to add the milk. You will have to stir constantly at this point to prevent lumps from forming in the sauce. Once all the milk has been added, pour in the cooking wine. Next, add the seasonings, then the tomato paste. Stir the paste in thoroughly before adding half the shredded cheese to the sauce. Once the first part of the cheese has melted, add the other half. Allow the sauce to cook a couple minutes after this.
  6. Pour the sauce over the stuffed shells. Sprinkle the parsley over the sauce. Cover the baking dish with foil and cook on the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes. Once done, remove foil from the dish and allow the shells to cool for a minute or two before serving.
Baked and ready to serve!
Baked and ready to serve! | Source

Tips

  • I don't recommend making the sauce until the shells are filled, as the sauce needs to be stirred constantly. Also, if it stands for too long once it is done, it will thicken too much.
  • If you don't have white cooking wine, simply increase the milk to four full cups. Make sure to also add slightly less than 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the sauce to make up for the sodium that would have been added by the cooking wine.
  • Have lasagna noodles but no pasta shells? You can still make this dish! Just boil 10 lasagna noodles as you would for a lasagna. Cut them in half once they are cooked, then place the chicken filling in the middle of the noodle pieces. Fold the long ends around the filling and place the rolls with the loose ends down in the pan. Cover with the sauce and cook as directed.

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    • Spanish Food profile image

      Lena Durante 2 weeks ago from San Francisco Bay Area

      This recipe has so many of my favorite flavors. I haven't made stuffed shells in a long, long time, so thank you for bringing them to my attention again! I bet the breadcrumbs make this filling really moist and delicious.

    • Rhosynwen profile image
      Author

      Rhosynwen 2 weeks ago

      @ Spanish Food: I hadn't had stuffed shells for quite some time myself when I came up with this recipe. After I made it, I realized I had been missing out! Yes, the breadcrumbs do help keep the filling moist. Thanks for stopping by and giving feedback!

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