Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells, 7 points+

by DanicasDaily on April 26, 2012

There are a few recipes that are so completely delicious that they make their debut on our dining table often.  I have made these Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Pasta Shells for years with several variations including making them vegetarian and vegan.  They are easy to make and packed with tons of cheesy goodness. Serve them up with a 3 points+ Alexia Garlic Baguette and a nice salad for a complete dinner that your entire family will love. They taste even better the next day and freeze well too!

CHEESY CHICKEN STUFFED PASTA SHELLS (print it!)

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INGREDIENTS

  • 12 shells uncooked jumbo shells
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups fat free ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz chicken breast, cooked, skinless, diced – Make it yourself or use rotisserie chicken
  • 16 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 4-5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper and sea salt
  • 1 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

1) Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2) Cook manicotti shells in salted boiling water according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Set aside.

3) Coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce evenly over bottom of pan and set aside.

4) For filling, in a large bowl, stir together egg whites, ricotta cheese, chicken, spinach, garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil and Italian seasoning. Stir in 1/4 cup each of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

5) To assemble, spoon cheese mixture into manicotti shells and place filled shells in a single layer in baking dish. Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and bake about 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings, 2 stuffed shells for 7 points+

* Make it VEGETARIAN by using chickenless chicken and/or omitting the chicken.

** Make it VEGAN by omitting the chicken, using Veggie Shreds Mozzarella and clicking HERE for recipes for “mock” Ricotta or using tofu for the ricotta.

Nutritional information per 2 stuffed shelled serving calculated at caloriecount.com

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Make up your filling while you boil your noodles according to the box directions.

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Spray a 9×13 pan with your olive oil mister (nonstick spray) and spread a small layer of your marinara sauce ~ 1/2-3/4 cup. Stuff your shells and place them in the pan.  Then,top with remaining sauce and remaining cheeses.

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Bake at 350 for ~ 30 minutes.

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This was one of the first recipes I added to my site during my first year blogging.  Bringing it up from the archives reminds me that I NEED to make it for us again soon.

Last chance to enter my Get Fit Giveaway ~ The winner will be drawn tomorrow night.

Night all!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Janetha July 6, 2009 at 4:05 am

those look to.die.for.!

2 The Actors Diet July 6, 2009 at 6:16 am

yummy – you're so lucky you get leftovers….

3 Lauren July 6, 2009 at 11:17 am

The shells look sooooo good! I think they would also be lovely with some feta or goat cheese mixed in as well. (If your as much into feta and goat cheese as I am. :)

Glad to see you like the Amazing Grass. I am dying to try this so that is why my fingers are crossed so hard that I win your giveaway!!!

Have a great week!

4 K from ksgoodeats July 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm

That garlic bread sounds SO GOOD! I haven't had that stuff in ages. Thanks for the veggie substitutions – I appreciate it :)

5 Jess July 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm

That looks delicious Danica! How do you always manage to make such good looking food? My mouth is watering… :D~

6 Danielle C. July 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm

YUM! I'll have to make these sometime soon, what a great recipe.

7 Danica's Daily July 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Janetha ~ cheese + pasta = amazingly good!

The Actor's Diet ~ I LOVE leftovers. That is the only bummer about blogging, I think you all would disown me if I had leftovers all week long :) But, they do freeze nice for other nights when you don't feel like cooking at all.

Lauren ~ that sounds like a fantastic idea – I bet it would really add to the flavor. Good luck in the contest.

K ~ I LOVE garlic bread too! I actually want to try out the vegan substitutions for sure.

Jess ~ Thanks – it is mouth watering good. You should try this one out for sure. You can even make 1/2 and freeze half for another time.

Danielle ~ Yeah – can't wait to hear what you think!

8 Anne July 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Ooh, those shells look restaurant quality! So delicious :D I love garlic bread, and your full meal looks incredible!

9 Jenny July 6, 2009 at 8:05 pm

anything italian with the name "cheesy" in it's title is pretty much guaranteed to be delicious — thanks for the recipe, Danica!

10 kristi July 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm

I am so gonna have to try these shells, they look so yummy!

11 Danica's Daily July 6, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Anne ~ Awww – thanks for the compliment! They are as delicious as they look!

Jenny ~ Um, ya, I totally agree – I couldn't live without cheese!

Kristi ~ You definitely need to try them – so easy to make and the leftovers are awesome. I LOVE nights I don't have to cook!

12 Danielle C. August 5, 2009 at 6:54 am

Danica, I made these the other night and they were so delicious! Even the stepson went out of his way to tell me how good they were (he never does that).

13 Holly March 22, 2011 at 10:01 am

I just made this recipe and CANNOT wait to have it again!! It took longer than I expected (probably because I skimmed the recipe instead of fully reading it), but it was well worth the wait!!

14 DanicasDaily March 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm

HI Holly,

Yeah!!!! I am so glad it turned out and you loved it! It is one of my favorite recipes and I LOVE the leftovers whenever we have any.

Thanks for letting me know you liked it,

Danica

15 Jill April 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

I made these a few weeks ago and loved them. But, my jumbo shells must has been smaller than yours because 12 did not fill up a pan. I wonder if there are bigger ones out there that my store doesn’t have.

16 Kim April 27, 2012 at 8:13 am

I’m going to make this on Sunday! Thank you for sharing!! :)

17 Allison April 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm

I used to make a dish similar to this when I was in undergrad. I was just thinking about it the other day so I’m glad I saw this. Can’t wait to make it! I’ll probably leave out the chicken because that’s how I used to make it, but it does sound good either way.

18 Jamie Badders May 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Yep, they’re just as promised “cheesy” AND delish! Even my hubby who isn’t a healthy eater liked ‘em!

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Danicasdaily.com is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Danica's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Danica based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc. Danica does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining WW and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight.



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