Stuffed Shells

Husband’s Favorite New Recipe

Stuffed Shell Ingredients

  • 16 large pasta shells (about 4 1/2 ozs)
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 6 ozs chicken breast, diced into 1/4″ cubes
  • 3 ozs cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ozs ricotta cheese (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 T basil pesto
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup) (I use grated.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 ozs mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup) [Use at end on top of dish.]
  • Thinly sliced fresh basil for serving (I don’t use.)

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T flour (I use about 2 T. Start with 1 T.)
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil; cook shells according to package instructions; drain and set aside. (I boil 9 minutes.)
  2. While shells cooking, make filling. In a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter. (I use large frying pan/skillet.) Add garlic and chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is fully cooked. Remove pan from heat and add chicken (and garlic) to a medium bowl.
  3. Add cream cheese, ricotta, basil pesto, Parmesan, salt and pepper to bowl with chicken; mix well and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. In the same skillet used to cook chicken, make sauce: Melt butter over medium-low heat; add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until a smooth paste forms (about 1 minute). Add cream in slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Once all cream has been added, add milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Add salt and continue to cook, whisking frequently until sauce begins to (slightly thicken) and simmer. Remove from heat and add spinach.
  6. Evenly divide chicken/ricotta mixture among shells and arrange in cast-iron skillet (I use glass baking dish.) over sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.
  7. Top with thinly sliced fresh basil and serve with steamed broccoli. (I omit basil and serve with mixed leafy greens topped with Roma tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette.

(NOTE: Chicken may be omitted.)


May 2020.