Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

5 Jan

Stuffed shells are so easy and super fun to make! I recently made a more traditional version of this dish with a group of children and they had a blast mixing and filing the shells. Not to mention, they ate every bite… spinach included! If you want to get your kids to eat their veggies, get them in kitchen. It truly makes a difference.

I liked this recipe because I love vegetable lasagna but I can’t afford the time it takes to make and bake in the oven. As you know if you follow my blog, when it’s dinner time, I’m hungry, and it better not take me long to make anything or else I’m out, down for the count, and wasting precious calories on anything I can get my hands on from the pantry. (aka: Wheat Thins and peanut butter)

Stuffing jumbo pasta shells with lasagna ingredients not only cuts down on time but it also helps you with portion control. Sneaking an extra bite of lasagna is easy but grabbing another shell can make you think twice!

Also, I added chicken for the hubs. He’s a meat-a-holic. Not really… he can enjoy a good hearty… key word hearty… vegetarian meal every once in a while but he’d simply rather not. I can’t really blame him but you wouldn’t have to use chicken if you didn’t want to.

Enjoy!

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Time: 45 minutes
Level: Easy
Servings: 4, 3 shells each

1 chicken boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite sized cubes
15 jumbo pasta shells, in case a few break
1 tbsp. oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/3 c. carrots, sliced thin
1/3 c. frozen corn
1/3 c. frozen bell peppers
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/3 c. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 c. cottage cheese
1 egg
1 c. spaghetti sauce
1/4 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

Cook chicken if needed, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Boil pasta noodles according to packaged directions. Drain. In a nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add garlic and onions and sauté until onions are translucent, about 1 minute. Add carrots, corn, peppers, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

Add chicken and spinach. Cook until heated and transfer mixture to a medium sized bowl. Add cottage cheese and egg. Stir to combine.

Stuff shells with spoonfuls of the mixture and place in a greased baking dish.

Top with spaghetti sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bake, covered, for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and shells are heated throughout. Yum!

Tips
– Change the veggies according to the season. Try squash, zucchini, or even butternut squash for an added twist!

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells”

  1. Janet@FCTC January 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    This sounds soooooo good! I love any saucy cheesy Italian style meal.

    • Sunny January 6, 2012 at 6:54 am #

      Thanks! I hope you try them and like them as much as we did!

  2. Beth Michelle January 6, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    Yum your stuffed shells look so good!! I can see how kids would just love making them!

  3. Sandra January 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    Lots of good stuff in these shells. And wheat thins and peanut butter aren’t a complete meal?!?!

    • Sunny January 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      Haha! Sometimes they are!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: