Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells

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These are the best stuffed shells I have ever tasted. They are absolutely delicious. I like to serve them for company or when I need to take someone dinner and feed my own family at the same time, because this recipe makes a lot. This is a guaranteed delicious dinner, and when I get compliments I forward them on to my sister Brittany because she is the cooking genius that gave me this recipe. :)
These shells can be time intensive if you don’t break up the prep work. I like to make the filling the day before and then cook the shells and stuff them the day-of. The recipe makes two 9×13 pans. I always do one 9×13 and two 8×8 pans, and freeze one of the smaller pans for a later dinner. And the other night when I made this I used some extra spaghetti sauce that I had in the fridge, which made it more saucy, but it’s good with just the one jar too. Be sure to buy two boxes of Jumbo Shells for this recipe, as you’ll need nearly 1 1/2 boxes.
Try serving these with the Macaroni Grill Bread on our blog. That’s how I served them yesterday for our company and they went together perfectly. But usually I make bread sticks to go along, and the recipe Melanie posted already is a great one.

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Submitted by Erin (Brittany’s delicious recipe. :) )

44 uncooked jumbo pasta shells (That’s about one and one-half 12-oz boxes)
2 c chopped cooked chicken
2 c fresh chopped spinach
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15oz) container ricotta cheese
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (5oz) package shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 2/3 c.)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tb dried parsley flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (26oz) jar prepared spaghetti sauce (any variety)

Cook shells according to package directions (be sure to stir every once in awhile so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and tear apart); drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 2 13x9x2inch baking dishes.
In a large bowl, combine chicken and all the rest of the ingredients except mozzarella and spaghetti sauce. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella. Spoon into shells. Spread half of spaghetti sauce into prepared baking dishes. Arrange shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.
Makes 8-10 servings.


  1. Cara says

    I made these last night, and they were delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe! You’ve got so many great looking recipes on this blog!

  2. Ruth says

    I am Puertorican so I have practically no experience making italian food, but I followed this recipe and I was amazed at how delicious the stuffed shells turned out. My husband doesn’t eat italian food either and it has now become one of our favorite dishes. Thank you for the great recipe.

  3. Tanya says

    Ok, I’ve been dying to make these since someone brought them for my “freezer meal baby shower.” They are sooooo good!
    I made them once with cooked defrosted shrimp (chopped) because I was out of chicken and they were awesome.
    These are a great to make on a night when you are bringing someone a meal and you need to feed your own family too. I love that it makes enough to feed everyone!

    • Erin says

      Hi Jenni!
      Put the pan in the freezer right after this point in the recipe instructions: “Arrange shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.” So at this point, you could cover with a few extra layers of tin foil or a thick plastic lid that comes with glass dishes, and put it in the freezer. When you want to bake it, put the frozen pan into the cool oven straight from the freezer and turn the oven to 350. Bake for about 1 hour and about 15 minutes, more or less.
      Hope that helps!

  4. Summer says

    Holy onions! Wow! I thought this recipe sounded great so I tried it this evening and even though I try not to mess with a recipe the first time, I still had to leave out about 1/3 of the onion. It was still way too much! My house smells like onion and it was nearly inedible! Do yourself a favor: cut down or cut out the onion altogether!, add some sauce and chicken too!

    • Erin says

      Summer, you must have had some potent onions there! That’s too bad that they ruined the dish. I make this all the time and have never had my onions overpower the shells. I always cook it the full time, too, which might help mellow the flavors.

  5. Wild Wilson says

    Greetings. I’m having a dinner party this coming Saturday and I couldn’t decide what to prepare and then I remembered I have this on my Pinterest page. I’m wondering like with Lasagna if I could make this without boiling the shells they are easier to work with? I’m looking forward to making it. Thank you

    • says

      Hi Wild Wilson, you will definitely need to boil the shells before stuffing them. Without boiling them they would be almost impossible to stuff. And they are not baked with a ton of liquid, so they won’t be softening/cooking in the baking process. So they need to be boiled first. I hope you have a great dinner party! Let me know if you have any other questions!


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