Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells

It’s no secret that I love any type of pasta, and when you stuff pasta with lots of tasty components, it’s an automatic home-run in my book. While I’m normally one just to default to my favorite mariana sauce, every once in a while it’s nice to change-up the pace a little and try something different. Therefore, bring on the pesto!

After my black thumb failed miserably to grow a garden last year, this year I decided to just stick to herbs. Thankfully, my herbs have taken off, leaving me with an abundance of basil. Pesto is the perfect way to use up excess basil, and it can be used in everything from pasta dishes, in place of pizza sauce or even on top of burgers. These pesto chicken stuffed shells were a big hit in our house, and they’re extremely versatile so they can easily be adapted to your family’s tastes.

Pesto Chicken Stuffed Shells
Yields: 4-6 servings

12-16 jumbo pasta shells
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese + 1/4 cup for topping
3 tablespoons prepared pesto (homemade or store-bought)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare the pasta shells as directed on the package, cooking only until al dente. Drain the shells and put them aside. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1 cup of the parmesan cheese, chicken and garlic, then stir to combine. Fill the shells with the filling and place in a greased baking dish. Top with the pesto and remaining parmesan cheese.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except the 1/4 cup  of cheese for the topping. Fill the pasta shells with the filling and  place in a baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over  filled shells.

Bake the shells uncovered for 30 minutes or until the shells are bubbling hot and the cheese is melted.

Source: Carrie’s Sweet Life

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  1. Shawna says

    This might be a stupid question but if I want to freeze this dish to have at another time do I still bake it as directed and then freeze it or would I want to freeze it and then bake it? If I do the latter do I bake it frozen the same as I would above or do I thaw it in the fridge first? First time mom to be here within the next couple of weeks and I am just trying to plan ahead. Thanks for all of the great recipes!

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