These Chicken Stuffed Shells are jam-packed with a delicious combination of chicken, broccoli, fresh herbs, and creamy ricotta cheese - all topped off with a homemade alfredo sauce. And they're easy enough to make for a weeknight meal!
If you're stuck in a dinner rut, you need to add these easy stuffed shells to your weeknight dinner rotation. Not only are they scrumptious, but they're also fun, kid-friendly, and really simple to make. Even my eight year old likes to get in on the action with this recipe!
Plus, they can be made ahead of time and reheated when you're ready to serve. So they're great for meal prep or for serving to guests as well. Let's dig in!
Making Chicken Stuffed Shells
Start off by preparing the pasta shells. I used these jumbo pasta shells. Simply boil them according to the package directions, drain, and arrange them in the bottom of a baking dish.
Then make the chicken filling by mixing together the diced chicken breast, ricotta, cheese, broccoli, and the herbs and spices. Set that aside while you make the Alfredo sauce.
To make the creamy sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a minute and then slowly add the broth. I used chicken stock, but you can use vegetable broth as well. Whisk and then add the heavy cream and let it simmer until thickened. Stir in the parmesan cheese until it's melted. And the sauce is ready!
Now it's time to assemble your chicken stuffed shells! Simply stuff the chicken filling into the cooked pasta shells. Pour the sauce over top and sprinkle with some extra parmesan. Cover and bake it all for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then bake uncovered for 10 more minutes until the top is browned.
And it's ready to enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Pre-cooked chicken vs Raw.
I used pre-cooked diced chicken breast for this recipe, because it makes it so much quicker for a weeknight dinner. I used diced chicken, but shredded works well also. If you prefer, you can sauté fresh chicken on the stovetop instead. This also works well with rotisserie chicken!
Use a store bought Alfredo sauce.
I made my own quick homemade Alfredo sauce in this recipe. However, you can use a jarred sauce instead if you want to make this recipe even quicker.
Use frozen broccoli.
The recipe calls for cooked broccoli. You can cook it any way that you prefer, but I find the absolute easiest option is to use the frozen broccoli that you can microwave in a steamer bag. I prefer cooking broccoli fresh when I eat it on its own, but the frozen one works perfectly for fillings like this.
Storing, Making Ahead, and Freezing
This makes a great meal prep recipe.
If preparing in advance, I recommend assembling the chicken stuffed shells, but keeping the sauce separate until you are ready to bake them. Store the stuffed shells in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, then top with the sauce and bake. Alternatively, freeze the stuffed shells for 6-8 weeks. When ready to cook them, let them defrost in the fridge for 24 hours, then top them with the sauce and proceed with baking.
You can store leftover Chicken Stuffed Shells in the refrigerator, in a covered container, for 3-4 days. Or freeze leftovers for up to 2 months. When serving from frozen, I recommend allowing the shells to defrost for 24 hours, then topping with additional sauce before reheating in the oven or microwave.
Variations & Substitutions
Swap the broccoli for other veggies.
If broccoli isn't your jam, you can try making this with cauliflower, mushrooms, or dark leafy greens such as kale or spinach. Or simply leave out the veggies for picky kids!
Make it vegetarian!
I actually eat vegetarian and the rest of my family eats meat. So I like to make a portion of these without the chicken - I just add some extra broccoli to mine. I have also made these with plant based "chicken" strips, and they were quite good as well.
Experiment with the sauce.
Swap the cheese.
I used parmesan cheese for my stuffed shells, but you can also use mozzarella cheese, Monterey Jack, or a combination of a few.
Mix up the seasonings.
I went with Italian seasonings in this recipe, but you can mix things up by using a Cajun or Mexican spice blend. Or add a bit of crushed red pepper for some extra heat.
More Tasty Ideas
If you love these Chicken Stuffed Shells, be sure to check out these other delicious ideas:
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- 30 Minute Garlic Chicken Pasta
- 25 Family Friendly Chicken Dinners
Chicken Stuffed Shells – Crazy Easy!
- 8 oz. jumbo shells pasta (16-18 jumbo shells(
- 2 cups diced chicken breast
- 15 oz. tub ricotta cheese
- 1 cup diced cooked broccoli
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup fresh minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cup parmesan cheese divided
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and place on a single layer on a baking dish.
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken breast, ricotta, broccoli, egg, parsley, italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Stir together until well mixed and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, whisk in the flour and cook 1-2 minutes
- Slowly pour in the chicken stock and whisk, ensuring no lumps form
- Add the heavy cream and allow to simmer until thickened
- Stir in one cup of parmesan cheese until melted
- Stuff each shell with a generous amount of filling and place into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish
- Pour the sauce over the top
- Then sprinkle on the parmesan cheese
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, until the top is golden brown
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving