Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells Recipe


  • 1 pound jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 (15-ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


1. Preheat Oven:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Cook Pasta Shells:

  • Cook the jumbo pasta shells according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Prepare Filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, Alfredo sauce, thawed and drained spinach, ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.

4. Stuff Shells:

  • Spoon the chicken Alfredo mixture into each cooked pasta shell, filling them generously.

5. Arrange in Baking Dish:

  • Place the stuffed shells in the prepared baking dish in a single layer.

6. Bake:

  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is hot and bubbly.
  • Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly golden brown.

7. Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour

Achieving the perfect Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells involves a few key tips and tricks to ensure the flavors are balanced, the texture is just right, and the overall dish is as delicious as possible. Here are secrets to help you make the best Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells:

  1. Use Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality chicken, cheese, and Alfredo sauce for the best flavor. Homemade Alfredo sauce can elevate the dish.
  2. Cook Pasta Al Dente: Cook the jumbo shells just until al dente. They will continue to cook in the oven, so undercooking them slightly prevents them from becoming too soft.
  3. Cool Pasta Properly: After draining, rinse the pasta shells with cold water to stop the cooking process and make them easier to handle when stuffing.
  4. Season the Chicken: If you’re cooking the chicken from scratch, season it well with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs before cooking. This ensures the chicken is flavorful.
  5. Homemade Alfredo Sauce: Consider making a homemade Alfredo sauce with butter, heavy cream, garlic, and Parmesan cheese for a richer flavor.
  6. Use Fresh Spinach: If you prefer fresh over frozen spinach, sauté it first to wilt and remove excess moisture before adding it to the filling.
  7. Mix Cheese for Flavor: Use a combination of cheeses like mozzarella, Parmesan, and ricotta for a richer and more complex flavor.
  8. Minced Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic instead of pre-minced for a more robust flavor in the filling.
  9. Drain Spinach Well: Whether using fresh or frozen spinach, ensure it is well-drained to avoid adding excess moisture to the filling.
  10. Don’t Overstuff Shells: Stuff the shells generously but avoid overstuffing to ensure the filling doesn’t spill out during baking.
  11. Layer of Sauce: Spread a layer of Alfredo sauce on the bottom of the baking dish before placing the stuffed shells. This keeps them moist and adds flavor.
  12. Cover Tightly: Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil during the first part of baking to keep the shells moist and prevent the cheese from burning.
  13. Uncover for Browning: Remove the foil in the last 10 minutes of baking to allow the cheese to melt and turn golden brown.
  14. Season to Taste: Taste the filling mixture before stuffing the shells and adjust seasoning as needed, adding more salt, pepper, or Italian seasoning if necessary.
  15. Add Herbs: Fresh herbs like basil or parsley can be mixed into the filling or used as a garnish for added freshness and flavor.
  16. Extra Cheese on Top: Sprinkle extra mozzarella or Parmesan cheese on top of the shells before baking for a cheesy crust.
  17. Let it Rest: Allow the baked shells to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the filling set and makes the shells easier to serve.
  18. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Garnish with freshly chopped parsley or basil for a pop of color and added flavor.
  19. Serve with Garlic Bread: Pair the dish with garlic bread or a side salad to complete the meal.
  20. Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to add other ingredients like sautéed mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, or a dash of nutmeg in the Alfredo sauce for added depth of flavor.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells dish that is perfectly cooked, full of flavor, and sure to impress.

FAQs about Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells

  1. Can I use fresh spinach instead of frozen?
    • Yes, you can use fresh spinach. Sauté it until wilted, then drain and chop it before adding to the mixture.
  2. What other cheeses can I use?
    • You can use a mix of cheeses like Asiago, fontina, or Gruyere for added flavor.
  3. Can I make this dish ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can assemble the stuffed shells a day in advance and refrigerate them. Just bake them when you’re ready to serve.
  4. Can I freeze the stuffed shells?
    • Yes, these freeze well. Assemble and freeze before baking. When ready to bake, thaw overnight in the fridge and bake as directed.
  5. What kind of chicken should I use?
    • You can use rotisserie chicken, leftover grilled chicken, or poached chicken breasts.
  6. Can I use homemade Alfredo sauce?
    • Absolutely! Homemade Alfredo sauce will add a fresher flavor to the dish.
  7. What can I serve with Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells?
    • Serve with a side salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables.
  8. Can I use whole wheat pasta shells?
    • Yes, whole wheat pasta shells can be used for a healthier option.
  9. How do I prevent the shells from sticking together?
    • Stir the shells gently while cooking and rinse them with cold water after draining.
  10. Can I add other vegetables?
    • Yes, mushrooms, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes can be great additions.
  11. Can I make this dish vegetarian?
    • Yes, omit the chicken and add more vegetables or use a meat substitute.
  12. How can I make the filling creamier?
    • Add a bit more ricotta cheese or a splash of heavy cream to the mixture.
  13. Can I use a different type of sauce?
    • You can use marinara, pesto, or a different creamy sauce if you prefer.
  14. What kind of ricotta should I use?
    • Use full-fat ricotta for the best flavor and texture.
  15. How do I store leftovers?
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  16. Can I reheat the stuffed shells?
    • Yes, reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
  17. Can I make this gluten-free?
    • Use gluten-free pasta shells and ensure your Alfredo sauce is gluten-free.
  18. What type of mozzarella should I use?
    • Shredded, low-moisture mozzarella works best for melting.
  19. How do I keep the shells from drying out?
    • Ensure they are well-covered with sauce before baking.
  20. Can I use a different type of protein?
    • Yes, try using cooked sausage, ground turkey, or shrimp for a variation.

By following these secrets and tips, you can ensure your Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells come out perfectly delicious every time! Enjoy your cooking!