Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spinach, Artichoke & Chicken Stuffed Shells

Okay guys. Let's talk about cheese. Let's talk about carbs. Let's talk about flavor and creaminess.

Just kidding. Let's just eat.  
Spinach, Artichoke & Chicken Stuffed Shells

Heads up, lazy people! If you don't feel like making the sauce, you can substitute it with store bought Alfredo sauce. I'm sure it will be marvelous. 

12 oz. jumbo shell pasta (this made just a little more pasta than I needed, but I fed the extra to the little kids who like all of their food plain instead of awesome)

For filling:
3 tablespoons of butter
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of fresh spinach, cut up in ribbons (frozen would probably be fine)
1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs (I used basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley)
1 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts, chopped
2 cups shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken to save on time)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup of your sauce (recipe below)

For sauce:
3 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half and half
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt (or regular salt if you don't have it)

More mozzarella cheese and basil

Boil pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile sauté the onion and garlic in the three tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Once tender and starting to brown add the spinach, herbs, chicken, artichokes, tomatoes, and ricotta cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat.
In a sauce pan on medium low heat, combine the three tablespoons of butter and flour and whisk to combine. Add the half and half and whisk until there are no more clumps. Add the cheeses, garlic salt, and pepper and whisk until the cheese is melted.  Add about a cup of this sauce to the filling mixture and mix well. Reserve the rest of the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 400º. Pour your reserved sauce into a 9x13 inch pan. Stuff the shells with the filling (I just spooned it in) place them in the sauce in the pan. Top with more shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Then if the top is still not brown, you can broil it until it gets nice and bubbly.  Garnish with fresh basil.

Tomorrow I will tell you about dessert.

P.S. Check out these other recipes if you're bored:

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  1. Stuffed Shells were delicious! Now awaiting the post about dessert!

  2. The pic you linked to, my dad actually did a painting off that. The iceburg one

  3. Gorgeous--the sunset and the recipe. Thanks so much for sharing on Friday Food on Momtrends. I love checking out all the foodie creations. Enjoy the weekend.

  4. Great recipe! I can't wait to try this for my boyfriend and wow him! :D

  5. This is so delicious! My whole family loved it!!