Chicken & Broccoli Stuffed Shells | Sugar for Breakfast: Chicken & Broccoli Stuffed Shells

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chicken & Broccoli Stuffed Shells

I've been making more of a conscious effort to incorporate vegetables into our daily meals.
It isn't easy.
We aren't ones to just have a side of steamed broccoli along with our meal.
I know my lack of loving vegetables (I do love corn, but my daughter's doctor was quick to remind me that corn is indeed a starch and not a vegetable).
Umm...I always thought it was a vegetable. 
I assume that means potatoes aren't veggies either? 
Where do they belong on the food pyramid?
Or is myplate now?
I've confused myself now.
However, I am really trying for my own sake, and that of my daughter (so she will be more likely to try them) to add veggies into our dinner routine.
This was my first new experiment with broccoli.
It's true.
I've only ever made the tree-like green whenever I make beef and broccoli. (Recipes here and here)
For some reason, I don't think those count. 

Anywho, I picked up some jumbo shells while grocery shopping and figured I would stuff them with something. 
I do like spinach, chicken & pesto in my shells (which I just realized I have never shared my recipe!!! I am in shock with myself right now). 
So I figured I would try substituting it with a different vegetable, blah blah blah...and I ended up with these fancy little shells.
And guess what?
They were pretty darn tasty!
The recipe makes 20 shells, so it was more than enough for the hubs and me...shocker...our daughter refused to try any...
We each had lunch for the next day...and me the day after that.

I used chicken breasts, boiled them and then shredded it as I do with a lot of chicken recipes, 
I did steam the broccoli and pulled most of the broccoli off of the stems, just because I didn't want them to be to hard in the shells and take away from the goodness. If that even makes sense. In my head it does...
I used a combo of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and even Parmesan. You can get wild and do all kinds of things.
I wasn't going to add tomato sauce, but the baking dish just looked bare and I figured, what the heck?
So that is why there is pasta sauce. Which, adds more flavor!

Sneak those veggies in. I'm not a huge broccoli fan, but you hardly notice they are there in this recipe. 
A total win in my book!
I made garlic toast, to go along with this also. 
That is my daughter's favorite.
And yes, that is all she ate.
Don't judge.

Chicken & Broccoli Stuffed Shells

by Emily Chhouy
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30-40 min
Ingredients (20 jumbo shells)
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup broccoli, steamed and chopped
  • 20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked and set aside
  • 1-16oz jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
Spread the spaghetti sauce evenly in the bottom of the dish.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken and broccoli.
Add the Alfredo sauce and three cheeses.
Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes and garlic salt.
Using a cookie scoop or spoons, fill each shell and place into the prepared baking dish.
Sprinkle the tops of each shell with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and continue baking for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheeses start to bubble and brown a bit on top.
Remove and let set for about 5 minutes to let the filling set up.
Serve with the sauce spooned over, if desired.
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