Welcome to Riches to Rags by Dori. This is a place where I share a little bit of everything. My experiences, the good the bad and the ugly. Life isn't easy but worth living and my hope is that we can get through it together.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parmesan Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells

Parmesan Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells

When I came across this recipe I thought it looked really good but I haven't cooked a lot of pesto and I wasn't sure how my kids would like it.  Well, after making dinner tonight I now know, THEY LOVED IT! Even my pickiest eater ate more than anyone did. I was delighted and shocked at the same time. She even helped me make them. I put a little less pesto in it just to not make it so green and scare her away and it worked! 

Seriously, these turned out really good and I will be making them again and again. Kallie even asked if I would make them for her birthday. Nice! I am always happy to find a recipe that everyone likes. I doubled mine because there are five of us and I wanted left overs. 
So here it is!

Parmesan Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells

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

In a large pot over high heat, boil water and prepare pasta shells as directed on package. Cook pasta shells only until al dente. The pasta will finish cooking when the dish is baked. Drain the pasta shells and set aside.

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. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake shells uncovered for 30 minutes or until shells are bubbling hot and cheese melts. I did mine for 35. You can put it on broil for a minute to brown the tops if you want. 

Recipe adapted from joelens. On her website she says you can freeze these. I haven't done it yet but I don't see why you couldn't. These would be great to make a double batch and freeze one batch. They would heat up nicely. Yum.

Here is my picture tutorial. I didn't include pictures of cooking the chicken but just so you know I boil mine until pink is gone. It think it maintains moisture better that way. Next time In my picture I used less pesto but next time I will add an additional Tablespoon. Look at all those goodies.

Mix together really good and make sure that cream cheese gets spread evenly. 

So easy my daughter did all the work!

Looking good!

I put salt and pepper on top and sprinkled the rest of the Parmesan Cheese. Now it is ready to go in the oven. 

Out of the oven. Sooooo goood.

I poured a little bit of ranch dressing on mine but next time I might do a little bit of homemade Alfredo Sauce. Downright delicious! You are going to love this one. 

This is another successful go to meal for the family. I would love to hear your comments when you make it because mine turned out really delicious. Hope you enjoy this one!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Making this dinner right now and it smells delicious :)

  2. Writing down the ingredients to this recipe to make this weekend when we go to our cabin with family, looks like it will be a hit, thanks for sharing!

  3. seems a little alfredo sauce might be an accompiant,or other white sauce

  4. I made this a while back from another site where I also froze them....(they turned out wonderful, and tastes divine!).....Question that I have is this: How do I keep my shells from getting hard while cooking them in the oven? I've tried covering with foil..nothing works....

  5. I've made this twice now and it's absolutely delicious! I cover mine with foil so it doesn't get brown on top. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. I made these tonight and they were good! I put marinara sauce on mine and my SO put alfredo on his. We both enjoyed it! I probably would make these without chicken next time because they would still taste great and it would make it cheaper. I definitely recommend these!

  7. I'm baking these right now, excited to see how they turn out!

  8. just finished making these and they are delicious..thanks for sharing

  9. Finally made these last night, really easy and delicious. I added some marinara sauce on the bottom and a bit on each shell. I like the balance of the richness of the filling with the tart of the marinara.


I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment, It gets lonely in here without them!