This is the epic love child of two of my favorite dishes to make and eat. I can’t tell you how many times I have contemplated between stuffed shells or chicken parmesan for dinner. Both are classic and fairly simple dishes that satisfy my Italian craving so I figured why just settle for one? There are many ways to go about this recipe. There’s the super fast and simple way, or the time consuming yet still simple way. I have posted a Roasted Garlic and Basil Sauce that I used for this recipe but you can certainly use your favorite store brought sauce. I make this sauce in bulk and mason jar it so they are always on hand for quick dinner.
- 1 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken breast cubed into small bite size pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs with a teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and ground black pepper (bread crumb mixture)
- 2 large beaten eggs
- 1 box of large pasta shells
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves uncooked
- 1 medium sized container of ricotta cheese, if you like more GO BIG!
- 1 cup of fresh parsley for garnish
- tomato sauce (either my recipe or a jar of your favorite store bought sauce
Step by Step:
this recipe is really quite easy. it’s all about the assembly! once it’s in the oven you’re good to go!
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and begin to cook your shells in boiling SALTED water according to the directions on the box. Salting the water is so important because it is the only chance you have to flavor the pasta itself. MAJOR KEY!
- Whisk your two eggs in a small bowl. season with a teaspoon of salt and black pepper. coat all of your bite size chicken pieces in your eggs, shake off the excess and coat in your bread crumb mixture. you may have to add more bread crumbs. once they are all coated, pan fry in any oil of your choice. since they are small bite sizes, they will cook fast.
2. While your chicken is frying, put a layer of your sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Once your shells are done cooking, drain and let them dry to avoid a watery dish. Once they are dry, lay them into your dish over the layer of sauce and spinach. Put your preferred amount of ricotta into each shell while you wit for the chicken to cook and cool.
3. Once your chicken is done cooking and you let them sit on paper towel to absorb extra oil, put 2-3 pieces in each shell until all of them are filled. (you will most likely have extra shells)
4. Top your stuffed shells with your preferred amount of sauce until they are all nice and coated with sauce. Then add your last layer of cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately. Enjoy!