Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells

It’s official, my cold-resistant Northern-raised skin has grown weak and I am already tired of temperature below 40. It doesn’t help that our office at lab is below 70 every day. I actually put my gloves on (winter gloves, not lab gloves) to work at my desk yesterday. Yet on the other end of the spectrum I still cannot handle high humidity and heat, resulting in a narrower range of tolerable temperatures. Southern California weather is looking mighty appealing.

Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells 1

If the temperatures refuse to keep me warm, them I will just warm myself up from the inside with yummy food. Stephanie and I recently cooked two meals together so that we could have two different kinds of leftovers to eat for lunches or dinners. She made a meatballs with a great pork sausage marinara sauce and I made stuffed shells. Remember the Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls? These stuffed shells reminded me of those lasagna rolls stuffed into a different pasta shape, being just as flavorful and comforting.

Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells 2

One year ago: Sugar Cookie Spoons for Hot Cocoa

Three years ago: Blueberry-Almond Turtles


Serves 4


1 cup favorite marinara sauce

16 jumbo pasta shells

4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature

1-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided

1/4 cup prepared pesto

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

3 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread marinara sauce evenly in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, set aside.
  2. In a large pot over high heat, boil water and prepare pasta shells until al dente. Drain the pasta shells and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the rest of the ingredients, except 1/4 cup of Parmesan for topping. Fill the pasta shells with the filling and place in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over filled shells.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake shells uncovered for 30 minutes or until shells are bubbling hot and cheese melts.

Source: Adapted slightly from What’s Cookin, Chicago?.


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10 Responses to “Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells”

  • ah southern california, land of the best weather ever.

    I adore this pasta: there’s chicken, there’s pesto, there’s pasta. Perfect!

  • After recently visiting San Diego, I can say Southern California weather is the way to go girl. Plus so many biotech industries call it home :). But for those of us stuck in the north with below 20s, we will settle for warm yummy shells in our tummy! I’m adding this to my dinner plan for next week. Looks too good to pass up.

    • spiffycookie:

      San Diego is definitely a great place for weather. Although I really love San Francisco. Not as warm but fun city. I also have family in LA!

  • Looks delicious! I think my family would love this!

  • Susan:

    These stuffed shells sound wonderful. If you should opt to move to Southern California, you should know that at least in the Los Angeles area, if you live inland it does get hot, though probably not as humid as where you are now. If you live directly on the coast (I grew up in Santa Monica) it never gets warm and never gets cold, which I hated. San Diego would probably be a better choice, both climate-wise and traffic-wise. The traffic gridlock in LA is something that nobody in their right mind would opt to put up with… 🙂

    • spiffycookie:

      Yea I’ve been to both middle and Southern California a couple times, and have family in LA. Amazing how quickly the weather changes when you go inland!

  • Since the temps can’t seem to stay out of the single digits lately, I’m in need of some food to warm me from the inside out! This sounds great!

  • I love stuffed shells! You already know I’m going to be all over this version!

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