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

CHICKEN AND PESTO STUFFED SHELLS

Serves 4

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  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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