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Cheesy pesto-chicken-stuffed shells, because sometimes we want summery comfort food

Gina is the author of the food blog, Running to the Kitchen where she shares healthy, whole food recipes in a fun, approachable way. She works full time as a consultant in higher education. When not in the kitchen, she enjoys CrossFit, r...

A lighter take on stuffed shells is exactly what you want for summer nights

Just because it's hot out doesn't mean you don't crave comforting, cheesy, stuffed pasta. C'mon... You know you do.

Stuffed shells are a great, easy comfort food the entire family will love. This version combines pesto, chicken, creamy ricotta and fresh basil for a delicious summer spin.

Pesto chicken stuffed shells

It's decadent and cheesy but seasonally appropriate, with the light flavors of summer popping through. Most important, it's dinner in just about 30 minutes.

Cheesy pesto-chicken-stuffed shells recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons marinara sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 6 ounces jumbo pasta shells
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh chopped basil, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta shells, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes less than the cooking time on the package directions.
  3. While the pasta cooks, in a medium bowl, combine the chicken, ricotta, pesto, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  4. Drain the pasta, and stuff the shells with the chicken mixture.
  5. Spread 2 tablespoons of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, and arrange the stuffed shells on top of the sauce.
  6. Spoon the remaining 1/4 cup of sauce on top of the shells, and then bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the shells from the oven, garnish with fresh basil, and serve.

More pesto recipes

Quick pesto lasagna rolls
Homemade basil pesto over penne

Leftover shredded chicken pesto pasta

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