Two of my favorite things – Mexican and pasta – are coming together for this recipe: Stuffed Mexican Chicken Shells! (Some call them Taco Stuffed Shells.)
One of my favorite things about this dish is that it makes TWO big 9×13” pans, so you can save one of the pans for a busy night when you don’t have time to make dinner, or take one of the pans to a friend who could use a delicious dinner.
If you were to bring me a pan of these stuffed shells, I promise you that we would be friends for life!
Also, using a rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut for this recipe.
How to stuff the shells
After you cook the shells al dente (you don’t want them to be too soft or they won’t hold their filling!), the wiggly noodles can sometimes be hard to stuff.
I found that the easiest way is to hold the cooked shell in one hand and then use the other hand to hold a spoon and scoop the filling inside.
One pan now, one pan later (or how to freeze this meal)
If you haven’t learned by now, I LOVE freezer meals. Because this recipe makes two pans of food, I love to stick one pan in the freezer and pull it out on a busy day when I don’t have time to make dinner.
To freeze a pan of these shells, prepare as directed except leave off the salsa and shredded cheese topping.
The shells will stay good in the freezer for up to 30 days.
When you are ready to eat, remove shells from freezer. Pour the salsa in the bottom of the pan, add the shells to the pan, then top with remaining salsa and cheese. Bake as directed.
Pasta does tend to get mushy when thawed, so if you are going to be freezing these shells, I recommend cooking the shells ONE MINUTE LESS than al dente, just to keep them from being too mushy.
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side dish ideas for stuffed shells:
Recipe slightly adapted from Busy At Home