Broccolini and Jerk Chicken Stuffed Shells are pure comfort food, with creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheese in a savory and herby tomato sauce baked until crisp and golden.
This stunning and totally satisfying dish is amazingly easy to make. That's thanks to the shortcut of using shredded cooked jerk chicken and roasted broccolini. The broccolini adds a touch of green and a delicious bitter undertone to the otherwise deeply savory and salty dish full of cheese, tender pasta and herbs.
This is a very family-friendly dinner that also stores well, so be sure to bookmark it for your next pasta dinner or potluck with friends.
How to Make Broccolini and Jerk Chicken Stuffed Shells
To keep this recipe simple and straight forward, follow these steps:
Cook the pasta until just al dente (it should have some chew to it).
Whip together the ricotta-lemon filling until light and thoroughly mixed.
Layer everything into the baking dish and pop it into the oven!
After about 20 minutes, you'll have a complete dish with protein, starch, and veggies all in one.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about the ingredients in this ricotta stuffed shell recipe with chicken:
Jumbo pasta shells. You can use regular or whole-wheat pasta for the recipe.
Tomato sauce. Choose your favorite simple store-bought tomato sauce or make your own with canned tomatoes.
Shredded cooked jerk chicken. You can use store-bought rotisserie chicken or use leftover cooked jerk chicken if you have some. This is a great way to give new life to leftover Baked Jerk Chicken Salad!
Ricotta cheese. Whole milk ricotta will add more flavor and body to the stuffed shells. However, skim ricotta will also work!
Can I Freeze Baked Stuffed Shells?
Yes! In fact, this chicken and ricotta stuffed shells recipe freezes beautifully.
Simply let the casserole cool fully, then transfer it to an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze for up to three months. When you're ready to serve, simply reheat in a 350°F oven until heated through. If you notice the shells drying out at all, cover the dish with tin foil while heating.
Make Ahead Chicken Stuffed Shells
You can also use this recipe to prep ahead of time for dinner guests. Simply cook the shells as directed, and mix the ricotta filling. Store the two separately in the fridge. Just before serving, fill the shells and assemble the casserole in a baking dish. Then bake as directed in the recipe and enjoy hot!
Gluten-Free Stuffed Shells
You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using your favorite gluten-free stuffed jumbo shells.
1(32 oz.) containerricotta cheese, skim or whole milk
3cupsshredded mozzarella cheese, organic
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a standard baking dish.
Begin by cooking jumbo shells according to the directions of the packaging, adding olive oil to the boiling water, (about 8-10 minutes for al-dente) and drain.
In a large bowl, add together the ricotta cheese and lemon juice, stirring until cheese becomes smooth. Add in the seasonings, shredded jerk chicken, and roasted broccolini, stirring until well combined.
In the prepared baking dish, pour half of the tomato sauce at the bottom of dish, evenly spreading it out. Stuff each shell with 1-2 Tbsps of ricotta mixture and arrange it in the dish, stuffed side up. Repeat this until all shells are stuffed and lined side-by-side.
Spoon the remaining half of tomato sauce atop shells, followed by shredded mozzarella cheese, until shells are mostly covered.
Bake stuffed shells until everything is fully warmed through and the cheese has melted on the tops, about 18-20 minutes.
Once done, remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.MAKE AHEAD: Cook your pasta and let it cool completely before storing in an air-tight refrigerator for 3-5 days. In a bowl, combine your ricotta, seasonings, chicken, and roasted broccolini, and place in an air tight container to refrigerate overnight as well. On the day of, remove everything to room temp., about 10-15 minutes and continue assembly STEPS, starting with STEP 4.SHREDDED CHICKEN: To cook your chicken breasts and shred them, visit my Chicken Pot Pie recipe in the notes! Just add 1-2 Tbsps jerk seasoning to your chicken, if desired.