Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells

I came across these pesto stuffed shells recently on Pinterest.  When I decided I’d make them this week I was surprised to find they belonged to a blog from a fellow Chicagoan and not only that, but a blog that I occasionally peruse for recipes.  I changed her recipe a bit, but both Ben and I were really pleased with the results.

Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells

(Serves 4-5)

For Shells:
  • 20 large pasta shells
  • 1 lb chicken breast; bite size pieces
  • ~1/2 cup pesto (*I made my own using the ingredients below)
  • One 8oz container of Greek yogurt (I used non-fat Fage brand)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup asiago cheese, crumbled (or mozeralla)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Pinch of salt and pepper 
  • Optional: One bunch spinach
*For Pesto:
  • ~1/2 cup oil olive
  •  ~1 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  • Boil water for shells and prepare according to box.  Cook approximately 8 minutes to al dente.  Leave in water
  • Meanwhile, make your pesto.  Put all ingredients but basil in blender.  Add half of basil and set blender on high.  Once basil has blended, add in the rest of basil and repeat. (I've found that if I put in all of my basil at once, sometimes it "clogs" the blender's blade).  Add more olive oil by Tbsp if mixture is too dry
  • (Optional): Rinse spinach, cut off stems and steam in small pot of boiling water
  • Season chicken with garlic, salt and pepper. Cook in frying pan.
  • Mix pesto, parmesan cheese, yogurt,  and chicken in a medium bowl.
  • Drain shells
  • (Optional):  If you want to add spinach, place this on the bottom of your baking pan
  • Place shells in 9x13 baking pan
  • Place spoonful of pesto mixture in shell, filling approximately 2/3 of the shell.  Repeat for all shells
  • Sprinkle asiago/mozz cheese on top of shells
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until cheese has melted

    (Yikes! Apparently my pictures disappeared! More to come next time I make this dish:)

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