Monday, October 10, 2011

Spinach Chicken Stuffed Shells

This meal is definitely going on the menu rotation at our house! It is so yummy, and if you plan ahead, is pretty quick to prepare too! I got this idea for a meal because I had a bunch of spinach that I needed to use quickly. My first idea was lasagna, but the day I went to cook it I didn't have enough lasagna noodles! Luckily, I had shells... which in my opinion can be even better! This makes a lot, so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you are not feeding very many, or do not want leftovers! I welcome leftovers, so this was perfect for a full dinner and lunch for my whole family (2 adults, 2 children). 

Spinach Chicken Stuffed Shells
 2 large chicken breasts, finely chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2-4 cups of chopped spinach (the amount is just to your liking) 
>1tbsp. olive oil
ground pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 tbsp. parsley 
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
about 23 jumbo pasta shells, cooked, and drained

Combine Chicken, onion, pepper, garlic, and olive oil in large saucepan. brown until chicken is cooked through. Add spinach a cup at a time until wilted enough to add more. once all spinach is added and cooked through, remove pan from heat and set aside. 

This is what mine looked like. You can tell I didn't originally chop the spinach, and I wish I had! It is much more kid friendly when you don't have long strings of spinach coming out of your shells! 

In a large mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Once well mixed, add the chicken mixture.  Begin filling your shells! I used a large soup spoon, and scooped heaping spoonfuls into the shells. It was the perfect amount. Pack your shells into a large baking dish, sprayed with non stick cooking spray. 

My mouth was watering at this point! I could not wait to eat them!! 

Top shells with mozzarella cheese, bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Enjoy your yummy meal!!!

This was posted by my sister in law Erin!

Recipe Tips: I used my food processor to chop my onion, and chopped my chicken about a 1/4 of the size I usually cube my chicken. I think the closer to the same size everything is, the easier it all fits into the shells, and the better each bite is because you get a little of everything! 
If you have extra mixture, it freezes great for future use, or just dump it over the top of the shells before you put the cheese on!

Guess what?? We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may be surprised to learn that he may also have been helping to protect himself against inflammatory problems, oxidative stress-related problems, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancers at the same time. Sweet! Eat more Spinach!!

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