Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mexi-Chicken Stuffed Shells

I love a good challenge, especially when it involves food. Recently I came across Healthy Solutions Spice Blends'  blogger recipe challenge. I was able to choose from their many blends to create a dish. I went with their authentic chili/taco seasoning,

And I am sure glad I did. Who doesn't need a good taco or chili seasoning? I really appreciated the fact that it's not made with any salt or sugar. We've enjoyed this blend with traditional tacos of course, layered taco dip, my chicken tortilla chili and even in these fabulous stuffed shells.

We love a good pasta dish in our house and I love how the recipe makes plenty. I can feed a crowd or just toss an extra pan in our freezer for another day. I incorporated some of my homemade refried beans into the filling, but feel free to use your favorite store bought version. I won't judge,  I promise.

Go ahead and give these pasta shells a try, maybe even surprise a friend or neighbor with a small pan? You'll be a new favorite, that's for sure!

Mexi-Chicken Stuffed Shells

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green pepper, diced
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
10 oz. diced tomatoes w/green chiles, undrained
1/2 cup refried beans
3 tsp healthy solutions taco/chili spice blend
8 oz. grated or shredded cheese
12 oz. pkg jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set aside two 8x8 inch baking dishes or one large 9x13 pan.

Combine shredded chicken,  beans and green pepper in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, tomatoes and beans to form a sauce. Pour into the chicken mixture and stir well. Add in seasoning.

Spread a small amount of salsa over bottom of each pan. Scoop chicken mixture into each prepared pasta shell and place into pan. Repeat until all shells are filled. Drizzle a little extra salsa over shells if desired. Then sprinkle with cheese.

Cover and bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes, just until cheese is melted and shells are warmed. Remove from oven. Serve warm with a nice salad. Makes about 30 pasta shells.

* If freezing, prepare all steps up to baking. Then simply cover pan well with foil. Label and date, store in freezer until ready to bake. When ready to prepare, thaw pan and heat in oven for 30 minutes or so.

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