Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Shells

This afternoon I was reflecting on my eats lately and I’ve realized that I haven’t been bulking up my fruits and veggies like I usually do at each meal. If I want to keep up with my 5 a day challenge, then, I needed a boost today ~ enter Amazing Grass Organic Green Superfood. One packet gives you 5 veggie servings for the day! While I always encourage you to get your fruits/veggies from the real deal, it never hurts to get a little healthy boost!


I decided to whip up a smoothie that also included a dairy serving.


1 cup ice

1 packet Amazing Grass Organic Green Superfood – Original Flavor

1 nectarine

1 handful organic blueberries

1 container Trader Joe’s 0% Blueberry Greek Yogurt

My smoothie started out a purple-blue color, but, by the time I was finished it was green ~ Fun! LOL. I can definitely taste the greens mix in this combo, but, it isn’t a bad flavor – it sort of reminds me of a chocolate flavor. Maybe that is why everyone LOVES the chocolate so much? I must make a note to try that flavor next. It does grow on you as you drink it though and it helped me power through the remaining 200 items in my google reader :D

The Husband requested Italian food for dinner tonight and I instantly thought it was time to bring back one of our FAVORITE dishes.

Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Noodles



12 shell(s) uncooked jumbo shells

1 1/2 cup(s) marinara – homemade or TJ’s Starter Sauce

2 medium egg white(s), lightly beaten

1 3/4 cup(s) part-skim or fat free ricotta cheese

4 oz chicken breast, cooked, skinless, diced – Make it yourself or use rotisserie chicken

16 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess water

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tbsp dried Italian seasoning

4-5 basil leaves, chopped

1/4 tsp black pepper and sea salt

1 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cook manicotti shells in salted boiling water according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Set aside.

Coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce evenly over bottom of pan and set aside.

For filling, in a large bowl, stir together egg whites, ricotta cheese, chicken, spinach, garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil and Italian seasoning. Stir in 1/4 cup each of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
To assemble, spoon cheese mixture into manicotti shells and place filled shells in a single layer in baking dish. Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and bake about 30 minutes. Yields 3 shells per serving.

Each shell is 3 Weight Watcher Points!

* Make it VEGETARIAN by using chickenless chicken and/or omitting the chicken.

** Make it VEGAN by omitting the chicken, using Veggie Shreds Mozzarella and clicking HERE for recipes for “mock” Ricotta or using tofu for the ricotta.

While you cook your chicken in a pan with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic Salt & Pepper….


Make up your filling and boil your noodles according to the box directions.


Spray a 9x13 pan with your olive oil mister (nonstick spray) and spread a small layer of your marinara sauce ~ 1/2-3/4 cup. To make things easy, I used my FAVORITE Trader Joe’s Starter Sauce. This sauce is fantastic on meatball subs, pasta and in soups.

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Stuff your shells and place them in the pan.


Top with remaining sauce.


And remaining cheeses.


Bake at 350 for ~ 30 minutes.

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During the last 10 minutes, I cranked the heat up to 400 and added my favorite frozen All Natural Garlic Bread by Alexia. It’s only 2 Weight Watcher Points per 2 slice serving!

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To add more fiberful filling veggies to our meal, I made up a fantastic “Italian” salad with these awesome Trader Joe’s Marinated Mushrooms ~ 0 Weight Watcher Points for 1/3 cup!


We used the juice from the mushrooms for our dressing instead of the planned Balsamic Vinaigrette I had planned on making.


* Organic Romaine

* 1 Tbsp sprinkle lowfat mozzarella cheese

* Organic Yellow Pepper

* Organic Grape Tomatoes

* Organic Cucumber

* 1/8th Organic Avocado

* 1/4 Marinated Mushrooms

I had TWO stuffed shells with extra sauce on top. They are even better the next day – yeah for not having to cook tomorrow!


Plus 2 slices of garlic bread!


All together with Orange Fizzy Water. I probably should have eaten only one shell because I am over the top full now. Bummer for no Vanilla Bean Froyo for dessert :(


I am sad our long weekend is all over – I wish we had just ONE more day! I am off to read, relax and get to bed early. I hope the week isn’t long next week after my short weeks the past few weeks *sigh*

Tuesday is the last day to enter my Amazing Grass giveaway. Click HERE before it’s too late.

Nite all!


  1. yummy - you're so lucky you get leftovers....

  2. The shells look sooooo good! I think they would also be lovely with some feta or goat cheese mixed in as well. (If your as much into feta and goat cheese as I am. :)

    Glad to see you like the Amazing Grass. I am dying to try this so that is why my fingers are crossed so hard that I win your giveaway!!!

    Have a great week!

  3. That garlic bread sounds SO GOOD! I haven't had that stuff in ages. Thanks for the veggie substitutions - I appreciate it :)

  4. That looks delicious Danica! How do you always manage to make such good looking food? My mouth is watering... :D~

  5. YUM! I'll have to make these sometime soon, what a great recipe.

  6. Janetha ~ cheese + pasta = amazingly good!

    The Actor's Diet ~ I LOVE leftovers. That is the only bummer about blogging, I think you all would disown me if I had leftovers all week long :) But, they do freeze nice for other nights when you don't feel like cooking at all.

    Lauren ~ that sounds like a fantastic idea - I bet it would really add to the flavor. Good luck in the contest.

    K ~ I LOVE garlic bread too! I actually want to try out the vegan substitutions for sure.

    Jess ~ Thanks - it is mouth watering good. You should try this one out for sure. You can even make 1/2 and freeze half for another time.

    Danielle ~ Yeah - can't wait to hear what you think!

  7. Ooh, those shells look restaurant quality! So delicious :D I love garlic bread, and your full meal looks incredible!

  8. anything italian with the name "cheesy" in it's title is pretty much guaranteed to be delicious -- thanks for the recipe, Danica!

  9. I am so gonna have to try these shells, they look so yummy!

  10. Anne ~ Awww - thanks for the compliment! They are as delicious as they look!

    Jenny ~ Um, ya, I totally agree - I couldn't live without cheese!

    Kristi ~ You definitely need to try them - so easy to make and the leftovers are awesome. I LOVE nights I don't have to cook!

  11. Just made these and they are really good. I used a little less spinach and as a short cut I used the Tyson fully cooked grilled chicken strips, just popped them in the microwave and cut them up into small chunks. And for the sauce I used Ragu tomato & basil spaghetti sauce. I had been making stuffed shells with ground beef but this was a welcome change.

  12. Gina ~ Yeah, so glad you made this and liked it. I LOVE your spin on it - I need to try that when I am in a time crunch.