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Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells Casserole

Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells Casserole with Spring Veggies

healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

Indulge in the creamy, comforting flavors of Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells Casserole with Spring Veggies. This delightful dish combines tender pasta shells stuffed with a rich mixture of chicken, cheese, and spring vegetables, all smothered in creamy Alfredo sauce. It’s a perfect recipe for a family dinner, showcasing the freshness of seasonal veggies while providing a hearty, satisfying meal.

Ingredients:

  • 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (a great way to use up leftovers)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (plus extra for topping)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Alfredo sauce, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 cup spring vegetables of choice (asparagus, peas, and carrots work wonderfully), blanched
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions:

1. Preheat the Oven:

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

2. Cook the Pasta Shells:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the jumbo pasta shells and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Prepare the Filling:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked, shredded chicken, ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, and the lightly beaten egg. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

4. Add Seasonings and Veggies:

Stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Gently fold in the blanched spring vegetables (asparagus, peas, and carrots), ensuring they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

5. Stuff the Shells:

Using a spoon, carefully stuff each cooked pasta shell with the chicken and cheese mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the prepared baking dish in a single layer.

6. Add Alfredo Sauce:

Pour the Alfredo sauce evenly over the stuffed shells, ensuring they are well coated. Sprinkle additional shredded mozzarella cheese on top for a cheesy finish.

7. Bake the Casserole:

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

8. Garnish and Serve:

Once baked, remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley before serving.

Cook’s Tips:

  • Blanching Vegetables: To blanch the spring vegetables, simply boil them for 2-3 minutes, then immediately transfer them to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. This helps retain their bright color and crisp texture.
  • Homemade Alfredo Sauce: If you prefer homemade Alfredo sauce, you can make it by melting 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring frequently.

Variations:

  • Protein Swap: Substitute cooked turkey or ham for the chicken for a different flavor profile.
  • Veggie Options: Feel free to add other vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, or zucchini to the filling.
  • Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the Alfredo sauce for a spicy twist.

FAQs:

  1. Can I make this dish ahead of time? Yes, you can assemble the casserole up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Add an additional 10-15 minutes to the baking time if baking straight from the refrigerator.
  2. Can I freeze the leftovers? Absolutely. Allow the casserole to cool completely, then cover tightly with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven.
  3. What can I serve with this casserole? This casserole pairs wonderfully with a fresh green salad, garlic bread, or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells Casserole with Spring Veggies is a delightful dish that brings together the creamy goodness of Alfredo sauce, tender chicken, and fresh spring vegetables. Perfect for a comforting family dinner or a special occasion, this casserole is sure to become a favorite in your household. Enjoy the burst of flavors and textures in every bite, and don’t forget to share this delicious recipe with your loved ones!

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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