Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cheesey Chicken Shells

I've been participating in a recipe swap with some friends; it's been such a great experience, since I'm always looking to add to my repertoire but also because it forces me to make dishes I never would have considered otherwise.  This week's category was chicken.  I have to admit, I was really happy that this had chicken not quite as the star of the dish.

This comes from Pam's blog, My Healthy Indulgence, and she got it from Weight Watchers.  If this is in fact, a "diet" recipe, sign me up because it absolutely does not taste anything but decadent.  It could've been the sauce.

I found myself without marinara sauce, which NEVER happens around.  I always stock up on the Francesco Rinaldi when it's 99 cents, and failing that, have a batch of homemade in the freezer.  Not tonight, it seems!  When Classico goes on sale, I try to pick up a few jars of their Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo, because BAJ loves it for Chicken Alfredo.  I figured I'd give it a shot here, and wow, it was freakin fantastic.  Look for this.  Definitely not as figure friendly as marinara, but......

I used twelve jumbo pasta shells, but wish I'd made at least 15 of them.  I had filling left, and we could have eaten another one each and E could probably have eaten another three.

Cheesy Chicken Shells

12 jumbo uncooked manicotti shells (I use shells for regular stuffed shells, not manicotti)
1 1/2 c. favorite tomato sauce
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
4 oz. chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 tsp. garlic powder
15oz container part skim ricotta
1 tbsp. oregano
1T Italian seasoning
1t crushed red pepper flakes
3/4c. part skim shredded mozzerella
1/3 c. grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook shells according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

Coat a 9x13 pan with spray. Spread 1/2 c. sauce over the bottom. 

For the filling, in a large bowl stir together egg whites, ricotta, chicken, garlic powder. Stir in 1/4 c. each of mozzerella & parmesan cheeses. 

Spoon mixture into shells & place in dish. Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake 30 minutes.

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