Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells Recipe

Looking for a comforting and hearty dish that's a little bit different? This chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells recipe is a wonderful blend of flavors that come together to create a truly satisfying meal. The creamy homemade alfredo sauce pairs perfectly with the tender chicken and fresh broccoli, all encased in jumbo pasta shells. This recipe is sure to be a hit with everyone at your dinner table.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are commonly found in most supermarkets, however, there are a couple that you might need to specifically look for. The first is jumbo shells, which are larger than regular pasta shells and are perfect for stuffing. The second is heavy whipping cream, which is thicker and richer than regular cream and is used to make the alfredo sauce. Lastly, you'll need fresh broccoli florets, not the frozen ones, for optimum flavor and texture.

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells Ingredients

Butter: Used for the base of the alfredo sauce, it adds richness and flavor.

Heavy whipping cream: This is the main liquid for the alfredo sauce, it's thick and creamy.

Cream cheese: Adds extra creaminess to the alfredo sauce.

Garlic: Adds a punch of flavor to the sauce.

Italian seasoning: Gives the sauce an Italian flair.

Salt and pepper: Used for seasoning.

Parmesan cheese: Adds a salty, nutty flavor to the sauce.

Jumbo shells: The vessel for the chicken and broccoli mixture.

Chicken: Provides protein and substance to the dish.

Mozzarella cheese: Melts to create a gooey, cheesy layer.

Broccoli florets: Adds a fresh, earthy component to counterbalance the rich sauce.

One reader, Evangelia Hill says:

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This chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells recipe is a game-changer! The creamy alfredo sauce perfectly complements the tender chicken and broccoli, creating a mouthwatering combination. The dish is easy to prepare and always impresses my guests. It's a definite winner for any dinner occasion!

Evangelia Hill

Techniques Required for Making Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

How to make homemade alfredo: Melt butter, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in minced garlic, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add grated parmesan cheese and simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened.

How to stuff the shells: In a bowl, mix shredded chicken, mozzarella cheese, broccoli, and 1 1/2 cups of homemade alfredo. Stuff each cooked jumbo shell with the mixture.

How to bake the stuffed shells: Pour the remaining alfredo over the stuffed shells in a 9x13 inch pan. Top with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until heated through and bubbly.

How to serve: Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired before serving.

How To Make Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Enjoy a fully loaded meal by whipping up this alfredo stuffed shells, packed with chicken and broccoli tossed in a creamy sauce, then baked til’ golden.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Homemade Alfredo:

  • ¼cupbutter
  • 2cupsheavy whipping cream
  • 4ozcream cheese
  • ½tspgarlic,minced
  • 1tspgarlic powder
  • 1tspItalian seasoning
  • ¼tspsalt
  • ¼tsppepper
  • 1cupparmesan cheese,grated

For Shell:

  • 12ozjumbo shells,(1 box)
  • 2cupschicken,cooked, shredded
  • cupsmozzarella cheese,divided
  • 12ozbroccoli florets,(1 bag), steamed, chopped
  • salt and pepper,to taste
  • fresh grated parmesan,for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Homemade Alfredo:

  1. In a medium saucepan add the butter, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat and whisk until melted.

  2. Add the minced garlic, garlic powder, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until smooth. Add the grated parmesan cheese.

  3. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat.

  4. Pour 1 cup of the homemade alfredo into the bottom of the 9×13 inch pan.

Shell:

  1. Cook the jumbo shells according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.

  2. In a medium sized bowl add the shredded chicken, 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, broccoli, and 1½ cups of homemade alfredo. Stir and stuff each shell with mixture. Place in the prepared 9×13 inch pan.

  3. Pour remaining alfredo on top of the shells and top with ½ cup of mozzarella cheese.

  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

  5. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, serve, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 976.31kcal
  • Fat: 83.95g
  • Saturated Fat: 49.80g
  • Trans Fat: 0.36g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 24.52g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.28g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.52g
  • Fiber: 1.12g
  • Sugar: 4.16g
  • Protein: 45.97g
  • Cholesterol: 298.04mg
  • Sodium: 1259.21mg
  • Calcium: 1042.30mg
  • Potassium: 525.44mg
  • Iron: 2.06mg
  • Vitamin A: 830.11µg
  • Vitamin C: 54.23mg

Essential Technique for Perfect Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

When stuffing the jumbo shells with the chicken, mozzarella cheese, and broccoli mixture, be careful not to overfill them. Overfilled shells can easily break or spill their contents while baking. A good technique is to use a small spoon to carefully spoon the mixture into each shell. This will give you more control over the amount of filling in each shell and help prevent breakage. Also, placing the filled shells seam side up in the baking dish will help keep the filling inside the shells during baking.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the homemade alfredo sauce and cook the chicken in advance to save time when assembling the stuffed shells.

Use pre-cooked chicken: Utilize store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken to cut down on cooking time.

Buy pre-cut broccoli: Opt for pre-cut broccoli florets to eliminate the need for chopping, saving valuable prep time.

Use a piping bag: Fill the shells with the chicken and broccoli alfredo mixture using a piping bag for a quicker and more efficient process.

Double the batch: Make a double batch of stuffed shells and freeze the extras for a convenient future meal.

Substitute Ingredients For Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells Recipe

  • Butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can provide a similar richness and flavor to the dish while reducing the saturated fat content.

  • Heavy whipping cream - Substitute with coconut cream: Coconut cream can add a creamy texture and richness to the dish while also providing a hint of coconut flavor.

  • Cream cheese - Substitute with silken tofu blended with lemon juice and salt: This alternative can provide a creamy texture and a tangy flavor similar to cream cheese.

  • Garlic powder - Substitute with minced garlic: Using fresh minced garlic can enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish.

  • Jumbo shells - Substitute with cannelloni tubes: Cannelloni tubes can be stuffed and baked similarly to jumbo shells, providing a different shape while holding the filling.

  • Shredded chicken - Substitute with shredded turkey: Shredded turkey can offer a similar texture and flavor to the dish.

  • Mozzarella cheese - Substitute with provolone cheese: Provolone cheese can provide a similar mild and creamy flavor while melting well in the dish.

  • Broccoli florets - Substitute with cauliflower florets: Cauliflower can offer a similar texture and absorb the flavors of the dish while providing a different taste.

  • Parmesan cheese - Substitute with Pecorino Romano cheese: Pecorino Romano cheese can provide a similar salty and tangy flavor to the dish.

Presentation Tips for Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells, ensure that the shells are neatly arranged on the plate, with the alfredo sauce drizzled elegantly over the top. The presentation should be visually appealing and inviting, with attention to detail in the arrangement of the stuffed shells.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle the dish with freshly chopped parsley or basil to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor. The vibrant green hues of the herbs will contrast beautifully with the creamy alfredo sauce, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the dish.

  3. Incorporate edible flowers: Introduce a touch of sophistication by delicately placing edible flowers, such as nasturtiums or borage, on the plate. The addition of these floral accents will lend a touch of elegance and refinement to the presentation, elevating the overall dining experience.

  4. Utilize fine dining plating techniques: Employ meticulous plating techniques, such as quenelle shaping for the alfredo sauce or using precision tweezers to position microgreens, to showcase the attention to detail and culinary artistry in the presentation of the chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells.

  5. Create a harmonious color palette: Consider the color composition of the dish and aim to create a visually harmonious presentation. The vibrant green of the broccoli, the creamy white alfredo sauce, and the golden-brown hues of the stuffed shells should come together to form an aesthetically pleasing color scheme on the plate.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Stuffed Shells

  • Mixing bowls: These come in various sizes and are essential for mixing ingredients, marinating, and storing food.

  • Whisk: Used for blending, whipping, and beating ingredients together to achieve a smooth and even consistency.

  • Saucepan: Ideal for making sauces, heating liquids, and cooking small batches of food.

  • 9x13 inch baking pan: Perfect for baking and roasting dishes like the chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells.

  • Cooking spray: Used to prevent food from sticking to pans and baking dishes.

  • Colander: Essential for draining and rinsing the jumbo shells and broccoli florets.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: For accurately measuring ingredients.

  • Cheese grater: Used to grate fresh parmesan cheese for the recipe.

  • Oven: For baking the stuffed shells until heated through and bubbly.

Storage and Freezing Instructions for Stuffed Shells

  • Allow the chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will prevent condensation from forming and making the shells soggy.

  • To store in the refrigerator, place the cooled shells in an airtight container or cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. They will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

  • For freezing, you have two options:

    • Freeze the entire baking dish: Cover the cooled dish with a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Label the dish with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 2-3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the dish overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through and bubbly.
    • Freeze individual portions: Divide the cooled stuffed shells into single-serving containers or freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible from the bags before sealing. Label the containers or bags with the date and contents, and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw the desired number of portions overnight in the refrigerator, then microwave or bake until heated through.
  • If you plan to freeze the shells, it's best to slightly undercook them during the initial baking process. This will help prevent them from becoming overcooked and mushy when reheated.

  • When reheating frozen stuffed shells, be sure to cover the dish with foil to prevent the tops from burning before the centers are heated through. You may need to increase the reheating time by 10-15 minutes compared to refrigerated shells.

How To Reheat Leftover Stuffed Shells

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover stuffed shells in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the shells are heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. This method helps to retain the moisture in the shells and prevents them from drying out.

  • If you have a microwave-safe dish with a lid, you can reheat the chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells in the microwave. Place the shells in the dish, cover it with the lid or plastic wrap (leaving a small vent for steam to escape), and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Check the temperature and continue heating in 30-second intervals until the shells are heated through.

  • For a crispy top, you can reheat the stuffed shells in the oven, as mentioned above, but remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking. This will allow the cheese to brown and create a delicious, crispy crust on top of the shells.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat the stuffed shells. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the shells in the basket. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the shells are heated through and the cheese is melted. This method will also give you a crispy top without the need to use the oven.

  • For a stovetop method, place the stuffed shells in a covered skillet or saucepan over low heat. Add a splash of water or chicken broth to the pan to create steam and prevent the shells from drying out. Heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the shells are heated through and the cheese is melted.

Random Fact About Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

The chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells recipe is a delicious and hearty dish that combines tender chicken, flavorful alfredo sauce, and nutritious broccoli stuffed inside jumbo shells. This recipe features a homemade alfredo sauce made with butter, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese, creating a rich and creamy base for the dish. The stuffed shells are then baked to perfection, creating a comforting and satisfying meal that's perfect for family dinners or gatherings.

Is Making Stuffed Shells at Home Cost-Effective?

This chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells recipe offers a good balance of cost-effectiveness. The use of common ingredients like chicken, broccoli, mozzarella cheese, and pasta keeps the overall cost reasonable. The homemade alfredo sauce adds a touch of luxury without breaking the bank. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $20-$25, making it a budget-friendly option. In terms of taste and satisfaction, this dish rates a solid 8 out of 10. It's a comforting and flavorful meal that offers great value for the price.

Is This Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

This chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. Here's why:

  • The alfredo sauce is made with heavy cream, butter, and cream cheese, which are all high in saturated fat and calories.
  • The recipe calls for a significant amount of cheese, including parmesan and mozzarella, which contributes to the high fat and calorie content.
  • The jumbo shells are made from refined flour, which lacks fiber and essential nutrients.

However, the recipe does include some nutritious ingredients, such as chicken (a lean protein source) and broccoli (a vitamin-rich vegetable).

To make this recipe healthier without compromising on taste, consider the following modifications:

  • Replace some of the heavy cream with low-fat milk or chicken broth to reduce the fat content.
  • Use whole wheat or vegetable-based pasta shells to increase the fiber and nutrient content.
  • Increase the amount of broccoli and add other vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers to boost the nutritional value.
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used in the recipe, or opt for low-fat varieties.
  • Use olive oil instead of butter to prepare the alfredo sauce, as it contains healthier fats.
  • Season the dish with more herbs and spices, such as basil, oregano, or red pepper flakes, to enhance the flavor without relying on excessive amounts of cheese and cream.

Editor's Opinion on This Delicious Stuffed Shells Recipe

The chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells recipe is a delightful combination of creamy alfredo sauce, tender chicken, and vibrant broccoli stuffed into jumbo shells. The homemade alfredo sauce is rich and flavorful, elevating the dish to a new level. The use of mozzarella and parmesan cheeses adds a delightful gooeyness and depth of flavor. The dish is easy to prepare and makes for a comforting and satisfying meal. It's a perfect choice for a family dinner or a gathering with friends.

Why trust this Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells Recipe:

This chicken broccoli alfredo stuffed shells recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. The homemade alfredo sauce, made with rich butter and creamy heavy whipping cream, ensures a luscious and indulgent taste. The inclusion of tender shredded chicken and vibrant broccoli infuses the dish with wholesome goodness. With the comforting embrace of gooey mozzarella cheese and the aromatic blend of garlic and italian seasoning, this recipe promises a satisfying and memorable dining experience. Trust in the harmonious blend of quality ingredients and expertly crafted flavors to elevate your culinary journey.

If you've tried this Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells recipe, we'd love to hear your thoughts and see your creations! Share your experience and discuss any tips or variations with fellow home cooks in the Recipe Sharing forum.
FAQ:
What can I use as a substitute for heavy whipping cream in the alfredo sauce?
You can substitute heavy whipping cream with half-and-half or a mixture of milk and melted butter for a lighter version of the alfredo sauce.
Can I prepare the stuffed shells in advance and bake them later?
Yes, you can prepare the stuffed shells in advance and refrigerate them. When ready to bake, simply pour the alfredo sauce over the shells, top with cheese, and bake as directed.
Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh broccoli in this recipe?
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli in this recipe. Just make sure to thaw and drain the frozen broccoli before mixing it with the other ingredients.
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
To make this recipe vegetarian, you can omit the chicken and use a mix of sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and artichokes as a delicious and hearty alternative.
Can I freeze the leftover stuffed shells?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover stuffed shells. Place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe dish, and they can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw and reheat in the oven.

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