How to Make Chicken and Rice Stuffed Shells
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- ½ cup white onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, picked
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¾ cup paella rice or arborio
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup tomatoes, chopped in juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups chicken stock, warmed
- 2 cups roasted chicken, shredded
- ½ cup roasted bell peppers, diced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup fresh ricotta
- 1 cup Manchego, grated and divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 30 jumbo shells, cooked al dente (about 1 box)
- 4 ounces mozzarella, torn or sliced
- 2 cups your favorite tomato sauce
- Basil and parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking dish with 1 and 3/4 cups of tomato sauce.
- Heat a skillet over medium to high heat, and drizzle with olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic until tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add thyme, smoked paprika and rice, seasoning with salt and pepper. Toast rice for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Deglaze pan with lemon juice and tomatoes, cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly stir in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender “al dente”, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- For the filling
- In a large bowl, place rice along with chicken, bell peppers, peas, ricotta, chopped parsley and a half cup of Manchego. Season mixture with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
- Spoon the filling into cooked shells, and arrange in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining tomato sauce, Manchego and mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve hot, garnishing with fresh chopped herbs on top. (Broil if needed