One thing that I love about blogging is finding new recipes. I found this recipe along the way. It is called Mexican Chicken Stuffed Pasta Shells. It can be found at Busy at Home. Please check out her blog and her wonderful cooking recipes. I found it through a secret recipe project that looks fun. I just need to hurry up so I can have 60 recipes posted so I may join. YEAH... just my type of thing....
First of all, I have a hard time following a recipe beginning to end. I have to find a way to make it mine. This recipe was fantastic how it was, but I needed to adapt it to my version and what my family would love and is used to... (me tinkering in the kitchen with recipes.)
This is the original recipe.... I will add at the bottom how I changed it to make it mine.
- 4 cups chicken breast, cooked and chopped
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 green onions, diced
- 1/2 each of red, green, yellow, & orange bell peppers (or 2 whole bell peppers of your choice), diced
- 3 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
- 2 cans diced tomatoes with chiles (don’t drain) (Rotel or store brand, either works)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup of picante sauce
- 38 large pasta shells, cooked al dente
- Cook pasta shells in well salted, boiling water until al dente (still have a little bite to them) If you cook them too long, they will be difficult to stuff, plus they will have additional cooking time, once they are stuffed. Drain the pasta and set aside while you make the filling.
- Cook, drain and dice enough chicken breast to make 4 cups. I always have homemade chicken stock and pre-cooked diced chicken bagged in my freezer. You could use canned chicken broth if you prefer.
- To make the filling, mix diced chicken, drained black beans, green onions, diced peppers, and cumin in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, chicken stock and undrained tomatoes with chiles. When thoroughly combined, pour it over the chicken mixture and mix well. (If you have trouble incorporating the cream cheese and tomatoes, you can heat it slightly in the microwave.)
- Spread 3/4 c. picante sauce in the bottom of a large baking pan. (I used 13x18x2, but I’m guessing that two 9×13′s would also work.) Reserve the final 1/4 cup, for later.
- Using a spoon, or your fingers, fill each of your cooked and cooled pasta shells, setting them into the picante covered pan. Continue until all shells are filled and arranged in the pan.
- When the pan is full, drizzle the shells with the remaining 1/4 cup of picante and then sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Cover the baking pan tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.