Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Turkey" Stuffed Shells

UPDATE:  Just had a friend tell me they added chopped up broccoli to the mix before stuffing the shells.  What a great way to add veggies if your family is picky.

Here's a recipe that will give you something to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers. My husband's aunt made this for us after I had surgery years ago. It's definitely a comfort-type food!

The original recipe calls for jumbo shells, but because I get lazy or sometimes am in a hurry, I've substituted various types of pasta for the shells (ditalini, penne, "mini lasagna" noodles) and turned it into a casserole. (See photo at bottom of post.)

Chicken Stuffed Shells

1 box jumbo shells (cooked al dente)
1 box stuffing mix
1 c mayonnaise
1 1/2 - 2 c chicken breast (cooked and diced)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 "can" milk (fill one of soup cans), divided
1 - 16 oz pkg shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease 9x13 pan.
2. Mix together stuffing, mayo, cream of mushroom soup, 3/4 of the milk and 1 cup cheese in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Using a spoon, scoop the stuffing mixture into the shell and place in the baking pan. (Don't know if I've ever ended even using all the shells.)
4. Stir cream of chicken soup and remainder of the milk. (I use the mixing bowl to save on dishes.) Pour over stuffed shells. Sprinkle cheese on top.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until warmed through. (I prefer to cover with foil for 10-15 minutes, then remove for the remaining time. This keeps it from drying out but allows for some time to lightly brown.)

I have made a whole recipe and split it between two smaller pans and froze one for later. A 9x13 is a lot for us. Plus it saves on the work for later. Can also make earlier in the day and just put it in the oven at dinner time.

Recipe from Marlene Lott.
To make into a casserole: Mix all ingredients except 1 cup of cheese. Scoop all into a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake for 20-25 mintues.

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