Homemade Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Cheesy chicken and broccoli alfredo stuffed shells! There’s a lot to love here, including the simple, homemade alfredo sauce that takes this meal straight over the top.

Homemade Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Oh boy. These last couple weeks have been kicking my trash in a BIG way.

Thanks for your patience as I’ve been a little negligent in getting newsletters sent out (an exclusive recipe coming at you this week in the newsletter to make up for it!).

And, if you’ve been waiting with bated breath (ha!) for the last week of pie making boot camp…it’ll be up tomorrow! There will be a super cute and handy printable to go along with everything we’ve been talking about the last few weeks.

This time of year is the best of times and the busiest of times.

I kind of hate that, but I’m also trying to find a way to embrace it as I learn how to live on four hours sleep while experimenting to see how long dark chocolate can sustain a person as I figure out how to once and for all stop taking on big projects that suck the life out of me.

It’s all good stuff. Just busy stuff.

I have a feeling you know what I mean.

Homemade Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

Hopefully this amazing recipe for chicken and broccoli alfredo stuffed shells is just what we all need to forge through the busy fall/holiday months.

This meal has become a fast favorite.

Which is really no surprise considering I’ve told you many times how my children would willingly slurp that homemade alfredo sauce through a straw if I let them.

That’s what makes up the flavor profile of this dish. Homemade alfredo sauce.

It’s creamy, garlicky, cheesy, and straight up delicious.

Homemade Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

I altered the alfredo sauce recipe just a bit from the archives to help thicken it up as a perfect accompaniment to the stuffed shells.

The combination of creamy alfredo sauce, tender chicken, fresh broccoli, pasta, and lots of cheese (mozz and Parm!) is heavenly.

I’ve given some notes in the recipe on ways to streamline this recipe.

Or in other words, how multi-tasking can save your weeknight dinner life.

Homemade Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

The best of all news is that these alfredo stuffed shells can be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated to bake later.

I haven’t tried freezing the unbaked dish, but I have made the shells a day in advance to bake later, and the result was perfect.

If you love the chicken alfredo flavors (amped up with a little fresh broccoli), I think you’ll love this dish.

It makes a perfect take-in meal!

Just be sure to double the recipe, so you have some for yourself! That’d be a sad day to part with all the delectable chicken and broccoli alfredo stuffed shells.

A very sad day indeed.

Homemade Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

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Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

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Ingredients:

Alfredo Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened and cubed into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Shells + Filling:

  • 30 large (jumbo) pasta shells (most of a 12 ounce box)
  • 3 cups finely chopped broccoli (about 8 ounces), steamed (see note)
  • 3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works great here or this easy method)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch pan (or slightly smaller) and set aside.
  2. For the alfredo sauce, heat the butter in a medium saucepan until melted. Stir in the flour and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute until fragrant and sizzling. Add the cream cheese and stir or whisk until the mixture is melted and smooth. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly, and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Add the Parmesan cheese and cook until the sauce is thickened and bubbly.
  3. For the pasta, cook the shells according to package directions until al dente. Drain. Lay the pasta shells in a single layer on a baking sheet or parchment paper so they don’t stick together.
  4. For the filling, in a medium bowl, add the steamed (and drained) broccoli, chicken, mozzarella cheese, and ONE CUP of the homemade alfredo sauce. Mix together.
  5. Spread 1/3 of the sauce (doesn’t have to be exact) in the prepared pan.
  6. Fill each of the cooked pasta shells with an even amount of the filling and place side-by-side in the baking dish. Pour the rest of the sauce over the shells and sprinkle the 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese over the top.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let the shells rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

You can streamline this recipe a bit: first, while the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Multi-task, friends! Also, instead of steaming the broccoli separately (I usually place the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water or so, cover with plastic wrap, and cook in the microwave for 3-4 minutes and then drain), you can try tossing the broccoli into the pasta water the last couple minutes of cooking the pasta. The broccoli will most likely float and can be scooped out with a slotted spoon before draining the pasta. 

I know it’s annoying to use “most” of a box of pasta, but that’s how it almost always works out when I make this dish (I’m guessing we like the pasta shells packed with filling). If you want to use the whole box, just increase the filling ingredients slightly or don’t fill the shells quite as full.

This dish can easily be made and assembled ahead of time, covered, and refrigerated until ready to bake (12-24 hours in advance). I’d suggest increasing the baking time by 10-15 minutes to account for the chilled pasta dish. I haven’t tried freezing. 

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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe