MEXICAN CHICKEN STUFFED SHELLS

Kick your weeknight dinners up a notch with these deliciously zesty mexican stuffed shells!

PREP TIME; 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME; 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 12 servings

YOU’LL NEED:

4 C. 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, diced
3 (8-Oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
2 Cans diced tomatoes with chiles
1/4 to 1/2 C. chicken stock
1 Tsp. cumin
1 1/2 C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C. of picante sauce
38 Large pasta shells, cooked al dente

HOW TO MAKE:

1-Cook pasta shells in well salted, boiling water until al dente.
2-If you cook them too long, they will be difficult to stuff, plus they will have additional cooking time, once they are stuffed.
3-Drain the pasta and set aside while you make the filling.
4-Cook, drain and dice enough chicken breast to make 4 cups.
5-I always have homemade chicken stock and pre-cooked diced chicken bagged in my freezer.
6- You could use canned chicken broth if you prefer.
7-To make the filling, mix diced chicken, drained black beans, green onions, diced peppers, and cumin in a large mixing bowl.
8-Thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients.
9-In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, chicken stock and undrained tomatoes with chiles.
10-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.)
11-Spread 3/4 cup picante sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. (I used one 13x18x2-inch dish, but two 9×13-inch dishes should also work.) 12-Reserve the final 1/4 cup for later.
13-Using a spoon, or your fingers, fill each of your cooked and cooled pasta shells, setting them into the picante covered pan.
14-Continue until all shells are filled and arranged in the pan.
15-When the pan is full, drizzle the shells with the remaining 1/4 cup of picante and then sprinkle with the shredded cheddar cheese.
16-Cover the baking pan tightly with foil and bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

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