A fun and easy twist on classic stuffed shells inspired by buffalo chicken wings! Here’s how we make stuffed shells with ground buffalo-style chicken, creamy ricotta and tangy blue cheese. Jump to the Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells Recipe or read on to see our tips for making them.
We couldn’t help ourselves. After Taco Stuffed Shells and Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells, we were craving another version of stuffed shells. Since Adam has been contriving various ways to make hot wings again, he suggested that all those flavors go into their own shell.
How to Make Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells
These shells are easy to make and come together quickly. The first step when making stuffed shells is to cook the shells. Look for large shells (sometimes sold as “jumbo”) and cook them in salted water. The package they came in will list how long to cook them (around 10 minutes). We like to reduce the cooking time by a minute to two, which leaves the shells slightly undercooked. That’s okay, though. Once we stuff them with our buffalo chicken filling and bake them, they will be perfect.
For the filling, cook ground chicken in some oil with garlic powder and diced celery. When the chicken is almost cooked, add buffalo sauce. You can use your favorite store-bought sauce or try our three ingredient buffalo wing sauce.
Add as much or little wing sauce as you like. It all depends on how spicy you’d like the chicken. To finish, stir in some ricotta, blue cheese crumbles and fresh parsley. Fill up the pasta shells and bake until the tips are beginning to brown.
Once the shells are filled, bake them in the oven until the tips are crispy. Then serve.
Recipe updated, originally posted January 2012. Since posting this in 2012, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells
These stuffed shells are perfect for dinner, but make the perfect appetizer when watching the game. The stuffing is not very gooey, so you can easily pick up a shell with your fingers and take a bite without mess. When making stuffed shells, add a few more dried pasta shells to the water than you will need since some will rip. The filling for this recipe should fill about 16 shells.
You Will Need
20 jumbo dried pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground chicken
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 celery sticks, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
6 to 8 tablespoons Frank’s cayenne pepper hot sauce
4 ounces ricotta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup), plus more for tops of shells
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the pasta shells then follow package directions for cooking the shells. Drain, and then rinse the shells with cold water.
3Meanwhile, heat olive oil a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. As the chicken cooks, use a wooden spoon to break the chicken up into small pieces in the pan. Stir in the garlic powder and celery then season with about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
4Take the pan off of the heat then stir in hot sauce, ricotta cheese, blue cheese, and parsley. (If you are sensitive to spicy food, it is a good idea to add about half of the hot sauce, taste, and then add more from there).
1Fill each shell with buffalo chicken filling and arrange into the baking dish. Scatter blue cheese on top. Bake until the tips of the shells begin to brown, about 25 minutes.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- The filling can be made in advance and should last in your refrigerator up to 3 days and in your freezer for about 3 months. We recommend using freezer-safe glass containers, or double layers of freezer bags. To thaw, leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
- Baked shells freeze well. Let them cool completely on a rack before freezing, and then wrap it well with foil (we use two layers). Defrost the frozen shells overnight in the refrigerator and then bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until heated through.
- Filled and unbaked shells can be made up to 1 day in advance. Cover the unbaked stuffed shells with foil then bake the next day in a 350 degree F oven.