These Chicken Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells are a crave-able dinner perfect for busy weeknights! Make a double batch and freeze half for later!
This post is part of my partnership with Kroger but all the opinions are, as always, mine!
I can’t believe the back to school season is right around the corner! Every year I think I’m going to be prepared and some how that all goes out the window. It’s great to have some time to myself during the day to work and enjoy the quiet, but I do miss my little monkeys while they’re school. Dinner is my favorite time of day during the school year. We sit around the table, catch up with each other about our days, and enjoy a delicious meal. Since my family shares my jalapeno and bacon obsession, I’m making dinner extra special and serving up this crazy good Chicken Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells recipe!
CHICKEN JALAPENO POPPER STUFFED SHELLS
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I don’t know about you, but every extra minute I can buy myself is a win in my book. Between running my boys to school, going to work, hitting the gym, taking meetings, and housework I can get a little overwhelmed. One of my favorite ways to save time during the day is Kroger’s ClickList program. I can shop right from my phone or computer anywhere…including the gym while I’m on the treadmill. It’s awesome. Then I schedule a pickup time that works for me like right after I get the boys from school when I know I’m already going to be out and about.
When I get to the Kroger store, I pull up, call the number on the sign, and one of the Kroger team brings out my groceries. They even load them up for me! Then they review my bill with me and let me know if any substitutions were made for the items on my list. It takes all of about 5 mins from the time I pull up and call before I’m on my way again. It’s the BEST! I save an hour (my usual shopping time) and get to spend that time with my family. And since I shopped online, I don’t have everyone in the family asking for things we probably don’t really need while we walk around the store. I order what’s on the list, and that’s what we get. If I forget anything, there’s even a window to add more items. I’m notorious for forgetting things on my shopping list, so this is a big help.
As much as I like finding ways to make my day easier, I also adore easy to make recipes. These Chicken Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells absolutely fall into that category. To help cut down on cooking and prep time I use a rotisserie chicken from Kroger. It’s full of flavor and ready to go right when I get home from picking up our ClickList order. Then, I make the sauce, cook the bacon, and boil the pasta all at the same time. They’re done within minutes of each other and I’m ready to assemble the shells. You could also use the pre-cooked bacon crumbles if you want to cut down on your stove top usage. I’m all about making things easier.
Once the shells are stuffed and covered in sauce & cheese, you can stop and wrap this dish in foil and freeze it for an easy weeknight option. Or even double this recipe to have one batch tonight and one later. Simply transfer the pan from the freezer to the fridge the night before or the morning of the day you want to have this meal for dinner. It’ll thaw and be ready to pop in the oven at dinner time. It’s the perfect meal for moms (and dads!) on the go. I’ve even made these shells in the morning when I know I won’t be home for dinner and left them in the fridge for my husband to bake that night. My whole family raves about this dish and I know yours will too!
Want more chicken dinner recipes?
- Skinny Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
- Cheddar Bay Chicken Bake
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole Recipe
- Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole
- Teriyaki Chicken & Vegetables
- More dinner recipes…
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups Kroger half-and-half
- 7 strips Kroger thick-cut bacon
- One 12-ounce package jumbo shells pasta
- 16 ounces Kroger Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups Kroger sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed & shredded (about 3 cups)
- 1 jalapeno, cut into rings (seeds removed, optional)
- Crumbled bacon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add butter and cook until just melted. Add the jalapeno and garlic to the butter. Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly until fragrant. Add flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly pour the half-and-half into the pot whisking constantly to help prevent lumps. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the bacon strips in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning as needed, until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Once cool enough to handle chop the bacon into small pieces.
- While the bacon & sauce cooks, place the jumbo shells in a pot of boiling water and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add the Neufchatel cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese. Use a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula to stir until combined.
- Add the shredded chicken and 2/3 of the bacon to the cheeses. Stir to combine.
- Add 1/3 of the jalapeno cream sauce (it's fine that the sauce is still warm) and stir until combined. The sauce will help loosen the cream cheese mixture.
- Pour 1/3 of the jalapeno cream sauce into a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish. Spread into an even layer.
- Use a spoon to stuff the jumbo pasta shells with the chicken jalapeno popper filling. Don't be afraid to add a generous amount of filling. Arrange the stuffed shells in the prepared baking dish until filled.
- Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells. Sprinkle the rest of the cheddar cheese over the shells.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheddar cheese is melted and the filling is warmed through.
- Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven. Immediately top the pasta with the jalapeno rings and reserved bacon. Serve immediately.
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