Chicken and Sausage Shells – A family friendly casserole

I got this recipe from a good friend of mine Kim. She made her’s in manicotti pasta, but I always split them, so why not use something that is already split? SHELLS!!!

I love it because it has great texture and to me doesn’t seem as heavy as lasagna. The kids love it and hubs is always happy to have pasta. So everyone’s happy. You sure can’t beat that.

Lets get started shall we? While you have the oven preheating to 350 gather all your ingredients. Chicken and sausage shells

But if you are going to take pictures for your blog, do not turn your back on Mr. Steam your husband. Or this is what happens to your spinach and eggs.
Chicken and sausage shells

While the pasta is cooking, brown the sausage. Drain the sausage and put in a BIG mixing bowl.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Once the butter is melted add the flour and stir with a whisk. Cook the flour & butter for about 2 minutes. You need to cook out all the raw butter flavor. It will look all bubbly, you don’t want a lot of color. It should be very light tan.

Chicken and sausage shells

Pour in the milk slowly. It will turn into one big pasty glob…

Chicken and sausage shells

but don’t worry, keep stirring and adding the milk and it will turn back into a sauce.

Chicken and sausage shells

Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s at a boil cook for 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat and add 1/2 the Parmesan.

In the big bowl that has the sausage add the chicken, spinach & 1 c of the white sauce mix that up.  Then add the 2 eggs, 1/2 the moz cheese and mix.

Chicken and sausage shells

Place 1 c of the spaghetti sauce in the full 9×13 casserole and put 1/2 c of the spaghetti sauce in the 1/2 pan. It will be easier if you set up a little assembly line with a plate or chopping board to fill the shells on. It also will be easier to wait a few minutes for the shells to cool off a little (see that steam – OUCH!). If you drizzle a little olive oil on the shells that will keep them from sticking while they cool off.

Chicken and sausage shells

Fill the shells with the chicken and sausage mixture. I find it easiest to pinch the shells open and grab a table spoon or so of filling with my other hand. Believe me its easier to fill using your hands than a spoon.

Chicken and sausage shells

Place the filled shells on top of the red sauce in the pans.

Chicken and sausage shells

When both pans are full pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the top of the shells. Then pour the remaining white sauce.

Chicken and sausage shells

Top with the remaining moz and parm. Bake in 350 oven for 35-40 min or until bubbly.

Chicken and sausage shells

Let sit for a few minutes to set up before serving.

Chicken and sausage shells

Chicken & Sausage Shells

This recipe makes 1 1/2 pans of shells.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg large shells
  • 1 lb Italian sausage browned and drained
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese
  • 4 c diced cooked chicken (1 rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 pk frozen chopped spinach – thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 4 c spaghetti sauce (2 26 oz jar)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Cook the shells according to the package directions.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, brown the sausage. Drain the sausage and put in a BIG mixing bowl.
  4. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Once the butter is melted add the flour and stir with a whisk. Cook the flour & butter for about 2 minutes. You need to cook out all the raw butter flavor.
  5. Pour in the milk slowly. Don’t worry it will turn all pasty, but keep stirring and adding the milk it will turn back into a sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s at a boil cook for 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat and add 1/2 the Parmesan.
  6. In the big bowl that has the sausage add the chicken, spinach & 1 c of the white sauce mix that up.  Then add the 2 eggs, 1/2 the moz cheese and mix.
  7. Place 1 c of the spaghetti sauce in the full 9×13 casserole and put 1/2 c of the spaghetti sauce in the 1/2 pan. Fill the shells and put in the pan.
  8. When both pans are full pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the top of the shells. Then pour the remaining white sauce down the center of the shells.
  9. Top with the remaining moz and parm. Bake in 350 oven for 35-40 min or until bubbly. Let sit for a few minutes to set up before serving.
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About NotYourNormalSteam

I love to make things, food, paper, fabric, the medium doesn’t really matter. I am also an obsessive planner. The day after Christmas I am already working out plans for the next year.
This entry was posted in Fantabulous Food, Rewarding Recipies and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Chicken and Sausage Shells – A family friendly casserole

  1. i totally just pinned this!

  2. dawnchrist says:

    Looks so good! I envy your cheesy happiness ;))

  3. ldome says:

    going to try this

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