Chicken And Stuffing Stuffed Shells

With a new school year fast approaching in less than 3 weeks we’ve been gearing up for all the practices, homework, and after school activities that will be beating down our door. In anticipation of all that, and my candle burning at both ends until we reestablish a schedule, I’ve been stocking our deep freezer with some ready to heat and eat meals. I know there will be several nights, especially those first few weeks of September where I just won’t have the energy or the frame of mind left to cook in the evenings. However, the sons (and hubby too!) still need and deserve a hot and filling meal set on the table at dinner time. My freezer, my oven, and freezer-cooking in general will be my best friend and life-line that first month. Here’s to hoping I’m not being too ambitious in expecting us to be a well-oiled machine after only the first three weeks of school!

All that aside, if you’re just getting into freezer cooking or are an old pro at it, this meal is quick to prepare and tastes divine. Who wouldn’t want rich, comfort food after a busy day that had all the ‘work’ already done?! Pop these beauties in the oven, heat, and eat. These go great with a side salad, and a green veggie!

Chicken And Stuffing Stuffed Shells

4 Sons 'R' Us: Chicken & Stuffing Stuffed Shells

recipe adapted from Kraft Recipes

  • 2 boxes of chicken flavored stuffing, cooked
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, sauteed (optional)
  • 1 box of jumbo shells; cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook stuffing following package directions.
  2. Add chicken breast, stirring to combine, and set aside.
  3. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray. Stuff shells with the stuffing mixture and place in prepared dish, open and facing down.
  4. Heat the soup, milk and water in a sauce pan, stirring until evenly combined. Pour over top of the stuffed shells.
  5. Bake 35 minutes.
  6. Take out of oven and sprinkle with Swiss cheese.
  7. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
  8. Let sit 5 min before serving. Enjoy!

For Freezer Cooking:

Stop after step 3, except instead of putting the stuffed shells into a prepared baking sheet, place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Place sheet in freezer. When the shells are frozen, transfer them to a ziplocking bag. Store in your freezer. When ready to eat, thaw the shells and proceed from Step 3, this time placing them in the prepared dish.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

Are you wondering what you’re going to do with the abundance of leftovers after Easter dinner Sunday? Ham sandwiches or biscuits can only go so far. Dice that ham up and save it! This soup is delicious and is a perfect way to make use of those saved leftovers. I loved that it gave us the chicken cordon bleu taste we were craving, in a cheaper and easier form. I served it with some oatmeal pull-apart rolls, and every one of my guys had two bowls. There were no leftovers!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

4 Sons 'R' Us: Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

  •  2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, about 1 cup diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 5 medium russet potatoes,washed, peeled, and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 cup shredded chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup ham, diced

Directions

  1. Place washed, peeled, and cubed potatoes into a large pot and add the chicken broth. Cover.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. In a separate pot, or pan, melt butter. Add onions and saute until soft.
  4. Add garlic, and saute 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add flour to the pan and whisk together with the onions and garlic. Let the mixture cook about 1 minute.
  6. Slowly add the milk, a 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly. The only lumps you should see should be the onions.
  7. Continue adding milk and whisking constantly until all the milk has been evenly incorporated.
  8. Bring the roux to a simmer and let it heat until thickened, about 5 minutes, whisking often.
  9. Add the thickened roux to the potatoes and chicken broth in the large pot.
  10. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes in the pot until there’s minimal chunks.
  11.  Turn the heat to low, and add the chicken and ham.
  12. Add salt and pepper to soup to taste.
  13. When heated through, add the swiss and stir until melted and evenly incorporated.
  14. Serve.