These Crack Chicken Stuffed Shells make the ultimate family favorite meal. Jumbo pasta shells are stuffed with tender chicken, bacon, cheese and mixed with a creamy sauce that has a delicious ranch flavor. The best part is this hearty meal is ready in an hour or less, perfect for busy weeknights.
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Crack Chicken Stuffed Shells Recipe
If you’re looking for the perfect comfort food, you’ve come to the right place! This amazing casserole recipe combines the best of both worlds; pasta, stuffed with a scrumptious bacon, ranch, chicken filling. To take things one addictively delicious step further, they’re smothered in a decadent cream sauce then baked until the cheese is nice and gooey.
This pasta dish makes six hearty portions, which is great for feeding the whole family. But, if you’re cooking for two, this recipe also freezes exceptionally well, which is great for those times when you need a last-minute meal.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Easy dinner recipe: Even though this is a rich and decadent meal, it’s super easy to make, using basic ingredients.
- Family favorite: This pasta dish is loaded with all the things the entire family will love. Bacon, chicken and pasta in a cheesy sauce, does it get any better?
- Great for meal prep: This dish is freezer safe, making it an awesome meal-prep recipe or make-ahead meal.
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- Large bowl
- Large non-stick skillet
- Jumbo pasta shells
- Shredded chicken breast
- Chicken broth
- Heavy cream
- Cream cheese
- Dry ranch dressing mix
- Colby jack cheese
- Cooked crispy bacon (crumbled)
- Salt and black pepper to taste (optional)
- Ranch dressing and fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
How to This Make Stuffed Shells Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step One: Boil the Shells
- Boil your pasta shells al dente or according to box directions, drain and set aside.
Step Two: Make Sauce
- In a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and whisk in the flour until it forms a paste.
- Whisk in the chicken stock and cream.
- Let cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add in the cream cheese and ranch seasoning mix and whisk until smooth.
- Place 1 cup of the sauce mix in the bottom of the casserole dish.
Step Three: Make Chicken Filling
- In a large bowl combine the shredded chicken with half of the cheese, half of the bacon and half of the scallions.
- Add 1 cup of the ranch sauce to the chicken mixture.
Step Four: Stuff the Pasta Shells
- Stuff each cooked shell with the chicken mixture and place in a single layer into the bottom of your baking dish.
Step Five: Top with Cheese and Bake
- Top the stuffed, cooked pasta shells with the remaining ranch sauce.
- Add the remaining cheese, bacon and scallions.
- Bake the casserole for 35-45 minutes until bubbly and golden.
- Drizzle with ranch dressing if desired.
Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole Variations
- Chicken: We used boiled chicken breast, but you can use chicken thighs if you prefer. Rotisserie chicken is also perfect for this recipe. Make the chicken ahead of time to make things easier the next day.
- Cheese: You can use any type of gooey cheese you like. You can mix melted cheeses like cheddar or mozzarella cheese with some parmesan cheese for a nice twist.
- Bacon: In a crunch for time, skip frying the bacon. You can use real store-bought bacon bits from the grocery store.
- Pasta: Skip stuffing shells and use penne or ziti. Crack chicken penne pasta is a great shortcut, and it doesn’t require any additional cooking time.
- Spice: The tangy ranch seasoning mix gives this dish plenty of flavor. But if you like a little kick of heat, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
Try our popular Crack Chicken Soup!
How Do I Store Leftovers?
Fridge: Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Freeze: You can also freeze it in a freezer safe dish covered with plastic wrap then with aluminum foil for up to a couple of months.
Why is Crack Chicken Called Crack Chicken?
Sometimes called bacon ranch chicken, Crack Chicken is so incredibly delicious that it’s addictive.
More Amazing Pasta Recipes
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Roasted Tomato Pasta
- Bang Bang Shrimp Pasta
- Leftover Turkey Casserole
- Classic Italian Lasagna
- Stuffed Pasta Shells
- Hamburger Casserole
Crack Chicken Stuffed Shells
- 12 ounce box jumbo pasta shells
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese 1 block
- 1 ounce dry ranch mix 1 packet
- 2 cups colby jack cheese divided
- 8 slices cooked crumbled bacon divided
- ¼ cup scallions divided
- ranch dressing and parsley for garnish optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Boil pasta shells according to box directions, drain and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat melt the butter and whisk in the flour until it forms a paste.
- Whisk in the chicken stock and cream and let simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add in the cream cheese and ranch dressing mix and whisk until smooth.
- Place 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a large bowl combine the shredded chicken with half of the cheese, half of the bacon, and half of the scallions.
- To the chicken mix add 1 cup of the ranch sauce.
- Stuff the shells with chicken mixture and place in rows in the prepared baking dish.
- Top the shells with the remaining ranch sauce. Then add remaining cheese and scallions.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.
- Drizzle with ranch dressing if desired.
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