Tim and I love buffalo sauce. Buffalo wings. Buffalo chicken dip. Buffalo burgers … wait … what?
But our favorite recipe ever is Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas. I have NO idea where I got the recipe from, but I make it two or three times a year because it is soooooo good, but sooooooo filling.
The other night I got the hankerin’ for these enchiladas, but I didn’t have any tortilla shells. What I DID have was giant pasta shells. So I improvised. And won.
So today I present to you: Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells! (Don’t mind the crappy photos. I have NO light in my kitchen and it gets dark fast these days)
The cast of characters:
We’ve got a couple (still frozen) chicken breasts, cream of chicken soup, shredded cheddar cheese, jumbo shells, buffalo wing sauce, and sour cream based ranch dip. I suppose ranch dressing would work in place of ranch dip, but it will make the sauce runnier.
First up, you want to cook and shred the chicken. I’m sure you could buy a cooked rotisserie chicken and shred that, or buy a couple cans of cooked chicken, but I like making my own chicken. I think it tastes better! The best way I’ve found to cook chicken to shred it is putting the chicken in a foil pouch like this:
I like to season the chicken with some pepper, garlic, and onion powder, but that’s not necessary. Bake it in the foil pouch at 425* for about 20-25 minutes. When it’s done, it will be nice and juicy and tender. SUPER easy to shred! Just grab two forks and go at it:
While the chicken is cooking, start boiling your pasta shells. I’m VERY careful when cooking shells, because I don’t want them all to break! I put them in the water one by one. I DO throw the broken pieces in the water, though. That way I have something I can use to taste for done-ness without having to eat an entire shell. Just BE CAREFUL when you stir them while boiling! DON’T use a pasta fork, just use a large plastic spoon, serrated if you have one, and stir slowly, gently, and infrequently while cooking. You’ll have less broken shells this way!
Ok, back to the chicken! Toss the chicken with your buffalo sauce. Use as much or as little sauce as you want, but remember, you’re going to make a creamy, ranchy sauce to help cool it off:
Next, mix together the can of cream of chicken soup and the ranch dip to make a thick sauce:
Now comes the fun part: stuffing the shells!
First add a spoonful of the ranch sauce. Then add a spoonful of the chicken. Top it off with a pinch of shredded cheese. Start lining up the shells in a 13×9 pan.
Repeat until the pan is completely full. Once the pan is full, top it off with the remaining cup or so of the ranch sauce:
Cover it with foil and bake it for about 45 minutes. It will be all bubbly and gooey! After 45 minutes, take off the foil and sprinkle it with MORE cheese. Throw it back in the oven for another 5 or so minutes to melt up the cheese.
I know, right?! It’s just as gooey and cheesy as it looks!
Pair it with some tasty steamed veggies and some apple slices:
Then maybe you can finish off the meal with some yummy Mississippi Mud brownies that you found in the pantry that you don’t ever remember buying but are SO glad you did:
These shells were DIVINE and a GREAT stick-to-your-ribs winter feast! Oh, and they heat up GREAT, too, which is good cause it makes TONS of left-overs!
Here’s the recipe:
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells
2-3 Chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 box cooked jumbo pasta shells
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 cup sour cream ranch dip
3/4 cup buffalo sauce
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped green onions
Cook and shred chicken, and boil shells until cooked. Heat oven to 350*. Spray a 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray. Toss chicken with buffalo sauce. Stir together soup, ranch dip, and 2/3 cup green onions. Reserve approx 1/2-1 cup of the ranch sauce. Fill each shell with a tablespoon of ranch sauce, a tablespoon or so of chicken, and top with approximately a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Repeat until the shells are gone or until the pan is filled. Cover pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining cheese and green onions. Put back in the oven uncovered until cheese melts. Let sit for five minutes when done cooking.