Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells

Creamy and rich buffalo chicken stuffed shells are a spicy spin on a classic that will have you coming back for more!

Baked pasta like Kale spinach and basil pesto pastaCauliflower mac and cheese, and Best ever baked ziti are go to dinners at our home. Buffalo chicken stuffed shells has a tasty twist that the entire family will love!!

A casserole dish with a spoonful of buffalo chicken stuffed shells.

Family Friendly dinner idea

I’ve really been wanting to share more unique/creative recipes that are still family friendly, and this one fit the bill (at least for our family). I have to admit though, I felt a little like a mad scientist when I was testing this recipe.

I wasn’t quite sure how it would turn out or if anyone would enjoy it. Thankfully the stars aligned and everyone went back for seconds!

We’re no strangers to using buffalo sauce in recipes. I shared my Instant Pot buffalo chicken sliders and crispy buffalo chicken nuggets a few months ago, both of which were big hits. Since I’m cooking for little ones, I always use Frank’s “original” buffalo sauce which is a lot more toned down than the “hot.”

Our family raved about these buffalo chicken stuffed shells. They were creamy with a hit of heat and so incredibly flavorful! If you love buffalo wings and all things cheese, you need to try this recipe ASAP!

A plate with a serving of buffalo chicken stuffed shells.

Making BUffalo CHicken Shells

PREP. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

PASTA. In a large stockpot full of water, cook jumbo shells according to the package’s instructions. Drain and set aside. In a small mixing bowl combine the chicken and buffalo sauce, toss to combine and set aside.

CHEESE MIXTURE. In a medium mixing bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion, and spinach. Mix together until combined. Place a spoonful of filling into the bottom of each shell, followed by a spoonful of buffalo chicken. (I place them on the piece of foil I use to cover the pan when they go in the oven to bake)

Note. the spinach does not need to be cooked beforehand. I tried that, and it was not appetizing!

SAUCE. In a small saucepan set over medium low heat, add the butter. Once melted add the flour and whisk until pale golden brown. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking until a smooth, creamy sauce forms. Turn up the heat to medium and bring to a low simmer. Once thickened, whisk in the cheese and remove from the heat.

BAKE. Pour half of the sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place the shells over top, then pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Top with grated mozzarella, then cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes.

ENJOY!! Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Top with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

A bowl of shredded chicken thighs tossed in buffalo chicken sauce for the buffalo chicken stuffed shells.

Tips & tricks

Grab the BIG stuffed shells. Not small or medium, big! If stuffed shells seem tedious or they’re just not your thing, you can always use no-boil lasagna sheets and adapt the recipe into a lasagna. 

Additional veggies can be added to these shells. These shells are also delicious with a grated zucchini (just make sure to press any and all the moisture out you can), lightly cooked cauliflower (make sure you chop it up into small pieces), or sautéed mushrooms. I think the key here is getting those vegetables nice and small, and cooking them just a bit if needed.

Follow this instant pot chicken thighs recipe here

How to make a béchamel sauce:

A béchamel sauce is a rich white sauce typically made from butter, flour, and milk. Sometimes it’s infused with seasonings or other ingredients to give it more flavor.

The process is pretty straightforward- melt the butter, add in the flour, whisk until golden brown, then slowly pour in the milk and heat until thickened. I like to add cheese to mine (especially when using it in an Italian recipe), so I added parmesan. Another option would be adding blue cheese. We’re not blue cheese eaters (gasp, I know!), but if you are, feel free to go that route. It will make this dish taste just like your favorite wings!

A bowl full of the ingredients for the buffalo chicken stuffed shells.

Recipe Variations

Give this more of a buffalo flavor by incorporating some buffalo sauce into the sauce

To avoid getting super soggy pasta only cook the noodles until they are “al dente” instead just following the directions on the box. The baking process will soften the noodles the rest of the way instead of making them overly soft.

Use premade alfredo sauce instead of making your own sauce to go on top.

A dish full of baked buffalo chicken stuffed shells.

Makes a great freezer meal!

STORE any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat large servings in the oven or individual servings in the microwave until warmed through.

To FREEZE:

  • Unbaked: Assemble the dish as normal in a freezer safe container and cover tightly with multiple layers of foil. Keep frozen for 4-6 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then bake as normal, or bake from frozen and add a few extra minutes.
  • Baked: let this cool completely before wrapping it in multiple layers of foil and placing it in the freezer. Keep frozen for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven until warmed through.
A cheesy spoonful of buffalo chicken stuffed shells.

LOOKING FOR MORE BUFFALO CHICKEN RECIPES? TRY THESE:


Creamy, rich buffalo chicken stuffed shells.

Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells

Creamy, rich shells stuffed with three kinds of cheese, spinach, and chicken tossed in buffalo sauce. This unique spin on a classic will have you coming back for more!
4.8 from 5 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Author: Natalie Dicks
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. jumbo pasta shells
For the filling:
  • 2 c. shredded chicken thighs or rotisserie chicken
  • ½ c. buffalo chicken sauce
  • 16 oz. ricotta cheese - I used whole milk
  • ½ c. grated mozzarella cheese
  • c. shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt OR celery salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions - minced
  • 2 c. freshly chopped spinach
For the sauce:
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • c. shaved parmesan or blue cheese
For the topping:
  • 1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley - optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a large stockpot full of water, cook jumbo shells according to the package's instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl combine the chicken and buffalo sauce, toss to combine and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, garlic powder, salt, pepper, onion, and spinach. Mix together until combined.
  • Place a spoonful of filling into the bottom of each shell, followed by a spoonful of buffalo chicken. (I place them on the piece of foil I use to cover the pan when they go in the oven to bake)
  • In a small saucepan set over medium low heat, add the butter. Once melted add the flour and whisk until pale golden brown. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking until a smooth, creamy sauce forms. Turn up the heat to medium and bring to a low simmer. Once thickened, whisk in the cheese and remove from the heat.
  • Pour half of the sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place the shells over top, then pour the remaining sauce over the shells. Top with grated mozzarella, then cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Top with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Notes

-This can prepared 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake.

Like this Recipe?

Pin it now!

Pin It Now0Pin It Now0

Want more inspiration?

More Recipes You'll Love

Oven Baked Chicken Taquitos

Total Time: 1 hour
4.88 from 8 votes

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 1 vote

Ham and Potato Soup

Total Time: 45 minutes
5 from 3 votes

Jalapeño Popper Soup

Total Time: 30 minutes
4.8 from 5 votes

Tomato Bisque

Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 3 votes

Mini Spooky Spider Pizzas

Total Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
5 from 2 votes

About the Author

LifeMadeSimpleTeam

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments:

  1. This recipe looks great! We’ve been wanting to make something different and this fits the bill. The chicken is in the slow cooker as we speak. I’m cooking the vegies a little first, and adding mushrooms as well. Spinach and mushrooms both have a lot of liquid. And I always add Extra Garlic. Thanks for the recipe Ill be back to tell ya how it went. Catch ya on the flip side!

  2. 5 stars
    I love everything about this recipe! The pasta shells paired with the buffalo chicken is perfection! So creamy and flavorful!

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve done stuffed shells with a different filling other than italian before! I absolutely love buffalo chicken and these make for a very fun twist.