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Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shells

These Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shells are smothered in a homemade Alfredo sauce and sprinkled with crispy bacon. Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal!

Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shells

My love for pasta runs deep. You all know that I have a soft spot in my heart for all of the carbs, but especially stuffed shells. My Lasagna Stuffed Shells are made on the regular here in the One Sweet Appetite home but this chicken ranch version may slide into our #1 spot.

It has EVERYTHING. Cooked chicken is shredded and tossed with cheddar cheese, spinach, green onion and stuffed into cooked pasta shells. A homemade ranch Alfredo is poured over the top and everything is sprinkled with bacon pieces. The only way I can even begin to describe it?

SO GOOD. Like, get in my belly right this second delicious. I could eat the sauce on anything and everything. Pin this recipe, print it out, and add it to your must-make list!

Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shell Ingredients

Ingredients for chicken stuffed pasta shells:

Before you get rolling you’ll need to have an idea of what goes into this recipe. I’m not going to lie to you… It takes about 30-40 minutes just to prep and another 30 minutes to bake. Trust me, it is worth it. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to get started:

Jumbo pasta shells

  • Cooked shredded chicken
  • Spinach
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Green onion
  • Breadcrumbs and bacon, completely optional
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Milk
  • Ranch Seasoning Packet
Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shell Sauce

How to make a ranch Alfredo sauce:

It is no surprise that the star of the show is the Alfredo. Cream, rich, and a slight ranch flavor. It kicks this pasta dish up a notch and makes it drool worthy. Let’s dive into the secret of how to make Alfredo sauce.

  1. Start by gathering all of the ingredients. The key components are butter, flour, milk, and cheese. Stick with Parmesan if you want that classic Alfredo flavor.
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in equal amounts of flour. Cook 1-2 minutes or until bubbly. Make sure you whisk it consistently.
  3. Slowly stir in the milk. Simmer 1-2 minutes or until it is just slightly thickened. Make sure you keep whisking to keep it from burning on the bottom.
  4. Remove the sauce from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and ranch dressing mix.
  5. Serve with your favorite pasta!
How to make Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shells

KITCHEN TIP: If you like your pasta on the saucy side, consider doubling the Alfredo in this recipe. We have made it as stated and with a little extra sauce. We are a house divided! Half love the original version and half the super cheesy Alfredo topped dish. You can’t go wrong either way.

Do NOT skip the bacon. I know, I know. I technically said it is optional. But guys… Bacon makes everything SO delicious!

Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shell Recipe

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Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shells

Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shells

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

These Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shells are smothered in a homemade Alfredo sauce and sprinkled with crispy bacon. Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal!

Ingredients

  • 24 uncooked large pasta shells
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and chopped*
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, optional
  • cooked bacon pieces, optional

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 (1oz) Ranch seasoning mix

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mist a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. 
  2. Cook the pasta shells aldente according to the package directions.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. 

For the sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour until a paste is formed. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Whisk in the milk. Cook on low heat until just slightly thickened. remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. until melted. Stir in ranch packet.

Building the shells:

  1. Combine the shredded chicken, spinach, cheddar cheese, green onion, and 1/2 cup of sauce in a medium bowl. Fill each pasta shell with a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture and place in your 9x13 pan.
  2. Pour remaining sauce evenly over shells. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bacon if using, cover, and bake 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Remove cover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until bubbly. 

Notes

*Be sure to squeeze as much moisture from the thawed spinach as possible.

Like your pasta extra saucy? Consider doubling the Alfredo in this recipe. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 530Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 468mgCarbohydrates: 107gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 37g
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These Ranch Chicken Stuffed Shells are smothered in a homemade Alfredo sauce and sprinkled with crispy bacon. Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal!

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Abbie

Monday 21st of December 2020

I made these last night, they were time consuming to make but 110% worth the effort. I used bacon grease vs butter, I also used heavy whipping cream vs whole milk. It made the sauce thicker but I thinned it out with 2% before baking. I would add more bacon- DON'T SKIP THE BACON! Family loved it!

Jesseca

Monday 21st of December 2020

Hi Abbie. This recipe can be a tad time consuming, I agree. But it is well worth it. I will have to try it with cream!

Lauren

Monday 7th of December 2020

We don’t ever use whole milk at my house. Do you think the sauce would be fine using 2%?

Jesseca

Monday 7th of December 2020

You can use 2%. It just won't be quite as creamy, but it's not a huge difference. I wouldn't use anything under 2%.

Lee

Sunday 29th of November 2020

For a lot of recipes using frozen spinach, you are supposed to squeeze as much water out of it as possible....is this a necessary step for this recipe??

Jesseca

Monday 30th of November 2020

Yes. Thanks for catching that. I will add that into the recipe instructions.

Sue Perkins

Tuesday 6th of October 2020

Any "make ahead" tips? I wondered if I could prep & fill the shells the night before & then make the sauce & bake just before serving.

Jesseca

Tuesday 6th of October 2020

We've done this before! I just suggest waiting until the day of to make the sauce. When it sits in the fridge it tends to thicken and doesn't give you that thinner (seriously looking for a better word) consistency you need. We have even made the entire thing the day before and tossed it in the oven. It is just a smidge dryer than I like when we do it this way, but gets rave reviews from my husband and kid.

Craig McDonald

Thursday 16th of July 2020

Nutrition info?

Jesseca

Thursday 16th of July 2020

I don't have nutritional info available for this recipe, but you can search and find nutrition calculators online.

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