Spicy Chicken and Spinach Enchilada Stuffed Shells

Hold me closer, jumbo stuffed shell.


First of ALL, yes these are cuckoo but we’ll get to them in a sec.

Did you watch New Girl last night? Mindy Project? (no spoilers here, folks! chill your cheelahs)

The ending of NG was baaaaasically what I expected. I didn’t hyperventilate and sweat like a moose in raging heat like I’d hoped. But that’s okay! I also could have gone for a little more fringe on Jess’ turquoise sari. And a little more cowbell.

Now Mindy Project? Did NOT see that coming. I mean part of it I might have? But that one particular part, you know the part, at the end, that part? You know? YEAH THAT ONE. Didn’t see that happening. No no not that one, the other one. Yeah, that one.

You just want stuffed shells, don’t you?

enchishells1  enchishells2

So these are pretty much badical to the bone-ical. You start with some simple seasoned seared sicken, I MEAN chicken; chopped up and mixed with some velvety spinach and spicy chipotle peppers IN THEIR ADOBO SAUCE. I have no idea why I screamed that to you. I get excited about adobo sauce.

And then you get to create 20 to 25 little enchilada shell babies, all nestled in a pond of enchilada sauce, and baked with a layer of cheese so thick, it would take coal miners three lifetimes to discover the under-enchilada-shell world, resting below.

enchishells3  enchishells4

It might seem like a lot of sauce at first, but when it comes time to serve and drizzle (that’s a new dance I’m making up in my head right now), you’ll want it. You’ll want that sauce.

And then when it comes time for leftovers the next day, you will collapse in sheer jubilation over that extra sauce.

Your baby’s got sauce.


Let me say that again: Enchilada. Stuffed. Shells. With A. Bunk. Ton. Of. Cheese. On. Top.


My work here is done.

Spicy Chicken and Spinach Enchilada Stuffed Shells:

What it took for 4:

* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 chicken breasts
* 2 Tbs. favorite taco seasoning
* roughly 20 jumbo shells (or however many fit in your 9 x 13 baking dish), cooked and drained
* 1 (10 oz) box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of any excess liquid
* 3 chipotle peppers, in their adobo sauce, minced
* 1 (19 oz) can enchilada sauce (mild or spicy, up to you!)
* 2 cups Mexi-blend shredded cheese (less or more is fine!)
* coarse salt and pepper
* cilantro leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high. Season the chicken on both sides with the taco seasoning, and sear on one side for 6 minutes. Flip and sear another 5, or until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes, then roughly chop.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped chicken, thawed spinach and minced chipotle peppers. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pour about 1/3 of a cup of the enchilada sauce along the bottom of your pan. Move the pan around so that it coats the entire bottom. (entire bottom, heh heh.)

Carefully stuff each cooked shell with the chicken mixture and arrange in the baking dish. Continue until all the shells are evenly stuffed and placed in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells. It might seem like a lot, but you’ll definitely want to drizzle some sauce over everything in the end, so it’s all good.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly. If you need to broil the cheese right at the end, heck, do it!

Garnish with cilantro and dive in head first, never to be seen or heard from again.


I am telling you right now, I will arm wrestle a league of baby bunnies to get you to make this.


Try me.

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48 Responses to Spicy Chicken and Spinach Enchilada Stuffed Shells

  1. Tieghan May 15, 2013 at 7:36 am #
    Freaking love these! Chipotle in adobo sauce is my best friend. Just posted grilled corn chipotle pesto pizza today. I guess we both like the mexican food!! I have to make these. Pasta, chipotle peppers, cheese. YES!
  2. Cookbook Queen May 15, 2013 at 7:41 am #
    Bunk ton of cheese. You know exactly how to slay me. Love these!!
  3. Kevin (Closet Cooking) May 15, 2013 at 7:47 am #
    Those look so good! More cheese please! :)
  4. Marie @ Little Kitchie May 15, 2013 at 7:48 am #
    This is everything I love most in the world. YUM. Oh and YES I watched them both and YES I'm a little depressed they're over for the summer. Wahhh.
  5. Lori @ RecipeGirl May 15, 2013 at 7:54 am #
    yowza. (that's good)
  6. Karly May 15, 2013 at 7:59 am #
    New Girl was so totally expected last night. I've been waiting on that ish since episode 1. Jumbo Enchilada Shells? Want.
  7. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch May 15, 2013 at 8:01 am #
    Oh do these look GOOD!!! Want a big plate of these really soon!!!
  8. Kathryn May 15, 2013 at 8:15 am #
    I love stuffed shells and I'm totally digging these enchilada flavours. So good!
  9. Brian @ A Thought For Food May 15, 2013 at 8:28 am #
    Those are some gorgeous stuffed shells. I now need to get on board with those two shows. They've been on my list.
  10. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious May 15, 2013 at 8:30 am #
    These look off the charts good!!
  11. carrian May 15, 2013 at 8:44 am #
    holy freaking delicious
  12. Laurie {Simply Scratch} May 15, 2013 at 9:08 am #
    ummm yeah, so these sound AWESOME!
  13. Heather @ Barefoot Crafts May 15, 2013 at 9:24 am #
    I realllllllly want to make these with a spicy sausage and loads of red pepper flakes. Melt your face off hot is the only way!
    • Bev Weidner May 15, 2013 at 9:32 am #
      omg spicy sausage and chili, YESSSSS. dewww eeeeeet!
  14. Shelly (Pastry Shells) May 15, 2013 at 9:29 am #
    Yummy! I totally want to make this as soon as possible!
  15. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious May 15, 2013 at 9:36 am #
    Freaking amazing.
  16. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite May 15, 2013 at 10:07 am #
    I would love to DIVE head first into these. SERIOUSLY!
  17. Erin L May 15, 2013 at 10:32 am #
    Yeah... gotta have more cowbell.... These look scrumptious AND healthy! I love when I can trick my husband into consuming leafy greens! Thanks!!
  18. Julia {The Roasted Root} May 15, 2013 at 10:32 am #
    I haven't seen the newest episode of New Girl yet but am thinking I could probably take a guess at what's to come. Such an entertaining show! Yeah, if these shells could hold me closer, I'd curl up in their cheesy shellness and just....yeah. Delicious!
  19. Amanda May 15, 2013 at 11:15 am #
    These look so delicious Bev, I can't wait to try them :)
  20. Julie @ Table for Two May 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm #
    oh girl, i need some of this!!
  21. Abby May 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm #
    two big things 1) i can't wait to watch my MP and NG later todayyyy 2) they apparently do not make jump shells in california - or none of the stores in my vicinity carry them, but i can't give up my stuffed shells, so i stuff the tiny ones which is just really inefficient. sheesh. i might have to special order some jumbo shells for this baby! abby
    • Anonymous May 15, 2013 at 9:09 pm #
      Where do u live in Ca? North County San Diego has them.
  22. Averie @ Averie Cooks May 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm #
    Bev this is so beautiful! You have a very lucky husband who gets to sit down to these meals. Mine would be thrilled with this!
  23. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence May 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm #
    Loving this cheesy goodness!
  24. Katie May 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm #
    Enchiladas are my JAM right now. I'm psyched about this pasta enchilada marriage.
  25. Cassie | Bake Your Day May 15, 2013 at 8:38 pm #
    Yes, yes, yes. This is brilliant!
  26. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. May 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm #
    I watched New Girl. It was expected, but it still cracked me up! I haven't watched Mindy Project but I feel like I am really missing out! Oh, and these mexican shells? yes, please.
  27. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com May 15, 2013 at 10:26 pm #
    Oh my gosh. No words to describe this deliciousness. Oh wait, just did.
  28. Renee @ Awesome on $20 May 15, 2013 at 11:17 pm #
    I'm so intrigued by this. I can't wait to try it!
  29. Rachel Cooks May 16, 2013 at 7:41 am #
    uhhhh--yes! Loving these shells! I would eat these for breakfast. No really, I would.
  30. dixya@food, pleasure, and health May 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm #
    i bought pasta shells just yesterday and I am glad I did :)
  31. Jaimie May 18, 2013 at 11:44 am #
    Whoa these look good. Anything in a shell! Just started following recently and I love how unique and original all your recipes are. Bravo.
  32. Jeff May 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm #
    These look excellent. When I worked at a casino several years ago, they used to make something like this. I can't wait to try these.
  33. Nutmeg Nanny May 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm #
    Oh my! I am drooling! This looks absolutely delicious :)
  34. Judy September 22, 2013 at 11:46 am #
    This recipe looks great. I do have a major complaint, however! Why, when I go to the print friendly option, do I get 12 pages, several totally blank, when all I really need is page p that has the recipe on it? I will definitely try these, but I will never go to "Print Friendly" again!
    • Bev Weidner September 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm #
      Oh nooooo! I'm so sorry PF did that to you. Did it ask what section you wanted to print? It's supposed to let you pick. Either way, I'm so sorry! I hope you were just able to stick that unused paper back in the printer. Hope you like the shells!
  35. Anne October 31, 2013 at 5:07 am #
    My friend just told me about you and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook, which is also a blog. I just “Liked” his page and came to your site. I like it. Anne
  36. Julie April 8, 2014 at 10:13 pm #
    I made this for dinner tonight and wow, it was so so so delicious and so easy (big plus). I used green enchilada sauce instead because that's what I had and I'm not really big on the red sauce. The whole family loved it and I will definitely be making again, thank you!
  37. Stephy October 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm #
    Ok I have to tell you.... I pinned this recipe like years ago and was scrolling through my pinterest page about a month ago and finally decided to make them. O-M-G they were so good that between me and my two toddlers they were gone in the first night (we usually have tons of leftovers) and I've been wanting them again ever since. So freaking good I cant even tell you how thankful I am you posted this. Side note, when you first posted this I was in the hospital having my first baby, which makes this post even better.
    • Bev Weidner October 8, 2015 at 7:29 am #
      AHHHH I love it! Thanks for telling me. :)


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