Photo of Cheesy chicken shells by WW

Cheesy chicken shells

Total Time
50 min
20 min
30 min
While not a traditional protein used in manicotti, shredded chicken works beautifully when partnered with spinach. The dish gets its authentic Italian flavors from the tomato sauce and a blend of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. After the spinach has thawed, place it in a clean towel and squeeze well to remove the excess liquid or otherwise it will make the sauce very watery. Use one large bowl to mix together all the in ingredients for the filling to save on clean-up and trim the cooking time by using a pre-cooked chicken, available at your deli counter. Either mixed greens or steamed green beans are a good choice as a simple side.


Uncooked jumbo shells

12 shell(s)

Canned tomato sauce

1½ cup(s)

Egg white(s)

2 large, lightly beaten

Part-skim ricotta cheese

1¾ cup(s)

Roasted skinless boneless chicken breast

4 oz, diced

Chopped frozen spinach

¾ cup(s), thawed and drained of excess water

Garlic powder

1 tsp

Ground oregano

1 Tbsp, or other Italian seasoning

Part-skim mozzarella cheese

¾ cup(s), shredded, shredded

Grated Parmesan cheese



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook manicotti shells in boiling water according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Set aside.
  3. Coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce evenly over bottom of pan and set aside.
  4. For filling, in a large bowl, stir together egg whites, ricotta cheese, chicken, spinach, garlic powder and seasoning. Stir in 1/4 cup each of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.
  5. To assemble, spoon cheese mixture into manicotti shells and place filled shells in a single layer in baking dish. Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and bake about 30 minutes. Yields 3 shells per serving.