Team Holiday Party ~ Spicy Cheese Stuffed Shells & Bella Chicken

We had an awesome spread of food for our Team Holiday party a few weeks ago. I dished up these Vegetarian Cheesy shells and made my Mother’s Bella Chicken recipe as well. I think we had about 4 different versions of Taco Dip which was hilarious, but it’s soooo good so we sure ate them up! 🙂

I would have added fresh garlic and onion to the shells, and just sautĂ©ed them before, but I was trying to make this easy. It’s definitely an option in the future!

Stuffed Shell Ingredients:

  • ~2 LBs Jumbo shells
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10pz chopped spinach, drained
  • 32 oz whole milk ricotta
  • 2 TBsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 TBsp cayenne
  • 1 TBsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBsp dried basil
  • 1 TBsp dried oregano
  • 1 TBsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 – 1 TBsp salt
  • 1 TBsp fresh ground pepper


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add jumbo shells and cook till all dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all ingredients into a large bowl.
  3. Line a baking dish with fresh marinara sauce, place stuffed shells in bottom.
  4. Top with more fresh sauce and cheese.
  5. Bake 350F for 20 mins.
  6. If making ahead of time, line baking dish with sauce but pour sauce on when ready to bake. Bake 350F for 35-45 mins.

The Bella chicken is also a great recipe of my Mother’s. This was my first time trying it, and between all the food I was making for the party, my photo shoot with Candice and Thanksgiving I was trying to make things ahead of time and as quickly as possible.  The Chicken breasts from Wegmans are so thick that I was able to get 4 portions out of one pieces… MAN that’s a lot of food! In the future.. I would make everything the day of and not try and cook half in your oven and finish cooking in the oven at the party… WHOPS!

The Girls seemed to like it since there was only one measly piece left!

Bella Chicken Ingredients:

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • salt-n-pepper to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups Dijon Mustard
  • 6 TBsp freshly chopped chives (or 3 TBsp of dried)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 cups Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs


  1. Stir lemon juice and 1 TBsp of water into melted butter. Set aside until slightly congealed.
  2. Spinkle Chicken with salt-n-pep
  3. In a bowl, mix mustard, chives and basil. With a pastry brush, coat both sides of chicken with mustard.
  4. Roll chicken in breadcrumbs; place pieces in an oiled, shallow pan.
  5. Pour butter mixture over chicken and bake 350F for 1 hour. After 30 mins, baste chicken and turn over for even browning.


One Comment Add yours

  1. cookingupaphd says:

    Those shells look great. I promise to post a pasta recipe soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s