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This lemon chicken stuffed shells recipe is easy, cheesy, and delicious. Three different kinds of cheeses and flavorful lemon chicken are baked to melty perfection. This recipe makes an awesome comfort food dinner!

cast iron skillet with chicken stuffed shells and a serving spoon

What can I say? Jumbo shells stuffed with chicken and cream cheese seemed like a good idea, and it worked.

The 3 cheeses in here are cream cheese (makes a great tangy filling and keeps the chicken moist), parmesan, and mozzarella.

close-up of easy chicken stuffed pasta shells in a skillet

I used rotisserie chicken in this recipe to save some time. You can use any kind of cooked chicken… this is a great leftover chicken recipe. You could even make this with leftover turkey meat after Thanksgiving.

I considered making a cream sauce to go along with these, but I thought it might be overkill. Delicious for sure, but definitely rich.

If I were going to do this, I would add around a 1/2 a cup of heavy cream along with some seasonings (e.g. Italian seasoning and some garlic) to the bottom of the skillet/baking dish before adding the shells. The cream will reduce and thicken a bit as everything warms through. So if you want a cream sauce, there ya go. 🙂

How to make chicken stuffed shells

  1. Cook the shells.
  2. Mix the cooked chicken, cream cheese, parmesan, lemon juice, and seasonings together.
  3. Stuff the shells and sprinkle them with mozzarella.
  4. Bake for 400F for 20-25 minutes. (Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below)

Love shell pasta? Try my Easy Creamy Beef and Shells.

easy lemon chicken stuffed shells in a cast iron pan

These chicken stuffed jumbo pasta shells actually reheat pretty well. I took them to work for lunch the next day and really enjoyed them.

I think this recipe will become a hit in your house if you give it a try. 🙂

More lemon chicken recipes you’ll like:

cheesy chicken stuffed shells in a cast iron pan with serving spoon


Ask me in the comments below.

This lemon chicken stuffed shells recipe is easy, cheesy, and delicious. Three different kinds of cheeses and flavorful lemon chicken are baked to melty perfection. This recipe makes an awesome comfort food dinner!
4.80 from 5 votes

Lemon Chicken Stuffed Shells Recipe

This lemon chicken stuffed shells recipe is easy, cheesy, and delicious. Three different kinds of cheeses and flavorful lemon chicken are baked to melty perfection. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 dozen jumbo pasta shells (see note)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken e.g. rotisserie chicken
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella


  • Boil a large salted pot of water and cook the pasta shells al dente according to package directions. 
  • Preheat oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position.
  • Add the chicken, cream cheese, lemon juice, garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and salt & pepper (I'm quite generous with it) to a bowl and stir it together until you've got a smooth mixture. 
  • Grease the inside of an oven-proof skillet or baking dish with the olive oil to minimize the shells/cheese sticking on. 
  • Drain the shells once they're cooked, and then spoon the mixture into each shell (I like to use a teaspoon to do this).
  • Arrange the shells in the skillet or baking dish. Sprinkle the mozzarella over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you want the cheese to brown, broil it for a few minutes on high (watch that it doesn't burn). Serve immediately. 


  • I fit about 20 jumbo shells into my 10 1/4" cast iron skillet. It'll vary depending on what you use to bake them in.  
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 644kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 36g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Cholesterol: 148mg, Sodium: 604mg, Potassium: 382mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1088IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 354mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4.80 from 5 votes

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  1. Jenna says:

    Hi! Could you use canned chicken in this recipe? Thanks!

    1. Natasha says:

      I think that should be fine! 🙂

  2. Barbara G. Proud says:

    5 stars
    I have cooked this about 4 times now & we are loving this recipe!! My husband usually does not care for dishes with cream cheese in them, but he loves these! W e are having them again tonight .mmm mmm mmm I cant wait! Thank you for sharing this recipe! And I switched it up a bit by adding minced garlic to the chicken mixture ..its awesome!!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome!! I’m so happy it’s a hit! 🙂

  3. Kailea says:

    Great recipe! Perfect comfort food! I had to do some modifying since I wasn’t able to find jumbo shells(at two different stores even! Who knew…) so I opted to use lasagna noodles instead. I just spread the chicken/cream cheese mix on the noodles and rolled them up, cut them in half and put them in my cast iron. I also put a layer of pasta sauce on the bottom of the cast iron. Surprisingly it turned out amazing with not having the shells! I’m never disappointed in these recipes! Thank you! Wish I could upload the photos!

    1. Natasha says:

      Hmm that’s interesting about the shells!! I’m so glad you were able to modify it. Love the lasagna roll-ups idea!

  4. Sharon Smith says:

    Have you tried this with gluten free shells?

    1. Natasha says:

      I haven’t. Any readers want to chime in if you have?

  5. Kiki in the Kitchen says:

    I love the idea of this recipe. I’ve never baked pasta without sauce on top if it. I agree Natasha that adding a cream sauce might make the dish to rich. I’m wondering what the texture of the shells is like after baking without sauce. It seems like they could get really dry. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    1. Natasha says:

      I don’t find them too try 🙂

  6. Jessica Fowler says:

    5 stars
    Ok Girlfran…finally commenting on one of your amazing recipes bc I’ve got a moment of peace while the kids are entertaining themselves with their free balloons from Publix. But also bc this mixture is THE BOMB! I mean, I found it difficult not to eat the mixture while waiting for the shells to boil. I added the cream suggestion for the bottom of the skillet bc duh. Oh – looks like the balloons are old news already so just had to let you know your recipes are everything! Big fan – keep it up.

    1. Natasha says:

      Hahaha your comment made me laugh. I am so happy that you liked the recipe. XO 🙂

      1. Jessica Fowler says:

        Natasha I’ve made this a half a dozen times since I first made. It has become one of my favorite comfort meals and so many of your recipes are in the circulation. This is baking as I speak…shell yeah! 😁

        1. Natasha says:

          Aww so glad to hear it, Jessica! 🙂

  7. Janice says:

    Made these tonight. Delicious. I added some lemon zest and Italian herbs to the chicken mixture. Next time will add some sauce to the bottom of the pan because the shells turned out a little crispier than my family would like. Overall, beautiful recipe!

    1. Natasha says:

      So pleased you enjoyed the stuffed shells, Janice!