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Shells with Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella

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Bowls of Caprese-style chicken pasta -- with tomatoes, cheese, and herbs -- answer the question of what to have for dinner tonight. You need only 30 minutes, start to finish.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2007

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for grates
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill, and cut into thin strips, halving if long.

  2. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Add chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, Parmesan, and butter. Toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a sauce that coats shells (you may not need all the water). Serve with more Parmesan.

Cook's Notes

If you like, grill the chicken up to 2 days beforehand. Then let it cool, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate. Bring chicken to room temperature before adding to pasta.

Reviews Add a comment

  • 1275
    2 MAR, 2013
    Followed the other reviewers idea to freeze the cheese cubes and it worked fine. Instead of grilling chicken, I just used about 2 cups of cooked chicken and subbed the tomatoes for 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes. Excellent meal, quick and easy without being too boring. I might just use shredded cheese next time as melted globs of cheese don't look that appiteizing in this dish. Added some dried basil as well for flavor.
    Reply
  • BORN2STANDOUT
    20 MAY, 2012
    SIMPLY LOOOOOOOVED THIS RECIPE AND SO DID THE PICKY BOYFRIEND !!! I MADE A FEW CHANGES THOUGH, I ADDED FRESH SPINACH I FRIED UP WITH A LITTLE BUTTER, AND FRESH GARLIC. I ALSO SUBSTITUTED BOW TIE NOODLES AND USED CANNED, DICED TOMATOES INSTEAD AND ADDED THE JUICE FROM THEM INSTEAD OF THE PASTA WATER. ;D
    Reply
  • AndreaMarieDwyer
    29 JUN, 2011
    we love, love, love this recipe! I have been making it ever since they published it, and I adore it! I make a few changes: double the fresh mozz. and parmesan, and substitute fresh basil for the parsley (add extra!). Definitely a winner and the kids love it too...
    Reply
  • bimmergirl
    17 SEP, 2010
    I like to read the modifications others make because it often improves the recipe or at least adjusts it to the cooks taste. It can turn an OK recipe into a forever favorite! Having said that, I found a similar recipe on this site that did not have chicken in it so it was a nice light vegetarian dish. It called for olive oil instead of butter. I tweaked this recipe by adding sundried tomatoes, feta and fresh herbs. It was awesome. Tweaking is half the fun of cooking!
    Reply
  • MS10702140
    15 SEP, 2010
    Loving a recipe equals not changing the recipe. If you have to make too many changes, the recipe is not that great.
    Reply
  • tanyawilliams
    13 SEP, 2010
    Love this recipe, it's a family favorite! I have made it a dozen times and have tweaked it to perfection. I use fresh basil instead of parsley, a store bought rotisserie chicken to save time. I add half the mozzarella so that is melts into the shells, and then the the rest about 30 minutes later to have some whole pieces.I add the tomatoes last to prevent them from cooking and becoming mushy, and I add twice the amount of grated parmesan to help bind everything and add a little more saltyness to
    Reply
  • dcrlawrence
    17 MAY, 2010
    Awful. Followed the recipe exactly as written. The mozzarella clumped and the whole dish was bland. Would not recommend.
    Reply
  • Ceight85
    17 APR, 2010
    Had this tonight. Pretty good. Not a favorite but descent for needing something new to try! I'm not a big fan of grape tomatoes so I added diced tomatoes (italian style) and i just had shredded mozz cheese. I took the advise of adding olive oil instead of butter as well.
    Reply
  • gordoria
    14 OCT, 2009
    This was super easy and fast, but I'm not too crazy about luke warm meals. I go either hot or chilled. If you warm this too much the mozz melts. I'd like this best served chilled, I think- perhaps as a side. Also better with fresh basil and oregano in addition to the parsley. Olive oil instead of butter and I even threw a little lemon in.
    Reply
  • MBS4174
    30 DEC, 2008
    this was pretty tasty. i think you could probably add different vegetables and more cheese is not a bad idea. i would make it again since it was fairly easy.
    Reply