i should be mopping the floor: Zesty Chicken Italian Salad Recipe in Shells

Monday, August 4, 2014

Zesty Chicken Italian Salad Recipe in Shells

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All opinions are mine alone.

This Zesty Chicken Italian Salad Recipe in Shells is the perfect party food...or a great dish for a light summertime dinner. It's impressive, but also very simple to put together.
#FoodDeservesDelicious  #CollectiveBias

I'll be completely honest, I sometimes am a bit intimidated with the idea of creating an entire recipe completely from scratch. Usually I base a recipe off of something else or off one of my mom's classics. But, this recipe is 100% my own creation...and I think it turned out really well. Hey, if seven and nine year old boys wolfed it down, I'd say it's a winner-winner chicken dinner {literally}.

And it's easy {my fave}! Check out the recipe below>>>
Even though the concept and recipe I will claim until my dying day {I'm just a bit dramatic, y'all}...this is basically a glorified Caprese Salad...taken to an entirely new level of flavor with Kraft's Zesty Italian Dressing. And taken to an entirely new level of fun stuffed into shells {we even ate them with our hands...gasp!}. 
The combination of the flavors in the dressing along with fresh basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and chicken was so light and delicious. I can't wait until the next ladies' salad supper at church...these are going to be my shining star!

My local Walmart always has a great selection of dressings. And, these new Kraft Pourables have been reinvented with a new, better taste! The Classic Ranch is now creamier, with more buttermilk and savory herbs. And the Kraft Zesty Italian now has even more herbs & spices {which meant I didn't have to add any of my own to this dish}! It was perfect to create a simple Italian Salad Recipe with...and then stuff it into pasta shells!  

For this recipe, you'll need the following ingredients>>>
  • one deli rotisserie chicken {if you'd prefer to make your own chicken, you could boil or roast a few boneless skinless chicken breasts to use instead}
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, with additional for garnish
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 box of jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
  • optional: salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions on box. While pasta is cooking, prepare salad. Start by rough chopping the chicken {I used the entire chicken...picked it completely clean!}. Be careful to remove all bones from chicken as you remove it from the carcass. Chop tomatoes in half. Chop your basil {I really like a Chiffonade-style of cutting basil...it adds a great texture to this dish}. 

Combine chicken, tomatoes, cheese, basil and dressing in a large bowl, mixing thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Once pasta shells are done, allow to cool until they're able to be handled. Stuff each 
shell with a couple of tablespoons of chicken salad mixture. Set on serving plate {I 
added a bed of spinach to my serving plate first...just for pretty}. Sprinkle additional 
cheese on top.

The salad mixture can be made a day ahead. Then the shells can be prepared before serving. 

Makes 15-18 shells.

These were just yummy and delicious!

What's your favorite light & easy summer meal?


  1. This looks yummy and simple. Right up my alley:) I would love to have you link it up to my Feature Friday Link Palooza!


    Danielle @ Blissful & Domestic
    Creating Beautiful on Less

  2. This looks so delish! Thank you for sharing an quick and easy dinner idea!

  3. Oh yum!! We do a few appetizers in pasta shells but I'm loving this chicken salad idea. How awesome for brunch or a shower too! Pinned!

  4. These are such a food idea. I have to try this.

    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

  5. I love stuffed shells and this is such a yummy summer alternative. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This looks so good! And easy to make ahead so I could eat these for lunch while the kids chow down on Dino nuggets! Knowing my boys though they'll probably steal mine and I'll be stuck with Dino nuggets with their heads bit off. Maybe I should just make these for everyone 😊

  7. YUM! I love the idea of using the Kraft Italian dressing in this recipe. I know what I'm volunteering to bring to our next neighborhood dinner - thanks for sharing! #client