Chili Basil Turkey Stuffed Shells

Chili Basil Turkey Stuffed Shells

Add some heat to your dinner routine with these mouthwatering Chili Basil Turkey Stuffed Shells. Packed with flavor and spice, this recipe combines some of my favorite ingredients in Italian stuffed shells, and Thai pad kra prow. Perfectly cooked turkey combined with fragrant basil and a kick of chili to create a filling that is both savory and satisfying. Stuff this delicious mixture into jumbo pasta shells and top it off with a creamy coconut sauce that will tie all the flavors together. Not only will this dish impress your family and friends, but it also makes for a perfect meal to enjoy on a cozy evening at home.

The inspiration for this recipe

The way my creative brain works is that I get a craving for something, but it is usually pretty vague. This time it was stuffed shells but I had no idea what I wanted to put in them. I was running through some options, and at first I was leaning towards Thai green curry. Using a chili basil sauce I realized would fit better in the pasta shells. I was originally planning to not add cheese, but at the last minute I realized provolone would be a great match and I am glad I added it.

Making the filling

Cook the turkey first, then add the sambol, and some honey and green beans. There is also garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and fish sauce in here. After this I added the basil and simmered the whole thing for a few minutes.

cooking the filling

Stuff the chili basil turkey into the shells

Load them up one by one and add them to the baking dish.

stuffing the chili basil turkey into the shells

Make the sauce

The sauce only has a few ingredients and you stir them together and pour it over the shells before baking

  • coconut milk
  • soy sauce
  • sambol chili paste

Top each shell with a small slice of provolone, then pour on the sauce!

pour on the sauce

Don’t overdo it with the provolone! A light touch was just right. Bake these at 350 for 25 minutes until they look like the photo below. Stunning!

chili basil turkey stuffed shells

These chili basil turkey stuffed shells came out so good! Really unique flavors and just enough heat.

scooping the chili basil turkey stuffed shells

The slight smokey notes in the provolone paired so well and added a great layer of creaminess to the coconut milk sauce.

eating the chili basil turkey stuffed shells

Twists on chili basil turkey stuffed shells

This chili basil turkey stuffed shells would be good with other meats and the same sauce. The Thai name changes when you change the meat, beef would be pad gra prow. The flavors are only inspired by pad kra prow- not exactly traditional though! If you want a more traditional version, check out the pad kra pao on Hot Thai Kitchen!

If you wanted to be lazy about this, you could also do it all mixed together with some penne or rigatoni. Or you could layer it up with lasagna noodles!

I made subs with a similar filling before and those are so good too – check out my recipe for Thai inspired sloppy subs!

Chili Basil Turkey Stuffed Shells
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5 from 2 votes

Chili Basil Turkey Stuffed Shells

Pasta shells stuffed with a Thai inspired chili basil turkey mixture and cooked in a coconut cream sauce
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian, Thai
Keyword: Mash-Up, Spicy, stuffed
Servings: 3 people


  • olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 inches ginger grated
  • 1/4 cup sambol chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 cup chopped basil (about a bunch)
  • 16 pasta shells cooked al dente
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sambol chili paste
  • 3 slices provolone cheese


  • Heat a large frying pan with olive oil and add in the turkey. Cook until cooked through and starting to brown.
  • Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes. Add in the chili paste, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the basil and remove from heat.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Once the turkey mixture is cooled a bit, fill the shells with as much of the turkey mixture as you can fit. Place the finished shells into a baking dish so they fight tightly.
  • Mix the coconut milk, soy sauce, and chili paste in a measuring cup and stir to combine.
  • Rip up the provolone slices and top the shells evenly with it. Pour the coconut mixture over the shells until it is 3/4 of the way up.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese is melted, the sauce is bubbling, and the edges are starting to brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.


  1. These shells are so sexy! (It’s the cheese, so I’m glad you added it.) They also seem refreshingly different. I would love to try it.

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