Creamy Beef and Shells: A Step-by-Step Recipe Guide

Creamy Beef and Shells is a rich and comforting dish that combines tender pasta shells with a savory ground beef sauce, all enveloped in a creamy, cheesy blend that’s both satisfying and indulgent. This recipe is perfect for those seeking the warmth of a home-cooked meal that’s both easy to prepare and deliciously fulfilling. Ideal for busy weeknights, family dinners, or whenever the craving for comfort food strikes, Creamy Beef and Shells promises to deliver a hearty and flavorful experience that’s sure to become a favorite in your meal rotation.



Why You’ll Love Creamy Beef and Shells:

  • Hearty and Satisfying: A fulfilling meal that combines pasta, meat, and a creamy sauce for ultimate comfort.
  • Quick and Easy: Simple ingredients and straightforward steps make this dish a weeknight lifesaver.
  • Kid-Friendly: A hit with children and adults alike, thanks to its familiar flavors and creamy texture.
  • Customizable: Easily adaptable to suit your taste preferences or dietary needs.

Ingredients Notes For Creamy Beef and Shells:

  • Pasta Shells: Medium-sized shells are ideal for holding onto the creamy sauce, but you can use any pasta you have on hand.
  • Ground Beef: Lean ground beef is recommended for its lower fat content, but you can also use ground turkey for a lighter version.
  • Aromatics: Onion and garlic add depth to the beef sauce, enhancing its savory notes.
  • Tomato Paste and Diced Tomatoes: Provide a rich tomato base for the sauce, balancing the creaminess with a touch of acidity.
  • Cream: Heavy cream contributes to the luxurious texture of the sauce. For a lighter version, half-and-half or whole milk can be substituted.
  • Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese adds a bold flavor, but feel free to experiment with different types of cheese according to your preference.
  • Seasonings: Adjust the salt, pepper, paprika, and any additional herbs and spices to tailor the dish to your liking.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Cook the Pasta: Boil the pasta shells in salted water until al dente, then drain and set aside.
  2. Brown the Beef: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned. Drain excess fat, then add the chopped onions and minced garlic, cooking until softened.
  3. Build the Sauce: Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and any desired seasonings, cooking until the mixture is well combined. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Combine with Pasta: Add the cooked pasta shells to the skillet, stirring until the shells are evenly coated in the sauce.
  5. Add Cheese: Mix in the shredded cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.
  6. Serve: Garnish with fresh parsley or grated Parmesan cheese before serving warm.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Warm up in the microwave or on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of milk if necessary to loosen the sauce.


Creamy Beef and Shells: A Step-by-Step Recipe Guide

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Author: Maria


  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Fresh parsley chopped, for garnish


Cook the Pasta:

  • Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain and set aside.

Brown the Beef:

  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.

Sauté Onion and Garlic:

  • Add the chopped onion to the skillet with the beef. Cook until the onion is softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute until fragrant.

Add Tomato Sauce and Broth:

  • Stir in the tomato sauce and beef broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes to combine the flavors.

Make It Creamy:

  • Stir in the heavy cream and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.

Combine Pasta and Beef Mixture:

  • Add the cooked pasta shells to the skillet and stir until they are well coated with the sauce.

Add Cheese:

  • Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the pasta and beef mixture. Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil and let it sit off the heat until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.

Garnish and Serve:

  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

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