This beef and shells recipe is creamy, easy, and made in under 45 minutes! Made with a homemade meat sauce and served with Spinach Artichoke Dip Bread. The ultimate weeknight meal that will satisfy the entire family.
Beef and Shells instantly transport me back to my childhood! Mom made it all the time because what kid doesn’t love cheesy pasta? There’s something magical about a bowl of beef and cheesy shells. Creamy, cheesy, and easy is what I aim for when cooking quick pasta meals.
What I love most about this easy beef and shells recipe is the homemade meat sauce. Season your ground beef generously with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, paprika, and onion powder. And of course, load it up with caramelized onions and fresh garlic! Red crushed pepper is a must for me as well but that, of course, is completely optional.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Medium Pasta Shells
- Ground Beef
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Fresh Garlic
- Heavy Cream
- Granulated Garlic
- Onion Powder
- Olive Oil
- Italian Seasoning
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese
- Salt and Pepper
Top Tips for Successful Beef and Shells
This recipe is super easy and here are my top tips so that you make it perfectly every single time:
- Fill a large pot with water and salt it generously. The water should be really salted so that the pasta is seasoned before adding it to your homemade sauce. Also, make sure the water is at a rapid boil before adding the pasta. No oil necessary.
- Use good quality crushed tomatoes.
- Add 1 tsp of sugar to your meat sauce to balance the acidity.
Beef and Shells Recipe Variations:
Want to make this beef and shells Italian style? Omit the cheddar cheese and replace it with parmesan cheese. Add some red wine and fresh basil as well.
More Delicious Pasta Recipes You’ll Enjoy:
- Chicken and Shrimp Pasta Bake
- Chicken Fajita Pasta
- Roasted Tomato Bucatini
- Creamy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta
Beef and Shells
- 1 lb medium pasta shells
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 tsp red crushed pepper optional
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Drizzle a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium high heat.
- Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the minced garlic and red crushed pepper.
- Add the ground beef and cook until brown.
- Season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, paprika, Italian seasoning, and onion powder.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, add the heavy cream, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Cook the pasta according to packaging instructions.
- Add the pasta to the meat sauce and stir until well combined.
- Add the mozzarella and cheddar cheese, check for seasoning and simmer for an additional 2 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.