Creamy Beef and Shells

Creamy Beef and Shells: A Comforting Pasta Dish for Any Night

Introduction to Creamy Beef and Shells

Creamy Beef and Shells is a delightful pasta dish that adds a rich twist to your usual pasta night. This dish combines tender ground beef, creamy cheese, and pasta shells, making it a hearty meal that fulfills cravings for something deeply satisfying and savory. Perfectly capturing the essence of home cooking, this recipe delivers a quick yet gratifying dinner option.

Detailed Recipe Description

Creating the perfect Creamy Beef and Shells involves a blend of simple yet flavorful ingredients. This dish features:

  • Ground beef: Crucial for its robust flavor and texture. Discover more about the types of ground beef on Wikipedia.
  • Pasta shells: Excellent for capturing the creamy sauce.
  • A creamy base made from heavy cream and melted cheddar, providing a velvety, rich texture that beautifully coats the pasta.

The cooking process is straightforward:

  1. Brown the beef until it’s perfectly caramelized.
  2. Boil the pasta to al dente perfection.
  3. Combine all ingredients in one pot, allowing the cheese to melt into the creamy beef mixture, creating an irresistibly smooth sauce.

Learn more about the fascinating history of pasta dishes to appreciate the origins of your meal.

Selecting Quality Ingredients

Selecting the right ingredients is crucial in cooking Creamy Beef and Shells. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Beef: Choose a higher-fat content for more flavor. Lean beef can also be used for a healthier version.
  • Pasta: Pasta shells are recommended because they excel at trapping the sauce, enhancing the texture of the dish.
  • Dairy: Full-fat cheese and cream are ideal for achieving the richest taste and texture. For healthier alternatives, consider using low-fat cheese and cream.

Incorporating fresh herbs and spices can take this dish to new heights. Consider adding a sprinkle of Italian seasoning or paprika for an extra flavor kick.

Cooking Techniques Explained

To master Creamy Beef and Shells, focus on these cooking techniques:

  • Browning the Beef: Ensure you sear the beef well to develop deep flavors. Avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure each piece gets a good crust.
  • Cooking Pasta: Cook the shells until just al dente; they will continue to cook in the sauce, absorbing wonderful flavors.
  • Making the Creamy Sauce: Gradually stir in the cheese to avoid clumping. Maintain a gentle simmer to prevent the dairy from separating.

Explore various methods of preparing beef with this insightful article on cooking methods for beef.

Serving Suggestions

Here are some tips for serving Creamy Beef and Shells:

  • Garnish with chopped parsley or basil to add a touch of freshness.
  • Serve alongside a simple green salad or steamed vegetables to balance out the richness of the meal.

Customization Options

Creamy Beef and Shells is adaptable to various tastes and dietary needs:

  • Dietary Adjustments: Substitute gluten-free pasta or use plant-based cheese and cream for a vegan variant.
  • Flavor Variations: Enhance the dish by mixing in sautéed mushrooms, spinach, or sun-dried tomatoes for added texture and flavor.

Health and Nutritional Information

This dish is rich in proteins and fats, contributing to its satisfying nature. However, it can be high in calories, so consider portion control as part of a balanced diet. Boost the nutritional value by adding vegetables or opting for whole-grain pasta.

Discover more tips on preparing healthy meals on Pinterest Healthy Eating.

Dietary Modifications

To make Creamy Beef and Shells healthier:

  • Opt for lean ground beef or even ground turkey as substitutes.
  • Choose low-fat dairy products to reduce calorie intake without sacrificing too much flavor.

Explore the variety of cheeses that can enhance pasta dishes on Pinterest Cheese Recipes.


  • What are the best types of beef for this recipe? A mix of ground chuck and sirloin offers a good balance of flavor and fat, making the dish more succulent.
  • Can I make this dish ahead of time and freeze it? Yes, you can freeze Creamy Beef and Shells. Simply reheat on the stove or in the microwave when ready to serve.
  • Are there any cheese alternatives that can be used? Yes, for a different flavor profile, try using mozzarella or provolone cheese.
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Creamy Beef and Shells

Creamy Beef and Shells

  • Author:
  • Total Time: 40 minutes


Creamy Beef and Shells is a rich and hearty pasta dish that combines tender ground beef and pasta shells in a creamy, cheese-infused sauce. This comforting meal is perfect for a quick and satisfying dinner that’s loved by both adults and children.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Cook the Pasta: Boil the pasta shells until al dente, drain and set aside.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: In a skillet, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic until tender.
  3. Brown the Beef: Add ground beef to the skillet and cook until browned and no longer pink. Season with paprika, mustard powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Pour beef broth into the skillet and bring to a boil. Add cooked pasta shells, reduce heat, and simmer until the pasta is tender.
  5. Finish with Cream and Cheese: Stir in heavy cream and simmer until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle chopped parsley over the top before serving.


  • Variations: Substitute ground turkey or pork for beef if desired.
  • Cheese Options: Try different cheeses such as mozzarella or provolone for a different flavor profile.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Sautéing, Boiling
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 450 kcal
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fat: 27g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Cholesterol: 90mg

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