Creamed Beef and Shells is a hearty pasta dish that is perfect for a quick dinner for the whole family! It is delicious, flavorful, and cheesy, and also kids will love it!

The mixture of marinara sauce and dairy makes it so yummy. And you get all sorts of delicious flavors coming from the aromatics and the varied herbs and seasonings.

You own protein and carbs in one dish and that gives this hearty and filling. Serve it with a surface of veggies, and you get yourself a perfect lunch or dinner!

Kids too love it! It is easy to eat and each bite provides you cheesy and beefy goodness.
Busy on weeknights? That is not a difficulty with this recipe. You can end cooking this in under 30 minutes!

What is “beef and shells”?

It relates to this dish made with short pasta and seasoned ground beef in a sauce that is both tomato-based and dairy-based.

In this recipe, we are also adding in heavy cream and sour cream aside from the cheddar cheese while others add in cheese only. This makes this dish creamier overall.

How do you make beef and shells?

-Cook the pasta: Follow the instructions
-Cook the meat: In a skillet, brown the ground beef, drain the excess fat, then, set aside.
-Prepare the sauce: In the same large skillet, sauté onion and garlic. Stir in the flour for about a minute. stir in the stock Slowly, marinara sauce, and the herbs and seasonings. Let the whole thing boil and thicken.
-Add in the pasta, meat, cream, salt, and pepper. Then, add in the sour cream and cheese.
-Serve: Once the cheese becomes melted, serve it while hot!

Can I use different ground meat?

Sure! You can displace the beef with other meat like chicken or turkey.


8 ounces medium pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 small sweet onion (diced)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef stock
1 (15oz can) marinara sauce
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
Proper salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (freshly grated)

What can be applied in place of marinara sauce?

It is an easy sauce made with tomatoes and some aromatics like onion, garlic, and some seasonings. For this dish, you can simply substitute it with tomato sauce and probably add more of the aromatics and seasonings.

How to store creamy beef and shells:

Refrigerate: Let it cold completely and transfer it in an airtight container before putting it in the fridge. Consume it within 3 days. You can simply reheat it on the stove.
Freeze: You can freeze this for a few weeks, simply thaw completely before reheating. This means, when you reheat, you will not be cutting the pasta into pieces.

Make-Ahead: You can refrigerate the sauce and simply add cooked pasta on the day you want to serve it. You can also pre-cook the pasta and refrigerate it. Before freezing, remember to drizzle any oil to prevent sticking


Cook pasta in a large pot of steaming salted water and drain well.
Warmth olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add beef and cook until fried, about 4-5 minutes, breaking it with a wooden spoon. Drain excess fat and set aside.

To a similar skillet, add diced onion, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add garlic, and cook until perfumed, about 1 minute.

Speed in flour until lightly browned, for about 2 minutes.
Progressively speed in beef stock and stir to combine. Add the sauce and stir in Italian seasoning, dried parsley, oregano, and paprika.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
Stir in cooked pasta, add back beef.
Stir in cloudy cream until cooked through, about 1-3 minutes. Taste and balance for salt and pepper.
Stir in dry cream.
Mix in cheddar cheese until melted, about 1-2 minutes.
Serve quickly, garnish with parsley if wanted

Recipe tips:

You can choose from penne, elbow macaroni, or rotini as a substitute for the shells.
To prevent the pasta from being soggy, you can cook it just al dente so that when you combine it with the sauce, further cooking will not make it too mushy.
You can vegetables like bell peppers and carrots.

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