Creamy Beef and Shells

Creamy Beef and Shells: A Decadent Delight


Get ready to experience a symphony of flavors with our tantalizing Creamy Beef and Shells recipe. This dish is the epitome of comfort food, featuring succulent ground beef, aromatic herbs, and tender pasta shells, all enveloped in a rich and creamy sauce. Perfect for family dinners or entertaining guests, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your repertoire. Join us on a culinary journey as we dive into the art of creating this indulgent masterpiece!



  • 1 pound (450g) large pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound (450g) ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks.
  3. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet, and cook until softened and fragrant.
  4. Stir in the dried oregano, dried basil, crushed red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and black pepper. Cook for another minute to allow the flavors to meld.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beef broth to the skillet, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken slightly.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream, shredded mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy.
  7. Add the cooked pasta shells to the skillet, and toss to coat them evenly with the sauce.
  8. Remove the skillet from the heat, and garnish the Creamy Beef and Shells with chopped fresh parsley.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy the creamy goodness!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Meat Variation: Feel free to use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef for a lighter option. You can also use Italian sausage for extra flavor.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes to suit your taste preferences. For a milder dish, you can omit them altogether.
  • Cheese Options: Experiment with different types of cheese for added flavor. Sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Fontina would all be delicious alternatives to mozzarella and Parmesan.
  • Vegetable Additions: Add diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach to sneak in some extra veggies and boost the nutritional content of the dish.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Version: To make a keto-friendly version of Creamy Beef and Shells, substitute the pasta shells with zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles. Use heavy cream and full-fat cheeses, and ensure that the tomato products used are low in carbs or sugar-free.
  • Low-Carb Version: For a lower-carb option, use whole grain or legume-based pasta shells, or substitute with spiralized vegetables such as zucchini or spaghetti squash. Reduce the amount of pasta and increase the ratio of beef and sauce for a more balanced dish.

With its luscious creaminess and savory flavors, Creamy Beef and Shells is a dish that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Whether enjoyed as a cozy weeknight dinner or served at a special gathering, this recipe is guaranteed to satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more. So gather your ingredients and prepare to indulge in a culinary delight that’s as comforting as it is delicious!Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time and reheat it later? A: Yes, Creamy Beef and Shells can be prepared ahead of time and reheated later. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, and reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers of this dish? A: Yes, this dish freezes well. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months, and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Q: Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs? A: Yes, you can use fresh herbs in place of dried herbs if you prefer. Just keep in mind that the flavor intensity may differ, so you may need to adjust the quantities accordingly.

Q: Can I make this dish vegetarian? A: Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of Creamy Beef and Shells by substituting the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or extra vegetables such as mushrooms or lentils.

Q: Can I use gluten-free pasta for this recipe? A: Absolutely! Feel free to use gluten-free pasta shells for a gluten-free version of this dish. Just be sure to follow the cooking instructions on the package as gluten-free pasta may require different cooking times.

Q: Can I add other vegetables to this dish? A: Of course! You can customize this dish with your favorite vegetables. Try adding diced bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, or baby spinach for extra flavor and nutrition.

Q: Can I use different types of cheese? A: Yes, you can experiment with different types of cheese to suit your taste preferences. Gouda, provolone, or fontina would all be delicious options to try.

Q: Can I make this dish dairy-free? A: Yes, you can make a dairy-free version of Creamy Beef and Shells by using non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk or coconut milk, and omitting the cheese or using a dairy-free cheese alternative.

Q: Can I add wine to the sauce? A: Absolutely! Adding a splash of red wine to the sauce can add depth and richness to the flavor profile. Simply deglaze the skillet with wine before adding the tomato products and broth.

Q: Can I use ground sausage instead of ground beef? A: Yes, ground sausage would add a delicious flavor twist to this dish. Just be sure to adjust the seasoning accordingly as sausage can be quite flavorful on its own.

With these tips, variations, and answers to frequently asked questions, you’re all set to embark on a culinary adventure with Creamy Beef and Shells. Whether you’re cooking for yourself, your family, or a group of friends, this recipe is sure to impress with its irresistible combination of flavors and textures. So don your apron, fire up the stove, and get ready to create a meal that will have everyone asking for seconds!


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