Creamy Beef and Shells: A Comforting Pasta Delight


Indulge in the rich and comforting flavors of creamy beef and shells—a delicious pasta dish that combines tender ground beef, al dente pasta shells, and a luscious, creamy sauce. Perfect for a cozy family dinner or a gathering with friends, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings for a hearty and satisfying meal. In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of creating this mouthwatering dish, highlighting essential ingredients, techniques, and tips to elevate your creamy beef and shells to a new level of deliciousness.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for a touch of heat)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed tomato soup
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Cooking the Pasta: a. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions until they are al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Browning the Ground Beef: a. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until it is browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat if necessary.
  3. Creating the Flavor Base: a. Push the cooked ground beef to one side of the skillet and add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the other side. Sauté them until they are softened and fragrant, usually about 2-3 minutes. b. Mix the ground beef, onion, and garlic together in the skillet. Add the dried oregano, dried basil, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to coat the beef and vegetables with the aromatic spices.
  4. Building the Creamy Sauce: a. Pour in the diced tomatoes, including their juice, and stir to combine with the beef mixture. b. Add the condensed tomato soup and beef broth. Stir until everything is well incorporated. c. Reduce the heat to low and add the heavy cream, stirring continuously to blend it into the sauce. Simmer gently for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. d. Sprinkle in the shredded mozzarella cheese and stir until it melts and the sauce becomes thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combining the Pasta and Sauce: a. Add the cooked pasta shells to the skillet with the creamy beef sauce. Gently toss everything together until the pasta shells are evenly coated with the sauce.
  6. Serving and Garnishing: a. Transfer the creamy beef and shells to serving plates or bowls. Garnish with fresh basil leaves for a burst of freshness and aroma. b. Serve immediately and enjoy the comforting flavors of this delightful pasta dish.

Tips and Variations:

  1. Adding Vegetables:
    • For an extra nutritional boost and flavor, consider adding sautéed mushrooms, diced bell peppers, or spinach to the dish. Sauté them along with the onion and garlic in step 3 for added depth and texture.
  2. Cheese Variations:
    • While mozzarella cheese provides a classic and melty topping, feel free to experiment with other cheeses such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a combination of your favorites.
  3. Fresh Herb Substitutions:
    • If you don’t have fresh basil on hand, you can use dried basil instead. However, fresh basil leaves offer a vibrant taste and aroma that complements the dish perfectly.
  4. Make It Ahead:
    • This creamy beef and shells dish can be prepared ahead of time and reheated when needed. Store the cooked pasta and sauce separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of broth or cream to loosen the sauce if needed.


Creamy beef and shells offer a comforting and satisfying meal that brings together the richness of ground beef, the creaminess of the sauce, and the delightful texture of pasta shells. By following these simple steps and incorporating your own variations, you can create a dish that is tailored to your taste preferences. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the heartiness of this delightful pasta dish, and savor each bite of this creamy and flavorful creation.

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