Creamy One-Pot Shells and Beef is an easy pasta dish that is cooked in a tomato cream sauce and is ready in just 30 minutes. It’s easy to make, easy to clean and kid approved!
Yes, it’s me again with another easy 30 minute one-pot dinner for ya. I seem to be on roll with these lately, but the end of the school year is always super busy, and these quick and easy meals are pretty much necessary for our survival.
And today, I was out all day chaperoning a gaggle of giggling girls– my own included — on a school field trip. Actually, as field trips go, it wasn’t bad at all — I’ve seen a lot worse. But by the end of the day, my energy level was practically down to zero, and cooking dinner was the last thing on my mind. I even forgot that I had asked the Hubs to pick up some fresh ground beef on his way home.
That’s what’s so great about one dish meals. You don’t need to put a lot of time or effort into dinner, but everyone is fed and happy, and you feel like Super Mom, even when you’re exhausted.
My family loves pasta, but I wanted to try something a little bit different this time, so I made a creamy tomato sauce instead of the usual red sauce. Basically, I cooked the beef and pasta, added some tomato sauce and, then I added a little cream at the end. Easy peasy.
I used medium shells this time, but you could use mini penne, bow ties or pretty much whatever you have on hand.
You could make this even easier by using dried onions or garlic powder — it’s up to you. If I’m really in a rush, I’ll do this, but I usually enjoy the chopping process. It actually relaxes me. Or sometimes, I’ll just ask the Hubs or one of my older kids to help!
What really saves time is having chopped onions waiting in the freezer. If I cut a whole onion, I’ll try to freeze half for later, and eventually, I’ll have a nice stash of onions when I need them!
How to Make Creamy One-Pot Shells and Beef
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh extra lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow or white onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups medium shells uncooked (about 1/2 of a 1 pound box)
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning mix
- 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese optional
- In a large pot or skillet, saute the onions in olive oil until soft
- Add ground beef, and cook until brown
- Add the garlic, salt and pepper
- Stir in the tomato sauce, pasta and water
- Cover and cook on high for about 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente (mostly cooked)
- Add the Italian seasoning, reduce heat to medium low, and stir in the cream
- Cook on low heat until sauce begins to thicken
- Add the Parmesan cheese, and serve
I’m happy to report that the whole family loved this creamy one-pot shells and beef. I served a simple salad on the side, which was just enough to make dinner complete.
And after dinner was over, I went and put my feet up for the rest of the evening!