Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef is an easy pressure cooker dinner recipe made with ground beef and pasta in a tomato cream sauce. Perfect for busy days!
If you're looking for an easy Instant Pot recipe made with ground beef and pasta, you're going to love this delicious Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef. It's like homemade Hamburger Helper, and it's super kid friendly. Best of all, it's a one pot dinner, so there's hardly any clean-up!
Update! Shells and Beef is without a doubt, one of my most popular recipes. I first made it in 2017, and you all love it -- check the comments for the rave reviews! So, I just added better pictures and tips to make this recipe even better as of June 2020!
Also, note that this is the original -- a lot of people loved it so much that they created their own recipes. That's great and all, but this one's the real deal. Promise!
Have you bought an Instant Pot yet? I've been seeing so many Instant Pot recipes on Pinterest and just about everywhere lately, so of course I was curious. I finally gave in and bought one of these modern pressure cookers on Cyber Monday -- I got a smokin' deal! And friends, let me tell you, that I'm definitely in love!
If you've never made dinner or anything else in a pressure cooker, it can be tricky at first. There's definitely a learning curve here! But once you get the hang of it, you're going to love cooking with your Instant Pot!
I've been doing a lot of experimenting with different Instant Pot recipes, and I was able to convert some of my favorite one pot dinner recipes to pressure cooker dinner recipes. Yea -- Go me!
This Creamy One Pot Shells and Beef is not only one of my family's favorite ground beef recipes, but it's also one of the most popular recipes on the blog. It's basically just pasta, beef and marinara sauce, along with a little bit of cream. It's super easy to make on the stove, but I had to change some things to make it work in the pressure cooker.
And in case you're wondering -- Yes, you can make pasta in the Instant Pot! You just have to make sure that you also add enough liquid to make it all work!
How to Make Ground Beef and Shells in the Pressure Cooker
You start off by sauteing an onion in the Instant Pot, and then, you add some lean ground beef. I buy lean or extra lean ground beef, so I don't remove the grease. But, you can definitely remove the grease if you want to.
Next, add your seasonings. Then, you add your uncooked shell pasta, some marinara sauce and water.
You have to make sure that the pasta and everything else is completely covered with water and sauce. You don't need to stir it all together, ( in fact, don't stir it yet!) but you can push it all down with a spatula or spoon, just to make sure the liquid is covering the pasta.
Next, you use the pressure cooking function. Pasta cooks in the Instant Pot for about half the time it cooks on the stove. A good rule of thumb for cooking pasta in the Instant Pot is to cook for half the time recommended on the package.
I set the timer to 5 minutes, which gives you a softer texture, but you could do 4 minutes for firmer pasta or even 6 minutes for even softer pasta.
It takes about 10 minutes or so for the pot to come to pressure, and then, the Instant Pot starts cooking and counting down the minutes until the pasta is done
When 5 minutes are up, do a quick release by turning the valve to release. Be sure to wear an oven mitt or use a spoon to be on the safe side. Remove the lid, stir in the cream and Parm, and you're done!
One of the best thing about cooking with an Instant Pot is that you don't have to babysit a pot on the stove. Just let the pressure cooker do the work, and come back when the time is up!
It's quick and easy to prepare, and dinner is made in just one pot for easy clean up! My family loves the texture of the pasta, too.
In fact, my kids couldn't get enough of this creamy shells and beef! They literally ate it all up! If you like it, You might also want to try Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Pasta and Instant Pot Creamy Sausage and Shells.
Tips for Cooking Pasta and Meat in the Instant Pot
- Make sure pasta and meat are completely covered by liquids
- Don't stir the mixture before pressure cooking
- Cook pasta for about half the cook time on the box of pasta
- Add milk or cream at the end, right before serving
May contain affiliate links. See disclosure for more information.
Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef Recipe
Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1-pound box medium shell pasta
- 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Turn Instant Pot to saute setting, and wait for the display to turn to HOT
- Add olive oil and onions, and cook until slightly soft
- Add ground beef, break up with spatula, and cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn't stick to pot
- Season with sea salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder, and hit CANCEl
- Add shells over ground beef, then add the marinara sauce and water. Do not stir, but press lightly with spoon to ensure pasta is completely covered with sauce and water
- Place lid on Instant Pot, close, and make sure vent is set to SEALING position
- Hit PRESSURE COOK for 5 minutes, or half the cooking time on the box of pasta
- When pressure cooking is done, do a quick release, then remove lid and hit CANCEl to turn cooker off
- Stir in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese, and serve
More Easy Instant Pot Ground Beef and Pasta Recipes
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- Instant Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Cheeseburger Mac
- Instant Pot Creamy Taco Pasta
More Favorite Pressure Cooker Recipes
- Mom's Best Instant Pot Chili
- Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken
- Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
- Instant Pot Jasmine Rice
If you like this recipe as much as we do, leave a comment or give me a shout-out on social media! Sign up to receive weekly recipes by email!