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One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells and Beef is creamy, cheesy, tangy and only takes about 30 minutes to make. The clean-up is super easy too!


My middle child absolutely loves barbecue sauce. She uses it the way some people use ketchup — as a dip for fries, a topping for burgers and hot dogs, and to mask the taste of any food she doesn’t particularly like.  So basically, she adds barbecue sauce to just about anything! Even at breakfast, barbecue sauce is always on the table.

So when I was planning dinner last night, I thought it would be fun to use barbecue sauce in the recipe instead of on the side. The only requirement I had for dinner was that it had to be a one-dish meal. We’re still adjusting to life with a new puppy, and puppies are a lot of work. Seriously. You hold a wiggly, cuddly, kissing puppy in your arms for a minute and you forget. Sooo anyway, dinner had to be quick and easy.

I had some ground beef left over from making jalapeno jack burgers the night before, and I also had some leftover corn on the cob – exactly the base I needed for an easy barbecue flavored dinner.

The easy version of this recipe is that you throw everything into a large pot, and in less than 30 minutes, dinner is ready. Of course, it’s a little more detailed than that, but still, we’re talking quick, easy and uncomplicated. And perfect for the barbecue lover in the family!


How to Make One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells and Beef

5 from 2 votes

One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells and Beef

By: Dee
One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells and Beef is an easy one dish meal of ground beef, cheddar cheese, pasta and barbecue sauce that is ready in about 30 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta I used shells
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup cream or half and half
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
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  • In a large skillet or pot, heat the ground beef until brown, and season with salt and pepper
  • Add the pasta, water, corn and barbecue sauce
  • Cover and cook on high, stirring frequently, until pasta is slightly soft
  • Reduce heat to medium, and stir in the cream and shredded cheese
  • Cook until pasta is soft and cheese is melted
  • Serve immediately, and enjoy!


Calories: 603kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 137mg, Sodium: 1251mg, Potassium: 666mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 790IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 321mg, Iron: 3.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

This is one of the few recipes where I keep everything lightly seasoned. The barbecue sauce has so much flavor that I didn’t see a reason to add any extra onions, garlic or anything. And that’s rare for me. Maybe I’m just being lazy, but it works!


But if you want to add extra flavor, go right ahead.

One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells and Beef

You can even add more barbecue sauce to this One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells and Beef. But, you know what? My daughter was fine with it as is — amazing!

Have a super day, friends!


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Recipe Rating


  1. Shalonda says:

    This recipe looked great however I ended up making it with peas because I discovered I was out of corn. It still tasted great and my picky 7 year old loved it!! I will definitely make it again with corn next time! Lol!5 stars

    1. Dee says:

      That’s wonderful! So glad your family liked it!

  2. Susan says:

    This looks absolutely scrumptious! I have never thought of putting BBQ sauce in a casserole before. Love it! Pinned.

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Susan. I’m always trying to switch flavors up a little. 🙂

  3. Angie | Big Bear's Wife says:

    Oh my gosh, haha I do the same things with bbq sauce. I use it just like other people us ketchup! haha too funny! Lord and YES, haha puppies are wonderful but they’re a handful! Looks like the perfect, fast bbq lover dinner!

    1. Dee says:

      Thanks, Angie. This is perfect for the BBQ lover!

  4. Krista says:

    This would be a great dinner to have on a Monday! Make it an easy dinner for a Monday!

    1. Dee says:

      Oh, Mondays definitely call for easy dinners!

  5. Miz Helen says:

    We will really enjoy your One Pot Cheddar BBQ Shells with Beef, that is real comfort! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a fabulous weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen5 stars

  6. Michelle | A Latte Food says:

    Oooh I love barbecue sauce too! This one pot meal is genius!

  7. Meg @ With Salt and Wit says:

    Dinner made easy! I love when you can have a delicious easy dinner!

  8. Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog says:

    I SO want to dig into a big bowl of this right now!

    1. Dee says:

      It was a big hit with the family, so I’m definitely making it again. 🙂

  9. Cathy Trochelman says:

    Down home cooking at its best! My family would LOVE this!

    1. Dee says:

      Mine had no problem with it — they loved it!

  10. Kacey @ The Cookie Writer says:

    We love BBQ sauce so much we drizzle it on our pizza 🙂 This meal is so comforting and reminds me of my dad’s cooking (okay, basically hamburger helper but a much more gourmet version!)

    1. Dee says:

      My daughter would probably love BBQ sauce on pizza! 🙂