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+ servings
instant pot creamy shells and beef on a white plate
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5 from 97 votes

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef is an easy one pot dinner made entirely in the pressure cooker. It's like homemade hamburger helper, with ground beef and pasta in a tomato cream sauce and very kid friendly!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
pressure time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 254kcal
Author Dee
Cost $5


  • 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



Recipe can be made in the 8 quart and 6 quart Instant Pot or similar electric pressure cookers without changing times or amounts.
I use Barilla brand marinara sauce or RAO's pasta sauce and Barilla pasta in this recipe.
You can add another ½ to 1 cup water for a thinner sauce or more cream at the end.
If you double the ingredients, cook time remains the same. Updated 6/20


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 436mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 620IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 1mg