Creamy Beef And Shells – Welcome to another delightful recipe, from my kitchen – Creamy Beef and Shells. This comforting American favorite is bound to become a feature in your home just as it has in mine. With its ground beef, rich and creamy tomato sauce, and tender shell pasta this dish is a surefire crowd-pleaser that comes together in just 40 minutes.
I still remember the first time I prepared Creamy Beef and Shells for my family. The savory aroma wafted through our home creating an atmosphere of anticipation. As I placed the steaming plates on the table I couldn’t help but notice the sparkle in my husband’s eyes and the contagious excitement radiating from my child. From that first bite, it was clear that this recipe was a winner. Not only does it satisfy your taste buds, with its flavors but it also warms your heart with its creamy goodness. It’s a dish crafted with love and a desire to create family mealtime moments.
What makes this Creamy Beef And Shells truly stand out?
Creamy Beef and Shells is truly a loved classic that effortlessly combines comfort and indulgence. Its quick preparation makes it perfect for those busy evenings while still bearing a blend of savory ground beef bathed in a mildly spicy tomato sauce enriched by carefully chosen seasonings. The best part? You can personalize it by using your favored pasta or adding veggies to make it truly yours. However, what really makes it stand out is the cheesy goodness that wraps around each pasta shell making it more than a simple meal but rather a comforting and heartwarming culinary journey.
What You Need To Make This Creamy Beef And Shells Recipe?
Ground Beef (85% lean): When choosing ground beef going for the 85% option strikes a perfect balance, between flavor and tenderness. The slight fat content in this choice contributes to the taste and juiciness of the dish.
Onion and Garlic: While fresh yellow onions and minced garlic offer the best flavor profile you can also consider using onion and garlic powder as substitutes without compromising the essence of the recipe.
Hot Sauce: Adjusting the amount of sauce you include allows you to personalize it according to your level of spiciness. It adds a kick that beautifully complements the richness of the sauce.
Flour (Optional): If you desire a sauce adding flour is an option. It helps create a denser, velvety consistency that enhances texture.
Tomato Sauce and Tomato Paste: These ingredients play roles by providing a tomato base for your sauce giving it that tomato flavor and vibrant color we all love.
Half and Half: This dairy component takes creaminess to another level. It plays a role, in achieving that luxurious texture we look for in our sauces.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Opting for cheddar cheese is recommended as it brings forth a full-bodied cheese flavor that pairs wonderfully with the creamy sauce.
Medium Shell Pasta: Medium shell pasta is an option because it cradles the sauce resulting in a combination of pasta and creaminess, with every bite.
Fresh Parsley: To add a touch and a burst of freshness to the dish fresh parsley can be used as a garnish.
Grated Parmesan Cheese: When serving grated Parmesan cheese brings a salty savory taste that elevates the overall flavor of the meal.
Steps To Make Creamy Beef And Shells:
Step 1: Start by grating the cheese and ensuring all your ingredients are prepared.
Step 2: Begin heating water in a pot to boil the pasta.
Step 3: Season the ground beef, with salt and pepper then preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef. Cook until it turns brown (4 minutes). Incorporate the onions. Cook for 5 minutes until they become tender. Remove any grease.
Step 4: Introduce minced garlic to the mixture. Cook for a minute.
Step 5: Combine hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, mustard powder, red pepper flakes (if desired) and flour into the skillet. Cook for 1 2 minutes.
Step 6: Pour in the beef broth while using a spatula to scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
Step 7: Include tomato sauce, tomato paste, and softened cream cheese. Allow the sauce to simmer while you cook the pasta according to package instructions (7 to 8 minutes).
Step 8: Lower the heat of the sauce. Stir in half and half gradually. Add shredded cheddar cheese bit by bit stirring until it is completely melted and well incorporated.
Step 9: Drain cooked pasta before adding it to the sauce. Stir everything together.
Step 10: Finish, by garnishing with parsley. Serve alongside bread and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
To count richness and abysm to the sauce, for Creamy Beef and Shells you might want to think about including a top-notch beef broth or stock. A scrumptious and full-bodied broth has the potential to boost the dish intensifying its flavor profile and making it more satisfying. It’s a small hint that can truly make an impact, on the ultimate outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Certainly! You can definitely prepare this dish ahead of time. It reheats wonderfully so feel free to make it in advance and simply warm it up when you’re ready to enjoy. To maintain its consistency just add a bit of milk.
Can I use a different type of pasta?
Absolutely! You have the flexibility to use your favorite type of pasta in this recipe. However, I must say that shells work well as they perfectly hold onto the creamy sauce.
Is there a way to make it less spicy?
Yes, there are ways to make it less spicy if that’s your preference. Simply adjust the amount of sauce and red pepper flakes according to your taste buds. If you prefer a milder flavor profile you can even omit them entirely.
Creamy Beef And Shells
Experience the comforting embrace of Creamy Beef and Shells an American classic that combines seasoned ground beef, with a velvety tomato sauce, nestled within tender medium-shell pasta. What makes this recipe truly enticing is not just its taste. Also it’s simplicity, taking only 40 minutes from start to finish. You have the freedom to customize it with your preferred pasta and enjoy a blend of flavors. This dish is perfect for those dinners when you desire both convenience and indulgence. With its creamy, cheesy and irresistibly rich flavors, it’s a recipe that will leave a lasting impression, on your repertoire.
- Prep Time: 15 MINUTES
- Cook Time: 25 MINUTES
- Total Time: 40 MINUTES
- Yield: 4 people 1x
1 lb. ground beef (85% lean)
Salt/Pepper, to taste
1 small diced yellow onion (or 1 tsp onion powder)
3 cloves minced garlic (or ½ tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp mustard powder
A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3 tbsp all-purpose flour (optional, helps thicken the sauce)
1 cup beef broth
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cream cheese, softened
½ cup half and half
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
½ lb. medium shell pasta
Fresh parsley, to garnish
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Begin by browning the ground beef in a skillet until it is nicely seasoned. Then add some onion and minced garlic. Continue cooking until they become soft. Make sure to drain any grease from the skillet.
Next stir in some sauce Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, mustard powder, red pepper flakes and if desired a bit of flour. Let it cook for a while.
Now it’s time to add the beef broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste and softened cream cheese to the mixture. Allow everything to simmer while you bring some pasta to a boil separately.
Once the pasta is drained properly reduce the heat of your skillet mixture and pour in some half and half. Gradually blend in cheddar cheese until it becomes smooth and creamy.
Finally, combine the drained pasta with your creamy sauce. To make it more appealing visually garnish, with parsley and serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top. Now sit back. Enjoy this dish!
To create a gluten-free version of the Creamy Beef and Shells recipe you just need to make a few simple adjustments. Instead of using all-purpose flour opt for a gluten-free flour blend. Also make sure to choose Worcestershire sauce that is labeled as gluten-free since some brands might contain gluten. Lastly select gluten-free pasta shells, which can be easily found at grocery stores. By making these swaps you can enjoy the creaminess of this dish without any concerns, about gluten.
My name is Natasha and I am the owner of nodashofgluten.com, a blog dedicated to all kinds of recipes. On my website, you can find classic dishes, vegetarian delights, creative snacks, Gluten-free recipes, and desserts – all proving that cooking isn’t as hard as it seems! With easy-to-follow instructions and tips on how to make your meals even better, I strive to help everyone become master chefs in their own kitchen. Come join me at nodashofgluten.com for some delicious fun!