Cheesy Beef and Shells

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Tender ground beef and shells sautéed with onions and bell peppers, simmered in a scratch made cheesy crushed tomato sauce. Try this recipe out for a quick one pot meal!

Cheesy beef and shells is something I think has been around forever. You don’t plan for it it’s really a right ingredient right time kind of situation. It’s a crowd pleaser; everyone loves it and one pot anything always is a plus

When you’ve had beef and shells as a kid it more than likely came from a box. It was also more than likely served to you for that reason too since that means convenience. I’m not going to Google how to make hamburger helper or anything but I think the summary is brown the meat. Drain it. Then add in powder, water, and boil. Something like that. Other than having to boil the noodles separately it is just as simple to make your own.

When you’re making your own anything it’s always a lot more fun because you can use what you have on hand. If you want to go meatless try mushrooms, zucchini’s, and a handful of greens. Out of ground beef? Or you don’t eat pork. Swap it out for ground chicken, turkey, or just whatever else you happen to have on hand. Play around with the cheese too. If you want it spicy try pepper jack.

Really this dish can be made many ways that’s why it’s been around so long. Try this version out and let me know what you think!


  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 1lb Ground Pork
  • 16oz Crushed Tomatoes, canned
  • 1c Vegetable Stock
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 12oz Cheddar Cheese Block, Grated
  • 1c Heavy Cream
  • 1 Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, small diced
  • 1lb Shell Pasta
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley (optional)


  • BROWN MEAT: Sautee ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat. Once all the beef is browned drain excess fat over a colander and return the beef to the pan.
  • SAUTE VEG: Add in onions and bell peppers.
  • SEASON: Once the onions and peppers have browned add garlic. Season pot with salt and pepper.
  • SIMMER: Add in crushed tomatoes, chicken stock then simmer for 30 minutes.
  • BOIL WATER: Bring a pot of water to a boil, season generously with salt.
  • COOK PASTA: Cook the pasta to package instructions.
  • ADD TO SAUCE: Once the pasta is cooked add to simmering tomatoes.
  • ADD CREAM: Add in heavy cream and simmer for about 5 minutes. (Add more chicken stock if sauce is too thick)
  • REMOVE FROM HEAT: Turn down the heat of the pan.
  • SEASON: Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
  • ADD CHEESE: Add in cheese and gently toss till melted. Serve Immediately!

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