Creamy beef and shells is a rich and cheesy homemade spin on and flavor-packed upgrade from Hamburger Helper’s hearty family meal.
- 8 oz. medium pasta shells, about 2 cups
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Brown the ground beef in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until cooked, making sure to break up any clumps. Remove beef and set aside. Drain any excess grease from the pot.
- Saute onions in some olive oil until soft. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Add flour, cook and stir for about 1 minute.
- Pour in the beef broth and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.
- Season with paprika, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat to medium and add in heavy cream. Simmer gently until the sauce has reduced a little and is thick and creamy, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add in beef and pasta and stir gently until the pasta is well coated and heated through.
- Stir in cheese until the cheese melts smoothly into the sauce. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Dish and serve hot.
- Make it richer – Add some sour cream or cream cheese for more flavor and a richer sauce.
- Change the protein – Substitute ground beef with ground Italian sausage, ground chicken, or ground turkey.
- Add some veggies – Add some vegetables like peas, broccoli, or red bell peppers.
- Add some heat – Add a few shakes of crushed red pepper to spice it up a little.
- Make it smoky – Try a few dashes of smoked paprika to smoke things up.
- Add some color – Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or green onions before serving.
- Scroll up to RECIPE TIPS for more useful tips, suggestions and ingredient substitutions.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins