5 Ingredient Creamy Beef and Shells

Dreamy 5 Ingredient Creamy Beef and Shells made in just ONE pot and ready in under 30 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknight dinners and great for the whole family. Filled with ground beef, onion, your favorite jarred marinara, pasta shells (regular or gluten free), and milk.

5 Ingredient Creamy Beef and Shells

I am ALL about one pot dinners. Not only do I love only having one pot to clean, I love how quick and easy they are. This one pot wonder will be ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes. I actually timed myself the other day and made it in 24 minutes start to finish! That’s what I’m talking about!

The FIVE ingredients needed are:

  • Grass-fed ground beef
  • Pasta shells
  • Onion
  • Jarred Marinara
  • Milk
  • OPTIONAL— garlic and cheese. These items aren’t absolutely necessary, however, If you happen to have them lying around, I would consider tossing them in.
5 Ingredient Creamy Beef and Shells

This meal can be very easily modified to be gluten-free and dairy-free. Simply use your favorite gluten-free pasta (I love Jovial foods) and substitute a non-dairy alternative (nut pods original is delicious), and just leave out the cheese– it’s as easy as that!

5 Ingredient Creamy Beef and Shells

Piero absolutely LOVES this dish too which is so nice. I love that it’s quick, healthy, and good for the whole family. Leftovers last for 3-4 days in the fridge as well.

I hope you love it!! As always, if you try it, a comment and review below is so very appreciated! I love hearing from you guys. XO, Lindsay


5 Ingredient Creamy Beef and Shells

5 Ingredient Creamy Beef and Shells
  • Author: Lindsay Cola (Tippens)


  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 124 oz jar marinara sauce of choice (I like Rao’s tomato basil)
  • 4 cups water
  • 16 oz pasta shells
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 c shredded cheddar or parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Heat a few T olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When oil is hot, add ground beef and cook, breaking up with the back of your spoon until fully cooked through, about 5- 7 minutes.  Drain excess fat.
  2. Add onion and garlic if using and season with salt and pepper; cook another 2-3 minutes, until onion is translucent and garlic fragrant.
  3. Add in marinara, water, and pasta shells.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until pasta is cooked and liquid has reduced to a creamy consistency.
  4. Stir in milk and cheese if using and adjust salt and pepper.
  5. Enjoy!
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