If you're looking for a quick and easy dinner that's rich in flavor but won't take all night to make, then look no further! Our one pot creamy pasta and ground beef recipe is perfect for busy weeknights where you want something delicious but don't have the time or energy for an elaborate meal. This meal will bring the family to the table with its hearty combination of creamy al dente pasta, ground beef, and flavorsome herbs - all cooked together in one pot!
One dish meals are the perfect solution when you're short on time or just don't feel like cooking. They are easy to prepare and easy to cleanup because who wants to spend hours in the kitchen on a busy weeknight? Not me.
Quick and easy? Yeah this one pot creamy pasta and ground beef is just that! If you love one pot meals, you will love our beef rice too.
Delicious? Yup! The perfect combination of pasta, beef, cheese and tomatoes makes this a delicious and satisfying meal. The heavy cream gives the sauce a wonderful richness and creaminess. So next time you're looking for an easy one dish meal, give this one a try, you won't be disappointed.
You can add some vegetables into the dish as well if you like, but we prefer it like this. It is also delicious with mushrooms, we have made it with mushrooms a few times. And the kids won't even know they are in there (I promise I won't tell.)
- Pasta - You can pick your favorite but we recommend shells, penne or bowties. We have not tested this one pot creamy pasta and ground beef dish with spaghetti noodles. They are more likely to clump together during cooking.
- Ground beef - Lean is best so you do not have to fuss over draining the grease (this creamy beef pasta is meant to be an easy one dish dinner recipe.) We went with 85% but 90% and above is great too. If you use a higher fat beef, you do want to drain some of the grease.
- Onion - Yellow onion is best, but you can use sweet onion in it's place. White onion will work as well, but we never use red onion in it.
- Garlic - We use fresh chopped, but you can substitute with garlic powder. If you use garlic powder, add it with the rest of the spices instead of sautéing it.
- Broth - Beef broth is best, you can use homemade or store bought. We use no salt added here to easily control the amount of salt. You can use regular broth, but you may want to adjust the amount of salt you add.
- Tomatoes - We use 2 cans of 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes, but you can use a 28 ounce jar in it's place. We use unsalted tomatoes here in the creamy beef pasta, but you can use regular diced canned tomatoes or even home canned tomatoes!
- Italian seasoning - If you do not have Italian seasoning, you can use 1 teaspoon parsley, half a teaspoon basil and half a teaspoon oregano.
- Red pepper flakes - Optional but recommended.
- Salt and pepper - To taste, adjust as you like.
- Heavy cream - Heavy cream is best but you can use half and half in it's place.
- Cheese - We love 6 cheese Italian here. You can use fresh shredded or packaged shredded in this recipe - keeping it simple!
Making the one pot creamy pasta and ground beef
This easy pasta and ground beef recipe is so easy to get on the table!
You want to make sure you are using a 5 quart dish for this creamy pasta and ground beef. We use our favorite 5 quart frying pan, but you can use a sauce pot too if you do not have a large frying pan.
Start by adding the ground beef to a hot pan and breaking it up while cooking. After cooking for about 2-3 minutes, add in the chopped onions and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned. If you need to drain any grease, do so now. We leave it in but we use a leaner beef.
Pour in the broth, the tomatoes and the seasonings. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes to combine the flavors.
Add in the pasta and bring to a simmer over medium to medium low heat. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender. Times will vary for many reasons from stoves varying to the pasta you use. Bowties and penne sometimes take longer then shells.
Once the pasta is tender, pour in the heavy cream and cook uncovered for about 2-3 minutes stirring often. Do NOT boil with the heavy cream added.
Add the cheese and continue cooking for about 1 minute to be sure the cheese is fully melted. Your one pot creamy pasta and ground beef is ready to serve!
What to serve with beef and noodles?
Creamy beef pasta goes well with many different dishes but it is also a meal all on it's own! We usually serve it by itself with no side dish, but here are some foods that will go great with it if you want to add a little something with it on the side.
- Tossed salad
- Sweet coleslaw
- Garlic bread (always delicious!)
- Sliced Italian bread
- Cheesy garlic biscuits
- Sweet broccoli salad
- Your favorite vegetable salad
- Heated vegetables like mixed vegetables, green beans or corn
Frequently asked questions
No, you can use half and half in it's place. Heavy cream is best and recommended, but half and half will work out too.
Leftover one pot creamy pasta and ground beef should last 3-4 days in the fridge if stored promptly and properly after dinner.
Absolutely! You can even use ground sausage or anything you would like with pasta and tomatoes. Ground beef is something we always have in the freezer so it is a quick thing to throw together for us. Turkey is a healthier choice tho.
Changes we made
This one pot creamy pasta and ground beef was updated 5/10/2022 and we did make a big change I would like to note. It was originally written that you cook the pasta separately and that you used less broth.
We think the flavors are better as a one dish meal and it is much easier too! The only ingredient changes are garlic powder got changed to fresh chopped (you can still use powder if you prefer) and the broth increased so it is enough to cook the pasta.
One Pot Creamy Pasta and Ground Beef
- 1 pound noodles of your choice, see notes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 cups broth beef recommended, low sodium or unsalted
- 29 ounces diced tomatoes see notes
- 1 cup heavy cream see notes
- 1½ cups shredded cheese we recommend 5 cheese Italian
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt see notes
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Add the ground beef to a heated 5 quart pan (frying pan or sauce pot will work.) Cook for about 2-3 minutes.Add in the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned stirring often.1 pound ground beef, 1 yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic
- Pour in the broth, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper flakes and pepper. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes.4 cups broth, 29 ounces diced tomatoes, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Pour in the pasta and bring to a simmer over medium low to medium heat. Once simmering, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Cook until pasta is tender, cook times may vary and are an estimate.1 pound noodles
- Once the pasta is tender, remove the lid and pour in the heavy cream. Do not boil, cook over medium low for about 2-3 minutes.1 cup heavy cream
- Stir in the cheese and cook for about 1 minute to be sure the cheese is fully melted through.Serve and store leftovers in the fridge.1½ cups shredded cheese
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