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Creamy Beef and Shells

We binged all of Kingdom on Netflix only to have it end super abruptly. Netflix, it is so uncool to have 18 episodes in season 2 and then only ten in season 3. And then to hear the show wasn’t renewed? UNCOOL.

We then started Kobra Kai which Mark interrupted after episode 1 to have me watch the movie Karate Kid. I feel like it was one of those movies I knew the premise of…but apparently, had never seen before. My brother watch the Little Ninja movies over and over and over when we were young and so basically, Karate Kid is the same concept. But, it was a cute movie and perhaps added a bit to the Kobra Kai series. That said, I’m not overly impressed.

Tuesday night, we stayed up until MIDNIGHT watching overtime of the Illinois vs. Indiana basketball game. We had moved from the TV room to the bedroom at halftime and the next thing I knew, Mark was saying, “Oh my gosh, it’s 11:40pm!” And…the game was not yet over. Had to wait for the Illini win which had us to bed just after midnight.

I’ve been paying for that decision since. Last night, I didn’t have it in me to cook. I started my workout just a bit late and by the time I had gotten around to dinner prep, I had talked myself (and Mark) into something from the freezer or eating out/take out. As it ends up, we ate out for the first time (with the girls) in a long, long, long time. They were thrilled the waiter brought chocolate milk instead of white milk (ha!) and spoiled their appetite with chips and salsa. I think we all needed the change of scenery and it was nice to spend the time talking versus preparing and cleaning. And supporting local business.

Really, I just need to plan weekday appropriate meals AND consider prepping ahead of time. The evenings just FLY by and I’m in the process of trying to figure out how we can add back in a weekday activity. Where’s the time!? I really may need to move my workout to mornings…like, for real, for real. Not just talk about it or do it once in a blue moon.

But as far as food, selecting weekday meals is KEY. Tons of chopping slows me down so much. Keeping it simple always makes for a smoother evening, and certainly still creates delicious meals. These Creamy Beef and Shells combine basic ingredients with lots of flavor that the whole family will love!

Creamy Beef and Shells

Creamy Beef and Shells

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

As described, these creamy shells are cheesy with subtle Italian flavors, beef, and garlic. A meal the whole family will love!


  • 8 oz medium pasta shells
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (~1 cup)


    1. Heat a large pot of water over high heat. Once at a rolling boil, cook pasta for 7-9 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking up into crumbles as it cooks. Drain any grease and return to heat.
    3. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning until fragrant, about 1 minute.
    4. Add flour and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in beef stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
    5. Add cooked pasta and half-and-half; stir and cook until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in cheese until melted. Serve immediately.


Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Damn Delicious

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: ~1 1/4 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 506Total Fat: 19.6gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 823mgCarbohydrates: 49.0gFiber: 4.8gSugar: 8.4gProtein: 33.4g

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Be well,

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  1. Rebecca
    February 5, 2021 / 9:35 am

    This looks great! I love a quick weeknight meal. I love the one pot cheesy taco skillet (a regular in our house) you posted a while back and this is similar. Can’t wait to try! Please post more like this!

    • Nicole Morrissey
      February 5, 2021 / 12:42 pm

      Thanks, Rebecca! I totally agree! There’s nothing better than super quick comfort food on a busy night! I’ve got some more in queue! 🙂

      • Rebecca
        February 5, 2021 / 12:55 pm

        Can’t wait!😀

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