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Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef is pure comfort food. This easy Instant Pot dinner recipe is so creamy and cheesy. Pasta shells and ground beef are cooked in a tomato sauce and then Parmesan cheese, cream, and cream cheese get mixed in. Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef is a little like homemade Hamburger Helper, only much, much better.

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef

 

To make Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef, first use the saute mode to cook a pound of lean ground beef and a chopped onion. Then add your flavors- dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes plus a tablespoon of tomato paste.

Once the ground beef is no longer pink, pour the uncooked pasta shells on top. Pour a jar of spaghetti sauce and 3 cups of water over the shells. Press the shells down into the liquid, but do not stir. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes.

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef is like a delicious homemade hamburger helper

 

The pasta soaks up so much flavor cooking this way rather than just being boiled in water and then mixed into sauce.

After pressure cooking, do a manual release. Stir in 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of heavy cream, and 2 ounces of softened cream cheese.

This Instant Pot recipe is so easy and so delicious. Your family will be fighting over the leftovers.

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef

 

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef is so cheesy and good!

More Instant Pot Recipes

Watch the video below to see how to make Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef

Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef is pure comfort food. This easy Instant Pot dinner recipe is so creamy and cheesy. Pasta shells and ground beef are cooked in a tomato sauce and then Parmesan cheese, cream, and cream cheese get mixed in. 
PREP: 10 mins
COOK: 15 mins
TOTAL: 25 mins
SERVINGS: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (16-ounce) box medium pasta shells, uncooked
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into chunks and softened

Instructions

  • Add olive oil to the inner pot of an Instant Pot. Turn on "Saute" mode. Add onion and cook until starting to get soft.
  • Add ground beef and cook and crumble it with a wooden spoon until no longer pink. Turn Instant Pot off.
  • Add Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes and tomato paste and stir.
  • Pour shells on top of ground beef mixture. 
  • Pour pasta sauce and water on top of shells. Do not stir, but press shells down into liquid with the back of a spoon.
  • Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is in "sealing" position. Set to Pressure Cook on HIGH for 5 minutes.
  • Do a manual pressure release and when the pin drops, remove the lid. Stir in Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and cream cheese. Serve.
Course: Main Dish

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Recipe adapted from Meatloaf and Melodrama

Creamy Shells & Beef made in an Instant Pot

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119 thoughts on “Instant Pot Creamy Shells and Beef”

  1. I used raos four cheese pasta sauce and left out the shredded parm. Just as good. I also used 2 lbs of ground beef to boost the volume a bit nothing else changed. Cooked perfect still. I got one burn error but a quick scrape of the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon and lid back on fixed it. Not the recipes fault

  2. I’m always confused when a recipe calls for grated parmesan cheese. Do you I use the cheese that is in the little refrigerated plastic tubs or the cheese that is in a shaker/jar that is not refrigerated?

  3. My family and I make this once every two weeks. Our 15 month old absolutely loves it and it doesn’t last but a day and a half! Big hit in this family!!

    1. Jody Borghetti

      Just made this with Vege Crumbles. This recipe is fabulous! So creamy! So good! I might add a green pepper next time.

  4. It turned out perfect. The pasta was perfectly done at 5 min and a 10 min natural release in my 8 quart instant pot. I put the tomato paste on top to prevent the burn notice. All 4 of my kids and my husband liked it.

    1. I think you’re right about the extra 10 minutes for the release time. I manual released like the recipe said and the shells were a bit underdone but still good sitting in the hot sauce after mixing everything else in and dividing into lunch containers they softened up a touch. Might even be good with a different pasta like rotini or cavatappi

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