Cooktop Cove: Old-country style slow cooker creamy ground beef and shells
By Matt Jenner
Put your slow cooker to good use tonight when you make this creamy and hearty ground beef and shells dish. Seasoned and browned ground beef is stewed into a cream of mushroom soup base, along with al dente shell pasta, to make a delightfully comforting dish reminiscent of beef stroganoff. It's the ideal meal to make on a cold winter's night or even for a large party where you're serving many people.
The recipe below is straightforward, with relatively few ingredients involved. After you've browned the beef, you'll cook the entire meal in your slow cooker, so there won't be any fussing about in the kitchen or time taken away from your guests. Do remember to check on your pasta after 30-45 mins before cooking time has ended to make sure the shells do not overcook and become mushy.
Slow Cooker Creamy Ground Beef and Shells
4
5 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
3 hrs 35 mins
1 pound 80/20 lean ground beef
2 cans, 11 ounces each, cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shell pasta, uncooked
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium skillet, cook and break apart the ground beef over medium-high heat, until fully browned.
Add cooked ground beef to the slow cooker, along with all other ingredients. Mix together to fully combine.
Cover the slow cooker, and turn on high power for about 3 ½ hours, or until the pasta is the desired texture. Keep the slow cooker covered until at least 3 hours in, when you can check the pasta and stir. Re-cover until the pasta is fully cooked through, and the sauce is bubbling on the sides.
Serve directly from the slow cooker into individual bowls. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or a dollop of sour cream, and serve hot immediately.
Pro-tip: Make this meal healthier by using a reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup and skim (1%) milk.
Pro-tip: If you don't have much time, this meal can also come together quickly on the stovetop.
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