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Four Cheese Beefy Pasta Shells

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This Four Cheese Beefy Pasta Shells one-pot dinner is what your weeknight needs! It’s cheesy as can be, delectably creamy, and so very filling.

A large white bowl is filled with cheesy beef pasta.

Toss out that old box of Hamburger Helper, and make this easy as can be four cheese beefy pasta instead! It requires just a teensy bit more effort than that box, but trust me when I say the payoff is huge.

The four cheeses that really make this dish so delicious are mozzarella, white cheddar, smoked gouda, and cream cheese (which might just be my favorite).

The four cheeses aren’t the only ingredients that make this pasta dinner so incredible, though! Seasonings like crushed red pepper and dried rubbed sage stand out with bold, flavorful notes. There’s also plenty of garlic to keep your breath nice and stinky, and yes – you can add even more if you’re trying to keep the vampires at bay.

Wanna know the best part?

This easy dinner comes together in just about 40 minutes! It’s perfect for those weeknights when you just need a serving of something decadent, cheesy, and hearty to warm your soul and comfort your body.

With the chilly winter months right around the corner, there’s no better time to make this four cheese beefy pasta!

A serving spoon is lifting a helping of cheesy beefy pasta from the pot.

Ingredients for four cheese beefy pasta shells

  • Butter – Unsalted is preferred.
  • Mushrooms – Use thinly sliced baby portabella mushrooms for the best texture.
  • Onion – White is what I like to use, but yellow will also work.
  • Garlic – Use even more fresh garlic if you’d like!
  • Rosemary – Fresh, not dried rosemary will yield the most flavor.
  • Ground beef – 1 pound of 80/20 ground beef will work best.
  • Salt – Just a pinch.
  • Sage – Dried rubbed sage is what you need, so double check the label.
  • Crushed red pepper – Just a pinch will add flavor, but not a lot of heat.
  • Chicken broth – Low sodium chicken broth is best.
  • Pasta shells – Any type of small shaped pasta will work, but shells are my favorite.
  • Heavy cream – To keep things creamy, of course!
  • Cheeses – The four cheeses you’ll need are mozzarella, white cheddar, smoked gouda, and cream cheese.
Two full plates are placed next to a pot of pasta.

Can I substitute the ground beef in this recipe?

Yes, you sure can! While ground beef is my favorite protein to use here, pretty much any ground meat will work. Turkey, chicken, or even a plant-based ground meat will work well.

What other pasta can I use?

I love using shells in this because it is reminiscent of childhood but also I love that all the sauce and beefy goodness gets in the shell cups!

With that said, you can definitely use whatever pasta you like. If you are using larger sized pasta, you will likely have to adjust liquid and cook slightly longer.

A plate is topped with a heaping serving of pasta.

Where can I find dried rubbed sage?

As fancy as it sounds, this seasoning is available at most grocery stores!

Just make sure you’re buying the dried rubbed sage, not ground sage.

Can I use other cheeses?

Use whatever cheeses you think will go well together in this. Remember though, if you use a cheddar, your sauce won’t be white (which is fine; it’ll just look different than my photos, obviously!)

Pasta is topped with fresh parsley.

How long will four cheese beefy pasta shells stay fresh?

In an airtight container in the refrigerator, this pasta will stay fresh for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or right back on the stovetop!

A fork is placed on the side of a plate filled with four cheese beefy pasta shells.

Pasta always makes for the best weeknight dinners.

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Four Cheese Beefy Pasta Shells

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, freshly chopped
  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 10 ounces pasta shells
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
  • ½ cup smoked gouda cheese, freshly shredded
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature and cut into small cubes

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.



  • Add the butter and mushrooms to a medium size pot and cook until the mushrooms become tender and reduce down.
  • Remove them from the pot and set aside for later then add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent.
  • Add the garlic and rosemary and cook just until they become fragrant.
  • Add the ground beef, ½ teaspoon of the salt, sage and red pepper to the pot.
  • Crumble the beef as it cooks until it turns a dark brown color then remove it from the pot and wipe out any excess grease and beef bits.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and add the remaining salt and bring it to a boil then add the pasta and let it cook for the amount of time that the box instructions indicate.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream.
  • Then add the mozzarella, white cheddar, gouda and cream cheese and stir until melted.
  • Stir in the cooked mushrooms and beef then serve with freshly minced parsley.

Recipe Notes

This pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 746 kcal | Carbohydrates: 43 g | Protein: 39 g | Fat: 47 g | Saturated Fat: 25 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 155 mg | Sodium: 1158 mg | Potassium: 721 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 4 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy pasta recipe, one pot meal, one pot pasta, one pot recipes
Recipe Rating


Thursday 16th of September 2021

I made this recipe tonight. It was a HUGE hit with my husband. This recipe is a keeper. The hardest part was finding the dried rubbed sage. No luck finding it at Giant or Wegmans in NOVA, but was successful at Walmart.