Easy Ground Beef Pasta

Ground beef pasta in three bowls with cheese and utensils.

With a streamlined method and delicious taste, this Ground Beef Pasta is a favorite fast family dinner. It’s versatile enough to please a variety of preferences, too.

Ground beef pasta in three bowls with cheese and utensils.

Ground Beef Pasta

I am always searching for easy family dinners that everyone at my table enjoys—and that don’t take me forever to actually pull together. This pasta recipe is one of our favorites and I love how versatile it is. You can use store-bought fresh or frozen mirepoix, you can prep it yourself, or you can dice some veggies (onion, celery, and carrots) right before cooking.

You can use jarred marinara sauce or use homemade marinara sauce. Basically, you can take as many shortcuts as you need to make this easy and quick to cook.

I stir the cooked pasta into the beef mixture and bring one pot to the table, but you could also leave the pasta and sauce separate, if needed, for the preferences of your kids.

I love this as an iron-rich family meal.

Ingredients You Need

Here’s a look at what you need to make this easy meal.

Ingredients for Easy Ground Beef Pasta on countertop.
  • Elbow pasta (or other preferred shape): I like to use a small pasta shape here, but you can really use any type you prefer.
  • Olive oil: I start by cooking the vegetables and beef in olive oil. You could also use butter if you prefer.
  • Mirepoix (fresh or frozen): A mixture of onion, celery, and carrot adds flavor and nutrients to the sauce.
  • Ground beef: Lean ground beef browns quickly in this easy meat sauce. You could use turkey or ground chicken if you prefer, too.
  • Marinara sauce: I typically use a jar of marinara sauce from the store to make this easy, though homemade would work as well.
  • Tomato paste: We add a little tomato paste to enhance the flavor of the sauce.
  • Heavy cream (or half-and-half; optional): You can add some cream at the end to make the sauce a little creamy. This is optional but recommended.
  • Parmesan cheese (optional): We love this dish topped with Parmesan cheese for additional flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Below is a look at the basic steps involved in making this recipe. Scroll down to the end of the post for the specific amounts and timing.

how to make ground beef pasta in grid of 4 images
  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mirepoix and stir to coat. Cook.
  2. Add the beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon.
  3. Stir in the marinara sauce and tomato paste. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are totally soft.
  4. Remove the cover and stir in the pasta, cream and Parmesan, if using. Serve warm with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Ground beef pasta in three bowls and pot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which ground beef is better for pasta?

You can use any type of ground beef. If there is excess fat in the pan after browning the beef, simply drain it off.

How can I make ground beef pasta dairy-free?

You can omit the cream and Parmesan.

What can I use other than beef?

You could use ground turkey or ground chicken if you prefer.

How to Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, sprinkle with water and cover with wax paper. Heat for 1-2 minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds.

Ground beef pasta in white bowl with spoon.

Best Tips for Success

  • Leave out the cream and cheese as needed to make this dairy-free.
  • Use a gluten-free pasta if desired.
  • Trade in ground turkey if you prefer, or omit the meat and simply stir in a drained and rinsed can of white beans.
  • Use store-bought or homemade marinara sauce.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese for more flavor. You may also enjoy your serving with crushed red pepper.

Related Recipes


I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please rate and comment below!

Ground beef pasta in three bowls with cheese and utensils.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mirepoix and stir to coat. Cook for 6 minutes.

  • Add the beef and tomato paste and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, for 8 minutes. (If there is excess fat in the pan, drain it off.)

  • Stir in the marinara sauce. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are totally soft.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain.

  • Remove the cover and stir in the pasta, cream, and Parmesan, if using. Serve warm with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. To reheat, sprinkle with water and cover with wax paper. Heat for 1-2 minutes, stopping to stir every 30 seconds.
  • Leave out the cream and cheese as needed to make this dairy-free.
  • Use a gluten-free pasta if desired.
  • Trade in ground turkey if you prefer or omit the meat and simply stir in a drained and rinsed can of white beans.

Calories: 405kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 558mg, Potassium: 615mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 499IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 3mg


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