Easy Meat Sauce and Shells

March 16, 2022thetipsyhousewife

Easy Meat Sauce and Shells

While I know this isn’t the prettiest picture I have ever taken of my food, let me assure you that this easy weeknight meal is absolutely delicious. This is my Aunt’s recipe that she made all the time and we all still crave it as adults. Most of the ingredients you have on hand or should have on hand. What makes this recipe great is that it makes a decent amount and yet you still will have some leftovers. It makes a great meal the next day reheated.

Complete and Printable Recipe

Yield: 8 Servings

Easy Meat Sauce and Shells

Easy Meat Sauce and Shells

This easy meat sauce is always a family favorite. Simple to make and it tastes even better the next day, so you get two meals in one. Simple ingredients are used that you probably have on hand. A perfect weeknight meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 14.5 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 12 ounces of water
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • dried oregano
  • onion powder
  • grated parmesan
  • olive oil for cooking
  • 16 ounces of shell pasta


  1. Brown onions and ground beef in a little bit of olive oil. Make sure you are breaking up the meat as you cook it into a fine crumble.
  2. When your onions are soft, season your pan with the garlic salt, onion powder, black pepper and oregano. Taste it and adjust seasonings.
  3. Add the two, 14.5 ounce cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, simmer for 10 minutes and taste again and adjust seasonings.
  4. Add the can of tomato paste plus the 12 ounces of water. Just fill the tomato paste can twice with water.
  5. Add your brown sugar, stir occasionally and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Boil your shells until they are al dente and then drain them and add them to the sauce. Stir them into the sauce until every shell is coated, simmer the pasta in the sauce for 10 minutes more.
  7. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes, top with parmesan cheese and serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we all do. It goes perfectly with a salad, and some garlic bread. Enjoy!

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