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This ground beef pasta recipe tastes like it’s been cooked low and slow, but it’s ready in about 30 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights.

I think your family will also enjoy this Easy Meat Sauce for pasta or my Beef and Noodles.

ground beef pasta in a skillet (sauce tossed with penne)

If you’ve tried and enjoyed my Creamy Beef and Shells or my Homemade Hamburger Helper, there’s a good chance you will enjoy this ground beef pasta. This recipe is sorta like a quick bolognese sauce. Ground beef, onions, garlic, and a creamy tomato sauce make one comforting dinner. As a kid, spaghetti with meat sauce was always one of my favorite comfort foods, and as an adult I’ve always keep some variation of this sauce in my freezer. I’m excited to introduce this version to my website!

I chose penne for the photos, but this recipe will work with whatever your favorite pasta shape is/what you’ve got on hand. It’s the perfect quick family meal!

ground beef pasta in a bowl

How to make pasta with ground beef

This recipe is easy! You start by sautéing the onion for a few minutes, and then you add in the beef & garlic and break it up with your spoon, cooking it until it’s browned. You then add in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, Dijon mustard (optional but recommended for building layers of flavor), and Italian seasoning. Let it cook down for a few minutes, then stir in the cream and let it cook a little longer. Toss with the pasta and serve. I like to grate on some parm cheese. Obviously. So easy and so good. (Full ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below). 

ground beef pasta sauce in a skillet

Recipe notes & tips:

  • This recipe freezes well. You can always make a batch of sauce ahead of time (even double it), and it’s easy to pull an individual portion out of the freezer for a quick dinner.
  • I like to use the leanest ground beef I can find. It saves you from having to drain out the fat.
  • As with any cream-based recipe (especially with an acidic tomato sauce), subbing the cream with something else can lead to curdling, so keep that in mind.
  • I know some people don’t like chunks/pieces of tomatoes, so feel free to swap the diced tomatoes with tomato sauce if you wish. Or use petite diced toms.
  • Try stirring in 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese if you want this dish to be cheesy.
  • I found this to have plenty of sauce, but if you want to add more, go up to a full cup of cream.
  • Fresh basil would be a great addition to this pasta sauce (add it in right at the end) if you happen to have some.

More tasty ground beef recipes to try:

close-up of ground beef pasta

Will you give this creamy ground beef pasta a try? Questions? Let me know in the comments below.

ground beef pasta in a skillet (sauce tossed with penne)
4.64 from 47 votes

Easy Creamy Ground Beef Pasta

This ground beef pasta recipe tastes like it's been cooked low and slow, but it's ready in about 30 minutes! Perfect for busy weeknights.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard see note
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste


  • Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions.
  • Add the onion and olive oil to a large skillet (or small pot/Dutch oven) and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat.
  • Add in the ground beef and garlic and continue cooking for another 8 minutes or so until the beef has browned (break the meat up with your spoon as you go along). Spoon out excess fat if there's a lot of it.
  • Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, and Italian seasoning. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced somewhat.
  • Stir in the cream and cook for another 3-5 minutes (it'll warm through and reduce a bit).
  • Season generously with salt & pepper as needed and toss with the drained pasta. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired.


  • The Dijon mustard isn't totally necessary (you don't have to buy a jar just for this recipe), but it's great for building flavor in sauces like this one, so I always keep some in my fridge. You can always taste and add more if needed.
  • Feel free to up the Italian seasoning if you want a stronger herby flavor. I personally prefer just a hint in this recipe.
  • You can use a can of tomato sauce instead of the diced tomatoes if you don't like pieces of tomatoes (or try petite diced tomatoes).


Calories: 584kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 131mg, Sodium: 176mg, Potassium: 849mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 894IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! Iā€™m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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  1. 4 stars
    I made this today and my wife and I thought it was delicious, I added a teaspoon of paprika in with the Italian herbs and double the mustard (we love mustard) then put sliced mozzarella on top, baked it and sprinkled fresh basil to finish, absolutely yummy!

  2. 4 stars
    I’ve made a ton of your recipes, after scouring the internet for various versions of dinners I have the best luck with S&L. Thank you for making these recipes, everyone I’ve made so far has been just delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    Pretty good recipe! I added red pepper flakes for spice and way too much heavy whipping cream which made it too sweet. Going to balance out my leftovers with more tomato sauce! Thanks!

  4. I have just read through your recipe and I look forward to making it tonight. I notice you recommend the leanest ground beef, which I know is very popular. However, if you were to see the cows that this ‘leanest’ meat comes from you likely would not want it again! To raise a cow that produces very lean meat results in lower food intake for the poor cow. Please consider this as most people who aren’t exposed to cattle in the pasture do NOT realize this fact. I shall use my ‘medium’ ground beef.

    1. Hi Margaret! According to my research, ground beef is mixed from different parts of the cow depending on its leanness e.g. lean is mostly sirloin and round steak, and medium has a greater proportion of fattier cuts from the shoulder and plate areas of the cow. In any case, feel free to use medium, and I hope you enjoy the recipe.