This Cheesy Beef & Tomato Pasta Skillet is sure to become your new favorite meal. All cooked in one pan, this easy weeknight dinner comes together in less than 30 minutes!
If after one bite, your kids excitedly exclaim, “Can I take this in my thermos for lunch tomorrow??” you know you’ve got a good one.
This Cheesy Beef & Tomato Pasta Skillet was kind of a happy accident. I had intentions of making something for dinner with beef and pasta and cheese. Normally I would have used cheddar or jack cheese but it so happened that I was out of both. So I ended up using Mozzarella and folks, it was so good! The Mozzarella melts much better than the other two cheese I mentioned and it made this dish super creamy.
I not only stirred it into the pasta, but sprinkled a bunch on top too. So pretty. If you want those pretty brown bubbles of cheese you could also throw it under the broiler for a few minutes – that would take this dish all the way up to 11 in my opinion.
Remember I said my intention was beef, pasta and cheese? I had no intentions of adding tomatoes to this dish. None whatsoever. But I had some sort of out of body experience where I went to the pantry, got a can of tomatoes and added them to the skillet. Guess I’m a creature of habit since I tend to put tomatoes in all sort of skillet dinners, like this Cheesy Smoked Sausage Pasta or this Chicken Apple Sausage Pasta. Whatever the reason I’m glad I added them, because they really did wonders for this skillet dinner.
Like all of my One Pot Meals, this Cheesy Beef & Tomato Pasta Skillet is all cooked in one big skillet. There are two methods to get this done. Boil first, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 15-20 minutes. Or, boil, then babysit for about 9 minutes. Sometimes I do both, cover and cook for about 10 minutes while I throw together a salad or grate the cheese, then uncover it and cook it for several minutes over a higher heat. The goal is to cook the pasta and reduce/thicken the sauce. Each of the methods do this equally well, it’s just a matter of personal preference. I’ve found that I like to keep a close eye on it so the pasta doesn’t overcook, so the uncovered, babysitting method is my preference.
Whichever cooking method you choose, this Cheesy Beef & Tomato Pasta Skillet won’t let you down. You’ll be adding it to your weekly menus for years to come!
- 1 pound small pasta (like rotini or macaroni)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes (with liquid)
- 2 cups beef broth
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
- In a large (12”) skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, ground beef and garlic. Cook, stirring often and breaking up ground beef as you go, until meat is no longer pink and onions are soft; about 5 minutes. Drain some of the pan juices using a paper towel (or your preferred method).
- Pour in the pasta, tomatoes, beef broth and water and stir in tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then continue to cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender; about 9 minutes. (*or reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice).
- Turn off heat.
- Stir in 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese until melted. Top with remaining cheese and cover to melt; about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.
For more easy weeknight meals, try these: