This Philly Cheesesteak Pasta boasts the cheesy goodness of Philly Cheesesteak, with the speedy convenience and comfort of a skillet. This recipe uses budget-friendly, juicy ground beef instead of steak (or sub ground turkey), in a luxurious provolone cheddar sauce loaded with cheesesteak flavors, on your table in just over 30 minutes. It will quickly become a go-to family favorite everyone will want seconds of!
watch How to Make Philly Cheesteak Pasta
Philly Cheesesteak Pasta Ingredients
This Philly Cheesesteak Pasta uses simple, budget friendly, pantry friendly ingredients. Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need to make this family friendly dish (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
For the Pasta
For the Sauce
HOW TO MAKE Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
Philly Cheesesteak Pasta is a quick and easy weeknight meal without the fuss of making individual sandwiches. Lets’ take a closer look at how to make it with step-by-step-photos (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
TIPS FOR making This creamy Ground Beef Pasta
This Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Pasta is simple to through together! Follow these tips for ultimate success:
How To serve Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
Philly Cheesesteak Pasta is rich and creamy, so I enjoy serving it with lighter sides such as steamed or roasted vegetables, a green side salad, or fruit. Bread is also tasty for mopping up any extra sauce!
Ground Beef Pasta Recipe FAQs
The best type of ground beef for pasta depends on personal preference, however, I recommended 90% lean and 10 % fat. This ratio provides both flavor and juiciness without excessive grease, but enough drippings to sauté vegetables in afterwards, or to start a roux.
If you are aiming for a healthier dish, you can go as lean as you like, noting the beef will taste a little drier/not as juicy. Alternatively, substitute with ground turkey or chicken.
Whether or not to drain the grease from ground beef when making pasta depends on personal preference and the specific recipe. For this recipe, I recommend leaving most of the drippings to sauté the onions and bell peppers in and to make the roux. Here are a few considerations for your other favorite ground beef recipes:
1. Fat content: If you’re using ground beef with a high fat content, such as 80% lean or higher, you’ll want to drain off excess grease, otherwise the end dish will taste overly greasy.
2. Don’t drain all of the grease: The grease from ground beef contributes to the flavor of the dish and the juiciness of the beef. However, excessive grease can make the dish too oily. I recommend draining some of the grease but not all of it to the point the beef seems dry.
3. Recipe requirements: Some recipes specifically instruct to drain the grease, while others, like this recipe, use the drippings to cook the other ingredients. Follow the instructions of the recipe you’re using to determine whether or not to drain the grease.
4. To drain grease: Pour excess grease off into a heatproof container, then dispose of it in the trash and never the sink, as it can cause clogs. If draining just some of the grease, dab the ground beef with paper towels.
Yes, it is possible to overcook ground beef in pasta sauce. Overcooking ground beef can result in a dry and tough texture, as well as a loss of flavor. Here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid overcooking:
1. Browning the beef: Ground beef typically cooks relatively quickly. It’s important to stop cooking once the beef is no longer pink, or it can become dry and overcooked.
2. Simmering time: Once the ground beef is added to the pasta sauce, it will continue to cook and absorb flavors as it simmers. It’s important to gently simmer and not boil, o the meat can become dry.
Yes, it is possible to add raw ground beef or ground turkey to pasta sauce or other dishes, Cincinnati Chili being a prime example. Cooking raw meat directly in the sauce allows the flavors to meld together and the meat to absorb the flavors of the sauce as it cooks. However, more often than not, ground beef is cooked separately, for a more palate pleasing texture.
When adding raw meat to pasta sauce, it’s important the meat is cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) to ensure it is safe to consume. Simmering the sauce for a sufficient amount of time will ensure that the meat is fully cooked.
Of course, always follow proper food safety practices when handling raw meat, such as washing your hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly after handling raw meat, and avoid cross-contamination with other ingredients.
Tools Used in This Recipe
Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
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- 1 pound penne or cavatappi pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (see notes for turkey)
- salt and pepper
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium green bell peppers, ½ inch chop
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 1/2 cups half and half (or milk whisked with 1 ½ TBS cornstarch, or evaporated milk mixed with 1 TBS cornstarch)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon beef bouillon (see notes)
- 1 tsp EACH dried oregano, dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp EACH dried basil, paprika
- 1/2 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces provolone cheese slices, torn
- 4 ounces provolone cheese slices, whole (optional for topping pasta)
- Preheat oven: If covering the top of the pasta in provolone, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook pasta: Cook pasta in heavily salted water just until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining. Drain and rinse, then toss pasta with a drizzle of olive oil; set aside.
- Cook beef: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven or braiser (pictured) over medium-high heat (a pot large enough to later combine the pasta). Once hot, add beef and cook, while crumbling, until almost cooked through. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and continue to cook until completely cooked through. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Sauté onions and peppers: Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the drippings and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook 3 additional minutes, or longer, as needed, until the onions are softened. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Make sauce: Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 additional minute. Reduce heat to low, then slowly whisk in beef broth, followed by the half and half. Stir in the Worcestershire, balsamic, Dijon, beef bouillon and all seasonings, along with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer until thickened (but not too thick), stirring often, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add cheeses: Reduce to low and add 4 ounces provolone a handful at a time, until melted, followed by shredded cheddar. Continue to cook for a few minutes, until the cheeses are completely melted.
- Add pasta: Stir in cooked beef, followed by the pasta. If the sauce is too thick, stir in some reserved pasta water, a couple tablespoons at a time. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste (I add both).
- Bake with cheese (optional): Evenly cover the pasta with remaining provolone slices. Cover, and bake, until the cheese is completely melted, 5-10 minutes. Garnish with parsley if desired, dig in!
- Beef bouillon: Use 1 teaspoon (1 cube) of beef bouillon, beef bouillon base (like Zoup! or Better Than Bouillon), or granulated beef bouillon. If using a cube, crush and add directly to the sauce – don’t dissolve any of the bouillon forms in water first.
- Ground turkey or chicken: Swap the ground beef with turkey or chicken. To help it taste nice and beefy, omit the salt and add 2 teaspoons additional beef bouillon and then add salt to taste.
- Half and half: Make your own with half heavy cream/half milk.
To Meal Prep, Store and Reheat:
- Meal Prep: Prepare elements of the dish ahead of time, or prepare the dish up through adding the provolone on top. Refrigerate, then bake, covered, at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until warmed through and the cheese is melted.
- To store: Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. I don’t recommend freezing this pasta.
- To Reheat: Microwave for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 20-second intervals until warmed through or reheat gently on the stove, adding a splash of milk, as needed, if it seems dry.
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