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Cheesy Tomato Basil Pasta Skillet

It's like homemade Hamburger Helper with a secret cheesy ingredient!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Laura Doerr


  • 1/2 lb short-cut pasta
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt for boiling pasta
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 medium yellow or white onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 3 oz Velveeta cheese cubed
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil minced
  • Reserved pasta water as needed
  • Additional grated parmesan for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with 1 tbsp kosher salt. Cook pasta just under al dente according to package instructions. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water before draining. Pasta will continue to cook once added to meat sauce.

  2. While pasta is cooking, combine ground beef, onion, and garlic to a large skillet over med-high heat. Brown beef and break up with a wooden spoon until cooked through, reduce heat to medium-low. Drain excess fat if needed. Stir in Italian seasoning, tomato sauce, beef broth, salt & pepper, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer to warm through. Stir in heavy cream, Romano or Parm cheese, and cubed Velveeta. Stir until melted through.

  3. Stir in cooked pasta. Use reserved pasta water to thin out if needed. Stir in fresh basil. Taste for seasoning, and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve in bowls with fresh grated parmesan.