Looking for a quick dinner with a little pizzazz? This Easy Creamy Ranch Beef Macaroni Skillet recipe is dressed to the nines – in ranch dressing, that is! The delicious mix of flavors in this easy ground beef recipe make this a dish that everyone will enjoy, and come back for seconds.
Creamy Ranch Beef Macaroni Skillet
The delicious ground beef ranch casserole is comfort food in a bowl and a dish we enjoy all year round. However, it does make the perfect dinner dish for the cooler months of fall.
I saute the ground beef and scallions with dry ranch seasoning, then swirl in some cream cheese and beef stock until luscious and velvety. Next, stir in the cooked macaroni, sour cream, cheddar cheese and butter. Top the skillet off with scallions and freshly chopped tomatoes, and it’s ready to serve.
Ranch beef pasta is a family favorite recipe which I like to serve with some garlic bread, I rarely have any leftovers. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this meaty pasta dish, all bound together in a delicious creamy cheesy pasta sauce.
- ONIONS: I use 4 stems of scallions, you could swap those for shallot or red onion which also have a mild flavor.
- TOMATOES: the dish is garnished with tomatoes. I like to use Roma tomatoes as they have the best flavor, or you can use any other flavorful tomato.
- NOODLES: I’ve used macaroni, but you can use any other shape of pasta noodle.
- MEAT: I use 2 lbs lean ground beef to serve XX
- RANCH SEASONING: I prefer to use dry ranch seasoning.
- CHEESE: I use a combination of cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese in the sauce.
- BROTH: I add 1 package of beef broth to the sauce.
- CREAM: I prefer to use sour cream in the sauce as it has the right flavor. You could also use heavy cream.
- BUTTER: use either salted or unsalted butter in the sauce. If using salted butter, just cut back on the salt when seasoning the sauce.
- SEASONING: I season the sauce with salt and black pepper.
How to make Creamy Ranch Beef Macaroni Skillet
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Wash and dry produce.
Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens. Dice tomatoes into 1⁄4-inch pieces.
Once water is boiling, add macaroni to the pot.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Drain.
Brown ground beef with scallion whites.
Add dry Ranch Seasoning, and add a dash of salt and pepper. Drain any excess grease.
Add cream cheese and beef broth to pan with beef mixture. Season with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper.
Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and stir in drained macaroni, sour cream, cheddar, and 2 tablespoons of butter.
Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted and pasta is coated in a creamy sauce, 1-3 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Top with scallion greens and diced tomatoes.
- I’ve used ground beef but you could also use ground lamb, pork or turkey. Or try a combination of ground beef with lamb or pork.
- Swap the ground beef for diced chicken breast.
- Swap the macaroni with any variety of pasta noodle.
- Add any dried spices or spice blend to the beef, a teaspoon of smoked paprika will give the sauce a smoky flavor.
- Stir through some freshly chopped herbs, like parsley or basil, just before serving.
- Finely dice some veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, or squash and add to the skillet to saute just after you’ve browned the beef.
- Add a handful of canned or frozen corn kernels.
- Love your food spicy, saute some red chilies or add red pepper flakes.
Creamy ranch beef macaroni skillet is a filling dish, so I keep the sides simple. Serve the macaroni with some crusty bread or garlic bread alongside, and a green salad of fresh tomato salad.
Recipe hints & tips
- When it comes to cheddar cheese for the sauce, I prefer to shred a block of cheddar cheese vs pre-shredded as it melts better.
- This recipe serves XX but can be easily doubled if you are feeding a crowd. However, if doubling the recipe I do recommend cooking it in 2 separate skillets.
- If the sauce is looking a little thick, stir through a spoon or two of the pasta cooking water. The starchy water will loosen the sauce and also help the sauce stick to the pasta.
I’ve chosen to use macaroni to make this dish, as I like to use tube shaped pasta noodles with a ground meat sauce. Penne, ziti, cavatappi and rigatoni would also work. But feel free to use any other shape of dried pasta in this dish, or use what you have in your larder at home.
Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Place back into the skillet and reheat gently over medium heat, adding a splash of milk or water to loosen the sauce.
I don’t recommend freezing this pasta dish as the cream can separate once frozen and the sauce won’t be quite the same once defrosted.
Here are some of my favorite ground beef recipes here at When is Dinner:
- Easy Taco Pasta Bake
- Easy Beef Cannelloni
- Lasagne Soup
- Best Easy Meatloaf
- Ground Beef Vegetable Soup
- Beef Enchilada Casserole
- 4 stems scallions
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 12 ounces macaroni
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 4 tbsp dry ranch seasoning
- 4 tbsp cream cheese
- 1 package beef broth
- 8 tbsp sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (prefer shredded block vs pre shredded, it melts better)
- 2 tbsp butter
- salt & pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Wash and dry produce.
- Trim and thinly slice scallions, separating whites from greens. Dice tomatoes into 1⁄4-inch pieces.
- Once water is boiling, add macaroni to the pot.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Drain.
- Brown ground beef with scallion whites, add dry Ranch Seasoning, and add a dash of salt and pepper. Drain any excess grease.
- Add cream cheese and beef broth to pan with beef mixture. Season with 1⁄2 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and stir in drained macaroni, sour cream, cheddar, and 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted and pasta is coated in a creamy sauce, 1-3 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with scallion greens and diced tomatoes.
- Serve and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 959Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 273mgSodium: 1613mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 81g