Pasta Shells with Green Beans

A photo of pasta shells with tomato sauce along with green beans, mushrooms, and onions on a plate with a form on the right side.


  • 1 cup of mini shell pasta (you decide what type of pasta you want – regular, gluten free, lentil, etc.)
  • Marinara Pasta Sauce (use whatever your favorite red pasta sauce is)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cups green beans (fresh works best, but you can use frozen for this as well)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms


You’ll need a pot to boil your pasta, a strainer and a frying pan with a lid for this. Tip: you can get glass lids online or sometimes find them in thrift stores. Pots and pans are standard sizes and so are lids, so you can get a separate lid for whatever size frying pan(s) you have.

In the pot you’ll be cooking the pasta in, add 4-6 cups of water. Set the heat on high until it starts to boil, then add your pasta. Follow the directions on the pasta box, but typically, small shells only take like 6-8 minutes to cook.

While those are cooking, rinse and cut the green beans. Chop them into approximately 1″ pieces (you can also just snap fresh green beans into pieces by hand and many frozen green beans come pre-cut). Put about 1/2 cup of water into the frying pan and put it on medium heat. Give it a minute or two to heat up (especially if you’re cooking on electric). Add the beans. When the water in the pan starts to simmer, put on the lid so that the beans will steam. They usually need about 8-10 minutes to steam. If you’re using frozen green beans, you’ll want to give these some extra time.

Check back in on your pasta as this should be done. I usually just scoop out one shell with a spoon, wait till it cools a bit and taste it. It should be soft, but not so soft that it’s falling apart. Drain the pasta and set aside in a bowl and mix in a little bit of the pasta sauce (this keeps it from sticking together while it’s sitting there).

While the beans are cooking, chop up the onion and mushrooms. Test the beans for tenderness at the 10 minute mark. You don’t want them to be so tender that they fall apart. Cooking them until they turn bright green and a little tender but also still a little crispy is what you’re going for. Remove those from the heat and set aside in a bowl.

Discard any remaining water from the frying pan and put it back on the heat. Add the chopped onions and mushrooms. Actively stir those around as they start to cook. Add in a few large spoonfuls of pasta sauce. Set the heat on low. Stir until the mushrooms start to release some of their water, then put the lid on. On low heat, these usually cook in about 6-8 minutes.

Now, get your green beans and the pasta that you set aside and add those to the frying pan, stirring around to basically just reheat it for a few minutes. If you want, you can add a little more pasta sauce at this time too.

Garnish ideas: basil, parmesan cheese.

This makes 2 servings.

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