Garlic Parmesan Shellbows Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Garlic Parmesan Shellbows

14 reviews / 4.2 average

These Garlic Parmesan Shellbows are LIFE-CHANGING. Creamy, garlicky, cheesy pasta that's made in just one pot. Make it a side, serve it in a skillet with chicken and veg, or eat it all on its own. SO good!

This recipe is sponsored by DeLallo

Hello and meet your new best friend.

Garlic Parm Shellbows.

Specifically, the shellbows. WHY ARE THEY SO CUTE?!

They are a cross between shells and elbows and I am now ready to trade out all my existing pasta so I exclusively cook with shellbows. Goodbye.

A white package of shell pasta.

(The shellbows are a DeLallo thing which is win-win because the quality of their pasta is top of the line.)

This recipe is all of us right now.

  • Basic in the best of ways
  • Open to being made fancy
  • Willing to be a side dish
  • But also happy to be there for you when you just need a bowl of creamy, garlicky, no-nonsense pasta on the couch

It's a whole mood.

A bowl of shell pasta with wooden spoon.

The premise here is the same as mac and cheese, but it's just slightly more interesting.

  • You cook some garlic in some butter.
  • You add your pasta *HI SHELLBOWS* to the buttery garlic and boil it with your milk and broth.
  • You stir in Parmesan cheese.
Parmesan on shellbows.

Do you pour yourself a glass of wine?

Do you level up with some parsley and lemon juice?

Do you make it into a skillet meal for the fam?

That is up to you.

But even (especially) in its most simple form, it can't not speak to you. The times just call for a recipe as pure and honest as this.

A bowl of garlic parmesan shellbows.

Shellbows are too fun. They are too fun and too cute.

For the sake of all that is deliciously creamy and adorable, please order yourself some shellbows!

While you're at it, grab some good olive oil and tomato sauce, and build yourself a pantry staples shelf that will make you swoon. When my DeLallo box came a few weeks ago, it was a very happy day.

Shellbows for prez!

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A picture of One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Shellbows

One-Pot Garlic Parmesan Shellbows

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


These Garlic Parmesan Shellbows are LIFE-CHANGING. Creamy, garlicky, cheesy pasta that's made in just one pot. Make it a side, serve it in a skillet with chicken and veg, or eat it all on its own. SO good!


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (sub 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces pasta (SHELLBOWS ARE SO FUN!)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half (optional)


  1. Melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant and soft (avoid browning, though).
  2. Add the broth, milk, salt, and pasta. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a low simmer. Let the pasta cook for 15-or-so minutes, until soft and the liquid has reduced. (The milk might form a skin on top of the pot or on the spoon - no worries, just skim it off.)
  3. When the sauce is thickened and the pasta is soft, stir in the Parmesan. And if you feel like you want to take it up a notch, add the cream.
  4. There you go! Yum! So many serving options, but for now you need to spend at least two minutes standing over the hot pan doing some taste testing.



How To Serve: Plain, with salt and pepper, with lemon juice and herbs, with grilled chicken and vegetables, or with shredded chicken and peas for a springy skillet!

For Garlic Lovers: You can add 1-2 cloves garlic - I've seen other recipes that use as many as 4 cloves. I found 2 cloves for a half pound of pasta was plenty for me!

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: shellbows, pasta, one pot pasta, pasta dish, skillet pasta, garlic parmesan pasta

Thank you to DeLallo for sponsoring this post!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is my new favorite pasta shape, but I call them pipettes. I have had a hard time finding them, but perhaps now they will be easier. I just made Alison Roman’s cauliflower pasta with them, and I make this overnight mac and cheese with them too. I took a picture and posted it on FB and unfortunately, all the comments centered around one piece of this pasta that everyone said looked like a screaming monkey…lord have mercy….you can tell people have too much time on their hands. I digress…this recipe looks divine, and maybe my pipettes will be easier to find now. I truly enjoy your blog and I recently made another recipe of yours, the sesame beef and broccoli! I look forward to trying this recipe too.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I find it so funny how brands need to rename a classic pasta shape (pipe) in order to make it appealing for a different country 😅
    One of my favourite shapes for sure, great for chunky sauces!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      The brand didn’t rename it for certain countries, they just call it that to be cute. Frankly, i think the world could use a little more cute right now and fewer snarky comments. Don’t you think?

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        My husband tried to make this for me and was so disappointed it didn’t work out. I was able to fix it but he felt so bad he couldn’t get it to thicken even after extending the cook time and adding a ton of extra cheese. I grabbed a second pot and mixed flour and butter as if I were making a basic white sauce and then added it to the very watery pasta. It thickened up in seconds and was really good.

        I feel bad because this recipe didn’t seem like it should be hard but completely stumped him despite him faithfully following the directions. He even made a special trip on his busy day to get cream which we couldn’t use because of wet it was.

        The flavour is great but I wouldn’t recommend if you aren’t willing to tinker. Oh well. It was still delicious.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    I would just like to tell you how much I love the format of your cooking videos. I really enjoy the “small clips” over the whole process being one video. For some reason, I find it easier to watch the smaller clips. Oh, and I also enjoy your great recipes!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    My 5 year old was looking over my shoulder when I opened the email with this recipe an hour ago and immediately asked if we could have this for lunch and we had everything on hand (except the specific shellbow shape pasta) so we did. My milk didn’t form a skin on top – it curdled in the pot to a tiny cottage cheese like texture which was a little unsightly but tasted fine. I found that after 16 minutes of simmering time, the pasta was already really soft, but there was still a lot of sauce left – enough that the pasta was just kind of sitting in the sauce, rather than the sauce hugging the pasta. I wound up tripling the amount of parmesan to 1.5 cups to thicken the sauce enough to create an actual sauce like in the photo. I think next time I’ll use 2 cups of vegetable broth instead of 2.5 and see if that helps – unsure what to do about the curdling milk. I brought the mixture up to a boil and turned it down immediately, so it wasn’t boiling for an extended period.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lol I love how they’re calling them shellbows! So cute.

    They’re just called “Pipe rigate” where I live… anyone that has trouble finding these can look them up under that name.

    anyway, the pasta looks delicious! Fave comfort food for sure 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for keeping us well fed and happy 😃 🙌🏻👍🏻❤️

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    We just had this for dinner and it was amazing! This is going to be a new staple for us. I made a double recipe and used 4 cups broth and 2 1/2 cups milk since that worked out with what I had. I added a little extra parmesan and some garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground pepper, and dried basil while the pasta was boiling. So so good! Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    So made a VEGAN VERSION of this and it was AMAZING. Used almond milk instead of whole milk and instead of heavy cream Silk makes a heavy cream alternative.

    worked amazing will definitely doing this again for dinner!!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      So when the recipe states that it makes 4 servings, is that 4 main course servings or 4 side dish servings? Thank you!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    This recipe looks amazing. You’re right, that is some extremely adorable pasta. I live in Scotland, so I’m hoping I can find something similar here. Maybe once the Italian restaurants/delis in my neighborhood open up again. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    These shellbows are so cute! Have to see whether I can find these in France. Also, have been wanting to try a cook noodles in the sauce-type of recipe. Going to give this one a try. Looks perfect for my picky eaters!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I find myself slowly but surely losing desire fast food and resort more to home cooked meals. I also discovered that cooking with olive oil, grape seed oil or avocado oil is much more friendly on my system versus using canola oil. Thank you for another creative food blog Lindsay 🙂

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    HI! I have made this three times so far and it’s so yummy! I threw some broccoli in during the last five minutes of cooking time and used banza pasta instead of regular. SO GOOD!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Delicious! It also came together quickly which I love. I used half and half because that’s what I had on hand and didn’t add the final 1/4 cup. The pasta was still a creamy dream. I paired the pasta with oven roasted asparagus. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Made this for dinner tonight with tri-color Conchiglie pasta and Reggianito cheese because that’s what I had and OMG it was outstanding. This is the 4th recipe of yours I’ve made and it sounds kinda silly, but I continue to be impressed with how they all turn out EXACTLY like the picture ☺️

    I made a couple of cocktails to go with the pasta and it was the perfect celebration dinner (my daughter and I left the house for the first time in 58 days this afternoon…total lockdown here in Argentina and today was the first day kids were allowed out for a walk) – so perfect in fact that my husband devoured 3 bowls! 😆

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Absolutely delicious and easy to make. My 13 year old said “best.mac.and.cheese.ever”