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Baked mac and cheese with tomatoes

The best grilled cheese you’ve ever had runs head-long into your tomato soup and BOOM. You get baked mac and cheese with tomatoes. One of the best comfort foods (and the maybe the best macaroni and cheese) gets yet another transformation into this southern classic. 

baked mac and cheese with tomatoes in a skillet with a spoon taking out a scoop

A couple of years ago, a reader asked me if I had a recipe for macaroni and cheese with tomatoes. I thought she meant macaroni and tomatoes (minus the cheese) which I know well. But she was insistent that no–there was an actual real version of macaroni and cheese that had tomatoes in it and that it was pretty doggone amazing.

I had my doubts.

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    Until I made it for myself. And now I realize I might be a borderline hard-headed idiot for not making it sooner.

    The secret is using stewed tomatoes. Write that down. STEWED. Not diced, not chili-ready, not with basil and oregano. Stewed tomatoes are so good on their own–they’ve been cooked down with celery, onion and seasonings and have a slow-cooked flavor straight out of the can. (You can make homemade stewed tomatoes, but who has time for that? Me. Either.)

    They might be my new food love.

    a skillet of mac and cheese with tomatoes with bread crumbs on top and two plates in the background

    Make your baked mac and cheese with tomatoes in a large skillet and add your tomatoes as the sauce thickens (before you add the cheese) and bake it all up together. For something fresh, you could add some cooked chicken to the party for a one-dish dinner or some of your favorite vegetables like peas or broccoli.

    And just try not to fall in love with those tomatoes. And the macaroni. And the cheese. And the crunchy bread crumbs…it’s just one more way to love something that’s already amazing.

    How long to bake a doubled version

    A doubled version of this recipe will fit easily into a 9×13 baking dish. Just bake it until the center is hot and the edges bubble–about 30 minutes should do it.

    As long as you don’t put the mac and cheese into a dish that’s too small and make it super deep, the standard bake time should be close.

    Recipes to serve with your mac and cheese with tomatoes:

    Try these other no-fail mac and cheeses recipes too:

    Baked macaroni and cheese takes another amazing direction change into a blend of the best grilled cheese and tomato soup combined.

    Baked mac and cheese with tomatoes

    It's like a grilled cheese meets tomato soup in one big cozy pan of dinner wonderful. 
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 40 minutes
    Total Time 55 minutes
    Servings 6
    Author Rachel Ballard


    • 1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 14- ounce can stewed tomatoes with the juice chopped
    • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 3/4 cup plain Panko bread crumbs optional


    • Preheat the oven to 350.
    • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
    • Add the pasta and cook 2 minutes less than the package directs. Drain and set aside.
    • In a large oven-safe skillet (if you don't have a skillet that goes in the oven you can transfer your mac and cheese to a baking dish in a bit), melt the butter and add the flour.
    • Stir until the flour cooks and the raw flour flavor is gone--about a minute or so.
    • Add the milk, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat 5 minutes then add the tomatoes and stir to combine.
    • Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens--another 5 to 6 minutes.
    • Add the cheese and stir until it melts.
    • Add the pasta and stir.
    • If transferring to a baking dish, spray the dish with non-stick spray. If not, transfer your skillet to the oven and top with the bread crumbs if you are using them.
    • Bake until golden and bubbly--about 35-40 minutes. Serve warm.


    Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 412kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 17gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 729mgPotassium: 378mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 806IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 412mgIron: 2mg
    Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
    Course Side Dish
    Cuisine American

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    1. This Mac & Cheese is delicious! I have always eaten mine with ketchup but this adds just enough tomato flavour (although, I did dip a few bites in ketchup for traditon 😉). I made a few mods: I added 1/2 tsp thyme and 1/2 tsp garlic powder and a little more pepper and salt to the sauce. I made mine with Gruyére cheese and added an extra 3/4 cup. I also only baked it for 30 mins and that was plenty. I love that I get a little bit of crunch in each bite from the Panko crumbs—yum! My family are all picky eaters so I made this for myself and will get about 3 meals out of it. Lucky me!

    2. i see the calories but is there full nutritional information? how much per serving equals to the 336 cals?

      1. Hey Ashleigh–I updated that calorie count. It’s just an estimate though so I wouldn’t hold it to an exact number. As for servings it serves six so you can divide it by eye but it’s a bit over a half cup. Sorry my numbers are so estimated. It sort of depends on how much juice you end up with from your tomatoes. Those numbers are close though. –Rachel

      1. Hey Maureen, you can use a 9×13 but the mac and cheese will be quite thin. You can also do an 8×8 or a 2.5 quart round. I usually use a 10-inch cast iron skillet. –Rachel

    3. 5 stars
      Followed the recipie exactly using my Cast Iron frying pan. I thought it would be too soupy, but after the 35 minutes in the oven at 350 deg it came out perfect. This will make about 4 average portions. made this for my Dad who said it’s way better than what Mom used to make (and hers was pretty damn good). I will definitely make this again and may spice it up with some Italian sausage…

    4. It was delicious Have always loved it with tomatoes in it. I used sharp cheese as well as some smoked Gouda & American cheese

    5. 5 stars
      I did this with Swiss cheese too and used regular diced up tomatoes and diced sweet onion sautéed prior to adding the flour into the skillet. I also used a couple or three shakes of Ms. Dash’s Extra Spicy Seasoning. Delicious. 5*****

    6. This is about the best Mac and cheese I have ever eaten. Didn’t change anything. I just wonder if you have a specific amount for one serving, a cup maybe

      1. Clarify for me Julie–are you asking for a recipe that just makes one cup? If so, I don’t. You could cut this recipe in half or in quarters and get close. –Rachel

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    About the Author

    Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.