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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.

    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

    Ingredients
      

    • 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

    Instructions
     

    • 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.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 336kcal
    Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
    Course Side Dish
    Cuisine American

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    70 Comments

    1. Been doing this for years but I use Rotel that I have completely drained. Adds a little heat and is delicious.

    2. 5 stars
      I make baked Mac and Cheese with tomatoes all the time. Reheating it is easy as long as you add a little milk or half and half before reheating it. Sooo good!

    3. This was fantastic! I’ve made many versions of Mac and cheese and sometimes served the tomatoes on the side. This was the first with stewed tomatoes. Mixing it in before the cheese was genius! I didn’t have a can of stewed tomatoes so I made them which worked out perfect and the flavor like your tip mentioned made all the difference. Straight to Pinterest!!!! Will make again and again. I was even eating the leftovers cold lol not your kids Mac snd cheese!!!

    4. Can you use oven roasted tomatoes instead of stewed tomatoes?
      I’m going to try this recipe on the weekend. Sounds delicious

    5. 5 stars
      Delicious.Tasted like the one my mother used to make. I used shell pasta, diced tomatoes and added a little onion, garlic and oregano.

      1. You can do everything but bake it Nancy and refrigerate for up to two days before baking but I don’t recommend baking then reheating–it’s just not as good. –Rachel

    6. 5 stars
      My mother made mac and cheese with tomatoes 50 years ago. We loved it. She doesn’t remember a recipe since everyone cooked things how their family showed them. This recipe is exactly how she made it. I made it yesterday to go with BBQ spare ribs, what a hit! My family loved it, they devoured it and I am now in charge of mac and cheese. No changes needed, but I did sprinkle some Asia go on top because my husband is Italian.lol. Thanks for a great recipe and the walk down memory lane.

    7. 5 stars
      Fifty years ago i was living alone on a small island, in northern Ontario. My ‘go to’ cookbook was a set of books from the now-deceased magazine, Family Circle. I still remember the delicious mac and cheese and tomato dish I used to make… I moved every few years, and somehow my recipe got lost… I’ve been thinking about it recently and decided an internet search was in order, and i found your recipe! Don’t know if it is exactly the same, but looks close enough. Plan to try it ASAP>

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