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Easy One-Pot Macaroni and Tomatoes Recipe – Quick & Delicious Meal

Easy One-Pot Macaroni and Tomatoes Recipe – Quick & Delicious Meal
Everything you need for the perfect macaroni with tomatoes recipe card

Welcome to our culinary blog, where we cherish the beauty of simple yet flavorful recipes that fit seamlessly into your busy life. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just beginning your culinary journey, our goal is to provide you with easy-to-follow, delicious meals that require minimal effort and ingredients. In today’s post, we’ll be sharing a delightful one-pot macaroni and tomatoes recipe, perfect for those who are looking for a quick, hearty meal with minimal cleanup. Join us as we explore this classic comfort food that combines the tangy sweetness of tomatoes with the satisfying chewy texture of macaroni. Let’s get cooking!

Why macaroni and tomato is the perfect comfort food?

Why macaroni and tomato is the perfect comfort food?

Macaroni and tomatoes recipe: A classic that never gets old

The reasons why macaroni and tomatoes is the best comfort food are many. First, it combines pasta and tomatoes which are loved by all, giving you a filling meal. What makes this dish simple is that it is made from basic ingredients found in any pantry so anyone can make it. Another reason is that the moderate sourness in the tomatoes complements the mild sticky texture of the macaroni to produce a rich taste that will remind one of good times.


  • 2 cups of elbow macaroni
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • A tablespoon fresh basil (optional)


  • Cooking Macaroni: Fill a large pot with water and bring it to boil. Add some salt then put your macaroni noodles inside the boiling water. Follow instructions on the package, cook for al dente which takes about 8 minutes then drain off the water.
  • Making The Sauce: Use the same pot to heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions until they get translucent; you would need around 5 minutes for it. Then add minced garlic and cook for an extra minute.
  • Tomatoes And Pasta In One Go: Put canned tomatoes into that pan along with their juice content as well as salt and pepper. Let this mixture simmer slowly for approximately ten minutes until nicely blended.
  • Add Macaroni Noodles: Take your cooked pasta back to its pot while tossing them gently together with tomato sauce until properly coated then let them warm through about two or three more minutes.
  • Optional Additions: Stir in grated cheese if desired until melted and combined properly before serving garnished with fresh basil leaves if available.

Technical Parameters:

  • Time taken to cook the macaroni: It usually takes about 8 minutes, or until al dente according to the package information.
  • Allowing flavors to blend while simmering sauce: This would take approximately 10 minutes.
  • Total time spent in cooking: Roughly 25 minutes from start to finish.
  • This recipe is not just quick and easy but can be modified to suit your preferences. You can enjoy this classic any day of the week!

The Best Comfort Food: Why You Will Love It

Macaroni with tomato and cheese is one of those heart-warming dishes that makes you feel all cozy inside. Its simplicity and ease of preparation make it a go-to dish for busy weeknights, while the rich, savory combination of tomatoes, garlic, and melted cheese satisfies even the most intense cravings. Depending on how one likes it, fresh basil or different types of cheese could also be added as extras because this recipe is versatile enough for such customization. An old-timey favorite that brings joy – both delicious and nutritious bowl of soup for cold days at work.

Simple Pleasures: The Joy Of Making Mac & Tomatoes

To prepare macaroni and tomatoes, it is vital to keep things simple. The process is simple according to the first three websites on, with the first step being boiling the macaroni till al dente which usually takes 8-10 minutes. Secondly, in a different pan, fry onions and garlic in olive oil until soft then throw in some crushed tomatoes or diced ones from can. Allow the sauce simmer for around ten minutes to bring out its taste. Mixing cooked macaroni noodles with sauce stirring constantly so that all parts of pasta are coated evenly. Flavors may be enhanced by adding salt, pepper, or optionally herbs like oregano and basil. As an additional extra breadcrumbs could even be mixed together with grated cheese until they melt. This comforting dish is not only quick but also very easy to make within half an hour’s time frame.

How to make macaroni and tomatoes with a twist?

Add a smoky flavor by pouring bacon grease

To elevate your dish to new heights and give it a smoky twist, add bacon fat to your macaroni and tomatoes. Just cook a few strips of bacon until they become crispy and then remove them from the pan but let the rendered fat remain inside. Use this instead of olive oil when you sauté onions and garlic for the sauce gets that deep, smoky taste. After making this sauce, crumble cooked bacon into it for more flavor and texture before adding it to boiled macaroni. By simply adding some pieces of pork belly with its fat in it, their recipe adds complexity and richness in terms of flavor.

Ground beef or hamburger: Making the dish even better

Using ground beef or hamburger in your macaroni and tomatoes can transform it into more than just a side dish. All you have to do is start by browning the meat in one pan while crushing it using a spoon so that it cooks evenly. Once you’ve cooked through the meat properly but with no traces of pink color on any part, drain off additional fats from your frying pan. Include also sautéed onions and garlic then follow with tomatoes as outlined in original recipe above. The inclusion of beef sausage gives extra protein content as well as making food tastier with more body. Combining this mixture with already boiled pasta results in well-balanced meals having different textures as well as flavors that can be enjoyed together.

Get creative about cheddar cheese for cheesy delight

When mixed with macaroni and tomatoes, cheddar cheese brings out rich creamy notes within its flavour profile.Start by grating plenty sharp cheddar cheese on this occasion. Also sprinkle half of the grated cheese into your macaroni-tomato mixture, stirring until it fully melts and combines with the sauce to form a smooth cheesy sauce. Thereafter, pour this combine into a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese on top of it. Bake for some time in the oven until the crust is golden and bubbling with melted cheese on top. The technique not only results in a velvety rich mouth feel but also causes a delightful contrast between its smooth inside portion and crusty outer layer made of cheese. This becomes an irresistible, cheesy delight that takes traditional macaroni and tomatoes up another notch as comfort food.

What are the secrets to the best old fashioned macaroni and tomatoes?

What are the secrets to the best old fashioned macaroni and tomatoes?

Using stewed or home canned tomatoes for authenticity

If you want to make a macaroni and tomatoes with old-fashioned flavor, it is necessary to use stewed or home-canned tomatoes. Stewed tomatoes have full-bodied depth and are lightly sweet while home-canned tomatoes keep the summer fresh taste of the fruit. Here are a few technical parameters:

  • Tomato Varieties: Choose Roma or San Marzano because they have rich flavor and low water content that keep the dish from getting too wet.
  • How to Stew: Slowly simmer your tomatoes with a little sugar, salt, sometimes basil or oregano. This brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies the tomato flavor.
  • Canning Quality: Make sure that they meet all requirements for canning that preserve their tastes as well as their nutritional values. In case of home canning, use hot water bath canner and process jars for required time (about 45 minutes for quarts and 35 minutes for pints at sea level).
  • Storage: Keep home-canned tomatoes in a cool dark place where they will remain in the best condition within one year; although if seal stays unbroken even beyond that period they remain edible.

By following these steps, you’ll ensure an authentic, robust flavor that truly honors this traditional recipe for macaroni and tomatoes.

The importance of elbow macaroni: A texture game changer

As far as traditional macaroni and tomatoes are concerned, elbow macaroni is not simply chosen only due to nostalgia but its unique textural advantages. Elbow macaroni’s small curved shape offers several technical advantages making it perfect for this meal:

  • Uniform Cooking: The uniform size and shape ensures every piece cooks evenly so none become overcooked or underdone.
  • Sauce Adherence: The slight curve on elbow macaroni captures tomato sauce ensuring that each bite has perfectly blended flavors.
  • Mouthfeel: When cooked, elbow macaroni has a tender chewiness that enhances overall mouthfeel of the dish making it a comforting and satisfying eating experience.
  • Versatility: Elbow macaroni can effectively absorb flavors of the stewed or home-canned tomatoes without overpowering them thus allowing rich, authentic tomato taste to shine through.

By choosing elbow macaroni you will get the perfect texture for your old-fashioned macaroni and tomatoes. It melds all ingredients together in an enchanting and unified way.

Seasoning tips: Salt, pepper, and green pepper magic

When seasoning macaroni and tomatoes, simplicity is best while selecting right ingredients can transform this dish. Begin with a good pinch of salt to bring out the natural flavors in both the pasta as well as the tomatoes. For additional flavor go for fresh ground black pepper which gives a strong slightly spicy taste enhancing sweetness from tomatoes. On top of that, green peppers once finely chopped & sautéed offer mild sweet flavor and slight bitterness which brings about balanced complexity. These three seasonings work together to produce an authentic robust flavor bursting in every bite.

The addition of these particular seasonings ennobles this dish; each mouthful brimming with genuine full-bodiedness.

Must-have side dishes to complement your macaroni and tomatoes

Must-have side dishes to complement your macaroni and tomatoes

Cornbread: Southern side dish

Cornbread is the ultimate southern side and makes for a perfect contrast to macaroni with tomatoes. It has a bit of sweetness and crumbliness that complements the richness of the pasta dish. Cornbread is made from simple ingredients like cornmeal, flour, milk and eggs making it very easy to make while providing nostalgic comfort food feel. When baked until it turns golden brown, it forms a crust that is crunchy and caramelized with moist interior. Cornbread brings out the southern charm when served warm with some butter or honey but also acts as a hearty accompaniment.

Green salad with simple vinaigrette to balance richness

A green salad with an easy vinaigrette pairs nicely with macaroni and tomatoes by providing a fresh break from the rich main course meal. Start off with greens such as mixed lettuce, arugula or spinach leaves. For instance, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes as well as thinly sliced red onions can be added in for variety.

To make this vinaigrette whisk together olive oil, vinegar (either balsamic or red wine), Dijon mustard and little honey for sweet taste. Thereafter season it using salt plus freshly ground black pepper according to preference. This simple dressing doesn’t overshadow any of the components on its own rather than bringing their inherent flavors in harmony so that they may enjoy each other’s company perfectly. The tanginess of this vinaigrette helps cut through richness of macaroni and tomatoes hence offering an ideal balanced meal.

Tomato soup doubling on tomato goodness

Tomato soup is quite appropriate for those who would like to have more tomato flavor in their Macaroni with Tomatoes dish. Thick yet creamy, tomato soup tastes just like ripe tomatoes because it contains them naturally; you might prefer either smooth or chunky version depending on your preferences though. Generally speaking, it’s cooked from such ingredients as fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic clove as well as some basil and that should give a warm component to your meal. Moreover, serving macaroni with tomatoes alongside the tomato soup will not only strengthen the theme but also make it look more inviting and satisfying with its warmth hence providing a coherent and delightful dining experience.

Everything you need for the perfect macaroni with tomatoes recipe card

Everything you need for the perfect macaroni with tomatoes recipe card

Ingredients for Perfect Macaroni with Tomatoes and How to Cook It Yourself

To ensure the perfect outcome when cooking the best ever macaroni in tomatoes, you should gather the following essential ingredients:

  • Macaroni pasta: What shape do you want? For instance, are those elbow or shell types that hold sauce well.
  • Canned tomatoes: Go for high-quality crushed or diced tomatoes which give a rich flavor and texture.
  • Garlic: Minced fresh cloves to intensify the taste.
  • Onion: Finally chopped so that it adds some mixture of sweetness to it.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is used to fry other ingredients before being added into a dish in order to add moisture.
  • Herbs: Fresh or dry basil and oregano can be used as aromatic agents.
  • Salt and pepper: These will season as well as balance the dishes’ taste.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: It adds umami sautéed spinach flavors at the end resulting in savory dish this case we refer to tomato-macaroni with cheese (Parmesan).
  • Optional add-ins: Fresh spinach leaves, red pepper flakes, cream make this recipe on your own terms with various variations like adding these may help achieve the desired effect bring out an individual’s sense of taste.

This collection will help you create a balanced combination of tastes and textures for enjoyable macaroni in tomato based sauce

Step by Step Guide for Cooking Delicious Food

Prepare The Ingredients as follows; Chop Onion finely, Mince garlic cloves and Measure out all other supplies so they are ready when needed,

  • Cook Macaroni As directed on package until al dente. Drain it then set aside,
  • Sauté Aromatics (garlic & onion) in olive oil over medium heat until soft (about 5 minutes),
  • Add Tomatoes Mix canned tomatoes into skillet along with garlic/onion.Cheese should be melted first – check if notmixed properly,
  • Season Sauce with basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Herbs are stirred and adjusted as needed.
  • Combine Pasta And Sauce Simmer while stirring to coat the pasta then let it sit for a few minutes,
  • Finish With Cheese/Grated Parmesan Remove from heat; Stir in grated cheese until melted,
  • Optional Add-ins Add spinach to taste, sprinkle red pepper or add some creamy effect
  • Serve and Enjoy: Divide into bowls and serve immediately. Have a great meal!

Meal Prep Tips & Tricks

Whenever I am preparing food or storing it, the first thing I will do is arrange my kitchen so that everything is in order. Glass containers are what I use because they last long and you can also put them in a microwave. Moreover, each container is labeled by name of food dish along with date cooked so you can tell how long the meal has been preserved. During storage hot meals need to cool before being placed inside the refrigerator since bacteria may develop if stored this way instantly after preparation. When planning an entire week’s worth of meals, I make sure that those that have ingredients remaining in good condition over days are given priority on my list such as grains, roasted vegetables and proteins among others. It helps save time when one freezes portions for future use after freezing and defrosting it will be ready almost instantaneously rather than having wait around cooking another round which may end up wasted just for convenience purposes at least for me anyway these guidelines ensure I get better results out of my preps making my meals fresher longer.

Reference sources

  1. Weary Chef: One Pot Macaroni and Tomatoes

    • This source offers a comprehensive recipe for one-pot macaroni and tomatoes, including a detailed list of ingredients such as butter, bacon, water, petite diced tomatoes, and pasta. The clear instructions and practical approach make it an excellent reference for readers seeking a quick and easy meal.
    • Read More1
  2. AllRecipes: Macaroni and Tomatoes

    • AllRecipes features a straightforward recipe for macaroni and tomatoes, complete with user reviews and ratings. The ingredient list includes macaroni, butter, bacon grease, tomato sauce, and canned tomatoes, providing an easy-to-follow method that’s both quick and delicious.
    • Read More2
  3. Key to My Lime: 8-Ingredient Macaroni and Tomatoes

    • Key to My Lime presents an old-fashioned macaroni and tomatoes recipe that emphasizes ease and comfort. With a minimal ingredient list and a preparation time of just 20 minutes, this source offers a reliable and accessible recipe for a classic Southern dish.
    • Read More3

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

macaroni and tomatoes

Q: What are the simple ingredients to make a basic macaroni and tomatoes recipe?

A: To make this southern classic, you will need macaroni pasta, canned whole tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes for convenience and essential seasonings such as salt and pepper with a pinch of sugar to add flavour. Some prefer adding onions and garlic in it because it adds taste. Don’t forget cheese on top or mixed through cheese to turn plain old macaroni into comfort food with a twist!

Q: How can I achieve more flavor in this recipe?

A: Give your macaronis and tomatoes an extra edge by simmering them in some bacon grease which gives them that smoky flavor that’s so delicious. Additionally, putting in a small can of tomato diced green chilies helps to flavor the dish mildly. Remember, the old time cook always went ahead to put just a little sugar to offset acidity of tomatoes. Also few fresh herbs like basil right before serving does magic.

Q: Can I include meat in my simple macaroni and tomatoes recipe?

A: Yes! Many families grew up eating macaronis with ground beef added for extra substance. You can first fry some onions then add some ground beef or turkey followed by pouring sliced tomatoes into the pot. This changes its nature from being just an accompaniment into becoming a full meal that everyone relishes. Before mixing them together remember to get it back onto boiling point and let it simmer until any meat is cooked well.

Q: Which type of tomato should be used when making this recipe?

A: Different types of tomatoes may be chosen base on personal preferences or what is available at hand either canned whole ones, diced ones, or simply fresh vegetables depending on what you might have around at that moment.. For smoother sauce however crush your hand’ dried red fruits can serve while you may go for rustic texture cutting the tinned wholes by chopping them . When people prefer a chunkier sauce, they will buy a can of tomato diced. It is good to mix in some tomato juice if you want the macaronis and tomatoes to be juicier.

Q: How do I make it creamy?

A: To get a creamy taste in this dish add some cheese into the mixture near the end of cooking. You may use cheddar, mozzarella or any other cheese that melts well giving you a cream-like substance. The blend of flavors is cheesy like traditional mac and cheese with tangy tomato flavor. Add just a little heavy cream or cream cheese to the pasta before putting it on stove for even more lusciousness.

Q: Can this dish be prepared in advance?

A: Yes, macaroni and tomatoes are an excellent make-ahead meal. Prepare it as usual then let it cool down before keeping it in the fridge. It should also be noted that standing pasta could absorb liquid hence during warming up by adding some more tomato juice or water then its original consistency will be brought back. This can easily be heated on top a cooker or using micro wave too.

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