Macaroni and Tomatoes
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If you’re looking for an easy dinner recipe that still packs a flavorful punch, look no further than macaroni and tomatoes. This dish is simple to make and can be tailored to your liking by using different types of pasta or adding in additional ingredients like grilled chicken or shrimp.
This recipe always brings me right back to my roots. It reminds me of sitting in my grandma’s kitchen. She always seemed to have a pot of it sitting on her stove. It was an easy, budget-friendly meatless meal that she learned to make from her mom.
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There are many different types of macaroni and noodles, but for this recipe, we recommend using elbow macaroni. If you can’t find elbow macaroni, you can use any other type of short pasta like small shells.
If you can’t find canned whole tomatoes, you can use diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce. You can also use fresh tomatoes if they are in season. Just be sure to chop them up into small pieces.
Sometimes kids won’t eat chunks of tomatoes in anything. One way to give this classic dish a little twist is to use tomato juice as a substitute for the canned tomatoes typically called for in the recipe. Simply substitute the same amount of tomato juice as you would canned tomatoes in the recipe and enjoy! That’s how my mom made it.
Stewed tomatoes are sweeter than canned tomatoes and if you like yours on the sweet side I would recommend using stewed tomatoes or adding about 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar.
I used salted butter in all of my recipes so that’s what I generally have on hand. You can use unsalted butter if you chose, you’ll just need to add a touch more salt at the end.
Some people prefer to use bacon grease, I know my grandma did. She even had a coffee can filled with bacon grease sitting on her stove. It went into green beans, she popped her popcorn in it, and she used that old can of fat just about anywhere that needed a pop of flavor. So, if bacon grease is your thing, go ahead and use it.
How to Make Old Fashioned Macaroni and Tomatoes
- Cook the macaroni elbows in boiling water, following the directions on the package.
- Drain the macaroni and give it a good shake to get rid of all the water.
- Put the elbows back into the cooking pan.
- Place the pan back onto the stove and turn the heat to low.
- Add the butter and stir until it’s melted and covers the macaroni.
- Break the canned tomatoes into smaller pieces and add the tomatoes and the juice from the can and stir to combine.
- Keep heating and stirring frequently until the macaroni has absorbed most of the liquid from the tomatoes and is cooked to your desired doneness.
- Serve hot!
When you need a hearty, easy-to-make dinner dish, macaroni and tomatoes is the perfect meal for you! This classic combo can be tailored to your liking by adding additional ingredients like grilled chicken or shrimp. It’s a budget-friendly meal that the whole family will love!
MORE QUICK FAMILY DINNERS
- Stovetop Mac & Cheese
- Stovetop Beer Brats
- Chicken Noodle Casserole
- 30-minute Chicken and Pasta (Frog Eye Soup)
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Macaroni and Tomatoes
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni uncooked, about 2 cups
- 14.5 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the macaroni elbows to al dente, as directed on the package
- Drain the macaroni but do not rinse.
- Place the drained elbows into the pan you cooked them in.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until the butter has melted and the macaroni is coated
- Add the tomatoes and the juice from the can and stir to combine.
- Heat over low heat until the macaroni has absorbed most of the liquid from the tomatoes and is cooked to your desired doneness.
- Serve hot.
- Small shells or other small shaped pastas can be used.
- Stewed tomatoes can be used if you prefer a sweeter dish.
- Whole tomatoes should be cut into smaller pieces before adding.
- You can substitute the canned tomatoes with tomato juice, that’s how my mom used to make it.
- Bacon grease can be used instead of butter, that’s how my grandma made it.1