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Macaroni and Tomatoes

Macaroni and Tomatoes is a simple, classic southern recipe made from pantry staples. Easy to make, it is pure comfort food.


Macaroni and Tomatoes topped with Parmesan cheese in a bowl.

Easy To Make With Pantry Ingredients

It’s sort of like Southern Ghoulash, but much simpler and more basic. Macaroni and Tomatoes is wonderful served with cornbread and I like to add a little grated Parmesan cheese to it.

Only 6 ingredients plus salt and pepper are needed. It can be made in under 20 minutes and is a wonderfully economical meal.

What You’ll Need

  • Macaroni
  • Butter and Bacon Grease
  • Petite diced tomatoes
  • Stewed Tomatoes
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sugar

How To Make Macaroni and Tomatoes

First cook the macaroni in salted water for 8 minutes. While the pasta cooks, combine 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of bacon grease, a can of petite diced tomatoes, and a can of stewed tomatoes in a medium pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. This will evaporate a little of the liquid and concentrate the flavors.

Add salt, pepper, and a little sugar. Mix in the macaroni and simmer for a few minutes. So easy!

Macaroni and Tomatoes

Recipe Tips

If you don’t have bacon grease, use twice the amount of butter. I always save my bacon grease. It can be used for so many things and is especially useful when you are low on butter or oil. It adds a wonderful smokiness to this dish.

If you want this dish to be spicy, add a half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

Be sure to use a combination of diced tomatoes and stewed tomatoes. Stewed tomatoes have so much awesome flavor and a little sweetness.

Some people like to add a little onion. If you’d like to, saute it in the bacon grease and butter until soft.

Classic Macaroni and Tomatoes


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Tomatoes and Macaroni

Macaroni and Tomatoes

Macaroni and Tomatoes is a simple, classic southern recipe made from pantry staples. Easy to make, it is pure comfort food.


  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease
  • 1 (14-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  • Cook macaroni in boiling salted water for 8 minutes. Drain.
  • Add the butter, bacon grease and both cans of tomatoes (undrained) to a medium pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 miniutes.
  • Add cooked macaroni, salt, pepper, and sugar. Mix well and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Serve warm with Parmesan cheese if desired.


To make it vegetarian, leave out the bacon grease and double the butter.


Calories: 311kcal
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: pasta

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Classic Macaroni and Tomatoes

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7 thoughts on “Macaroni and Tomatoes”

  1. Are the stewed tomatoes you use, are they the Italian style (basil,oregano,garlic) or original (onions, celery, green pepper)? Can’t wait to try your recipe!
    Thank you

  2. J Scot Franklin

    This is just like my grandmother used to make! The only change I make is I add a diced onion to Stew with the tomatoes. Hint: don’t skip the bacon grease or sugar as they help make a nice sauce when you stir it.

  3. My mother made this when we were children. The only difference was that she sauteed about 1/4 cup of diced onions in the butter and bacon drippings before adding the tomatoes.
    We enjoy!!!

  4. Michele Miller

    This is absolutely delicious!!!! So easy, perfect for summer. Almost like I’m eating light. Thanks for the awesome recipe!+

  5. I used to eat this as a child, but it was macaroni and tomato juice. Very plain, but i still loved it. I made some today almost following this recipe, I fried the cut up bacon in a skillet and when it was crisp I added copious amounts of seasoned salt and 2tbs of Irish butter then poured all of it into the macaroni. I also omitted the sugar, i don’t really like it sweet. It changed the whole taste of the dish!! It was smokey and salty and so so good. I paired mine with fried (in bacon grease)Yukon gold potatoes, and Johnny cakes. Delicious 😋 Side note: This dish is carb overload, lol, so those on keto can’t have it, lol

  6. My mom used to make this — not as fancy with different kinds of tomatoes and butter — but the same basic idea. We loved it, and thought she made it up! Thanks for the happy reminder!

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