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My mother was a country cook and knew how to make a dish that was cheap, easy and good.  I grew up on this as a side dish. If you like tomatoes and pasta, you will love this.  Just add fried cornbread and you got some good food.

2 cups macaroni, uncooked
1 (14.5 ounce can) petite diced tomatoes
1 (14.5) ounce can) whole tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon bacon grease (can add more)
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Prepare macaroni in boiling, salted water according to package directions.  Drain.  Return pasta to cooking pot and add the diced tomatoes and whole tomatoes along with the juice.  I just break up the whole tomatoes.  Add bacon grease, salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Enjoy!
Note:  I am sure there are a lot of different ways to prepare this dish.  You could add other spices, chopped onions and green peppers, etc. but we like it just plain. I have made this using fresh tomatoes from the garden, too.
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65 Responses

  1. Love your recipes…brings back so many memories. My mom made this for nine children. We all loved this dish.

  2. I love this – My mom makes it minus the bacon grease but adds Texas Pete!

  3. I added some Chipotle flavored cream cheese and it was awesome!!

  4. This is too funny I also thought we were the only family to eat Macaroni &maters Growin up my Italian mother and Grandmother made this often Mom used med shell macaroni and home canned tomatoes a stick of real butter fresh ground pepper and a buttload of garlic powder salt to taste don’t over cook your mac and keep 3/4 of your salted boiling water . Mom always said it was to us Italians what chicken noodles to was to the English, YUMMM made it tonight my boys said if I ever did the bacon grease and onions I would ruin it for them

  5. My mom made a similar recipe and I make it now…. She sauted onions in bacon grease then added it to cooked macaroni then added a can or two of tomato sauce. I’ve added canned tomatoes as well. I add some salt & pepper! Delicious!

  6. My family has this recipe as well. But — let me add something that my family does. We use Laury’s seasoned salt and pepper (to taste) rather than regular salt and pepper, BUT we also add dry onion (the seasoning). It makes a BIG difference. Try it!


  8. I love this dish as well and here I thought I made it up years ago and it turns out tons of others have been eating it all of their lives! I personally like to use fresh tomatoes, although I’ll use canned if I don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand. What I do is chop a tomato and add it to a hot skillet, juice and seeds and all, and saute with grated fresh garlic and a little basil. Then I toss it with the cooked macaroni and go to town.

  9. My mom makes something similiar but no bacon grease. She uses probably a whole stick of butter and then combines everything and pours milk on top….a lot of milk….enough to cover. Then she bakes it at 350 until nice and brown on top. Delicous!!!

    • Oops….forgot the cheese. Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese….she uses to blocks but I use only one. Still just as good.

  10. As a child my Mom always made this..but did not use the bacon grease…but used cans of pork and beans and some butter. I have made this now for 52 years for my family and now my grandbabies. they all love it.

  11. We love this dish and I make it often . I usually add some canned tomatoes and green chilies because my husband likes it spicey . It goes really good with fried Fish !

  12. my grandmother put stew meat in it and made it into a soup…was so good.

  13. Macaroni and tomatoes was always the go-to food when we’d return from a trip and mom was too tired to cook anything more elaborate. She didn’t use bacon grease, but home-canned tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Yum!

  14. My mom used to add shredded roast beef to the mac and tomatoes! I don’t think she used the bacon grease though? It was such a simple dish, but man o man was it good!!

  15. my mom used to make this macaroni ‘soup’ all the time!

  16. I like to fry some bacon and then crumbled it up and add it to the pan along with some bacon grease. It is a Southern Indiana recipe too along with breaded tomatoes.

    • are you Polish? my Grandma was, my mom’s whole side of the family is. just thinking it may be a polish recipe. I couldn’t grow my own tomatoes this year, usually cook and freeze them for winter, have to buy store-bought now, not nearly as good.

  17. again, this is something my mom made for me as a kid and I still love and make a lot, I don’t use the bacon drippings often though, but I do use butter in it.

  18. We used to make it with sugar, no bacon grease. Probably both are bad for you, but OH SO GOOD!

  19. Looks yum. Sometimes its the simplest dishes that are the best. Used to make macaroni and milk…little butter and salt. Voila`

  20. I love this dish..My mother always made it. We added ground beef to ours and now I add a little Worchesterhire sauce..Then for the side we had pinto beans and cornbread and it’s yummmmmmmy…

  21. My son and my favorite meaI make it all the time,Love it..

  22. When I make my macaroni and tomatoes I use diced tomatoes and the juice and I add 2 cans of tomato sauce s , black pepper and a pinch of garlic powder , I let it simmer for just a bit and serve hot . A meal in its iwn

  23. I had to respond to this one,, I can’t seriously believe nobody knows how to make this simple dish.. I’ve made it for years. But I only use the macs, & tomatoes,, NOTHING else goes in it but perhaps a bit of butter, and some salt & pepper to taste…

  24. I grew up in the south and I have never heard of this recipe,but it looks delicious and I am actually going to make it tonight. Especially after reading all the comments!!

  25. Good grief, this took me back many years ago when my mother made this. We loved it. So simple, so good.

  26. This is an all time favorite!!! I like to spice mine up a bit by using Rotel Tomatoes!!!

  27. I love this. I remember eating this when i was a little one.although i did forget and this makes me want to make it.but i remember that my mom put a little sugar and milk in it.

  28. We love this too, and, I have not made it in awhile. I also, sautee onions in a little bacon grease when I have it and then add the rest to that.. I like the flavor ot the onions in it.. Then, sometimes I brown ground meat,onions,and whatever spices, add the mac and tomatoes to it and we call it goulash..Another one of our favorites.. Love your site

  29. Ohh, this dish brings back so many childhood memories. We ate tons of this, mainly because we were poor, and it was cheap to make besides being delicious! I think ours was just made with macaroni, tomatoes, salt & pepper and a little margarine (probably couldn’t afford any bacon). It’s been years since I even thought of this dish, but now I have to make some for old times sake! Thanks for the reminder and the recipe.

  30. My mother put okra in hers once and it was so good, onions too. She is 83 and cannot remember. Boy, do I!!!!!!!! Starving now!

  31. Ate salmon patties often but never had this as a side with them. I love this…made it quite often when my granddaughter was young and I didn’t know what else to fix for her! And also have this when I’m by myself for supper. Never realized it was a “southern thang” !! :-)

  32. I have always loved Mac and tomatoes. I always add 1 small can of tomato sauce to mine and a pat of butter…

  33. My mom always made this too and I wasn’t sure how, but she also added onions and I think a little sugar. My dad, now 94, still loves this. Will make for him soon. I love your page, I have copied so many receipes…I need to get a printer!! So glad a friend of mine posted your receipes on FB…now I can’t quit cooking! Making, sauerkraut, potatoes and sausage right now!

  34. Bless you for posting this!!!! My mom made this as well. I lost her in January and I had only asked her once how to make it. I couldn’t remember…I can’t wait to try this to see if it tastes like hers. Sounds like it’s the same ingredients….THANK YOU!!!!!

  35. My husband likes chopped onions sauteed in the grease till clear and add to the macaroni and tomatoes. I also like to make salmon cakes and cornbread with this.

  36. I thought my mom invited this dish because this is the first recipe I have seen for it. We had this often with fried streak o’lean and corn bread. Brings back lots of memories. Thanks for sharing.

  37. I fix this with Reames frozen noodles. Sometimes I switch the diced tomatoes out with stewed tomatoes and top it off with parmesan cheese. My family loved it!

  38. post fried cornbread please..sounds wonderful

  39. Sounds like a wonderful combination. I’m thinking even cold on those hot summer days when you want tasty, but not hot. I think this will be on my menu for the upcoming weekend with some steaks, and corn on the cob cooked on the grill. Thanks Judy. Always trying to figure out new stuff for my two guys.

  40. Wow I didn’t know other people ate this!! LOL!! I was raised on this except we use butter instead of bacon grease. Definitely comfort food at its best! :)

  41. I had forgotten about this one. Thanks for the reminder!

  42. this is one of my favorite pasta dish’s and the bacon grease makes it. i also put cheddar cheese and mozzarella and a little milk. you can bake it for 30 minutes or not . the cheesier the better(macaroni-chez and tomatoe) a favorite at our house.

  43. I did this tonight with Mexican style tomatoes (green chilies).

    Make you slap your Mama!

    Cornbread, mac/tomatoes, yum, yum!

    Bill Clay, in8angst

  44. I use our home canned tomatoes with the macaroni, too. Just tastes better and more like Mom and Grandma used to make (smile). We love salmon patties too. But often times I vary the tomatoes and macaroni with a little sugar or some spices like basil and oregano. Another favorite of mine is breaded tomatoes. A quart of home canned tomatoes with a tbsp of butter, a little sugar and some crumbled up bread, just enough to thicken up the tomatoes. Have to watch myself with this one, too, so I’ll leave some for my husband!!! Have an awesome weekend everyone!

    • My mom (rest her soul) used to make this dish. She also added sugar and basil. I had forgotten about it even though it was one of my favorites. Going to make it soon for my dad and myself. Thank you !

  45. My mom made this all the time and now I do too (except for the bacon grease) Love it

  46. Easy and simple delicious comfort meal! Fried cornbread sounds so tasty too! I’ll add other ingredients as well bcoz my family prefers something not too plain. ;P

  47. We often eat this for lunch, and we add cubes of cheddar cheese pour the hot tomatoes over the macaroni instead of cooking it together. This makes the cheese stringy. It’s very filling and delicious.

  48. Oh my goodness, I never thought anyone else did macaroni and tomatoes!! So simple and good. Grew up with this quick and hearty meal. Now hubby and I have this on those nights when it cold outside and want something quick and easy. Love your blog. Takes me back to my childhood and great memories.

  49. My Mom worked at Foulds Macaroni factory as a supervisor during WWII. (Foulds Macaroni makes Creamettes and is located in Libertyville, Illinois. Still there and still in business.) She always made us Creamettes with tomato sauce and a dab of butter on them. This was a staple for lunch in our home for three little girls. To stretch it when we had guests we would throw some hot dogs and smoky links into the pot while the Creamettes were cooking. We all still love Creamettes and eat them often.

  50. I’m telling you, I could live on this stuff. I love it, I don’t think I can get full on it! It’s good anytime, like you said, add cornbread and ta da! One of the best comfort foods on the planet. My favorite way is with tomatoes canned from my garden, it’s like adding a bit of sunshine to it. Thank you for posting!

  51. My Grandmother used to make this for me like 35 years ago.I had forgot all about it.It was really good.Thanks for reminding me.

  52. I thought my family was the only one that had this regularly as a side dish … and as a main course on occasion. Mom would make this (and she always added the bacon grease) along side salmon patties, fried potatoes and cornbread and I continued the tradition with my own kids. They are grown now and when my oldest returns home he always asks for this sometime during the visit.

  53. There is no other way in this world to make this dish. I was raised on it, Cathy was raised on it and my grandchildren were raised on it !! We Hockensmith’s sure know good food ,right Cuz?

  54. Pure comfort food at its best. This is a family favorite…will have to try the bacon grease. Love your site!

    • I have eaten this as far back as I can remember! Nothing better!… I make mine the exact same way but I add a sprinkle of garlic powder… Umm umm!

    • I have made this for years. I cook down my tomatoes first, with a little onion and the bacon or bacon grease and then put in macacroni and simmer.

  55. I had forgotten all about this dish. My Mom could stretch a dollar at the grocery store. We ate things like this often…Have a great weekend…Balisha

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