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.
You may also enjoy:
Green Beans and Potatoes
Fresh Mustard and Turnip Greens
Be sure and pin for later:  Macaroni and Tomatoes
Be sure and check out Everything Kentucky and The Southern Twins.

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  1. Memories. When we added hamburg and celery, onion we called it goulash. Otherwise it was just mac and tomatoes. It has to be elbow mac. We have had it in the family for 5 generations. All love it.

  2. OMG!!I grew up with this I still love it and my daughters love it AND my grand babies love it !
    So easy to fix! SOOOO GOOD!

  3. I am now almost 49 and we grew up on the hamburger and onion added version! My dad said it is called “Flapadilly”. I just lost my dad in March, but right up util he wasn’t able to get around, he would make this for me whenever I asked, no matter how sick he felt. It was one of “our things”. Sure do miss you daddy!!! …and your flapadilly, lol.

  4. I am not from the south, but I grew up on macaroni and tomatoes, as did my mother, my children, my grandchildren and now my great grand children. We make it close to the same way, except we use our home canned tomatoes and not the store bought kind. In fact, that dish was one of the reasons I wanted to learn how to can tomatoes.:)

  5. My grandmother would cut up bacon into 1″ squares, and fry them, then add to the tomatoes and elbows. Comfort food right there! :)

  6. My mom made something similar, only she used stew beef cooked in the pressure cooker, then added the tomatoes and macaroni. I’m from the south, also.

  7. My mother in law would make this. But, she would fry bacon (limp) for the grease and add the bacon in also.

  8. I add onions and celery to mine. I love it

    • We alway fried chopped bacon and onions then added cooked Thin spaghetti, tomatoes, salt and pepper. always delicious!!

  9. I grew up eating this and it was one of my favorites. My grandmother put a little butter on top. I went without butter, but one of my sisters loved the butter.

  10. In Boston my grandmother would cook hamburger with onions while the elbows were cooking. After she drained the pasta, in that pan she would put butter, one can of whole tomatoes with juice, salt and pepper. After she mashed the whole tomatoes she would add in the cooked hamburg and onion, cooked pasta and heat through. Served with Italian bread on the side. Still make her recipe !

  11. My mom made this by browning chopped red onions in her gienat cast iron skillet. Once they were browned, she added a can of chopped tomatos and the giant can of tomato juice. Then she added uncooked macaroni and stirred it until the pasta had cooked and absorbed most of the tomato juice. I had to learn how to make this because my sons loved it so much!

  12. ashley turczi says:

    o thought i came up with this. lol guess not. i was 12 im now,29 um guess um not the only one who like it too

  13. I add sugar love this

  14. Harold hubbard says:

    Always added sugar!!

  15. Well dang!! After reading all of the comments, I am craving Macaroni and Tomatoes, and it’s 12:07AM I will probably add sauted onions.

  16. My mom used to fix this for my siblings and I when we were little. I remember her adding hamburger, was always a treat. If she didn’t have any hamburger she would add sugar in place of the salt, pepper and bacon grease. She also used whole tomatoes and squished them with her hands. Yummilicious!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  17. My mother always made this, alittle different but always good and filling, especially when you have alot to feed!

  18. Michael Ellen Trammell says:

    This is one of my favorite dishes. My mother called it macaroni soup.
    I love all your recipes. They are good and easy to make.

  19. We were also brought up on this and I am a Canadian the only thing different was we added cheddar cheese to it as well.

  20. Reta Hadlock says:

    Love all of your recipes. Thanks for sharing them. This was one of my favorite dishes for my mother to fix. The only thing she did different was to cook the tomatoes with bacon grease salt and pepper for a 15 to 20 min in a seperate pan then add the cooked pasta and let them simmer for 5 to 10 min.before serving.

  21. my mother used make this for me when I was young I had forgotten about it now I can make it thank you so much.

  22. I love it. Mom fixed it when I was a kid. Usually had it with salmon cakes. She didn’t use bacon grease, but brown finely chopped onion in butter and then added it to the macaroni and tomatoes. Yummy.

  23. We call it Roni Red!

  24. We had this on a regular basis when I was growing up in the 70’s. My mother added cooked sausage pieces to the dish.

  25. This was always a special treat for us as kids growing up. However my mom would use butter instead of bacon grease and add a small can of tomato juice instead of the whole tomatoes. I still make this for myself as comfort food and my daughter carries on the tradition.

  26. We fix this all the time only we cook sausage cut up and add them to it.

  27. Faye Avery says:

    I use to eat this when i was a little girl..moms was the husband is 85 years old and he said he had never eaten this so i made him some last night for dinner and he loved it ,,and to my surprise he went back for thirds..He loved it…I really love to cook for him when he loves what i fix….I added a little celery seed in mine with onions….

  28. Letitia wesley says:

    This is wonderful!! I had thought only my mama made this! Brings back memories!

  29. My mom would make this for us way back in the 70″ s, I haven’t had this in yrs, I think it’s time to make some. Thank you.

  30. Yum! One of my favorites, right behind cabbage and noodles.

  31. We grew up with very little money in Maine and this was a staple for us and sometimes mom put ground beef in it when we could afford it. Thank you for the memories.

  32. I make it and just add canned diced tomatoes and diced crispy bacon pieces.

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


  35. Peggy Howard says:

    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 !

  36. robyn frazier says:

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

  37. Jayne Adler says:

    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.

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

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

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

  41. 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…

  42. 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!!

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

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

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

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

  48. 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!

  49. 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!!!!!

  50. 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.

  51. Tammy, Lowcountry of SC says:

    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.

  52. post fried cornbread please..sounds wonderful

  53. 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.

  54. 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! :)

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

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

    Make you slap your Mama!

    Cornbread, mac/tomatoes, yum, yum!

    Bill Clay, in8angst

  57. Margaret Martin says:

    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 used to make this for me and my sister also. She would cook the macaroni and tomatoes with the oregano, basil and some garlic yummmmmy.

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

  59. 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

  60. Faydene Stumper says:

    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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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!

  63. Kristy Ramsey says:

    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.

  64. 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.

  65. Cuz Doris says:

    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?

  66. 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!

  67. 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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