Macaroni and Tomatoes

I don’t know how much more frugal you can get than this, and it’s one of my most favorite comfort foods.

Boil macaroni as directed on the package. Drain. Add a can of crushed tomatoes. That’s it for the basics.

I like to add salt, pepper and butter to mine when it’s done cooking.

I am poor, and this is a filling meal, but if I ever get rich, I’ll still eat this several times a month.

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  1. says

    I have had a version of this since I was a kid. My mom use to make it with tomato sauce instead. She would make the macaroni & drain, add a little butter, then a can of tomato sauce, and pepper (salt if desired). I loved it then, I love it now. Agreed that it is a great comfort food.

  2. Darcy says

    My cousin showed me a similar version. She uses ramen noodles (no spice packet) and home canned tomatoes (which taste much better than store bought). YUM!

  3. joyce says

    We make a dish that is something like this, only it uses hot dogs. Put a can of tomato sauce and three cans of water in a sauce pan,add a pound of sliced hotdogs. Bring to a boil and add a pound of macaroni.Cook until macaroni is done.This recipie has been in our family for generations and we have not found anyone who doesn’t like it.Have used just 1/2 LB. hotdogs and it is still good.Can use canned tomatoes but we like the sauce best.

  4. Jacqueline says

    I like the sound of Joyce’s version. A nice one pot dish. I like one pot dishes. I’ll bet you could also use the link sausages in this as well too.

  5. Lynn says

    This is my family’s version: Cook and drain the macaroni, add 1 can of tomato sauce, sprinkle on some chili powder, and add some dried parsley flakes. Yummy! My mom made this when I was little and I raised my kids on it; now they make it, too.

  6. Dee says

    I swear I think I’ve eaten these since I was a baby. We had them at least once a week but, then again, we grew up poor. I’ve always loved them, poor or not.

  7. Heather says

    My mom made the same thing. Macaroni, can of tomatoes, butter, salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic salt if it suited your fancy. Sometimes, if we were out of macaroni she would just heat up a can of tomatoes with the butter, salt and pepper in it and pour it over a few slices of torn up bread. Comfort food!

    • Sandy says

      Thanks Heather, this is the way my mom made it… I had forgotten but you reminded me and we are having for lunch with cornbread today…

  8. Regina says

    I too grew up eating this, and did not realize we were poor until I got grown. I have since heard people saying they ate this because they were poor, and I thought we ate it because it was good.

  9. wanda says

    Cook macaroni, add can of tomatoes (home canned are best) add bacon drippings, salt & pepper. Cook together for a while till as dry or soupy as you wish.

  10. Paula says

    I craved this when I was pregnant with my son. Ate because it was good, not because it was frugal. (Although that doesn’t hurt.)

  11. Pene says

    My kids like this. Even the youngest can make it. They add our homemade spaghetti spices, taco spices or even our pizza spices to the tomatoes/sauce and let simmer while the noodles are cooking. To keep it one pot they wait until the noodles are done, drain then use the same pot to heat up the tomatoes/sauce. Also if you add little of the pasta water to the tomatoes/sauce it will stick to the noodles better,

  12. Lisa says

    My mom always made a version of this but used a quart of tomato juice (home canned) and cooked the macaroni in this with salt and pepper. We always loved it too and sounds easier than cooking the macaroni separately!

    • Karen says

      I am hosting a meal at church and was wanting to do:
      Ham, soup(dried pintos) beans, mixed greens, mac and tomato juice and cornbread.
      My goal is to have this prepared before church and serve it two hours later.
      My question is about the mac n tom. Have you ever fixed it in a crockpot? I am wondering by cooking it in the crockpot in the tomato juice, would that eliminate the soggy macs? Just wondering if you had any insight. Thanks.

  13. barbara says

    My mom was from West Virginia, and I grew up on this very same dish. We used to have it about twice a month to stretch the budget until payday. But we loved it, and I still make it a couple of times a year. I also consider it comfort food.

  14. says

    My grandmother,made this cooking the mac in tomato juice,adding a jar of her home canned stewed tomatoes,and fresh sliced or her canned okra. Nothing bought at the store can come close to hers,but it is still a comfort food. Adding cooked ground beef,chopped bell peppers and onions and you have my “goulash”. I’ve got to try joyce’s version with the hot dogs, .

  15. Linda E says

    I also had this growing up and still make it now. I really loved it then and still love it. Some of these versions sound really good and so simple.

  16. crystal says

    We love this dish. We cook our noodles and drain, then add the home canned tomatoes to the pan add minced garlic, salt, pepper, and basil bring to a boil simmer a few minutes then add the noodles. My children love this dish. They want it for lunch everyday. So simple but yet so good.

  17. Angela says

    I am going to have to try the tomatoes! I generally purchase the inexpensive mac-n-cheese (powdered cheese version) and make it according to the package. Then I add diced jalapenos (no seeds) and onions with 1 diced hot link. (I have a small family, 3 people, and it is enough for us.) I don’t know why tomatoes didn’t ocurr to me – but I am going to try it today! Thanks for the great ideas.

  18. Carol Cripps says

    My sister adds a 14 oz tin of dice tomatoes to her mac and cheese – again, the powderd kind. For my dad, mac and cheese meant a can of tomatoes added to macaroni with Italian seasoning, poured in a casserole dish and topped with mozzarella cheese, then baked.. It tastes almost as good as lasagna, but is easier as well as cheaper. If you have a garden, you can add a salad to it for next to nothing. I still make this, and put it in small foil containers and freeze it, since I only have myself to cook for. It really is comfort food at its best.

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