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Creamy Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

This Creamy Tomato Macaroni & Cheese can be on your table in under 1 hour!

Welcome to January!  The holidays are over, the tree is down and it’s time again for routines.  And I’m more than ready for it.  I love this time of year.  It feels fresh, the nights are cozy and it’s the perfect time for comfort food.  I actually really enjoy cooking this time of year…there is just something so comforting about hearty and comforting food in cold winter months.

The best kind of comfort food.

Hearty, yummy comfort food.  But it’s got to be quick too!  Most days I need to be able to get dinner on the table in one hour or less.  So I’m always looking for new recipes to be able to achieve this.  And I also need recipes that use ingredients that I have on hand most of the time.  There’s a time for fancy recipes with fancy ingredients, but there’s nothing like having a recipe that’s simple and uses ingredients I have in the house.

Creamy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

And this Creamy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese is exactly that kind of recipe.  If I have my dinner pantry stocked, more often than not I have all the ingredients on hand, making dinner prep easier than ever.

Creamy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

Ready in under 1 hour!

Not only is this dish easy to put together, but it’s quick too…you can have it on your table in under 1 hour! It’s so good for those nights when you just don’t know what to make for dinner.  And the addition of tomato sneaks in some extra nutrition too!

Recipe Tips:

  • Cheese: Any mild, medium or sharp Cheddar Cheese or Monterey Jack cheese is delicious in this dish.
  • Tomatoes: I like to use canned tomatoes because the extra juice in them makes this dish nice and creamy.
  • Make Ahead Tip: I put my finished macaroni in an oven proof dish, covered it, and kept it in a 300 degree oven until dinner time. (Maximum time was 15 minutes.)


Creamy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

This Creamy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese can be on your table in under 1 hour!

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta


  • 1 lb 450 g elbow macaroni
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (I sometimes add 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese (mild, medium or sharp Cheddar Cheese or Monterey Jack)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Then drain and set aside.
  2. In a pan, melt the butter and cook the onion and garlic until lightly browned.
  3. Add the flour to the onion mix and stir, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Whisk in the milk, and stir until the mixture is thickened.
  5. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and oregano. Stir until the tomatoes are warmed through.
  6. Gradually stir in the grated and parmesan cheeses.
  7. Add the pasta and stir.
  8. Serve right away and enjoy!


I put my finished macaroni in an oven proof dish, covered it, and kept it in a 300 degree oven until dinner time. (Maximum time was 15 minutes.)

Recipe adapted from All You Need is Cheese

Let’s look again… mmmmmmmmm

Creamy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Tomato Macaroni & Cheese

Looking for more delicious and simple pasta recipes?

Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli

Macaroni & Cheese with Broccoli

Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

35 minute Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese

Bruschetta Pasta Salad

Bruschetta Pasta Salad


Have a delicious day!

This post was originally published in October 2012.  I just updated the photos!

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  • Reply
    October 22, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    This mac & cheese looks fab! I love the idea of making it a tomato version!

    • Reply
      October 22, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      Thank you Katie! I love the tomato addition too! Just a little more yummy!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Oh yum! I loooove mac n cheese and the addition of the tomato is pure genius.

  • Reply
    October 22, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    GENIUS, I say GENIUS – can’t wait to try this – looks creamy and delish!

  • Reply
    Pretend Chef
    October 22, 2012 at 5:51 PM


  • Reply
    October 25, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Oh good heavens- that looks DIVINE!

  • Reply
    Sue D.
    October 26, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    The tomato addition really makes it special. Yum!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I found this on Pinterest and made it tonight, it was AMAZING!! I used a mix of Monterey Jack, Sharp Cheddar and parmesan cheeses and it was so good. It is very filling for a main dish, next time I may make it a side for grilled chicken. It would be good with Sweet Italian Sausage too!

  • Reply
    September 5, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    My Mom use to make Mac & Cheese and add a can of tomato soup, it gave it a little zip and she always used extra sharp cheddar cheese and topped it with bread crumbs. It was yummy.(I still do it )

  • Reply
    Alexis B.
    February 5, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    Made it & it was good! Next time tho, I will double the sauce to make it creamier! Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

  • Reply
    April 27, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    hey i tried this with just a touch of spices. im 13 and i made this today for my family. they loved it!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Thank you for the recipe. I did it today and it’s really good (I hate traditional mac&cheese), but next time I’ll add can of chopped tomatoes (I really want tomatoes to be dominant taste here :)). I already shared link to your page on facebook 🙂

    • Reply
      September 7, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      You are so welcome – I’m very happy you enjoyed it! And I agree – this recipe is even better with more tomatoes! Thank you too for sharing it!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2018 at 4:55 AM

    Thanks for this recipe, I was wondering when do you add in the diced tomatoes?

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      January 15, 2018 at 10:39 AM

      Hi Ammar! You can stir them in at the same time as the tomato paste…I’ve updated the recipe now with that information! Sorry about that. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2018 at 12:30 PM

    5 stars
    My mom would make this with additional garlic cloves, no oregano, lesser cheese (just for garnish/condiment) plus a can of corned beef!♥ Thanx for sharing!

  • Reply
    Yvonne Holguin
    June 14, 2018 at 7:29 AM

    5 stars
    This was excellent! Thank you for sharing 🙂 I substituted the flour for almond flour and the pasta for red lentil penne for a gluten free option. It came out AMAZING!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2019 at 2:05 PM

    5 stars
    Great recipe and incredibly easy to make. Everyone wanted second helpings!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2020 at 6:52 PM

    5 stars
    My 15 month old gobbled this up! Thanks for sharing an easy recipe for the whole family.

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      March 9, 2020 at 7:11 PM

      Oh I love that!! I’m so happy you and your little one enjoyed this recipe!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2020 at 9:23 AM

    5 stars
    I used Rotel tomatoes in this and it was so good! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    April 15, 2020 at 12:20 PM

    it’s delicious! but not enough sauce for my pasta! next time I’ll make the sauce 1.5x 🙂 I also put some cheese on top and baked it for a few minutes to get golden melted cheese

  • Reply
    August 6, 2020 at 5:55 PM

    5 stars
    Amazing! I put some different things.But I put some red and green pepper and canned corn beef. I also didn’t put oregano.( my mom added bakon) very delicious! I am definitely going to use this recipe again!

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      August 6, 2020 at 11:05 PM

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it Kamsi…I love the changes you made!

  • Reply
    Ella Mammedova
    January 21, 2021 at 11:13 AM

    5 stars
    Great recipe and incredibly easy to make. I love Macaroni & Cheese.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2021 at 6:20 PM

    Loved this!

  • Reply
    b adams
    October 7, 2021 at 8:26 PM

    Far too bland for us. And both my husband and I feel that pasta should have been 1/2 pound as it was all pasta and very little else. We ended up with LOTS to redo tomorrow with perhaps sauteed green bell pepper, more onion, green onion, more tomato paste, cheese, perhaps some green chiles or roasted poblanos. As the recipe stands, yes it will feed a lot of people, but not as a good main dish. It just seems to lack all-round. Sorry. A ‘miss’ for us.

    • Reply
      Jo-Anna Rooney
      October 8, 2021 at 10:13 AM

      Oh that’s too bad, we’ve never thought it was bland and it always has loads of sauce.

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