Tomato Mac and Cheese

Total Time:
1 hr 10 min
15 min
55 min

6 servings

  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3/4 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar, divided
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.

Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until tender. Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, and paprika; mix well. Stir in the milk and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Toss in the macaroni and pour into the prepared dish. Cover the macaroni with tomato slices and season salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The last few minutes, top with the remaining cheese and return to the oven until the cheese melts. Serve hot.

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    I made this just like the recipe and it is so good, definitely a keeper recipe.
    My family loves mac 'n cheese, so we've tried all the recipes, but this is the one we keep coming back to. A few tips: wet ingredients are measured by weight, but dry ingredients are measured by volume. So one cup of DRY macaroni is about 4 ounces. In other words, the "2 cups" called for in the recipe would be 8 ounces -- or a half pound box. That's why folks who are throwing in a whole pound -- a 16 oz. box -- might be getting a dry casserole. Also, blanching the tomatoes enhances their flavor. You can skip this step, and your dish still turns out perfectly fine -- but it definitely improves the flavor if you blanch the tomatoes first. PS - I think I already submitted this review under another name, but when I went back to edit it, I couldn't remember my user name & password. I sure hope my cooking is better than my memory!
    I prepared this for a Southern Cookin' themed book club. I left out the dry mustard and used 2/3 (2 cups cheddar and 1/3 (1 cup gruyere cheese. It was a big hit!
    To make recipe more for dinner, add cut up chicken about 1 cup shredded, shread turkey, salmon, tuna or ground meat sauted to remove grease, put on top of mac, add cheese then tomatoes with more cheese on top of the mac. if desired. Bake as indicated as the ground meat is already cooked.
    I made this with sharp cheddar and blanched vine ripened red tomatoes. Wasn't a big fan of the overall taste. The tomatoes were slimey and I'm not a big fan of how cheddar melts. What I did like was the overall ease of preperation. Next time I will alter the recipe and use a combination of creamier cheeses (and yes, even velveeta shreds would have tasted and melted better and top with fresh parm covered fried green tomatoes.
    Very good. It's also good cold, cut into small squares as an appetizer.
    So so good! I put some creole seasing on the top to give it an extra kick and it was amazing. I cooked this and my friend was freaking out the whole time he was eating it haha it kind of blew his mind. If you like collards this is great with them as well!
    I wanted a really decadent mac and cheese for Valentine's Celebration, and this was it! Now, to be fair, I used different cheeses, I used an organic white cheddar "Rumlano", and Sun Dried Tomatoes and Basil Montchevre Goat Cheese. Then my husband and I got creative with herbs and spices. We added cumin, a bay leaf, and our favorite all-purpose seasoning, and 2 types of hot sauces, one green and one red. (these were added to the roux To make it really decadent, I added a can of wild-caught salmon. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the tomatoes peeled after being blanched. That touch really put this recipe over the top. Oh, I used nonfat half-and-half instead of the milk, and Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard instead of the dry mustard. I will absolutely make this again, maybe with bacon as someone else suggested. Really really yummy!
    Abosolutely the best Mac&Cheese I ever made! It's great comfort food and easy to make. I love topping it with the tomato and I add bacon. YUM! Thanks Paula (I also recommend her Ron's Tybee Island sausage Pie, try it with sage sausage
    The best Mac & Cheese dish I ever made for my family.
    My family really thought the sliced tomato slices on top covered with cheese was a great touch. Thank you Paula. You're the best!!
    This was WONDERFUL. I recommend it for anyone!! The tomato adds an interesting flavor...
    I have been looking for a new mac and cheese recipe. Whenever I baked it before I did the evap milk and egg deal. This was excellent! The sauteed onions are a great addition and I love the cheese sauce. We are big cheese eaters so I add a lil extra.,I also did not add dry mustard but will one day in the future! Thanks so much!
    Just made this yesterday and it was a hit. Note that the casserole dish should be an 8x8x2 for this recipe. I doubled the recipe due to unexpected guests and used the 13x9x2 dish and it all disappeared. Thank you Miss Paula!
    It was amazing! The tomato adds such a nice flavor to the dish!
    Really yummy and comforting. My whole family loved it! I left the tomatoes fresh instead of boiling and peeling them and they tasted great. Just make sure you have plenty of cheese to sprinkle on top so it's extra delicious!
    This is my go to recipe for mac & cheese for all family gatherings! Always get lots of compliments, never any leftovers to bring home. Thanks Paula!
    Best I have ever had and I bet it would be great with green tomatoes.
    I love mac and cheese and, yes, butter -- but this version was WAY too greasy. In fact, I ended up throwing it away. Maybe if the butter was cut back some or if you use low-fat cheese....? (I even forgot to butter the pan!)
    Tried this last night. Was a little worried about adding the tomato, but it was so good!!! Will definitely make this again!! Thanks Paula!!!
    Don't bother!
    I have not tried this recipe yet, so I cannot review it. I will say that I have topped my Macaroni and Cheese with tomatoes for many years. I usually sprinkle the tomatoes with additional shredded cheese and add crushed French Fried Onions on top during the last ten minutes or so, to give it a nice crunch. Before I discovered the FF Onions, I used to use buttered bread crumbs. It surprises me that so many people tried this recipe for Tomato Mac and Cheese and opted to leave out the tomatoes. If you are not a fan of raw tomatoes, another suggestion would be to top it with salsa or even chopped stewed tomatoes. I have used both with good results.
    Loved it, made it Saturday night. Used about a cup of onion instead since I love onions. Only baked for about 30 minuts to keep it creamy. Best mac and cheese I have ever made and the tomatoes were great! Will make again very soon!
    Excellent recipe! I left the tomatoes out but followed the rest of the recipe as written. Everyone loved it!
    I'm very cautious about mac and cheese recipes because I'm usually disappointed. I wasn't disappointed this time. Very good. I added some onion powder and some heavy cream. Delish!
    nothing spectacular. Tasted like any other homemade mac and cheese. wont be making this one again.
    Mmmmmm....Yummy!!! Great Mac-n-cheese recipe. I didn't add the tomatoes to the macaroni (kids) and didn't bake it (think it would've dried it out). Very creamy and I topped mine with cold freshly diced tomatoes and that was very good (tomato lover). Will make again in the future when we are wanting a hearty mac-n-cheese!
    What a wonderful recipe! I'm usually not a fan of home mead mac and cheese because it's normally not creamy enough for me but this was by far the best home made mac and cheese I've ever tasted! Very tasty and very creamy. My husband and both of my daughters loved it as well. Thank you Paula! :)
    This was THE BEST mac and cheese I have ever made. My boyfriend is very picky when it comes to macaroni for some reason, but he loved this! I opted out of using the tomatoes, but it was still very delicious!
    This was THE BEST mac and cheese I have ever made. My boyfriend is very picky when it comes to macaroni for some reason, but he loved this! I opted out of using the tomatoes, but it was still very delicious!
    I've made several versions of mac n cheese for my family, and so far this is the fave. Took it into my daughter's first grade classroom for a potluck feast and it was gone in a flash. One parent commented that it reminded her of the way her grandma used to make it. I don't add the tomatoes (my kids don't care for it that way, and I don't have dry mustard in the house, so I use prepared mustard to taste (about 1T. Additionally, I add all of the cheese (3 cups to the white sauce. Makes it creamier. Yummy!
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    Paula's Mac and Cheese

    Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen