My Mother's Mac and Cheese Recipe
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My Mother's Mac and Cheese Recipe

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I remember my mother sending me to the store for "15¢ worth of store cheese". The butcher would cut off a slice from a gigantic round of cheese covered with a wax-coated cloth. Mother would then blend that cheese into this tasty dish. Today, the memory of Mother's cooking is like food for my soul. — Phyllis Burkland, Portland, Oregon
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 1 hour
MAKES:4 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 1 hour
MAKES: 4 servings


  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 373 calories, 22g fat (16g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 759mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 16g protein .


  1. In a bowl, combine macaroni, tomatoes, onion salt, pepper and 1-1/2 cups cheddar cheese. Pour into a greased 2-qt. baking dish. Dot with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake 15 minutes longer. Yield: 4 servings.
Originally published as My Mother's Mac and Cheese in Reminisce May/June 1993, p51

Full-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a full-bodied white wine such as Chardonnay or Viognier.

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Billid77 250271
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2016


JEANIEL 250263
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2016

"My mother, grandmother and now I make this mac and cheese for years, if you love tomatoes and cheese you will love this. I use white american cheese in stead of cheddar , thats the way my husband and I like it the best."

GrannyKash 244424
Reviewed Feb. 24, 2016

"I made this a few months ago so I'm not sure if I changed anything but I'm pretty sure I did not. With that said, I can say that it was good (I'm the only one in my house that likes Mac & Cheese that DOES NOT come from a box) but I don't think it was my favorite. I think it was the tomatoes as one of the ingredients that I did not like. Thanks for sharing as I do love to try new things!!"

luvdemgrits 235460
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2015

"Thank you for the memories Phyllis, and for sharing this great recipe, I melted the cheese and then stirred it into the pasta before baking."

alfoa 233550
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2015

"Bland. Needs flavor!"

fiddle-dee 227891
Reviewed Jun. 13, 2015

"Terrible. Tasteless. Macaroni bakes to inedible bits on top. Won't ever make again"

karenvk 227884
Reviewed Jun. 13, 2015

"This was the best! My other Mac & Cheese recipes are gone. I did change it by shredding longhorn Colby cheese instead but I am sure it would be just as good with cheddar cheese. I wanted to use some of the other reviewers suggestions because I remember my Mom making something like this with hamburger. Thanks for the recipe!"

bunqui95 227134
Reviewed May. 29, 2015

"Not my favorite mac and cheese recipe, but my husband really likes it, as does my toddler. Plus it's a very easy recipe to throw together. I've made it twice now, and it's been well liked both times."

allymcfan 226172
Reviewed May. 11, 2015 Edited Aug. 22, 2015

"I have made this 4-5 times. Sometimes I change up the cheese and use cheddar-jack and tomatoes with jalapenos. It does not get hot but gives it a little kick. Love it!"

ShannonMLeger 225929
Reviewed May. 5, 2015

"My family enjoyed it, especially my two year old son. Next time, I would add more cheddar cheese though. It was really good, the tomatoes went well with the mac and cheese."

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