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My Mother's Mac and Cheese Recipe

My Mother's Mac and Cheese Recipe

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 YIELD:4 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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.

Nutritional Facts

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

Reviews for My Mother's Mac and Cheese

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MY REVIEW
Billid77 User ID: 4091641 250271
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2016

"F"

MY REVIEW
JEANIEL User ID: 4193559 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."

MY REVIEW
GrannyKash User ID: 1273838 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!!"

MY REVIEW
luvdemgrits User ID: 8486223 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."

MY REVIEW
alfoa User ID: 2078080 233550
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2015

"Bland. Needs flavor!"

MY REVIEW
fiddle-dee User ID: 1467753 227891
Reviewed Jun. 13, 2015

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

MY REVIEW
karenvk User ID: 5079734 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!"

MY REVIEW
bunqui95 User ID: 7138867 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."

MY REVIEW
allymcfan User ID: 8300452 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!"

MY REVIEW
ShannonMLeger User ID: 4216848 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."

MY REVIEW
keverwann User ID: 1807985 225184
Reviewed Apr. 20, 2015

"My 5 year old son loved it, but I thought it was bland, tasteless, and pretty gross. It did get him to eat tomatoes, which has been difficult. The bottom part was soggy and the top part was so crispy it was almost burnt. I made with 12 ounces of whole wheat elbows, home canned gold tomatoes, and Tillamook cheddar cheese."

MY REVIEW
LKCast User ID: 4409572 224942
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2015

"This is great! Brings me back, my grandmother always put sliced tomatoes on the top of her mac & cheese recipe. Love it!!!"

MY REVIEW
blanckdavid User ID: 7351508 224937
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2015

"I enjoyed this recipe and would make it again. 2 cups dry macaroni!"

MY REVIEW
crucarlson@aol.com User ID: 291577 224927
Reviewed Apr. 16, 2015

"This sounds wonderful - and adding tomatoes to mac & cheese would give it a new flavor. I must try it! Question: Is it two cups of elbow macaroni before or after cooking?"

MY REVIEW
ssandige User ID: 8337723 224910
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2015

"Recipe states to "pour into a 2 quart baking dish," which would be equivalent to an 8x8 cake pan. Photo shows what appears to be a 13x9x2 casserole, which would hold between 14-15 quarts. I'm making it tonight and will use whichever pan looks best!"

MY REVIEW
vsailaway User ID: 2836618 224901
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2015

"My mom made a white sauce and added longhorn cheese. What she really made was a bechamel sauce, but didnt know the name for it

She was very careful not to boil the sauce, as it would turn grainy. This recipe sounds great. Must search for longhorn cheese."

MY REVIEW
MyLittleMargie User ID: 6281908 224818
Reviewed Apr. 14, 2015

"My mom always served stewed tomatoes with her mac and cheese and this reminds me of my mom. To cindihartline, my mom always taught me if you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything. You obviously have not learned that."

MY REVIEW
swinny User ID: 1858482 224776
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2015

"I did saute 2 peppers and added another can of tomatoes. For an added flavor I used some left over ham from Easter. Very tasty."

MY REVIEW
cindihartline User ID: 6608007 224761
Reviewed Apr. 13, 2015

"Tomatoes do not belong in Mac and cheese. Terrible."

MY REVIEW
jmichels1 User ID: 1792331 224707
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

"My wife is a Mac n cheese junkie and I am not. As I am the Head Chef in the house, have been collecting Mac n cheese recipes to find some I can like. This is a good one with the tomatoes, thank you very much.

I LIKE THE COMMENTS; incorporate the ones I like into the saved recipe, especially the seasoning due to many recipes being very "light" on the additions that can make a dish really "sing"."

MY REVIEW
puremcdowell53 User ID: 8290155 224704
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

"Never had mac n cheese quite like this but very delicious ??"

MY REVIEW
bucky2 User ID: 5333798 224702
Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

"This is an outrageous recipe. I haven't seen or had it in years. Thanks for the reminder! This recipe, I believe came from what a bunch of us old folks grew up on when we didn't have much money back in the '40s and '50. (Cook some "elbows", drain then put back in pot and add home canned tomatoes-squish by hand if they're whole or too chunky-add a little salt and pepper, reheat, then go to work on a big bowl full of it just like you do with the Mac and Cheese.) A nice chunk of fantastic "hoop cheese" from a local country store was what really made this Mac and Cheese. THANKS AGAIN (Already got my water boiling)"

MY REVIEW
AdeleDegnan User ID: 4801874 224687
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"Pretty good, but I have other mac and cheese recipes that I prefer"

MY REVIEW
danielleylee User ID: 4484886 224660
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"Nice touch of acidity. I did use no added salt tomatoes and Colby Jack cheese. I did't have onion salt on hand so I used onion powder and added salt. I also used dreamfields whole wheat pasta that cooks white so no one knows they are eating extra fiber, I don't think it is my husband's favorite mac and cheese but a favorite side dish for sure and a nice twist on mac and cheese. His favorite kind of mac and cheese calls for eggs, sour cream and milk."

MY REVIEW
missdc User ID: 5915326 224646
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"Very tasty recipe…made exactly as written…was delicious. Also tried it with 1 lb. browned ground turkey using extra spices when browning, just mix turkey in with macaroni and tomatoes."

MY REVIEW
DOROS User ID: 6132776 224640
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"MMM!!! I love tomatoes with my mac & cheese. Thanks for the recipe."

MY REVIEW
MJPMJP User ID: 7066544 224639
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"This is how I gew up eating mac and cheese and I just can't bring myself to make it any other way! My Nana made it like this and I do too. The only think I do is zap the tomatoes In the blender for just a second. I love this Mac!"

MY REVIEW
61daisies User ID: 3736715 224637
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"Although I have not tried this recipe, it is similar to one I make. Will try this one too. My husband loves mac & cheese. I agree with fmdualexhaust, all too often I read comments, people tell how they changed the recipe to their liking. Share your "version" of a recipe for Taste of Home to evaluate, don't do it on someone else's."

MY REVIEW
toots29 User ID: 6804666 224635
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"The cheese you described was a large wheel of Longhorn Cheese at my neighborhood grocery store. The closest thing to it that I can find now is Colby cheese."

MY REVIEW
fmdualexhaust User ID: 7685107 224634
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"Is it just me? I thought the idea of comments was to comment on the publishers recipe, not add a whole new recipe on the way you make that meal. How about starting your own thread?

Thanks for your recipe Phyllis.
Sorry for the rant. I just had an operation and I'm grumpy."

MY REVIEW
almaes11 User ID: 8298958 224632
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"Excellent and easy."

MY REVIEW
beachpatty69 User ID: 8157674 224627
Reviewed Apr. 11, 2015

"My Mom made it this way...except she layered the mac, then cheese, then mac, etc., before the top layer she added the tomatoes and sprinkled the top with cinnamon....yes cinnamon...the flavor bakes out & leaves an awesome crusty top layer.....to almost die for!"

MY REVIEW
ferryal User ID: 3337544 218466
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2015

"FANTASTIC is the only word to describe this dish! Wished I could have given it 10 stars. I made a few changes for health reasons, used whole wheat pasta, reduced fat Italian shredded cheese, substituted garlic salt for onion salt, added garlic powder. Once in the oven for 45 min. Browned 2 cups of seasoned Panko crumbs with 1 TBL. of butter and 1 TBL. of olive oil in a pan. sprinkled on top of the casserole and baked it for another 15 min.

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us all."

MY REVIEW
DebGrant User ID: 5777138 13509
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2014

"this may be it! I really hope this is the recipe that my husband's grandmother used to make. We (in our family) look at him like "TOMATOES IN YOUR MAC-N-CHEESE???!!!" ...but he grew up with this being the "best" and unfortunately, the recipe passed away with his grandmother. I'm going to try to surprise him with this for Thanksgiving. Really hope this is the one."

MY REVIEW
Debloudermelt User ID: 7845833 42410
Reviewed Jun. 12, 2014

"This recipe was a winner! My husband really liked it and I will definitely be making this again."

MY REVIEW
Robidavi User ID: 7678546 16366
Reviewed Mar. 3, 2014

"This was a great dish. When I first saw the ingredients I was sure it was going to be dry but it was not. I made one change I used diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano it gave it a little more flavor, next time I am going to add some type of meat. My husband the cook said this was a keeper he had some good ideas. Will make I again and post the additions."

MY REVIEW
deannasnz User ID: 6542477 42407
Reviewed Jul. 3, 2013

"This is magic, so much better than that boring list of ingredients."

MY REVIEW
freemasonman User ID: 6594772 41243
Reviewed Apr. 15, 2013

"I've been making this dish since the early 60's and my mother made it before me, but never with pre-cooked macaroni or onion salt. The original Mom's Monday macaroni was a dish most often made on washday Monday, as doing the wash in the 50s -60's was an all day chore if you weren't fortunate enough to have a fancy wringer washing machine. The recipe I made a lot when my children were young, and still do make occassionally for my DH and I is, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 small onion finely chopped, 1 1/2 cups Uncooked macaroni, 1-2 cups cups of cubed cheddar cheese, 1 can tomatoes, (19 oz) undrained, (chop them up if whole) 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste. Topping: 1 teaspoon soft butter, 1/2 cup soda cracker crumbs, (about 8 crackers).

In skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and saute for 4 min or til onion is limp (if you're pressed for time or feeling particularly lazy, you can skip this and just toss in the raw onion). Grease a casserole dish with lid and add macaroni, cheese, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper. Stir in onion mixture and stir well to break up tomatoes. Bake covered in a 350 oven for 30 min.
TOPPING: combine butter and cracker crumbs (you can use dry bread crumbs or crushed cornflakes, etc.) season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle topping evenly over top. Return to oven and bake, UNCOVERED, for 20 min. longer or til crumbs begin to brown and macaroni is tender.
Serves 4 - 6 depending on appetites."

MY REVIEW
AnneSarah User ID: 5515401 42406
Reviewed Jun. 15, 2011

"I got this same recipe from my mother-in-law. Fist time she ever made it I was addicted. LOVE IT. Everytime I make this I am always aked for the recipe. I got this recipe about 40 years ago and is still the one I always make. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us. A MUST make."

MY REVIEW
crackerjack076 User ID: 5003692 17361
Reviewed May. 6, 2010

"This recipe was great and my kids loved it. Honestly I just baked it for 30 mins, then 15 more min w/extra cheese and it was still great."

MY REVIEW
nancylking User ID: 4060608 201777
Reviewed Feb. 25, 2010

"This brought back memories of dinner at my grandmother's house. I had asked family about this past recipe she had made but all I could remember was that it had a little tomato in it & that I loved it. I made this and the whole family loved it & have requested it again & again. Thanks!"

MY REVIEW
frankieb User ID: 1667031 39644
Reviewed Apr. 25, 2009

"It's a basic mac and cheese recipe. But what makes it stand out is the wonderful story associated with it. I can just picture that giant block of cheese! I saved this recipe into my Favorites."

MY REVIEW
DoogieJanet User ID: 3572154 17331
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2009

"Boy did this recipe bring back memories. With eight of us in the family, this was one dish mom could make tons of so there were always seconds. I had forgotten this until today. Thank you."

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Wine Pairings

Full-Bodied White Wine

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