Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes
Growing up, my Mom always made us her baked macaroni n’ cheese recipe with roasted tomatoes. At that time, I always hated when she would add tomatoes to the macaroni and cheese. I would beg her to make us a batch without, but she always made it the same way every time.
As an adult, I now understand that she was completely right! The tomatoes add an extra burst of flavor and texture to the recipe. Any time you hit a juicy tomato with your fork, you know you’re in for the perfect bite. After all, what’s better than cheesy noodles, juicy tomatoes and crispy breadcrumbs? Not much!
About this Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
As soon as I tried this baked macaroni n’ cheese recipe yesterday, I was flooded with so many great memories. This dish truly is a part of my childhood. Perfect any night of the week, this recipe is comfort food at its finest.
When prepping the pasta be sure to cook it al dente. The pasta will continue to cook in the cheese sauce in the oven so you do not want it to get soggy. You’ll also want to reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water. This will be used for the cheese sauce if it begins to get too tight. Make sure you use an oven safe pan when prepping this dish. That way cleanup will be a breeze.
Serve this dish as your main meal or as a side. Either way, this baked macaroni and cheese recipe is guaranteed to be a family favorite.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave until heated through. You can add a small amount of milk when reheating to reconstitute the sauce so its creamy again. This recipe makes four servings. Please see below for nutritional information.
Baked Macaroni n’ Cheese
- 12 ounces elbow macaroni
- ¼ cup salted butter, or 4 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons AP flour , all purpose flour
- 1.5 cups 2% milk
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into smaller cubes for easy melting
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup pasta water , used to thin out the cheese sauce if it tightens.
- 28 ounces whole roasted tomatoes, drain off the juice and give them a rough chop. I like larger pieces in my recipe.
- ½ cup breadcrumbs, panko, or Italian will work
optional: cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes
- pasta pot
- oven safe saute pan
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare the pasta:
- Boil a pot of water and cook the elbow macaroni noodles according to the package. (al dente preferred) Reserve a 1/2 cup of water. Drain the pasta in a colander and set the pasta aside.
- In an oven-safe pan, add the butter and AP flour over medium heat to form a roux.
- Once the roux begins to bubble, slowly add the milk to form a béchamel sauce.
- Once the sauce is creamy, no lumps add the Velveeta and mozzarella cheese. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir until well combined. You want the cheese to be fully melted.
- When the cheese sauce is ready, add the cooked pasta into the pan and coat the pasta in the cheese sauce. If the cheese sauce begins to tighten, you can add some of the reserved pasta water. Use as much as you like or until the cheese sauce reaches your desired consistency.
- Drain the whole roasted tomatoes and chop them into large pieces. Gently fold the tomatoes into the macaroni and cheese. You do not want to over stir the tomatoes, or they will break down.
- Top the entire dish with the breadcrumbs and bake covered for 20 minutes. Broil uncovered for 1-2 minutes for an extra crispy top. Serve immediately and enjoy!