Dan’s Macaroni and Cheese

Cheddar Cheese

My grandmother and, later, my mother regularly made this dish. It’s comforting after a trying day, and I usually have a hearty glass of red wine with it. I’ve been known to saute a few finely chopped cloves of garlic in a tablespoon or so of melted butter and then add it into the final mix for a bit of variety.–Dan Kraan

Dan's Macaroni and Cheese

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • Salt
  • 1 pound macaroni elbows
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced (about 3 cups)
  • One 28-ounce can stewed, diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound medium or sharp Cheddar cheese, grated


  • 1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter, then set it aside.
  • 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the elbow macaroni, bring back to a boil, and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well.
  • 3. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute with a pinch of salt until translucent, about 8 minutes. Scrape them into a large mixing bowl. Add the drained tomatoes.
  • 4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and season with a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until they’re just cooked through and the juices no longer flow, about 5 minutes. Scrape the contents of the pan into the bowl with the tomatoes and onions.
  • 5. Add the macaroni and a scant half of the Cheddar cheese to the bowl. Mix well, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 6. Pour the mixture into the casserole dish. Scatter the remaining cheese evenly over top. Slide the dish into the oven and bake until the cheese is nicely melted but not browning, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with warm buttered rolls.

Recipe Testers Reviews

I made this one for my daughter and I since we love trying new mac’ and cheese recipes. I love to add tomatoes to my mac’ and cheese but have never added them to the dish before baking except for a few slices on top. I love that this one has a whole can of diced tomatoes in it. The mushrooms, too, are a great addition. And I love that the recipe uses a whole pound of sharp cheddar cheese as this makes it over-the-top cheesy. This is one we’ll be making again.


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    1. Thanks Karen! We’re sure you’ll enjoy it. Actually, I think you may have had it before, as I used to make it quite often when we lived just outside of town.

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Sofia. It’s been a staple in our home since I was a child! It freezes well, too. If freezing it, wait until you’ve thawed it out and are ready to bake it before topping with the grated cheese.

  2. Dan, we JUST finished eating your Mac & Cheese and the general consensus was, do it again please. Real soon. This is certainly a different take on mac & cheese with the added ingredients but the end result is of a nice and smooth and creamy mac & cheese where the tastes of the onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms dilute the taste of the cheese BUT in a good way. A perfect combination of tastes which makes this meal or side dish not a heavy one much as other mac & cheese recipes.

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