Budget-Friendly Tomato and Macaroni Casserole


  • 1/2 each of orange, yellow, and green bell peppers
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 lb Italian sausage or ground beef (or both for extra flavor)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 cup macaroni noodles
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or any cheese of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Dice the bell peppers and onion into small pieces.
  3. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced peppers and onions and sauté until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. If using, add the Italian sausage and/or ground beef to the skillet with the peppers and onions. Cook until the meat is browned and cooked through, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks.
  5. While the meat is cooking, cook the macaroni noodles according to the package instructions until they are al dente. Drain and set aside.
  6. Once the meat is cooked, add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and tomato paste to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  7. Season the mixture with garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, celery seasoning, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Remember, the flavor will develop more as it sits, so don’t overdo the salt at this stage.
  8. Add the cooked macaroni noodles to the skillet and stir until everything is well combined.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Once done, let it cool slightly before serving. Enjoy your delicious and budget-friendly tomato and macaroni casserole!

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