Mac and Cheese Ketchup – Yucky or Yummy?

Published Categorized as Journal

Mac and cheese ketchup is a long-acquainted food mashup that has been on the menu in American households for what feels like eons. Nevertheless, there are quite a few people who still raise an eyebrow at such an interesting flavor combo given that it’s rarely a part of a normal macaroni and cheese recipe. So, what gives? Is mac and cheese ketchup really as good as people claim it to be? That depends. To find out more about this “saucy” topic, be sure to keep reading!

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Mac And Cheese Ketchup – Yucky Or Yummy?

Table of Contents

Is Mac and Cheese With Ketchup Good?

Whether or not mac and cheese with Heinz ketchup will taste good to you will strongly depend on your taste buds and preferences. Those who prefer it say that people often look at them funny as they eat this interesting dish. And usually, it is a look that’s nearly identical to that of disgust!

Still, there are some people, even celebrities, that think the pairing is wonderfully delicious. 

So, is it?

Is Ketchup Good in Mac and Cheese?

Yes! Apparently, there are some mac and cheese recipes that call for ketchup (along with other interesting ingredients) to add a bit of “zip” to an otherwise cheesy and arguably bland dish.

Still, others claim that adding ketchup to macaroni and cheese can help when macaroni becomes crusty on the edges or loses moisture as a result of being cooked too long. To this end, the ketchup adds moisture, as well as that signature tomatoey-sweet flavor, to tickle the taste buds of all who try it.

Ketchup on Mac and Cheese

Though the concept of ketchup (which by the way, is not a smoothie) on macaroni and cheese is largely an American concept, you may be surprised to know that it’s fairly popular in other countries as well. In Canada, for example, a macaroni and cheese recipe can be found with a bit of ketchup and/or tomato sauce for added flavor. This is sometimes referred to as “Canadian spaghetti” or simply Canadian “mac and cheese“. And though it may not always look like traditional American mac and cheese, it certainly does strike a similarity in terms of ingredients.

Macaroni and Cheese With Ketchup

Though eating macaroni and cheese with ketchup may feel wildly out of the norm, it may help to understand that many people like the flavorful combo when the ketchup is mixed in (rather than drizzled over the top).

Now, don’t get us wrong here. There are plenty of people who like to drizzle ketchup over their macaroni and cheese in a similar to the way you’d drizzle ketchup over a hot dog. But not everyone goes this route when incorporating ketchup on macaroni and cheese.

Instead, you may find that some people like to mix the ketchup into the macaroni cheese sauce. In this way, the sauce becomes a bit tangier, sweeter, and a deeper hue of orange (verging on red) than normal. Though this may be a weird flavor combo to some, it may be slightly more familiar to those of older generations, as this sort of mac and cheese is often referred to as “old fashioned” by younger generations.

Do People Make Mac and Cheese With Ketchup

Remember that it’s totally normal–and somewhat common–for people to enjoy Kraft mac and cheese with a bit of Heinz ketchup. Just know that not everyone takes their mac and cheese ketchup the same way. Some like it poured over the mac and cheese, some like to mix it in, and others like just a little on the side.

It just depends on the person!

Mac and Cheese With Ketchup Recipe

Now that we’ve stretched your imagination a bit, you may be curious about the various recipes involving ketchup and mac and cheese. No worries. I’ve got a yummy, albeit interesting, mac and cheese ketchup recipe for you below.

Give a try – and don’t forget to come back and let us know what you think!

Mac and Cheese Ketchup Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 box elbow noodles
  • 1 lb shredded mild cheddar cheese (use sharp for stronger flavor)
  • ½ medium onion (diced)
  • 1- 8oz can tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup of ketchup


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Once preheated, boil about 3/4 of your box of elbow macaroni noodles. Cook them until al dente being careful not to overcook (they’ll cook even more in the oven).
  3. Drain your noodles. As your noodles are draining, go back to your cooking pot and sauté your onions in a little oil (or butter) until translucent.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Add your noodles, salt, pepper, onion, tomato sauce, and ketchup to the pot. Stir together until well incorporated.
  6. In a 2-3 quart casserole dish, place half of your noodle sauce mix and top with ½ the amount of cheese.
  7. Afterward, add the remaining noodles to the top of that layer and cover again with cheese.
  8. Bake your ketchup mac and cheese for about 15 minutes or until golden and bubbling on top.
  9. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.
  10. Enjoy!
Mac And Cheese Ketchup – Yucky Or Yummy?

Mac and Cheese With Ketchup: Weird But Satisfying!

Eating mac and cheese with ketchup may sound weird, but don’t knock it ’till you try it! Though it may sound completely off the wall, the truth is that people have been eating mac and cheese this way for decades–even in other countries! For that reason, I think giving it a try is worth a shot. Who knows…you may find yourself reaching for the ketchup bottle a little more often!

Have you ever tried ketchup on mac and cheese? If so, what’d you think? See you next time!


What condiments are good on mac and cheese?

Hot sauce, ranch, ketchup, and mayo are all worthy contenders when it comes to topping macaroni and cheese. Of course, there are some that won’t prefer any condiment at all. Don’t worry. I’ll leave those decisions up to you!

Does hot sauce taste good on mac and cheese?

It does (if you like spicy food, that is). Adding any condiment, but especially hot sauce, can give mac and cheese some kick. Try it next time you’re eating mac and cheese, and see what you think!

Categorized as Journal

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating! Author Pinterest Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Tumblr Reddit Quora

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