This tomato macaroni soup recipe is made with turkey, warm seasonings, a tomato-based broth, and, of course, macaroni noodles for the ultimate cold-weather comfort food! Combined in one pot in a matter of minutes, and loaded with protein, it makes enough to feed a crowd and pairs wonderfully with all your favorite sides and appetizers.
Macaroni Soup Recipe
If you’ve never had a macaroni soup recipe, think of it as sort of a cross between tomato soup and hamburger helper. A more grown-up version of classic comfort foods, it features veggies and warm spices with plenty of protein for a cozy meal that will warm you up, fill your belly, and satisfy your tastebuds.
It’s my go-to on a chilly fall or winter day! Plus, one batch makes up to six servings and stores really well so you can easily enjoy it all week. Even better, prep time is minimal, and with just one pot, clean-up is an absolute breeze!
Tomato Macaroni Soup Ingredients & Notes
- Oil - I prefer the strong flavor of olive oil, but avocado oil will also work.
- Ground turkey - I personally prefer the white meat, but dark meat will work as well. Use anywhere from 85% - 95% fat-free. You need the fat to help keep it soft and moist. I've tried this with 99% fat-free turkey and it's a little too dry. If preferred, lean ground beef or ground chicken will also work.
- Aromatics - White onion and fresh garlic cloves are sautéed in oil, adding a sweet, pungent flavor to the broth.
- Seasonings - Paprika, dried oregano, and sea salt create a savory flavor. I also like to add cayenne pepper for a bit of heat!
- Tomato paste - This is different than tomato sauce. Tomato paste comes in a very small can (6 oz) at the grocery store. It has a very thick consistency as it's made by cooking tomatoes for so long that the water cooks out and is used to help thicken the soup and enhance the tomato flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce - If needed, you can substitute it with soy sauce or coconut aminos.
- Broth - Use low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth.
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes - Not to be confused with regular diced tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes are roasted before being canned, which gives them a sweet, smokey flavor.
- Elbow macaroni - I use chickpea macaroni, but any shape and variety of pasta will work.
- Thyme sprigs - Adds a vibrant, earthy flavor that rounds out the acidity of the tomatoes.
The Best Noodles for Macaroni and Tomato Soup
As the name suggests, elbow macaroni noodles are used in traditional macaroni soup recipes. Nowadays you have all kinds of options from brown rice macaroni to chickpea macaroni, to cassava flour macaroni. Any kind will work in this recipe. So, use whichever aligns best with your lifestyle. I used a chickpea elbow noodle which was excellent in the soup.
How to Make Macaroni Soup
With just one pot and less than 20 minutes required, this is one of the easiest, most delicious soups you’ll ever make!
Step 1: Brown the meat. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add the turkey, breaking it into pieces as it browns.
Step 2: Add the seasonings. Add the onion, garlic, paprika, oregano, cayenne, and sea salt to the pot, and stir to combine.
Stir in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.
Step 3: Add the remaining ingredients. Add the broth and diced tomatoes, and bring the ingredients to a simmer.
Add the macaroni and thyme sprigs, and cook until the pasta is tender.
Step 4: Enjoy! Divide your tomato macaroni soup into bowls, sprinkle extra herbs or cheese on top, and serve warm.
- Feel free to switch up the ground meat. You can also use ground beef or chicken or even lamb if you want.
- Add some chopped carrots and peas to the soup for more color.
- If you like heat, add a can of green chilis to the soup.
- For more protein, add a can or two of your favorite beans.
- Add parmesan or cheddar cheese to the soup for a macaroni and cheese twist.
Tomato and Macaroni Soup Expert Tips
- Really break up the ground turkey into small pieces. This will ensure little bits of ground meat in every spoonful.
- Stir the noodles into the soup so they are all covered in liquid. This is how the noodles cook. If they aren’t submerged in the liquid, they won’t cook.
- Taste test the soup before you pull it off the stove. Adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed or more cayenne pepper for more heat.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to enjoy, add a splash of warm water to loosen up the noodles. Warm up a serving in the microwave in 20-second intervals until warmed through. Or, heat a larger portion in a pot over medium heat on the stove.
Can you freeze elbow macaroni soup?
Macaroni soup can easily be frozen. Cook it according to the directions, and allow it to cool down completely. This will reduce any condensation build-up. Transfer the soup to freezer-friendly containers, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When ready to enjoy, thaw the soup at room temperature until soft. Heat it up in the microwave in 30-second intervals or back on the stove with a splash of broth.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s easy to add dry macaroni noodles to soup that has a broth base to it. The noodles will effortlessly cook in the broth.
This depends on your definition of healthy and the type of macaroni soup you’re making. This recipe uses high-quality nutrient-dense ingredients that should make you feel good!
Yes, elbow noodles hold up well in soup and will effortlessly cook in most liquids in just a few minutes.
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Tomato Macaroni Soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground turkey
- ½ cup white onion - diced
- 1 clove garlic - finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper - omit if you don’t want spiciness
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cups broth
- 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 8 oz elbow macaroni - I used chickpea
- 2 thyme sprigs
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ground turkey to the pot and mix well to brown the meat.2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 lb ground turkey
- Add the white onion, garlic, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, and sea salt to the pot and stir into the meat.½ cup white onion, 1 clove garlic, 2 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to the pot and mix well into the meat. Add the broth and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.2 tablespoon tomato paste, ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 4 cups broth, 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- Add the dry macaroni to the pot along with the leaves of 2 thyme sprigs and cook in the liquid for 5 - 7 minutes until soft.8 oz elbow macaroni, 2 thyme sprigs
- Serve the soup warm with extra herbs or cheese if desired.