The pros: Trader Joe’s Diner Mac and Cheese is as close as you can get to homemade mac and cheese in a frozen package.
The cons: If you bring this as your lunch you will be consuming over 700 calories.
The verdict: If there is anything quite as comforting as mac and cheese, then I can’t think of what it is. Here is a box I’ve walked past a whole bunch of times.
For one reason only: the calorie count.
Yes, if you don’t read the back of this package you will consume over 700 calories in a single serving assuming you only bring this for lunch.
If you are willing to exercise more self control, divide this in half and have something sensible with it, then you are in for a treat. And yes, it is still a treat even if you are just eating the whole container by yourself.
What comes out of this box is probably the closest to the mac and cheese you would expect to make at home. It is creamy, cheesy, the pasta came out just right from the microwave. Just realize this isn’t Kraft Mac and Cheese or Velveeta either. This is the real deal cheese blend mixed with a roux to give you this cheese sauce texture.
And what a blend of cheeses that are in this: havarti, swiss, gouda, and cheddar. All items I’d be proud to say are in a homemade variety. So since this is made with real cheese there is an important point to bring up when heating this.
I always pull my mac and cheese items about 30 seconds before the instructions say.
Why? Cheese when overcooked can separate. I’d rather add time than wish to go back into time and undo things.
For $2.99 it’s a pretty fair price for a serving or two. If you are looking to keep things a touch cheaper or you have lots of people you are willing to share this with, then perhaps a good copycat recipe will do the trick.
Otherwise, it is a good occasional treat. If you aren’t willing to consume this many calories in a day, then reach for the Reduced Guilt Mac and Cheese which isn’t quite as good and cheesy, but will provide for a satisfying grab and go lunch.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The box of Trader Joe’s Diner Mac and Cheese:
The nutritional information:
How to prepare:
After being cooked you get:
Would I buy this again? If it weren’t for the calorie count, I would absolutely buy this again.
Want to see more items I’ve reviewed from Trader Joe’s? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!29