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.
Taste and review
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.
Would I buy this again? If it weren't for the calorie count, I would absolutely buy this again.
The box of Trader Joe's Diner Mac and Cheese:
The nutritional information:
How to prepare:
After being cooked you get:
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The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Diner Mac and Cheese
Product Name: Trader Joe's Diner Mac and Cheese
Product Description: Trader Joe's Diner Mac and Cheese is one of the best frozen mac and cheese options out there.
Trader Joe's Diner Mac and Cheese is one of the best frozen mac and cheese entrees out there.
- Trader Joe's Diner Mac and Cheese is as close as you can get to homemade mac and cheese in a frozen package.
- If you bring this as your lunch you will be consuming over 700 calories.
Dang! I just came from there and didn't go by that one part of the frozen food section. I love mac and cheese and would have most likely bought this. On my list for next time though.
Oh whoa!!!! I just read back to the nutrition again...... I was kind of thinking what is she talking about?...... the calorie count and the fat etc are not too bad but I didn't realize it was two servings!!!!!!! Well, maybe if this were just lunch and dinner combined it wouldn't be too bad LOL.
Hey Dag! Yup, this little tray is two servings. I'm not sure about you, but I can be a grab and go lunch person and I wouldn't put too much thought into grabbing one for lunch. I know a lot of people are going to read the calories and not the servings size (like me). So I figured I would highlight that for everyone.
Would be nice to have some bacon added in there. MMMM!!!
I agree Alek. Hhhhhhhmmmmm...bacon goodness although I would prefer it crispy on top.
Now that is a pairing Trader Joe's needs to get on. And I'm kinda shocked they haven't done one yet.
Well no one buys mac and cheese as a diet food...! Actually might save calories over making it yourself since ar home you end up with a full batch of it and have several servings before it’s gone. Sounds like a good choice when the craving hits and the blue box won’t do.
Hey Ttrockwood! I wouldn't buy this thinking its diet food, but I know some people might reach for it to bring for lunch not realizing it is two servings. Anything that comes in that small microwave tray is sometimes assumed as a single serving, so those are the people I worry about.
I agree.... that tray is not much larger than your average single serving tray. Not that I've had Twinkies in years, but it was the same type of thing where at one point they said it was two servings for a pack of 2 twinkies!!!!! That macaroni and cheese tray is not a two serving tray in my opinion unless you're planning to serve it with a salad and another side. That is what the larger family tray of Stouffer's macaroni and cheese are for!
Hey Dag! That's outrageous with the twinkies. I think Pop tarts do the same thing where there are two in a package. Two servings once again. And yes, Stouffer's Macaroni is way better for a group.