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about the author

 

STEPHANIE ZONIS focuses on good foods and the people who produce them.

 

 

August 2010

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Pastas

Best Macaroni And Cheese

Page 5l: Shop-Rite & Wacky Mac Macaroni And Cheese

 

You are reading part of a review of 54 boxed macaroni and cheese mixes from nine different manufacturers. From here you can go to the index of all of the mac and cheese brands or go to Page 1 of the complete macaroni and cheese article.

 

Wegmans Microwavable Macaroni And Cheese

Adding milk and fat to Wegmans Microwavable mac and cheese product is optional “For Extra Creamy Macaroni & Cheese.”

 

Easy Macaroni & Cheese Dinner With Real Cheddar Cheese

  • Serving size: 1 pouch/61 grams/exterior box specifies that one serving is 3/4 cup. But pouches of pasta and dry sauce mix are separate, so a “one pouch” serving size isn’t well-defined.
  • You add: nothing
  • Yield when prepared: a scant 3/4 cup
  • Per serving: 230 calories (30 calories from fat). 3.5 grams total fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, less than 5 mg cholesterol, 600 mg sodium, 1 gram fiber, 7 grams protein, 6% calcium
  • Tasting notes: Mild cheese flavor. The sauce is too thin when the product is prepared; it thickens slightly after standing for a few minutes, but not enough. The directions specify a 3-cup capacity microwave-safe bowl, but the boiling water and pasta actually rose over the top of the bowl during the microwaving process. The mixture didn’t spill, but it beginning to edge over the lip of the bowl when the cooking cycle finished.

Wegmans Stovetop Macaroni And Cheese

Wegmans has several stovetop varieties of the popular comfort food.

Extra Cheesy Shells & Cheddar Dinner

  • Serving size: 4 ounces/113 grams/about 1/2 cup pasta and 1/4 cup cheese sauce
  • Servings per container: about 3
  • You add: nothing.
  • Yield when prepared: 2-1/2 cups.
  • Per serving: 350 calories (110 calories from fat). 13 grams total fat, 6 grams saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 1030 mg sodium, 2 grams fiber, 14 grams protein, 20% calcium
  • Tasting notes: Very little cheese flavor, but doesn’t taste especially salty. Unlike most, this prepackaged cheese sauce did not have a metallic aftertaste.

Macaroni & Cheese Spirals Dinner

  • Serving size: 3 ounces/84 grams/about 1 cup prepared
  • Servings per container: about 2
  • You add: butter or margarine, 2% milk
  • Yield when prepared: 1-2/3 cups. Per serving: 520 calories (230 calories from fat). Remaining figures are for dry mix only: 2.5 grams total fat, 1.5 grams saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 730 mg sodium, 2 grams fiber, 12 grams protein, 10% calcium
  • Tasting notes: Considering the extreme calorie and fat count in one serving (the highest in any product I tested), this manufacturer needs to provide more nutrition information about the prepared product. The sauce is too thin, with a slight cheese flavor. 

Shells & White Cheddar Cheese

  • Serving size: 2/3 cup (71 grams) dry/about 1 cup prepared
  • Servings per container: about 3
  • You add: butter or margarine, 2% milk
  • Yield when prepared: about 2-2/3 cups. Per serving: 360 calories (110 calories from fat). No information on remaining nutrition facts for prepared product, not even on the website (as far as I could determine). As packaged, one serving of product contains 4.5 grams total fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 600 mg sodium, 1 gram fiber, 10 grams protein, 15% calcium
  • Tasting notes: Pleasant, with moderate cheese flavor, but sauce is too thin, even after a 3 minute standing period (not specified in the instructions). Minimalist ingredient list; this product contains only macaroni, Cheddar cheese, whey, buttermilk, and salt.

 

Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Erika Meller at TheNibble.com and company representatives at Annie’s Homegrown, Fiber Gourmet, Kraft Foods, Hodgson Mill and Pasta Roni.  

 

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