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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 5g: Kraft Mac And Cheese, Part III—Cheddar Explosion, 50% Whole Grain & Original Varieties

 

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, go to Page 1 of the complete macaroni and cheese article or continue to the next page of reviews.

 

 

Kraft Macaroni And Cheese—Cheddar Explosion, 50% Whole Grain & Original Varieties

There can only be one Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (Original Flavor), and although it’s an American icon, I preferred other varieties in this brand.

Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (Cheddar Explosion)

  • Serving size: 2.5 ounces/70 grams/makes about 1 cup
  • Servings per container: 2
  • You add: unsalted butter, fat-free milk
  • Yield when prepared: 1-2/3 cups
  • Per serving: 300 calories (50 calories from fat). 6 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 540 mg sodium, 1 gram fiber, 12 grams protein, 40% calcium
  • Tasting notes: The very bright orange sauce, initially quite thin, thickens substantially and quickly. Some cheese flavor, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you that this product contains less sodium than most other Kraft varieties. Pleasant. Is this a forerunner in new thinking for this company, I wonder? At this writing, this variety is labeled “new.” Not only does it have less sodium than most other Kraft mac and cheeses, but the box label proclaims “use more milk, less butter,” so someone’s paying attention to fat content, as well. And the calcium level is much higher than that of any other mac & cheese tested.

Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (Extreme Cheese Explosion)

  • Serving size: 3 ounces/84 grams/about 1/2 box/makes about 1 cup
  • Servings per container: about 2
  • You add: unsalted butter, fat-free milk
  • Yield when prepared: about 1-3/4 cups
  • Per serving: 360 calories (70 calories from fat). 8 grams total fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 1030 mg sodium, 1 gram fiber, 12 grams protein, 25% calcium
  • Tasting notes: The aggressively orange-yellow sauce, very thin at first, thickens quickly. Sauce has a moderate cheese flavor. Cool pasta shapes. Not noticeably saltier tasting than other varieties.

Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (Grilled Cheese Explosion)

  • Serving size: 3 ounces/84 grams/about 1/2 box/makes about 1 cup
  • Servings per container: about 2
  • You add: unsalted butter, fat-free milk
  • Yield when prepared: a full 2 cups
  • Per serving: 360 calories (60 calories from fat). 6 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 850 mg sodium, 2 grams fiber, 13 grams protein, 25% calcium
  • Tasting notes: Sauce tasted more like cheese than most, but was also too salty.

Macaroni & Cheese Dinner Made with 50% Whole Grain

  • Serving size: 2.5 ounces/70 grams/makes about 1 cup
  • Servings per package: 2.5
  • You add: margarine, 2% milk
  • Yield when prepared: scant 2-1/2 cups
  • Per serving: 390 calories (150 calories from fat). 17 grams total fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat, 3.5 grams trans fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 710 mg sodium, 5 grams fiber, 8 grams protein, 15% calcium
  • Tasting notes: Once the pasta was cooked, it didn’t look or taste as though it contained whole grain. A very mild cheese flavor.

Macaroni & Cheese Dinner (Original Flavor)

  • Serving size: 2.5 ounces/70 grams/makes about 1 cup
  • Servings per container: 3
  • You add: margarine, 2% milk
  • Yield when prepared: 2-1/2 cups
  • Per serving: 410 calories (170 calories from fat). 19 grams total fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 710 mg sodium, 1 gram fiber, 9 grams protein, 15% calcium
  • Tasting notes: This American icon has some cheese flavor, no doubt from the higher-than-most fat content, but there were other varieties I preferred.

 

Continue To The Next Page: Kraft Macaroni And Cheese, Part IV—Premium, Spirals & Stovetop Cartoon Varieties

Go To The Article Index Above

 

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