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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 5c: Annie’s Homegrown Mac And Cheese, Part II—Organic Macaroni

 

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 mac and cheese article or continue to the next page of reviews.

 

Annie’s Homegrown Stovetop Macaroni And Cheese

Many of Annie’s Homegrown products are organic, including five of the six below, listed in alphabetical order.

Organic Creamy Deluxe Macaroni Dinner (Elbows & Creamy Mild Cheddar Sauce)

  • Serving size: 3.2 ounces/91 grams/about 1 cup prepared
  • Servings per container: about 3
  • You add: nothing
  • Yield when prepared: about 3 cup
  • Per serving: 290 calories (70 calories from fat). 8 grams total fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 590 mg sodium, 2 grams fiber, 11 grams protein, 15% calcium
  • Tasting notes: A very mild cheese sauce—clearly oriented toward kidsbut not bad.

Organic 5-Grain Elbows & White Cheddar

  • Serving size: 2.5 ounces/71 grams/about 1 cup prepared
  • Servings per box: about 2.5
  • You add: lowfat milk
  • Yield when prepared: about 2 cups
  • Per serving: 300 calories (45 calories from fat). 4.5 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium, 3 grams fiber, 11 grams protein, 15% calcium
  • Tasting notes: I’d be hard-pressed to tell you that this is multigrain pasta (a bonus if your kids are fussy eaters). However, the sauce had the lack of viscosity typical for the stovetop mixes of this brand.

Organic Shells & Real Aged Cheddar

  • Serving size: 2.5 ounces/71 grams/about 1 cup prepared
  • Servings per box: about 2.5 (per 6 oz./170 gram package)
  • You add: lowfat milk
  • Yield when prepared: about 2-1/2 cups
  • Per serving: 280 calories (35 calories from fat). 4 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams protein, 15% calcium.
  • Tasting notes: To make this, you blend a sauce powder with milk and blend it with the hot, cooked pasta. Unfortunately, even after a standing period (this wasn’t specified in the instructions, but many boxed  mac and cheese sauces thicken as they stand), the sauce remains as thin as milk, so it doesn’t coat the pasta effectively. A very mild cheese flavor.

Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar

  • Serving size: 2.5 ounces/71 grams/about 1 cup prepared
  • Servings per package: about 2.5
  • You add: lowfat milk
  • Yield when prepared: about 2-1/2 cups
  • Per serving: 260 calories (40 calories from fat). 5 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium, 5 grams fiber, 10 grams protein, 15% calcium
  • Tasting notes: Once cooked, the whole wheat pasta looks just a shade darker than white flour pasta, although the taste is somewhat stronger. The sauce remained as thin as milk, even after a standing period, making for a less-than-optimal product. Sauce has a very mild cheese flavor.

Shells & White Cheddar

  • Serving size: 2.5 ounces/71 grams/about 1 cup prepared
  • Servings per box: about 2.5
  • You add: lowfat milk
  • Yield when prepared: about 2-1/2 cups
  • Per serving: 280 calories (40 calories from fat). 4.5 grams total fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 540 mg sodium, 2 grams fiber, 11 grams protein, 15% calcium
  • Tasting notes: Pleasant enough, but again, sauce is as thin as milk, even after a full five minute standing period not called for on the box.

 

Continue To The Next Page: Back To Nature & Fiber Gourmet Macaroni And Cheese

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