The Best Store-Bought Mac and Cheese Brands; Frozen & Boxed Nostalgia

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Mac and cheese is a dish loved by all Americans. It’s a comforting, warm meal that everyone will enjoy.

Is it because of the pasta or cheese sauce that are perfectly cooked, creamy and rich?

Does any other dish bring back childhood memories and love as much as the old macaroni and cheese do?

The Best Store-Bought Mac and Cheese Brands; Frozen & Boxed Nostalgia 0

This favorite family dish is comforting, all-American and classic. This meal is something that we cannot live without.

Some people, however, spend hours on end making mac and cheese since they must grate all the cheese and, mix it with the correct amount of butter and milk, then bake it to perfection.

While boxed mac and cheese brands are a convenient and quick way to enjoy this meal during a weeknight dinner, frozen or boxed versions can also take considerable time to prepare.

This list below includes the most popular brands of best frozen mac and cheese that you can buy at grocery stores.

Key Takeaways

  • Banza Chickpea Mac and Cheese is a high-protein and gluten-free alternative with 20g of protein, 8g of fiber, and 290 calories per serving.
  • Cheetos Bold & Cheesy Mac & Cheese offers an indulgent and creamy option with the authentic Cheetos cheesiness and the option to top it with your favorite Cheetos Snack.
  • Amy’s Macaroni & Cheese is an organic and healthier option made with organic elbow macaroni and creamy Cheddar cheese sauce, suitable for vegetarian diets and available in a light sodium option.
  • Stouffer’s Frozen Classics Macaroni & Cheese and Beecher’s Frozen World’s Best Mac & Cheese are convenient frozen options with delicious and cheesy flavors, offering easy preparation.

So, What Are The 10 Best Store-Bought Mac and Cheese Brands?

Even though the best homemade macaroni and cheese is delicious, you may not have the time or energy to make it yourself.

However, choosing the best brands from the many available cannot be easy as well.

To help you, we have compiled a list of the best store-bought mac and cheese brands that are boxed or frozen. You can even try some delicious vegan boxed mac and cheese ranked in this list.

10. Banza Chickpea Mac and Cheese

banza chickpea mac and cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

Banza Chickpea Mac and Cheese, a healthy and delicious mac and cheese made with chickpea flour, is a great plant-based choice.

You’re getting real cheese and pasta made from chickpeas flour. The mac and cheese is also non-GMO and gluten-free.

It has four times more fiber and twice as much protein as traditional macaroni and cheese.

Super yummy! For a boxed Mac and Cheese, it’s great! The pasta doesn’t taste chalky like other GF pastas. I like to dress up with a little red pepper and a dab of yoghurt to make it extra creamy. Delish!

says DKohn on a review at amazon.com

Customers recommend it as a substitute for traditional mac and cheese, describing it as creamy, thick, and delicious. Some customers mention adding additional ingredients like butter and milk to enhance the flavor.

Chickpea pasta is delicious, but does it make the best pasta for mac and cheese? We’ll let you make the decision.

Key Features:

  • High-protein and gluten-free alternative to traditional mac and cheese
  • Each serving contains 20g of protein, 8g of fiber, and 290 calories (as prepared)
  • Comes in a variety of fun shapes like Rotini, Penne, Spaghetti, Linguine, Shells, Angel Hair, Rigatoni, and Ziti

Pros:

  • Healthier option compared to traditional mac and cheese
  • Creamy, thick, and delicious taste
  • Can be paired with other ingredients to create a complete protein

Cons:

  • Some customers find it expensive
  • The white cheddar flavor is described as less creamy
  • May require additional ingredients to enhance the flavor

9. Cheetos Bold & Cheesy Mac & Cheese

cheetos bold cheesy mac cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

What happens when you combine your favorite comfort food with the ultimate cheesy treat? The Cheetos Bold and Cheesy Mac ‘N Cheese tastes exactly that.

This boxed macaroni and cheese somehow captures the cheesy goodness of a puffed snack. Even the spiral pasta looks like it’s a tribute to Cheetos.

Classic hot cheeto taste! I live in Puerto Rico and Hot Cheetos are sold here, but they are not spicy and taste really bland. The ones sold on Amazon have the original classic taste that I grew up knowing and loving. I order a box of these every 2 months lol.

Says Oliver Rivera on a review at amazon.com

The Cheetos Bold & Cheesy Mac & Cheese also offers the option to top it off with your favorite Cheetos snack, creating a delightful combination of crunch and creaminess.

Overall, this store-bought mac and cheese provides a convenient way to enjoy the iconic Cheetos flavor in a comforting and easy-to-make dish.

Now your favorite snack is a cheesy mac. You have been craving this mac for dinner, lunch, or anytime. Grab a box now!

Key Features:

  • 12 (5.9oz) boxes of Cheetos Mac & Cheese, Bold & Cheesy flavor
  • Requires 2 TBSP Butter or Margarine, 1/4 Cup Milk, and 6 Cups Water
  • Option to top with your favorite Cheetos Snack

Pros:

  • Authentic Cheetos cheesiness
  • Creamy and indulgent texture
  • Easy to prepare

Cons:

  • Limited flavor options

8. Evol Truffle Parmesan Mac and Cheese

evol truffle parmesan mac and cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

Truffles have made a name for themselves in the food industry over the last decade.

It is, therefore, no surprise that Evol’s Truffle Parmesan Mac & Cheese is one of the top-selling store-bought frozen mac and cheese dishes.

Evol may not be the most affordable brand, but it’s for a good reason. The company provides higher-quality frozen foods than you may be used to.

This frozen mac and cheese dish has a rich and delicious flavor, with hints such as shallots, garlic and mushrooms.

This recipe also includes Panko breadcrumbs and Tubetti pasta instead of the standard macaroni shells.

We indeed prefer Evol’s mac and cheese as it is still a good value, possibly due to smaller portions.

This company offers frozen foods like mac and cheese, which you can look forward to after a long workday.

Key Features:

  • Size: 8 Oz
  • Pasta: Tubetti
  • Sauce: Creamy truffle parmesan and cheddar cheese
  • Toppings: Panko breadcrumbs
  • Ingredients: Non-GMO, no artificial flavors, colors, or fillers

Pros:

  • Creamy and indulgent truffle parmesan and cheddar cheese sauce
  • Quick and easy to prepare in minutes
  • Clean and simple ingredients with no artificial flavors or fillers

Cons:

  • Small portion size
  • Higher cost compared to other store-bought mac and cheese options

7. Amy’s Macaroni & Cheese

amys macaroni cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

Amy’s Macaroni & Cheese, a classic that the entire family will enjoy, is made with organic, house-made elbow pasta and topped with a creamy, smooth Cheddar cheese sauce.

Amy’s Macaroni & Cheese is made with organic ingredients, including organic macaroni and organic low-fat dairy.

The sodium content of this product is about half that of some of its competitors at a similar price, like Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese.

They also have a low-sodium version if you want to reduce your sodium intake. Both versions are kosher, soy-free and tree-nut-free.

Customers rave about its delicious flavor and creamy texture, making it a great choice as a side dish or main course.

Key Features:

  • Made from scratch with organic elbow macaroni and creamy Cheddar cheese sauce
  • Convenient and easy to prepare in the microwave or oven
  • Non-GMO, certified Kosher, soy and tree nut free
  • Suitable for vegetarian diets
  • Light in sodium option available

Pros:

  • Delicious flavor
  • Creamy texture
  • Versatile as a side dish or main course
  • Made with organic ingredients
  • Non-GMO and certified Kosher

Cons:

  • Some customers find the sauce to be bland and tasteless
  • Price may be a concern for some customers
  • Not suitable for those with dairy allergies or intolerances

6. 365 Macaroni & Cheese

365 macaroni cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

365, a flagship brand of Whole Foods’ offers everything from olive oil to bathroom tissue and mac and cheese.

365 offers a boxed mac and cheese. However, their frozen mac and cheese version is great for bringing to work or a quick lunch.

365 Macaroni and Cheese, Whole Foods Market’s 365 is affordable, organic and delicious like Amy’s Kitchen’s.

The sauce, made with real cheese, has a rich, creamy flavor and a comforting taste.

This is the best option for those who want to enjoy a healthier version of a store-bought name-brand product.

Key Features:

  • Brand: Macaroni & Cheese
  • Package Size: 6 ounces
  • Ingredients: Real organic cheddar cheese and pasta
  • Prep Time: Super easy
  • Flavor: Tangy and cheesy

Pros:

  • Creamy and flavorful
  • Made with real organic cheddar cheese and pasta
  • Super easy to prepare

Cons:

  • Higher sodium content compared to other brands
  • Some customers have reported health concerns related to the additives used

5. Annie’s Shells & White Cheese

annies shells white cheddar store-bought via amazon.com 612

Annie’s Shells & White Cheese is a popular choice among health-conscious enthusiasts.

Their mac and cheese are made from organic pasta, real cheese and no artificial preservatives or flavors.

Annie’s Shells & White Cheese is the best boxed mac and cheese meal.

It has a cheese powder that dissolves easily, a sauce with a texture that’s not too thick but isn’t thin, and noodles that have the perfect bite, creamy and cheesy taste.

The macaroni shells are slightly bigger than those used in traditional elbow macaroni. This helps to hold on to the creamy sauce. The white cheddar adds a mild yet tangy taste to the dish.

The best store-bought mac and cheese in a box, just like Mom made it.

Key Features:

  • Made with organic pasta shells and real white cheddar cheese
  • No artificial flavors or synthetic colors
  • Contains cheese from cows not treated with rBST
  • Ready in just 10 minutes

Pros:

  • Creamy and flavorful taste
  • Organic pasta and real cheese
  • No artificial flavors or synthetic colors
  • Quick and easy to prepare

Cons:

  • Some customers have experienced stock shortages on online platforms
  • Price increase mentioned by some customers
  • Limited flavor options compared to other brands

4. Stouffer’s Frozen Classics Macaroni & Cheese

stouffers frozen classics macaroni cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

Mac & cheese is the original comfort food of all time. Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese frozen is the perfect blend of creamy cheese and elbow macaroni.

Stouffer’s frozen meals are a mainstay in the freezer aisle. We’d wager that their mac and cheese is the most popular item.

Stouffer’s Macaroni & Cheese is made with 100% real cheese, no preservatives, to create a comforting, cheesy and creamy dish that tastes just like a home-cooked food.

It takes just a few minutes in a microwave, but the taste is better when cooked slowly in an oven.

And no matter how you cook it, you will be rewarded with a very sauce-heavy mac and cheese containing high proteins.

This mac and cheese is delicious, but we want a higher macaroni-to-cheese ratio. This store-bought product can be eaten as a meal or a side dish.

It’s no wonder that many people consider it their favorite mac and cheese option.

Key Features:

  • Size: 12 oz
  • Protein: 21 grams per package
  • Cooking Method: Microwave or oven

Pros:

  • Delicious and cheesy flavor
  • Convenient and easy to prepare
  • Generous portion size

Cons:

  • Some may find the sauce to be too saucy
  • Macaroni can become mushy when overcooked
  • Limited variety in flavors or add-ins

3. Beecher’s Frozen World’s Best Mac & Cheese

beechers frozen worlds best mac cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

Beecher’s, founded in 2003 by Kurt Beecher Dammeier, is an artisanal cheese maker and retail shop based in Seattle. It has locations in Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, and New York City’s Flatiron District.

This sweet and savory mix of cheddar and Swiss forms the basis for its renowned mac and cheese, sold in Pike Place Market and at local grocery shops nationwide.

Such a great Mac and cheese – not just out of the frozen kind- but all kinds. This is good. We love the balance of cheeses and its perfectly gooded pasta- how is that possible with frozen? If you like mushy, too sweet yet kind of bland food- this isn’t for you. This is a family favorite for three years. Love to keep a few on hand.

says Marianne Hong on a review at amazon.com

The convenience of a frozen box, along with straightforward cooking instructions, makes this gourmet meal ready in minutes.

With a generous portion size that easily serves two people, Beecher’s Frozen World’s Best Mac & Cheese is a great option for couples, small families, and busy individuals.

The value for money is evident in the quality and taste that surpass many restaurant versions.

Although some reviews mention a sharp and salty flavor, overall, Beecher’s Frozen World’s Best Mac & Cheese is highly recommended for mac and cheese enthusiasts looking for a delicious and convenient meal.

This store-bought macaroni and cheese brand is well deserving of the “World’s Best.

Key Features:

  • Beechers Worlds Best Mac & Cheese Frozen Box, 20 Oz
  • Made with plant-derived, GMO-free, and organic ingredients
  • Sourced from domestic suppliers to support local communities

Pros:

  • Gourmet taste that surpasses many restaurant versions
  • Convenient and easy to prepare
  • Generous portion size, serving two people

Cons:

  • Some reviews mention a sharp and salty flavor
  • Price may be considered expensive by some
  • Not as creamy as some reviewers would prefer.

2. Velveeta Shells and Cheese Original

velveeta original shells and cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

Velveeta Shells & Cheese is another household favorite, and it’s known for its rich, creamy sauce. The brand has become synonymous with mac and cheese.

Kraft, an American cheese giant, produces both Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Velveeta.

The original flavor is the most popular, but now the company offers a variety of other flavors like bacon, broccoli, and queso Blanco.

Nevertheless, the bright yellow Velveeta is still has the best flavor and texture.

It comes in a pouch, not a powder. This gives it an authentic cheese taste and the fans loved the texture of the highly-processed cheese. They also liked that it was an affordable way to feed their families.

Velveeta Shells and Cheese Original is a store-bought mac and cheese option for those who prefer shell pasta to the traditional elbow shape.

Key Features:

  • Velveeta Shells & Cheese Original Microwavable Macaroni and Cheese Cups (8 ct Pack, 2.39 oz Cups)
  • Each box contains eight 2.39 oz cups

Pros:

  • Creamy texture: Velveeta melts the creamiest
  • Cheesy & melty: Unapologetically go all-in for the cheesy, melty goodness
  • Instant cheesy gratification: An outrageously delicious taste experience

Cons:

  • Longer delivery times and reliance on online shopping for food

1. Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese

kraft original macaroni cheese store-bought via amazon.com 612

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese has been the undeniable magnate in store-bought boxed mac and cheese. For over 80 years, it has been an undisputable pantry staple.

Both kids and adults enjoy the taste of macaroni with its cheesy goodness. The boxed mac and cheese, which contains no artificial flavors or preservatives and is free of artificial dyes and colors, make a delicious family meal.

Excellent presentation and value for me. Kraft is my ‘go to’ for macaroni and cheese (if I don’t make it myself!). The flavor is smooth and the texture is outstanding. The cheese flavor is strong so much superior to other macs and cheese that are available on the market.

says Serenity, a customer at amazon.com

The cheese powder makes a creamy, savory sauce which pairs well with elbow macaroni.
It’s the classic taste of cheesy goodness you love, from your childhood.

The preparation is quick and easy – just empty one mac and cheese pouch into a cup or bowl, add water, microwave for 3.5 to 4 minutes, and stir in the cheese mix.

With no artificial flavors, preservatives, or dyes, Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese is a pantry essential for busy households.

So, enjoy this cheese-filled, gooey boxed macaroni goodness perfect for any ages.

Key Features:

  • Packaging may vary
  • Each packet includes elbow macaroni noodles and original cheddar cheese sauce made with real cheese
  • Contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or dyes

Pros:

  • Classic and convenient option
  • Creamy and cheesy flavor
  • Quick and easy preparation

Cons:

  • Packaging may vary
  • Some customers express disappointment about the increased price of the product
  • Differences in texture compared to the stovetop version

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you provide a recipe to make homemade mac and cheese from scratch?

To make homemade mac and cheese from scratch, you’ll need your favorite pasta, a variety of cheeses for extra flavor, and a creamy sauce made with butter, milk, and a touch of flour. Enjoy!

Are there any vegan or dairy-free options available for store-bought mac and cheese?

Store-bought vegan mac and cheese options can offer a healthier alternative to their dairy counterparts. A taste test can determine the best brand. Price comparisons may reveal if vegan options are pricier. Texture-wise, creaminess may vary. Main ingredients in vegan alternatives include plant-based milk and nutritional yeast.

Can you suggest any toppings or mix-ins to enhance the flavor of store-bought mac and cheese?

To enhance the flavor of your store-bought mac and cheese, get creative with mix-ins like crispy bacon or sautéed mushrooms. Top it off with flavorful additions like breadcrumbs or melted cheese. Add unexpected spices, savory herbs, or creamy ingredients to take it to the next level.

Are there any gluten-free alternatives for those with dietary restrictions?

If you have dietary restrictions, there are gluten-free alternatives available for mac and cheese. Many popular brands offer quick and easy options that cater to your needs. Check customer reviews for nutritional value.

What is the shelf life of store-bought mac and cheese? Can it be frozen for later use?

The shelf life of store-bought mac and cheese varies, but it typically ranges from 1-2 years. Yes, you can freeze it for later use. This allows you to extend the storage time and enjoy it at a later date.

Conclusion

In a world of convenience and comfort, the search for the best store-bought mac and cheese ends here.

With every velvety bite, these delectable bowls of cheesy goodness transport you to a nostalgic realm of homemade comfort.

From the perfectly cooked pasta to the creamy, flavorful sauce that clings to every nook and cranny, these store-bought options redefine the meaning of convenience without sacrificing taste.

Indulge in a symphony of flavors that will leave you longing for more.

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