We swallowed FIVE different kinds of frozen, better-for-you mac 'n cheese entrees. Here's what we think of 'em...
Cedarlane Macaroni & Cheese
(9 oz. package: 270 calories, 3g fat, 680mg sodium, 42g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g sugars, 17g protein = 5 Points)
What They Say: Organic macaroni smothered in a delicious cheddar cheese sauce made with organic non fat milk and cheddar cheeses. The perfect combination- great tasting and no guilt. Our Low Fat Macaroni and Cheese has only 3 grams fat and is completely natural.
What We Say: This mac 'n cheese is unlike any of the others. Thick and goopy (and a little strange looking, to be honest), this seems more like a casserole (or a mac 'n cheese pie) than traditional macaroni & cheese. The good part is, as odd as it is, we really REALLY like it. It has a bit of a tortilla flavor, too, and it comes with shredded cheese on top, which is a fun touch!
Overall Score: 9
HG Honors: Most Unique.
Lean Cuisine Macaroni and Cheese
(10 oz. package: 290 calories, 7g fat, 620mg sodium, 41g carbs, 2g fiber, 8g sugars, 15g protein = 6 Points)
What They Say: Tender elbow macaroni in a creamy cheddar cheese sauce, made with aged cheddar and club cheeses.
What We Say: This mac 'n cheese actually looks fantastic. But, when it comes to food, looks don't necessarily count (face it; chili is kind of hideous!). Despite its rich orange color & super-cheesy appearance, it tastes like it needs salt, and it isn't very creamy or cheesy-tasting. Also, the noodles are extremely limp and soggy. Sorry, Lean Cuisine; we love you but your style over substance mac 'n cheese isn't up to snuff.
Overall Score: 6
HG Honors: Most Beautiful.
Smart Ones Macaroni & Cheese
(10 oz. package: 270 calories, 2g fat, 790mg sodium, 52g carbs, 2g fiber, 5g sugars, 11g protein = 5 Points)
What They Say: This tasty casserole deserves to be a classic and family favorite.
What We Say: WOWOWOW! This mac 'n cheese ROCKS our faces off! It's super-cheesy and you'll have no choice but to smile after just one bite. Rich and creamy, this stuff doesn't taste guilt-free AT ALL and it tastes the most like the yummy blue box mac 'n cheese you grew up with. Need more reasons to chew it? It's super-low in fat, and the portion is pretty hefty. YUM!
Overall Score: A Perfect 10!
HG Honors: Best Guilt-Free Mac 'n Cheese on the Planet.
Healthy Choice Macaroni & Cheese
(9 oz. package: 210 calories, 4g fat, 600mg sodium, 32g carbs, 4g fiber, 4g sugars, 9g protein = 4 Points)
What They Say: Our Macaroni and Cheese is just the dish to satisfy your taste for something rich and creamy.
What We Say: It's odd that they tout "real cheddar" because this stuff tastes like it's made with anything BUT. The cheese tastes like it was made from some lame-o powdered mix. In fact, it's sour and has a weird taste, especially next to the others. And don't get all giddy about the low calorie count. That only exists because they give you LESS mac 'n cheese and try to distract you by including steamed veggies. Nice try, Healthy Choice, but we're onto you...
Overall Score: 5.5
HG Honors: Best Veggies.
Michelina's Lifestyle Macaroni and Cheese
(8 oz. package: 250 calories, 4.5g fat, 580mg sodium, 41g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g sugars, 11g protein = 5 Points)
What They Say: Mama Michelina knew that everybody loved macaroni and cheese. She always made it taste extra special by using creamy cheddar cheese and tender pasta. Michelina's Lifestyle Macaroni and Cheese not only tastes good, but it's good-a for you, too. Thanks-a mama!
What We Say: This stuff is nice and chewy. And PERFECT, al dente pasta is hard to come by in a frozen meal. Truth be told, it's a little plain and could use a zap of salt and a bit more cheese flavor (snazz it up with some reduced-fat parmesan). For 250 calories you get a nice portion, and it's not as pricey as the others.
Overall Score: 7.5
HG Honors: Best Bang for the Buck.
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