Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese Review

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Mac & Cheese Box

Table of Contents

Introduction

Do you enjoy Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheeses? Wondering if there are healthier options? Well, Trader Joe’s has a few options for you. This time we’ll be checking out Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese. Is there a huge difference from the original? Find out in this review. 

If you’re new here, check out my other food reviews!

Overview: Trader Joe's Gluten Free Mac & Cheese

Verdict: Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese was pretty similar to Joe’s Diner Mac ‘n Cheese. The main differences are the rotini pasta, less shredded cheese on top, and a gluten-free tag.

I found the pasta to be a bit tougher and in some parts crispier because it was exposed in the oven. The cheese tastes similar as well with a bit of a powdery aftertaste although no chunks. Unless you need or want a gluten-free mac and cheese, I wouldn’t spend extra for this. 

My Rating
3.5/5

Price

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese costs $3.49. For the price, you get a decently sized tray of mac and cheese. Being gluten free is also a nice addition.

Cooking Method #1: Conventional Oven

There are two ways to cook this mac and cheese. First method uses the oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Remove outer packaging and film.

  3. Place on a baking sheet.

  4. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 25-35 minutes.

  5. Let stand for 1 minute.

  6. Stir and serve.

Heat from frozen. 

Caution: Product may be hot!

Cooking Method #2: Microwave

The second method of cooking involves using the microwave (1200 watt):

  1. Remove outer packaging.

  2. Puncture film several times.

  3. Microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes.

  4. Let stand for 1 minute.

  5. Remove film, stir and serve.

Heat from frozen.

Microwave cook times may vary depending on oven wattage.

If you don’t have a 1200 watt microwave, check out this microwave calculator!

Impressions & Taste

The pasta in this one is different from Joe’s Diner Mac ‘n Cheese. However, they do use the same four cheeses. Although at first glance, it looks like there’s less cheese. The selling point of this product is that it’s gluten-free. Let’s see if there’s any massive differences. 

After 25 minutes in the oven, the rotini pasta isn’t as soft as I would’ve liked. The exposed pasta without any cheese on top became crispy and dry. However, the crevices allow it to hold more cheese in the pasta. It’s not quite as melt in your mouth but this pasta still goes well with the cheese. Personally, I don’t enjoy the pasta substitution but others may like it. 

The cheese has a pretty similar taste. Despite having less cheese on top, there was an odd layer of liquid cheese under the pasta. The cheese was less creamy but more saucy (runny/watery). I felt that the cheese was more combined in this one. There were less clumps but still had a powdery aftertaste. It sort of gives an artificial cheese taste.

Verdict & Rating

Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese was pretty similar to Joe’s Diner Mac ‘n Cheese. The main differences are the rotini pasta, less shredded cheese on top, and a gluten-free tag.

I found the pasta to be a bit tougher and in some parts crispier because it was exposed in the oven. The cheese tastes similar as well with a bit of a powdery aftertaste although no chunks. Unless you need or want a gluten-free mac and cheese, I wouldn’t spend extra for this. 

My Rating
3.5/5

Nutrition Facts

A serving size (1 cup [170g]) is 300 calories while the whole container is 600 calories. For more information on nutrition facts check out the image below.

Ingredients

Ingredients: Cooked Rotini Pasta (Yellow Corn Flour, White Rice Flour, Lentil Flour, Quinoa Flour, Water), Reduced Fat Milk (Whole Milk, Nonfat Milk, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3), Bechamel Sauce (Reduced Fat Milk [Whole Milk, Nonfat Milk, Nonfat Milk Solids, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3], Potato Starch, Butter [Pasteurized Cream, Salt], Rice Flour, Sea Salt, White Pepper), 4 Cheese Blend (Cheddar Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Microbial Enzyme, Annatto {For Color}], Havarti Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Microbial Enzyme], Gouda Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Microbial Enzyme, Annatto {For Color}], Swiss Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Microbial Enzyme]), Rich Starch, Salt.

Contains: Milk

Hope you enjoyed my Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese review!

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