Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese Review

Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese front of the box

Table of Contents

Introduction

Everyone loves mac and cheese but not everyone enjoys the fat and calories. This is why Trader Joe’s created their Reduced Fat Mac & Cheese. With 65% less fat and 25% less calories than the original, does it sacrifice any flavor? Is it any good? Find out now in this review.

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

Overview: Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese

Verdict: Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese is surprisingly good. It takes a tried and true formula and improves the nutritional value of it. It tastes like a traditional mac and cheese you’d eat after coming home from school.

The macaroni is cooked to just the right texture coupled with sharp, non-powdery cheddar cheese (yup only one cheese). There’s not as much mac and cheese in the package but for its price and reduced guilt, it’s well worth a try!

My Rating
4.5/5

Price

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese costs $1.99. The cheapest Trader Joe’s Mac & Cheese I’ve seen so far. Seems like a good deal for 65% less fat and 25% fewer calories.

Cooking Method #1: Microwave

There are two ways to cook this mac & cheese. The first being through microwave (1200 watt):

  1. Remove package from box.

  2. Puncture holes with fork in plastic.

  3. Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Let stand for 1 minute.

  5. Remove film, stir and serve.

Microwave cook times may vary depending on oven wattage.

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

Cooking Method #2: Conventional Oven

The second method involves using the oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

  2. Remove package from box and remove film from package.

  3. Place on a baking sheet.

  4. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes.

  5. Let stand for 1 minute.

  6. Stir and serve.

Cooking times may vary depending on oven.

Caution: Product may be hot!

Impressions & Taste

This is the only one that had loose macaroni flying around. It’s like when you buy an electronic item and hear a loose part when shaking the box. You’re wondering if it’s broken. That’s how I felt but with a much less pricey mac and cheese product. I also noticed a small pool of water under the macaroni and I’m not sure if that’s normal. Maybe to hydrate the dish after stirring?

After 20 minutes of baking, the macaroni has a nice, soft texture. I actually enjoyed the elbow macaroni in this particular dish. There’s a good amount of cheese that tastes pretty good too. It’s a flavorful cheddar although it lacks the creaminess and stretch that others had. I wasn’t expecting this mac and cheese to be very good because of its label. This just goes to show how you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Taking it out of the box, it looked like they just slapped a piece of American cheese on top of the macaroni and called it a day. Then after heating, I saw a weird pool of water under the macaroni. However, once I mixed everything together, it was a good mac and cheese. The only thing I didn’t like about it is how much mac and cheese they put in it. It’s not very much but then again, for its price and reduced guilt, you can’t complain.

Verdict & Rating

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese is surprisingly good. It takes a tried and true formula and improves the nutritional value of it. It tastes like a traditional mac and cheese you’d eat after coming home from school.

The macaroni is cooked to just the right texture coupled with sharp, non-powdery cheddar cheese (yup only one cheese). There’s not as much mac and cheese in the package but for its price and reduced guilt, it’s well worth a try!

My Rating
4.5/5

Nutrition Facts

A serving size (1 package [198g]) is 270 calories. A lot less than the others. For more information on nutrition facts check out the image below.

Ingredients

Ingredients: Cooked Elbow Macaroni (Water, Enriched Semolina [Durum Wheat Semolina, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid]), Nonfat Milk, Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Cow’s Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto [Color]), Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Salt, Modified Rice Starch, Pepper.

Contains: Milk & Wheat

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