Pros: Super fast and easy to make
Cons: Taste is too rich, can't eat much of it
Growing up, the only time I ate macaroni and cheese was when my grandmother made it from scratch. He baked it in the oven, and it was out of this world.
When I got married, one of my husbands favorite meals was the kind of macaroni and cheese that comes in a box, with powdered cheese. Yuck. He thinks it's great, and makes it on occasion, but I usually have only a small amount. A few months ago I saw Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese on sale, and this version came with a packet of creamy cheese. I thought it might be a treat for my husband, so I bought it. This version comes in the yellow box with the red "Velveeta" letters, stating that it now has even more Velveeta flavor.
Tonight we didn't know what to eat for dinner, and he got out one of the blue boxes of macaroni and cheese, and I said, "why don't you make the Velveeta one". He said he's never been a big fan of Velveeta cheese, but he obliged and we made this for dinner.
You can make this dinner in no time on the top of the stove. You need to boil 6 cups of water, add the macaroni shells, and boil them for 8-10 minutes. After draining them you should not rinse the pasta. Then cut the top off of the foil packet and squeeze the cheese sauce into the pan, and serve over hot pasta.
(Per each 1 cup serving)
Calories from fat: 110
Total fat: 12g
Saturated fat: 4g
Trans fat: 0g
Dietary fiber: 2g
I was impressed at how fast this meal was to make. When we make the powdered kind of macaroni and cheese, we need to add butter and milk, then stir in the powdered cheese until it's blended in. This mix has everything included, no extra ingredients like milk or butter are needed.
At first bite, I thought the taste was comparable to the "other" kind of mac & cheese. I liked the way the cheese sauce nestled inside of the pasta shells, giving each bite a lot of flavor. However, by the time I finished my small (pyrex ice cream sized) bowl of the pasta, I could hardly swallow another bite.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this was not very satisfying! Hubby said that he has never been able to eat Velveeta cheese because it's so rich. I have to agree, this was very rich, almost to the point of being nauseating.
The first thing I did was to check the expiration date to be sure this wasn't outdated. Nope, the date reads 13 July, 2008.
My husband always has seconds on his version of mac & cheese, but he only had one serving of the Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese, and I ended up dumping the leftovers in the garbage, knowing neither of us were going to eat them.
The back of the box has a recipe for "Cheeseburger Mac", which calls for ground beef, ketchup, mustard, milk, onion powder, sour cream, green onions and chopped tomatoes. I would recommend giving this recipe a try over making the straight version. But that kind of defeats the purpose of buying this, which is to provide a quick meal.
I didn't take any notice of the fat and calories in this meal until I sat down to write this review, but let me tell you, there are a whole lot of other foods that I would enjoy much more than this if I were going to consume 360 calories and 12 grams of fat!! I was shocked at how unhealthy this stuff is, and it is absolutely loaded with sodium! 940mg of sodium is almost half of the daily recommended allowance! If you are on a sodium restricted diet, think twice before buying this packaged meal.
So for us, it's back to the blue box and powdered cheese mix. Unless I can manage to find my grandmothers macaroni and cheese recipe, which I know is around here somewhere. I won't ever be buying Kraft Velveeta Shells & Cheese again.
I don't remember what I paid for this, but whatever it was (even if it was a buck) it was too much. Sorry Kraft, this one gets only 1 star from me.