Lately, I’ve purchased boxes of this Kraft Thick & Creamy Macaroni & Cheese Dinner for review. I’ve certainly eaten my share of the original Kraft dinner through the decades. So, I have a definite idea of how this classic cheese-flavored pasta should taste. This flavor tastes almost exactly like the original, except that the cheese sauce is indeed somewhat thicker and more creamy; a smart enhancement on Kraft’s part.
I find this form of near-instant macaroni and cheese delicious and filling (if I eat the whole box), and that distinctive Kraft cheese flavor many years ago, set the macaroni & cheese standard.
Benefits, Advantages, Pros, and Features
- At roughly $0.79 per box, even this late-day version of macaroni and cheese is still a cheap yet tasty dish, although given the lack of variety in eating just macaroni and cheese, perhaps you should avoid eating it exclusively for very few meals in a row. I enjoy it a couple of times per month.
- As cheap as that is, you might be temped to stock up; a wise temptation actually. In fact, this product keeps for years on the shelf so long as you keep it cool and dry. So, yes, it’s great to stock pile.
- Clean-up of the colander and pot used to prepare the pasta part of this is a gentle breeze, so long as you immediately wash off the macaroni water from all utensils. But, even failing this, simply let the cookware soak for several minutes. This loosens any dried-on pasta mess and makes wiping it away a non chore.
- Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner contains 259 calories per serving out of the box, 410 calories prepared, and somewhat more than that when prepared with an additional two or three slices of fresh American or cheddar cheese that I sometimes fold in.
- This product is not hard to find.
- The cooking instructions for this Kraft Mac and Cheese dinner are straight forward and simple to follow, and though they suggest that certain brands of margarine be used, just about any high quality margarine works fine.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- Indeed, this is a highly processed food in my estimation. The list on the box of man-engineered ingredients is rather long.
- This product also contains enriched flour as the main ingredient. They might consider switching to all whole-grain flours; thus eliminating the need for enrichment with vitamins.
- Be alerted that this macaroni and cheese product contains significant amounts of sodium per serving, at 710 milligrams prepared. So those of you controlling your hypertension should eat this product sparingly.
- The 4 grams of trans fat you get when preparing this product via the box instructions concerns me. However, this can be avoided altogether by selecting a margarine that contains no trans fats. A trans fat-free margarine is simple to locate these days. More margarines do not use trans fats than that do.
- Gather together 6 cups of water, 4 tablespoons of margarine, and 1/2 cup of 2% milk.
- Boil the water.
- Stir in the macaroni.
- Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir occasionally.
- Drain the macaroni but do not rinse.
- Put the drained macaroni back into the pan you cooked it in.
- Add the margarine, milk, and included pouch of cheese sauce mix.
- Mix well.
- Serve immediately for best flavor. The sauce is the most gooey and delicious while still hot.
- For a dish that has 70% less fat and 25% fewer calories than the “classic preparation” recipe above, prepare using 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter and 1/2 cup of fat-free milk.
Enriched macaroni product (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulphate (iron), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid). Cheese blend (whey, modified food starch, salt, milkfat, milk protein concentrate. Contains less than 2% of sodium tripolyphosphate, cellulose gel, cellulose gum, citric acid, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, lactic acid, yellow 5, yellow 6, enzymes, cheese culture).
Contains: wheat, milk.
- Serving size: 2.5 Oz. (70 grams, about 1/3 box (makes about 1 cup)).
- Servings per container: about 3.
- Calories as packaged: 250. Calories as prepared: 410.
- Fat calories as packaged: 20. Fat calories as prepared: 160.
- Total fat as packaged: 2 grams, 3% DV. Total fat as prepared: 17 grams, 26% DV.
- Saturated fat as packaged: 1 gram, 5% DV. Saturated fat as prepared: 4 grams, 20% DV.
- Trans fat as packaged: 0 grams. Trans fat as prepared: 4 grams.
- Cholesterol as packaged: 5 milligrams, 2% DV. Cholesterol as prepared: 10 milligrams, 3% DV.
- Sodium as packaged: 570 milligrams, 24% DV. Sodium as prepared: 710 milligrams, 30% DV.
- Total carb as packaged: 50 grams, 17% DV. Total carb as prepared: 52 grams, 17% DV.
- Dietary fiber as packaged: 2 grams, 8% DV. Dietary fiber as prepared: 2 grams, 8% DV.
- Sugars as packaged: 8 grams. Sugars as prepared: 10 grams.
- Protein as packaged: 9 grams. Protein as prepared: 10 grams.
- Vitamin A as packaged: 0% DV. Vitamin A as prepared: 15% DV.
- Vitamin C as packaged: 0% DV. Vitamin C as prepared: 0% DV.
- Calcium as packaged: 10% DV. Calcium as prepared: 15% DV.
- Iron as packaged: 10% DV. Iron as prepared: 10% DV.
Over all, I indeed find this Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner a truly exceptional value and somewhat better tasting than the original version. I’d rate it at 92 out of 100.
Where To Buy Kraft Thick & Creamy Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
Look for it at almost any larger grocery store as well as on the Internet, in the blue box with the yellow strip across the bottom that says “thick ‘n creamy” within, and a picture of the prepared mac and cheese on the front. Enjoy! It’s tasty.
- Kraft Foods Website
- Kraft Macaroni & Cheese on Facebook
- Macaroni on Wikipedia
- Where To Buy Kraft Thick & Creamy Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
- : Adjusted category and tag assignments, fixed typos, and added white space.
- 2012-06-25: Originally published.