In the USA, you can’t find a dish that is more loved than macaroni and cheese.
Everyone seems to agree that mac & cheese is an exceptionally delicious dish that is perfect for feeding the entire family as a comforting evening meal.
No matter the time of day or season of the year, mac & cheese will always have a place in our homes.
How you make your mac & cheese can cause some debate though. Some people like to prepare their macaroni and cheese from scratch.
This method needs them to shred all of the cheese, mix it with the right amount of milk and butter, and then bake the dish until it is cooked to their liking.
Some people even go to the bother of making their noodles, which is rather impressive.
If this level of cooking isn’t for you, or you are looking for a quick meal to make once the kids get home from school, then you may prefer the boxed version of this dish instead.
However, even while boxed versions of macaroni and cheese have made it possible to enjoy this dish without having to spend a lot of time making it, the preparation of even the best version of a boxed variety may still take a long time.
So where can you turn when you want some quick and easy mac & cheese?
Well, we’re here to tell you all about the frozen version of this dish! Many people tend to avoid the frozen version of any dish, as they have the reputation of being tasteless or bland.
But we have some great news! The frozen version of mac & cheese can be just as delicious as the homemade variety, as long as you buy from the right brand.
In this list, we will show you the best 16 brands of frozen mac & cheese for you to try out.
With a range of different price points and many unique flavors, any one of these frozen mac & cheese dinners will make the perfect midweek meal when you need to feed your family quickly and easily.
Let’s get on with the list!
Macaroni and cheese from Stouffer’s is the king of comfort food, as it is produced with genuine cheese and contains no artificial preservatives of any kind.
The result is a dish that is tasty, cheesy, and creamy, and it has a flavor that is nearly identical to that of a dish that was prepared from scratch.
Even though it just takes six minutes to prepare in a microwave, the meal comes out tasting noticeably better after being baked in an oven for over half an hour.
No matter which method of preparation you pick, you will be rewarded with 14 grams of protein and a macaroni and cheese meal that is unusually abundant in a cheesy sauce.
This macaroni and cheese is fantastic, however, we wish there was a greater quantity of macaroni in comparison to the amount of cheese that is included in the meal.
If anything, this meal can feel too cheesy because of the little amount of macaroni in the box.
But if you love your macaroni drowning in cheese, this is the option for you!
The white cheddar mac & cheese has a taste that sets it apart from the regular mac & cheese made with cheddar, and the version of the dish that is included with Mari Callender’s frozen dinners is especially indulgent.
Many choose it over the traditional cheddar mac and cheese.
When cooked, this sauce keeps its thick and creamy consistency, which is very different from the sauce that is included with certain other frozen items, which becomes thin and watery after being heated.
One feature that stands out about Marie Callender’s White Cheddar Mac & Cheese is the macaroni’s distinctively chewy consistency.
One of the unique aspects of the meal is that the shells of the pasta are pliable without being too soft, squishy, or mushy.
Finally, the portion size of this frozen dinner is fantastic, as it provides enough food for two full supper sides or a rapid snack for three to four youngsters. This is a nice feature of this frozen meal.
If you go to Trader Joe’s (see also ‘23 Of The Best Trader Joe’s Recipes Ever‘), you’ll find that their section of frozen meals has a wide variety of options, the most notable of which is their frozen macaroni and cheese selections.
Their Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese is widely considered to be among the most delicious of all of their frozen macaroni and cheese variants.
It is made from Hatch green chiles, which are native to the state of New Mexico.
Macaroni and cheese topped with green chile is a time-honored classic that is incredibly delicious. This winning combination has stood the test of time.
Saying that, the dish only has a few bits of green chile, so you may wish that there would be more of it overall.
The flavor of the green chile can, thankfully, still be tasted in each bite, and the tanginess of the cheddar cheese complements the spiciness of the green chile in a delightful way.
Although this macaroni and cheese does have certain drawbacks, it is still very popular and definitely an option that you should try!
Macaroni and cheese is included in a variety of ready-made meals offered by Lean Cuisine. Some of these dishes have Vermont white cheddar, while others feature white cheddar combined with broccoli.
The best version of mac & cheese that they sell though is their Favorites Mac And Cheese.
This dish is a good option for lunch before an afternoon exercise since it is available fast and only takes a few minutes to make.
Additionally, it has 13 grams of protein, making it an ideal choice for a pre-workout meal.
This macaroni and cheese may not have the creamiest or richest sauce, but it has a wonderful flavor that pairs well with salads as well as meat dishes and is an excellent companion to any main course.
Because truffle has garnered a lot of attention in the culinary world over the past decade, the fact that Evol’s Truffle Parmesan Mac & Cheese is one of the most popular frozen mac & cheese meals that can be found in grocery stores should not come as a surprise to anyone.
This dish is regarded to be more of a gourmet choice because it has a flavor that is not only wonderful but also rather complex, with overtones of shallot, garlic, and even mushroom.
The flavor profile of this dish is far more complex than that of the usual boxed macaroni and cheese, which is often made up of nothing more than cheddar cheese and noodles.
Also, the dish is prepared with Tubetti pasta rather than the more traditional macaroni shells, and it also includes panko breadcrumbs as an additional mouthwatering touch to the dish.
Despite these more premium ingredients, the price of this meal is still affordable. This may be because the serving portions of this meal are on the smaller side compared to other frozen mac and cheeses on this list.
Because of this smaller portion size, you may enjoy Evol’s macaroni and cheese more as a lunch dish than as a dinner meal, though it works well as a side dish for a larger meal as well.
While this version of frozen mac & cheese has a lot to offer, there are a few downsides to Michelina’s Mac & Cheese.
This dish is not organic, does not contain the highest number of grams of protein in each serving, and does not have the most powerful flavor.
However, despite this, it is a bit better than other cheese blends because it maintains a good degree of flavor and creaminess while still giving you a suitable quantity of salt and calories.
Along with this, the price is incredibly fair when compared to similar offerings.
This is one of the best cheap brands of frozen mac & cheese that you can purchase, and it should be your first choice if you’re looking for a lunch alternative that won’t break the bank and that you can either reheat at home or bring with you to the office.
It is an excellent option because of both its low cost and the positive effects it has on your nutrition.
If the Trader Joe’s Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese that was mentioned before sounds fantastic in your brain but stressful to your waistline, then Trader Joe’s also provides a different “guilt-free” alternative for mac & cheese that you may try instead.
This mac & cheese is a better option for your health than the Hatch Chile and the other options that are sold at Trader Joe’s.
However, because it has a total of 700 calories, we are unable to refer to it as a “diet” meal.
And in our opinion, it is not worth it to cut back on calories if it means losing a considerable quantity of flavor and richness in the process.
Because taste is the most essential component of mac and cheese, we think that it is better to stick with the variety that has a broad range of flavors and to just eat fewer portions of it.
The macaroni and cheese frozen meal offered by Banquet is extremely user-friendly and requires very little effort on the consumer’s part to prepare.
Even while the taste isn’t as powerful as some of the other alternatives on our list, it has a sauce that is extremely creamy and rather runny, making it an excellent complement to veggies such as broccoli or bell peppers.
If you are cooking other food items to go with it or as a side dish, you should consider getting the Banquet mac & cheese since it is delicious.
However, if you are looking for mac & cheese to eat as a main dish, there are better options for you to choose from on this list.
In their mac & cheese recipe, Blake’s All Natural Foods not only makes use of organic macaroni and cheddar cheese that has not been treated with rBGH, but it also tops the meal with a delicious breadcrumb topping.
The topping of breadcrumbs over macaroni and cheese is a favorite addition for many people since it makes for a more interesting texture and elevates an otherwise straightforward meal to a higher level.
If you looking for a healthy version of this popular dish, then this mac & cheese is the one for you.
While many frozen macaroni and cheeses might have as many as 500 calories per serving, this all-natural frozen meal has only 300 calories per serving.
Last but not least, you may have this delicious mac & cheese in both the traditional and white cheddar varieties. You can test out both options and choose the one that works best for you.
The macaroni and cheese from Amy’s includes a wide variety of beneficial, organic ingredients, such as organic macaroni (made with organic wheat flour) and organic low-fat milk.
It also includes a variety of vegetables.
These components are consistent with the history of Amy’s Kitchen, in which Rachel and Andy, the company’s founders, developed organic and vegetarian ready-made meals since they were unable to locate any on their own.
However though this is a healthy meal, the salt content is still rather high, coming in at 680 milligrams per serving.
Surprisingly, this still has almost half as much salt as other of its similarly priced competitors, such as Stouffer’s mac and cheese.
If you are wanting to significantly reduce the amount of salt that you take in daily, they provide a version that is low in sodium, and both versions are free of tree nuts, soy, and other allergens.
There is a boxed version of mac & cheese available from 365, but their frozen mac & cheese is a far better alternative for a speedy supper or to bring with you to work.
Along the same lines as Amy’s Kitchen, 365 makes it a point to include organic products in their macaroni and cheese. In addition, the calorie and salt content of 365’s box is far lower than that of many of its rivals.
This is one of the greatest choices for customers who are looking for a healthy mac & cheese alternative.
However, it doesn’t compare favorably to other brands in terms of flavor, richness, creaminess, and overall taste and flavor.
You may add your own herbs and spices to the dish to boost the flavor while keeping the calorie count to a more manageable level.
If you love the tasty combo of bacon and cheese, and also enjoy a trip to Chilli’s, then you will adore this delightful frozen dish of Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese.
People will be able to enjoy their macaroni and cheese in the same style as a restaurant by warming up this dish in the convenience of their own homes.
In addition to having a cheese sauce that is creamy, rich, and powerful in flavor, as well as chunks of delicious bacon, it also has poblano peppers, which provide a little bit of extra heat and flavor to the dish.
The flavor of this macaroni and cheese is amazing, but you might want to try avoiding eating it too often because each dish has a staggering 1010 milligrams of salt.
This makes the dish very salty overall, but this might be a draw for some buyers.
You usually have the option of selecting white cheddar or standard cheddar for many of the frozen macaroni and cheese sold in grocery stores.
On the other hand, Joe’s Diner Mac ‘n Cheese is made using a cheese blend that consists of four distinct kinds of cheese: cheddar, havarti, gouda, and swiss.
This combination of four cheeses produces a taste that is more genuine, substantial, and reminiscent of traditional homemade mac and cheese, which a lot of people find to be irresistible.
Smart Ones, which is linked with WeightWatcher Recipes, is another healthy alternative. This mac & cheese is made using cheddar, asiago, and romano cheeses. While the cheese flavor is good, the sauce isn’t very creamy.
This cheese sauce tastes like Stouffer’s mild mac & cheese, except it’s thinner and wetter. The noodles on the other hand are thicker and chewier than other versions.
This may be an amazing mac & cheese with a few adjustments, but for now, it’s the best “diet” alternative.
The 9-ounce Smart Ones Three Cheese Macaroni has 300 calories, the same as similar brands. 13 grams of protein contribute to the dish’s nutritional value.
While American cheese isn’t gourmet, it’s a fantastic addition to macaroni and cheese, giving it the same gooey, creamy feel of grilled cheese.
You don’t need much American cheese in your cheese sauce, but it may make a tasty addiotn to this meal. Hormel Macaroni and Cheese is one of the few brands that uses American cheese.
The mac & cheese has a stronger taste than others on this list. This spaghetti is salty, but it tastes good.
Hormel macaroni and cheese hits all the taste, texture, and delicate noodle notes we want. It’s perfectly comforting and serves three as a side dish.
Devour is a new mac & cheese brand that’s making waves. Devour provides a variety of mac & cheese alternatives.
Their Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese has blue cheese and chicken, while the Chicken Cordon Bleu Mac & Cheese has ham and grilled chicken in a Swiss and provolone cheese sauce.
Devour is more than a mac, it’s a whole meal.
Most of these meals are higher in calories than others (usually above 470), but they should be considered a whole meal, not a side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Thaw My Frozen Mac & Cheese Before Eating?
You don’t have to let frozen macaroni and cheese thaw or come to room temperature before you reheat it or cook it. It will be cooked right out of the freezer.
How Can I Keep My Mac & Cheese Creamy?
When you cook your noodles in milk instead of water, your mac & cheese turns out creamier. Cooking noodles in milk instead of water makes the sauce creamy even before the cheese sauce is added.