Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese Review

Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese

Try as you might, you probably won’t ever convince people that mac and cheese is a food for health nuts. But Trader Joe’s has worked to make it a little bit healthier with their Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese. This mac and cheese only has 270 calories (50 from fat). And that’s a whole box — this isn’t one of those sneaky situations where there are two servings per box for no other reason than to be obtuse about their calorie count.

Needless to say, we had pretty high hopes for this. This is partly because the Pepperoni Pizza Mac & Cheese and the Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese are both quite good, but neither is really great for dieters. If Trader Joe’s can serve up something on the same level as those meals — only with fewer calories — then we could really have a winner on our hands.

Right away we noticed the tray is a really weird shape. While this doesn’t affect the quality of the meal at all, we couldn’t help but marvel at how long and narrow the tray is. Plus, the macaroni only fills it about halfway, so depending on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist, this tray is either half full or half empty. You decide!

Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese

We also struggled a bit to remove the film on the tray. This is a nitpick, but we thought it’s probably worth mentioning.

But let’s dig into the meal itself.

These are tiny elbow noodles, smaller than we expected. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, because the elbow is a classic macaroni shape, regardless of the size. We do have to admit that we prefer elbows to be slightly larger than this.

The cheese sauce tastes very good. It’s a creamy, salty sauce that really hits the spot. The only problem is that we wish there were more of it. While reducing the sauce was a huge part of how Trader Joe’s reduced the “guilt” of one of their less health-friendly meals, we do love a macaroni that’s oozing with sauce.

Trader Joe’s Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese is a great-tasting low-calorie version of a classic. It’s not perfect, but we’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of that creamy sauce portion to keep this thing under 300 calories.

To learn more about the nutrition info and ingredients in this frozen mac and cheese, check out our package scans below.

Trader Joe's Reduced Guilt Mac & Cheese