Stouffer’s Classic Macaroni & Beef Review

Stouffer's Classic Macaroni & Beef

When we spotted the Stouffer’s Classic Macaroni & Beef at our local grocery store, we weren’t sure if we’d reviewed it previously or not. We knew we did review something called the Macaroni & Beef, but that meal had a red box while this one has a nicer-looking brown box. So we took the brown box home and compared it with the red box to see if this was indeed just a redesigned version of the same meal. We did some real top-quality sleuthing here.

We looked at the two ingredients lists to see if there was anything different between the two, and we only spotted a couple differences. The red-box version listed “blanched macaroni” where the brown box listed “cooked pasta.” The red box also referred to its onion content as “dehydrated onions,” while the brown box used the more comforting term “dried onions” (the brown box took a similar approach with “dehydrated red peppers” and “dehydrated garlic”). “Roasted red pepper puree” became “roasted red bell pepper puree,” and the strangest choice of all is that the red box lists “soybean” while the brown box lists “soybeans.”

What do we think happened here? Well, it seems very much like this: when it came time to release the brown box version of this meal, which has a slightly classier look to it, somebody rewrote the ingredients using some moderately upgraded terminology. So yes, this is pretty much the same meal we’d already reviewed.

But since we’d already brought this home, we figured we’d give it a second review. (You can check out our previous review if you’re interested in reading that one too.)

In our previous review, we complained about this meal’s seven-minute cook time. While we don’t want to rehash that whole discussion, we will say that we still think that’s a really long time for a dish like this to spend in the microwave.

Stouffer's Classic Macaroni & Beef

The last time we ate this, we thought the beef tasted meatloaf-y, but the sauce was a bit too watery for our liking. Now that we’ve tried this for a second time, we think that our original description was very accurate. Well, we think our description of the sauce was accurate anyway (we’ll get to the meat in a bit). The sauce is just as soupy as we remember it being. It does thicken a bit if you let this cool — and you will need to let this cool because it comes out absurdly hot — but that soupiness never really goes away.

The beef portion actually seems less generous here than it did in our previous serving. It does still have a meatloaf-y flavor, but we found it to be ground into tiny, gravely bits instead of smooshed into big chunks. We liked those big chunks.

Now, there’s one lingering question left to answer. Does the sauce still taste like ketchup? Yes, it does. It tastes like watered-down ketchup.

This is our second time trying the Stouffer’s Macaroni & Beef, and we still think it needs work. It’s pretty much the same stuff, only with a prettier package and smaller chunks of beef.

To learn more about the nutrition content or ingredients in this Stouffer’s Classics dish, check out our package scans below.

Stouffer's Classic Macaroni & Beef
Stouffer's Classic Macaroni & Beef