Stouffer’s Family Size Cheesy Macaroni & Beef Review

Stouffer's Family Size Cheesy Macaroni & Beef

We’ve tried Stouffer’s single-serve Macaroni & Beef a couple times now, and we’ve never been impressed by the stuff. We think it has a tendency to taste a bit too ketchupy for our liking.

However, when we spotted the Stouffer’s Family Size Cheesy Macaroni & Beef, we saw that Stouffer’s had a shot at redemption. A bigger portion size, a made-for-ovens cooking method, and a modified recipe are things that could transform a mediocre meal into a hit.

Well, perhaps we should explain the “made-for-ovens” cooking thing that we mentioned. While this does have microwave instructions on the box, we’re pretty sure it’s designed to be cooked in an oven. It’s a long process, taking more than an hour, but we think that’s how this was meant to be cooked (whereas the single-serve meals seem expressly designed for microwave heating). It required a bit of patience, as we found ourselves growing quite hungry about halfway through the process, but we did stick to our guns and heat this in the oven. (If you want to see the full cooking instructions, check out our package scans at the bottom of this review).

Stouffer's Family Size Cheesy Macaroni & Beef

We have to say right away that, if you give this proper time to cool, it ends up less runny than its microwavable brethren. While the single-serve version of this meal tends to be soupy and watery, this oven-baked stuff thickens up pretty nicely. It’s also less “ketchupy” than the other versions we’ve tried, though it still has a ketchup flavor to it. It’s just not overwhelming here, like it is in those smaller versions.

The texture is pretty nice as well. There’s a generous portion of beef, though it’s ground finely and has a sort-of-gravelly consistency. That’s not really a bad thing, because it contrasts nicely with the noodles, which are smooth and soft.

This also comes covered in a layer of mozzarella cheese. Of course, it’s not a substantial amount, and it all but disappears in to the mix once you start serving this up. We appreciate that it’s there, but we would have loved it if it were a bigger part of this meal.

Stouffer's Family Size Cheesy Macaroni & Beef

According to the box, there are 260 calories and 580 mg of sodium per serving. While this doesn’t seem bad at first, keep in mind that there are supposed to be 4.5 servings in this box. We think a reasonable amount is closer to a third of the tray, and the image above shows what that looks like in a serving dish. If you take our recommendation, you’re up to 390 calories and 870 mg of sodium. While that isn’t completely terrible, it’s certainly enough that you’ll want to be careful with this one.

The Stouffer’s Family Size Cheesy Macaroni & Beef is a better option than its single-serve, cheeseless peers, but we still think it could be improved upon. Some more cheese is the first thing we’d add, but we also wouldn’t mind some juicier beef.

That said, we think this frozen meal is imperfect, but it’s still pretty alright.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this frozen meal, check out our package scans below.

Stouffer's Family Size Cheesy Macaroni & Beef
Stouffer's Family Size Cheesy Macaroni & Beef
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