Annie’s Cheddar Shells & Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese Review

Annie's Cheddar Shells & Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese

Annie’s might be mostly known for their line of dry mac and cheese, but they’ve got some frozen foods in their lineup as well. In fact, they’ve recently added frozen macaroni to complement their dry selection. As reviewers of frozen food, this piqued our curiosity.

We recently checked out the Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese and we thought it was good but not great. Today we’re delving deeper into the line, as we’re reviewing the Annie’s Cheddar Shells & Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese. Yes, this can be found in the freezer aisle (we located this particular meal at our local Super Target).

But first, of course, we must cook this. One of the benefits of a frozen mac and cheese over a dry one is that you don’t have to boil any water or mix up the sauce. To heat this, simply pop it into the microwave for two minutes, give it a quick stir, and pop it back in for a little longer. There’s a chart on the back of the box that shows the recommended time for different microwave wattages. Our microwave is an 1,100-watt device, and we gave ours an extra minute (for a total cook time of three minutes). That worked for us last time, and it seemed to work out just fine this time around as well. (To read these cooking instructions straight off the back of the box, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Based on the picture on the box, we actually thought this was going to be a white cheddar. Once we opened it up, however, we noticed that the cheese sauce is a yellow cheddar, though it is a bit pale, as you can see in the image below.

Annie's Cheddar Shells & Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese

It’s loaded up with sharp flavor, though, which is what matters. This is actually a really tasty cheese sauce. The last time we reviewed an Annie’s frozen macaroni, we had some issues with the sauce, but we like this stuff quite a bit.

The broccoli tastes especially earthy, but that might just be an effect of the sharp cheddar. The broccoli doesn’t taste old or freezer burned, though, and it still has some crunch to it. It’s a mighty fine complement to this dish.

As for the pasta itself, this meal contains shells, which happen to be our favorite macaroni pasta shape. However, we’re not impressed with the Annie’s take on shells here, as these are a little soggy and they’re rolled a bit too tightly. One of the joys of shell pasta is that the shells become little scoops that fill up with cheese. When the shells are too tightly wrapped, they don’t quite get that cheese-filled quality.

This meal contains 290 calories and 550 mg of sodium. Neither of those numbers is concerning to us, as both are below average for a frozen meal. Then again, this isn’t very big, so it won’t fill you up if you’ve got a big appetite.

The Annie’s Cheddar Shells & Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese isn’t perfect, but it’s still a pretty tasty meal. The pasta isn’t amazing, but the combination of sharp cheddar and broccoli is so good that we didn’t mind the flaws of the pasta. We definitely prefer this mac and cheese over the Shells & White Cheddar, so if you’re trying to choose one over the other, you know which one has our vote.

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

Annie's Cheddar Shells & Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese
Annie's Cheddar Shells & Broccoli Macaroni & Cheese