We try it!

We Try It – Kraft Homestyle Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese

This We Try It was a little bit of an impulse purchase at CVS because I was there, saw it, realized I still hadn’t decided on dinner, and decided it seemed “fancier” than regular mac and cheese in the box (or Kraft Dinner for our Canadian friends).  I don’t have any pictures of my own creation, but it looked pretty much just like regular mac and cheese from the box, so you can use your imagination.  I used the Classic Cheddar version, but apparently there are also Four Cheese and Old World Italian versions. 

First of all, in the interest of full disclosure, we weren’t homemade macaroni and cheese people when I was growing up, so “homestyle” in the Furious home actually was the kind in the box, so keep that in mind.  I’m sure that for you macaroni and cheese purists, this kind is probably an abomination and you wouldn’t deign to ever call it homestyle.  My standards are a little bit lower though.  Bowl of macaroni and cheese with the Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese package in the background

So what makes this macaroni and cheese *~*deluxe*~*?  First, it comes with a “flavor packet” that you mix in with butter and milk to make a roux.  I don’t know what is in the flavor packet; MSG, I suppose.  It didn’t have a particularly strong or distinct flavor and I ended up putting some pepper on mine afterwards anyway.  After your roux has thickened, you mix in your cooked macaroni.  The macaroni in the Deluxe are bigger than in the standard mac and cheese, which I appreciate because I think the regular Kraft macaroni is way too little.  Give me some substantial macaroni.  The Deluxe version also has a cheese packet of gloppy cheese product, rather than the cheese powder.  By itself, it tasted like that cheese the comes in Handi-Snacks (you know, the club crackers with a little pot of cheese and a plastic stick for spreading?).  It did not taste like Velveeta, as I expected.  But once it was mixed in with the macaroni it was pretty much indistinguishable from the taste of the powder packet cheese.  I mean, I didn’t do a side-by-side, but it didn’t scream “deluxe!” to me. Finally, there is a bread crumb topping, but it’s not very much, maybe two tablespoons. They give you two options here.  You can either sprinkle the bread crumbs over your macaroni and go on your way OR you can sprinkle bread crumbs and some extra regular cheese (not included) on top of your macaroni and then bake it for 10 minutes so it gets a crispy crust.  If you don’t know that I obviously went for the crispy crust, then you don’t know me very well.

So that’s it, your Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese!  So how was it?  Eh. It was ok.  As far as comfort food impulse buys go, it fit the bill.  It wasn’t that much more effort than the standard macaroni and cheese from the box, and I don’t know how long it takes to make real homestyle macaroni and cheese.  I put some broccoli in it, too (for health).  But I think in the future I would probably just make the regular box kind and put my own bread crumbs and cheese on top for a crispy crust.  So I at least got that idea, thanks Kraft!

6 replies on “We Try It – Kraft Homestyle Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese”

I to come from a Kraft = Mac n Cheese as homemade as its gonna get but lately I’ve been craving a oven cooked version. I’m also fairly lazy so I didn’t want to go all out so I’ve been trying various products like these. I had this one last week and so far its the best I’ve tried. I added extra cheese and more crumbles for more crispiness. It cured the craving but I wont be giving up on my spongebob shaped ones just yet.

If you had to make a roux, even from a packet, it probably saved you all of two minutes and less than five steps from doing it the from-scratch way. On the other hand, I, like you, come from a KD-is-mac&cheese family, and homemade recipes never measure up to the fake cheese flavor.

I was just going to say, if you’re as far as making a roux, just add milk and shredded cheese (and a little powdered mustard and some salt) and go all-out from scratch. I make mine only from scratch these days, and the sauce never takes longer to cook than the pasta.

Give me some substantial macaroni.

Indeed! I have been nerdishly looking forward to this post ever since I saw it in the future post menu because I stop and stare at the Deluxe every time I’m in the store. Like you, I never really had homemade macaroni and cheese and I love the stuff from a box. If I see it on sale I’ll probably pick it up, but good to know that I’m not missing out on anything amazing. :)

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