A Ranking of the Best . . . and Worst . . . Boxed Mac-and-Cheeses

 If you’re like me, your relationship with BOXED macaroni and cheese has been a . . . well . . . ROLLERCOASTER OF LOVE.  There are falling-outs, but you keep coming back.

A boxed mac-and-cheese fanatic just ranked his favorites, and not from memory.  He blind taste-tested nine different varieties.  And yes, he says he followed the directions to a T, and didn’t use any “house rules” to jazz them up.

Here’s how they stacked up, along with the cost of each:

1.  Walmart Great Value . . . He says, “It’s my hands-down winner, regardless of price point . . . but if you add in the fact that a box costs mere cents, I’ll have a hard time ever buying anything else.”  Price per box:  $0.34.  Not a typo.

2.  Velveeta . . . “There will always be Velveeta haters . . . but in my opinion, this stuff is just indescribably delicious.”  Price:  $3.59. 

3.  Kraft Deluxe . . . “A rich, creamy sauce that packs in a whole lot of flavor makes this ‘deluxe’ version of Kraft’s classic mac worth every penny.”  Price:  $3.59.

4.  Annie’s Original . . . “Sometimes the classics really do reign supreme.”  Price:  $3.19. 

5.  Trader Joe’s . . . “Is it perfect?  No.  But it’s certainly a solid choice, especially at its very budget-friendly price point.”  Price:  $0.99. 

6.  Annie’s Grassfed . . . “I had high hopes for the ‘grass-fed’ version of the classic Annie’s I’ve always loved, so I’m sad to report that not a SINGLE element here was exciting.”  Price:  $3.29. 

7.  Kraft Original . . . “For nostalgic reasons, I’ll never quit you, Kraft . . . but yikes, was your mac-and-cheese always this basic?”  Price:  $1.00. 

8.  Whole Foods 365 . . . “The price may be more or less right, especially for an organic option . . . but the flavor couldn’t have been more WRONG.”  Price:  $1.49.

9.  Banza . . . This is a gluten-free brand where the pasta is made out of CHICKPEAS.  He said, “When it’s served in a deeply flavorful sauce, that bean-y taste can be more or less masked.  Since their cheese sauce was subpar at best, all that chickpea flavor was the first thing to hit my taste buds.”  Price:  $3.99.