Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 18, 2011 06:40 PM

Frozen Mac and Cheese

Any recommendations for frozen Mac and Cheese? I am single and just can't make a big recipe just for myself. And we don't have Trader Joe's in Dallas yet, but they are on the way!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Stouffers large size is not bad when you are feeling lazy. I over-nuke it and get those nice crusties.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      I agree w/ the Stouffers. I nuke it at 1/2 power for the cooking time recommended, then on high for several min. until desired top crispiness is achieved. My homemade is very good, but also very rich. Stouffers gives me portion control and thus, self control as there is not a whole pan to consume.

      1. re: Veggo

        When ever DH goes out for the evening my treat is the Stouffers M&C. I do mine in the oven! YUM!!

        1. re: Mother of four

          Hay-ul, yes...Stouffer's does it pretty good...must say...however, recently read a blog about "healthier frozen m&cheese..." and they mentioned Whole Foods 365 frozen m&c...has anyone here tried it? Thanks!

          1. re: Val

            Just made Ina's for the Grands last night. Really good, certainly not low fat, but so good. I love the suggestion about freezing the sauce in individual bags and when ready to use just boil the noodles,add and bake. You could make a low fat version of the sauce.

            1. re: Mother of four

              as we all know it's really not possible to make and 'keep' a lasagna pan size of oooey goooey m&c and have it remain so. that's why individual portions or one at a time meals regarding m&c
              can remain subtle and moist. it may be an effort but worth it for the result.
              I'm pretty certain m&c restaurants do that.

            2. re: Val

              If you mean Whole Foods Market, I cannot afford to shop there. There is one in Toronto and I cannot believe the prices. Even the rich don't pay those prices, only the foolish middle class.

          2. re: Veggo

            when there's no time or desire to cook a batch for only yourself, I agree that Stouffers is hard to beat. also tho, in case you're so inclined, I've made a batch of the cheese sauce from scratch, frozen it in batches stacked flat in freezer, then when a portion is needed, take it out of freezer and thaw, cook only your needed amount of noodles, pour sauce over (heat a titch) and you're ready to eat.

          3. Yes, Stouffer's is pretty good. Morton's was the best, and cheaper as well, but it seems to have dropped off the shelves years ago.

            My secret sin is the blue-box Kraft, what used to be called (and still is, I think, in Canada) "Kraft Dinner". The straight noodles and the radioactive-orange "cheese". If I make a pot of that, fry some egg-and-crumb-coated slices of Spam and heat up a can of spinach, I might gain weight but I lose about 60 years instantly!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              I agree, Will. No curlicues or cartoon character pasta, original style, please. I do use about 1/4 as much butter as they call for, mostly because I'm going to eat the whole thing.

              Last night I had Marie Callender's white cheddar mac & cheese. It was delicious, although the macaroni was extremely overdone. Really good sauce, though.

              1. re: Will Owen

                I like Kraft Dinner too. Cook the macaroni until they're REALLY soft, then add lots of butter or margarine, homogenized milk, the pkg of cheese powder, plus extra cheese powder that you can pick up at bulk food shops. Also add on grated OLD orange cheddar cheese, mix it around, and microwave or bake until bubbly. I wonder if it's worse than McDonald's "triple bypass" Bic Mac? But it's okay if you eat this type of mac & cheese once in a while.

              2. The Amy's Organic brand is actually very good. You can get it in low sodium if you choose , which I tend to try to find for my 3 year old. But, overall both are tasty and good-sized portions,

                1. When I make fresh mac and cheese, I never bother with the sauce. I just cook the elbows, grate the Old Quebec cheddar and mix it into the hot macaroni. Not creamy, but way more cheesy. Who needs the bechamel?

                  If even that is too much work, Popeyes makes a pretty good version and you can get biscuits to go with it.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    where do you live that Popeye''s has mac and cheese?

                    1. re: sherriberry

                      Berkeley across the bay from San Francisco. I thought they had it everywhere.

                      1. re: chocolatetartguy

                        Mine does not; however, it does have the apparently hard to find(and yummy)hand breaded onion rings.

                        1. re: sherriberry

                          Onion rings at Popeyes? Where is this? It occurs to me that onion rings might be one of their healthier side dishes.

                          I used to love Popeyes but there is just too much salt. The mac and cheese is relatively mild. However, there is one 2 blocks from my house and on Tuesdays and Thursday you can get a leg and thing for $1.29!

                    2. re: chocolatetartguy

                      Your method with crumbled gorgonzola is one of my favorite guilty pleasures- the cheddar is completely awesome, too.

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        Your variation reminded me of a SF restauranteur Peggy Knickerbocker recipe where you cook cauliflower or broccoli with the pasta, drain the water, douse with olive oil and top with a parmesan/romano (I use Piave) cheese. I'm not one for spending a lot of time cooking, but this recipe is ridiculously easy and oh so good.

                    3. Stouffers overbaked slightly with chewy bits.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: smartie

                        smartie:! Once I did overbake it and those crispy brown edges were beyond belief, SO delicious! <swoon>

                        1. re: Val

                          Yup. Stouffers. And those crispy bits. Yum!

                          Next up - the kraft boxed BUT - after you have dished out your serving, grate some fresh parmesan or pecorino/romano on the top. Grind some fresh pepper on top of that. Prepare to be very happy.