Get Ready to Nuke the 5 Best Microwavable Mac & Cheeses

Like a good friend, microwave mac and cheese is always there for you. Plus, it’s quick, reliable, and easy. You just need the correct household appliance and you can have a warm, comforting meal ready in minutes. When I was growing up, microwavable mac and cheese was a tasty, convenient snack and I always loved it. As an adult, however, my food standards are higher and it doesn’t always hold up.

Most of the microwavable macs we tried were bad (like very, very bad), but we found an elite few that are worthy of gracing your grocery cart. The microwavable macaroni and cheeses on our list are creamy, affordable, and, above all else, quick!

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Best of the Best

Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

No one does it like the original. Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese is truly the best of the best. It was the only cup of microwavable mac we made that didn’t have way too much water in the cup after microwaving. It’s not the most flavorful thing I’ve tasted in my entire life, but that’s not why you’re eating Kraft. More likely, you’re looking for a mild, cheesy flavor, a creamy texture, and an overall sense of nostalgia. And Kraft delivers that. Luckily, the microwavable version tastes just like the stovetop version.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Most Like Homemade

Bob Evans Tasteful Sides Macaroni & Cheese

It is so funny to me to call this tub of microwavable macaroni and cheese “tasteful.” That being said, it is tasty! Bob Evans’ mac tastes like a better version of KFC’s mac and cheese. It shines when it comes to sodium—t’s so scrumptiously salty! Justine Sterling, editor-in-chief of Sporked, loved the “extreme cheese coverage” that was luscious without being overwhelming. Slap this in a bowl and serve it at Thanksgiving. No one will know you didn’t make it from scratch.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Vons

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best Splurge

Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

Cracker Barrel’s microwavable mac & cheese Dinner, with its luxe gold and black packaging, is the Lamborghini of microwaveable mac and cheese. It comes with multiple flavor packets and a little bag of breadcrumbs, which our team had conflicting feelings about. Some of us thought they tasted a little raw, while others thought they added a great crunch. But we could all agree on one thing: This mac and cheese is creamy, sumptuous, and delicious.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Side Dish

Panera Bread Mac & Cheese Microwave Meal

Unlike most of the other macs we tried, you don’t have to add water to Panera’s microwaveable mac and cheese meal. I like this one because it tastes like Velveeta stovetop mac (sadly, Velveeta’s microwavable version is bad). It’s cheesy and super thick. The container is a decent size and would make this a great side dish for a larger meal for multiple people. It loses two sporks because I have two complaints. The first is that it doesn’t have a ton of flavor. It’s rich and tastes slightly of cheese, but there’s almost nothing else there. That doesn’t make it bad, but we must acknowledge that it’s very plain. Secondly, this mac and cheese was still fully cold in the center after microwaving it for the suggested four minutes.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Unique

Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Flavor Mac‘N Cheese

Cheetos Flamin’ Hot Flavor Mac‘N Cheese really tastes exactly like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Like, it doesn’t taste like cheese—it tastes like Cheetos Flamin’ Hot cheese. This made my brain feel confused, but also excited. It made me want to push the boundaries of microwave mac and cheese even more. I wanted to add fresh jalapeno slices, a squeeze of fresh lime, and a dollop of sour cream. Getting freaky with this instant mac just felt right. If you’re a Flamin’ Hot fan, add this to your cart immediately.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • The Panera Mac & Cheese is a foundation for adding ingredients, since mostly it’s just creamy and salty. Shredded chicken, salsa, some of that CHOLULA GREEN, some corn, guac, you’ve made a colossal dinner/sleep aid.

    Reply
  • I’m my personal opinion the Bob Evans is better than kraft but that’s just my opinion 😁

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  • In my personal opinion the Bob Evans is better than kraft but that’s just my opinion 😁

    Reply
  • I think the Trader Joe’s 4 cheese mac n cheese is the best and it ain’t even close

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  • the deluxe kraft microwave cups are better than the original. it’s comparable to Velveeta cups 😋 (powder vs “liquid” cheese packet)

    Reply
  • The Panera Mac and cheese is trash

    Reply
  • Doesn’t look like you had any additional competitors. Annie’s is super yummy microwave mac & cheese.

    Reply