Mac & Cheese
A favorite among kids and adults alike, mac and cheese is a regular fixture on most American menus. But it wasn’t until 1937 that the boxed version first hit shelves, delighting little eaters everywhere and making the scramble to get a family-friendly dinner on the table a whole lot easier. Today, there are a variety of boxed mac and cheese brands to choose from, including gluten-free and vegan options. But one thing hasn’t changed: our devotion to the rich, creamy goodness of noodles smothered in a warm cheesy sauce. Because no pantry is complete without this quick and easy boxed dinner, we’ve rounded up a few of our top picks.
Mac & Cheese Upgrades
Why noodle with a classic? It’s tough to make mac and cheese even more delicious, but we’re always game for a little recipe deviation. Think outside the box with these genius mac hacks:
- Add pepperoni and mozzarella balls for a pizza-inspired spin.
- Take a veggie-infused primavera approach by incorporating carrots, zucchini, and bell pepper.
- Make a hamburger-themed dish by adding mini meatballs and chopped pickles to your cheesy noodles.
Top Mac & Cheese Brands
These pantry picks have the inside track on mouthwatering mac.
Not only does Annie’s offer a collection of healthy, organic mac and cheese, but the 30-year-strong brand is also non-GMO, family friendly, and totally affordable.
Eating vegan but still missing dairy? Daiya totally gets it! The brand offers a selection of rich and creamy, dairy-free pantry staples that won’t make you ditch your love of cheese just to eat a plant-based diet.
Banza’s genius line of good-for-you chickpea pasta is both gluten-free and rich in protein, giving traditional pasta a run for its money and allowing gluten-free eaters to give into their carb cravings.
Best Mac & Cheese
Lock in dinner and make your life a little easier with these beloved staples.
Banza Chickpea Pasta Cheddar Mac & Cheese Elbows
Enjoy a hot meal in less than 10 minutes with this gluten-free chickpea elbow macaroni in cheddar cheese sauce. Plus, get a whopping 18g of protein and 8g of fiber per serving.
Organic Mac & Cheese
Stock up on these wholesome mac must-haves.
Annie’s Shells and Real Aged Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese
Kids and adults will love this quick-cooking pasta dish made with non-GMO noodles and cheese from sustainably-raised cattle.
Pamela's Mac N' Cheese Pasta
This organic, Certified Non-GMO pasta also happens to be gluten-free thanks to noodles made from an organic rice flour blend that offers the same texture as the conventional variety.
Vegan Mac & Cheese
These dairy-free selections won’t leave you feeling deprived.
Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac
This velvety, non-dairy mac ‘n cheese includes a creamy vegan “cheeze” sauce (not powder) to top hearty brown rice macaroni. The result is a satisfying, animal-free meal that feels downright indulgent.
Annie's Organic Vegan Mac Cheddar Flavor
Organic vegan cheddar meets organic wheat flour pasta for a plant-based match made in carb lover’s heaven.
Mac and Cheese Recipes
Want more? Dig into the Thrive Market blog!
Paleo Mac and Cheese Without Pasta
Mac and cheese without noodles? You bet! This unique paleo spin on the classic uses tender cauliflower and smothers it in a mix of nutritional yeast, ghee, tomato paste, dijon mustard, and spices. Top it off with bacon and chopped nuts, and you’ve got a filling grain-free meal.
3 Delicious Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipes
These three plant-based recipes celebrate the surprising richness of vegan mac and cheese with recipes that include smart swaps like nutritional yeast, cashew cream, and turmeric.
Vegan Shells and Cheese
Craving a meal that will stick to your ribs? Dig into a steaming bowl of chickpea shells topped with a cashew-based cream sauce and chopped broccoli for the ultimate comfort food.