It’s starting to feel like a new boxed vegan mac and cheese is released on a weekly basis. I’ve been doing my darndest to keep up, but there are still several I haven’t tried yet. However, I’ve tasted a good number of them, and here are my honest thoughts. I’ll start with my favorite and move down the line to my least favorite. If you know of one not mentioned, please include it in the comments.
My parameters are that it has to come in a box (Leahey comes in a bag, but it’s similar in size and shape to the boxes), and the sauce has to come in a packet, whether powder or as an actual sauce. Pretty much all of these are unique in taste and/or texture, so what I like may not be the same as what you like.
1. World of Pastabilities AKA The Pasta Shoppe
This is a newer one and it soared to the top of the list once I took my first bite. The Organic Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese Under the Sea variety (pictured above) is by far the closest one that tastes how I remember Kraft tasting. The Under the Sea box says it comes with cheese mix, and they also make a Pasta Ruffles variety that comes with a cheddar cheese mix. The ruffles get fairly big once cooked, so I didn’t feel like there was enough sauce to balance it out. Regardless, I’ll be happy with the Under the Sea variety til the end of my days.
2. Leahey Foods Macaroni & Cheese
My friend Sarra recommended Leahey Foods macaroni and cheese, so I ordered several things from their website. I was a little skeptical when I saw it calls for a cup of milk, but they are not steering us wrong. This is by far the creamiest cheese in the bunch, providing a delightful mouthfeel. It’s not as cheesy as it could be, but you can easily doctor it up.
leaheyfoods.com >> includes a gluten-free variety
3. Modern Table Vegan Mac
I previously reviewed Modern Table’s vegan mac when it first came out, and the white cheddar (pictured above) was my favorite of the three flavors. The texture of the spiral noodles gives it a little boost, and you wouldn’t guess that it’s gluten free.
moderntable.com >> all are gluten-free
4. Andre’s Macaroni and Cheesy Sauce
Andre’s Macaroni and Cheesy Sauce is made right here in Minnesota. The sauce thickens up nicely, and it’s got a good punch of nooch in it. I added a little cayenne to balance it out a little and it was great.
5. Howl Mac and Chef
Howl Mac and Chef is one of the newest vegan macs available, and I ordered through Vegan Essentials. The “kashoo” sauce comes as a sauce and not a powder, and it’s really creamy. The thing that throws me off is the lactic acid, which gives it a tangy taste. The spice of the chipotle variety tames it a bit, but it’s still noticeable.
6. Annie’s Homegrown
Their gluten-free organic vegan mac actually isn’t too bad. The sauce could be a little cheesier, but it has a nice consistency, and I don’t miss the gluten in the pasta. It’s not a huge stretch to the nostalgic taste of Kraft.
annies.com >> has a gluten free variety
7. Daiya Cheddar Style Deluxed Cheezy Mac
Daiya’s mac is so quick and easy, it’s hard to fault it. It’s adequate and will satiate your cheese craving, but I’d much prefer the alfredo style. I would actually tie this one with Annie’s. I think they’re both fine, but they’re not super exciting and don’t bring anything new to the table.
daiyafoods.com >> all are gluten-free
8. Banza Plant Based Mac
This vegan and gluten free mac is made with chickpea pasta, and the sauce includes sweet potato and pumpkin. I’m not entirely sure what went wrong here, but it smelled bad and tasted worse. I don’t mind the texture of the pasta, so I’d consider buying Banza’s pastas on their own, but the cheese is yucky.
eatbanza.com >> all Banza products are gluten-free
9. Road’s End
Road’s End is the OG of boxed vegan mac and cheese, and it shows, from the look of the box to the taste of the pasta. The noodles are big and thick, and there’s isn’t nearly enough sauce to balance it out. You’d have to pay me a lot to eat this one again.
So there’s my official ranking. Which boxed mac is your favorite? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Vegan boxed mac and cheese I have yet to try:
Chickapea Vegan Mac (gluten-free)