Boxed vegan mac and cheese is a helpful thing to keep in your pantry when you are just starting out as a brand new vegan.
What could be easier to make when you are short on ideas, and, frankly, HANGRY?
So, I have reviewed (with help from my kids) four different boxed vegan mac n cheese brands/flavors. I hope you’ll find these reviews useful and informative. You can click on a link here to go straight to the review you wish to read:
Daiya Cheddar Style Deluxe Cheezy Mac Review
Daiya Alfredo Style Deluxe Cheezy Mac Review
Annie’s Cheddar Flavor Vegan Mac Review
Annie’s Creamy Sauce (shells) Vegan Mac Review
The Best Boxed Vegan Mac And Cheese – Verdict
Daiya Mac And Cheese
Honest Review – Daiya Cheddar Style Deluxe Cheezy Mac
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tried this Daiya vegan mac and cheese. But I had previously had great experiences with the other Daiya dairy free cheese products I’ve dried such as their vegan cheddar style slices. Love love love. So I was excited to try this.
Based on what we had heard other people say online, I expected this boxed vegan mac and cheese to be the best of the bunch. This Daiya Cheddar Style Deluxe Cheezy Mac comes with a pre-made sauce packet, so all you need to do is boil and drain the pasta. Nice.
Out of all the boxed vegan macaronis I tried, this one has the closest look to the basic Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese that kids in my generation grew up loving.
But looks are about all this one had in common with our expectations. We just didn’t like the taste of it at all – I’m not sure how to describe the taste even except that it tasted artificial. Even though it says on the box “Plant Based,” the taste didn’t remind of of plants (or dairy) at all, I couldn’t eat it. My kids & husband also didn’t like it, unfortunately.
It’s a bummer because it was on the expensive side and as I said earlier, I do like some Daiya products. This one was simply not for me.
Honest Review – Daiya Alfredo Style Deluxe Cheezy Mac
After our less-than-favorable experience with the Cheddar style Daiya mac, I wasn’t expecting the Alfredo style flavor to be much better. This one also comes with the sauce ready-to-go in a foil/plastic packet, so all you need to do is boil and drain the macaroni.
Taste-wise, this one was very different from the cheddar. Again, it had that hard-to-describe taste of artificiality. I’m looking at the ingredients trying to pinpoint what it is I don’t like, maybe it’s the tapioca starch? Hmm.
In my opinion, the Alfredo Style Daiya Vegan Mac was slightly better than the cheddar style because I did like the herbs in it. But otherwise, I was not a big fan of the sauce, and neither was my family.
Annies Vegan Mac And Cheese
The Annie’s brands of vegan mac & cheese come in several different flavors:
What Kind Of Milk To Use With Vegan Boxed Mac & Cheese?
I was a bit curious about what kind of milk or liquid would be needed to make this vegan boxed mac n cheese. On the box it just says to use 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk.
I haven’t always had good experiences in the past when using store bought vegan milks in recipes – they tend to have some additional ingredients that come out tasting funny in the final result. Some sweetness or vanilla – actually I just had this problem a few days ago when I tried making sauce with store-bought soy milk. It said it was plain, unsweetened, organic soy milk but it had an undeniable sweet taste in the end, which ruined the sauce.
So for this mac n cheese I opted to make my own oat milk, which takes less than 5 minutes at home and which I know will not add any funny flavors to the food.
Honest Review – Annie’s Cheddar Flavor Vegan Mac
Generally I have had good experiences with the Annie’s brand of foods. The price of this vegan mac and cheese was a little higher than it is for non-vegan boxed mac and cheese, but still under $3 for a box.
In order to make Annie’s vegan cheddar style mac and cheese you will need to have some vegan butter and non-dairy milk on hand. I almost always use oat milk at home because it’s inexpensive, quick to make (takes like 1 minute), and preservative-free when I make it at home.
I like this flavor of Annie’s vegan macaroni & cheese, and I would buy it again for myself. It tastes differently than the Kraft Mac & Cheese I grew up with, but for me it was not a bad taste. I also like that it’s certified organic, convenient, and tasty.
My kids on the other hand did not like it. They are 10 and 6. Even my non-picky eater said she didn’t like it. So it’s a no for the kids on Annie’s vegan mac and cheese…. oh well. Perhaps another flavor?
Honest Review – Annie’s Creamy Sauce (shells) Vegan Mac
After testing out the cheddar flavor Annie’s vegan mac, I wasn’t sure if we would like the “Creamy Sauce” version. According to the box, it’s made with pumpkin and sweet potato. The pasta is shaped like shells instead of the usual elbows for this variety.
I added vegan butter and oat milk to complete the vegan cheese sauce for this one, as directed by the package instructions.
Surprisingly, this mac tasted awesome. Out of all the boxed vegan mac and cheese flavors we tested out, the Annie’s Creamy Sauce Vegan Mac And Cheese (shells) was our absolute favorite. I didn’t expect to like the pumpkin and sweet potato sauce but it was actually lovely. My kids both liked it as well and they both asked for seconds. Finally, a win!
The Best Boxed Vegan Mac And Cheese: Verdict
In my experience, there is a learning curve when it comes learning how to cook a brand new diet. Sometimes it feels like all the things you grew up eating are now off the menu!
But nowadays there really are a lot of options. There are oodles of companies that specialize in vegan foods, and the choices are constantly expanding as more and more people eliminate meat, dairy, and eggs from their diets.
After reviewing four of the most popular boxed mac and cheese vegan options out there, the clear winner for my family and I was Annie’s Creamy Sauce (shells) Vegan Mac. We loved that you can taste the subtle pumpkin and sweet potato in the sauce, it tasted fresh, natural, healthy, and delicious!
When it comes to vegan dairy alternatives, there is always a danger of something tasting off or artificial. I found that many of the boxed vegan mac and cheese brands have this problem and I hope they will continue developing their recipes to come up with flavors that are more natural.
What is your favorite boxed vegan mac and cheese brand? Leave your thoughts in the comments – I love to hear from you!