Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Close-up image of Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

“Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese”

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Presentation: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

As with most microwaveable meals, we’re dealing with a disposable container here, so let’s choose focus primarily on the food itself.

It looks exceptionally rustic for an instant meal, no? This mac is serving up rich color on a wide, mezzi rigatoni noodle that I dare say is reserved for the upper echelon of microwave dinners; it sets the bar appropriately high.

Flavor: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Butternut squash is the first to step forward in the flavor lineup, but is quickly rounded out with the saltiness of the three cheeses. That particular balance is key; when the scales are tipped too far toward the squash, the dish becomes too sweet, and loses any semblance of mac & cheese. With the final chef’s kiss of sage coming through, the mac’s flavor lives up to its visual standard.

I can say, without any trace of humor, that this mac is restaurant-quality.

Creaminess: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The best part of a microwaveable meal (apart from the instant gratification, of course) is that the proportions are always right; the sauce to pasta ratio creates the perfect creaminess.

Cheesiness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

In a mac & cheese like this that has a unique twist, the cheesiness acts as a co-star to the other ingredient. Here, the blend of gouda, cheddar, and parmesan does an excellent job supporting – but not overshadowing – the squash.

Most importantly, the cheesiness provides the warmth of flavor that is an absolute must in Fall comfort food!

Texture: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The mezzi rigatoni furnishes this mac with excellent texture – after having tried the Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese twice now, I can also add that the recommended cook time delivers a perfectly al dente pasta that holds onto a whole lot of sauce.

Overall Experience:

Love! What more could you ask for from a microwaveable meal? I find that across the board, any of Trader Joe’s frozen/instant meals are pretty delicious and high quality; they almost make our 40 minute drive to TJ’s worth it!

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