Ever crave the creamy goodness of cheese, bacon, and macaroni? Well Upton’s Naturals Ch’eesy Bacon Mac aims to solve that problem for you. Did they succeed? Read on to find out.
The Product: Vegan Bacon Mac and Cheese
Upton’s Naturals Ch’eesy Bacon Mac was released this summer. The product is a 10.05 oz box with two packets inside, the pasta, and the sauce. The box claims that the meal is ready in just one minute. There are two ways to prepare the bacon mac, sautee the noodles and the sauce in a frying pan for 3-7 minutes (depending on if you want it warmed or golden brown), or combine both packets in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 60 seconds. Since the box claimed a one minute cooking time, I opted for the microwave option.
Review: great bacon flavor but at what cost?
After microwaving for 6o seconds, I found that the pasta was still a bit too al dente for my taste. Reheating pre-cooked pasta always contributes to a kind of, off, texture. It was slightly tough and a little grainy. I appreciated that the meal could be prepared in just 60 seconds, but most other boxed mac and cheeses opt for dried pasta that the consumer cooks themselves, and the texture problem in this bacon mac explains why.
How about flavor? The smoky bacon flavor was present all throughout the sauce. However, I wish there was more actual bacon. Upton’s Naturals started out as a faux meat company, so I was surprised that the faux meat wasn’t the star of this product. The cheese sauce was super creamy, but I had trouble distinguishing a cheese flavor because the predominant flavor was smokey bacon, which, to be honest, I didn’t mind. I really enjoyed the strength of the smoke flavor and the texture of the cheese sauce.
Let’s talk about nutrition. I wouldn’t consider this product “healthy” by any means, but it is a fun occasional treat. At 270 calories per serving and two servings per box, this ends up being a 540 calorie treat because it is extremely unlikely that you will eat only half of the box. The product is high in two other things too, sodium, 270 mg per serving, and price, $5.45 at Portsmouth Health Foods. With all of these things in mind, I think it is safe to say that you should not rely on Ch’eesy Bacon Mac for your lunch everyday. Save it for a special meal when you are really desperate and need something quickly
Recommendation: is it worth it?
Overall, I would try this product again, but next time, I would sauté instead of microwave. The reason that I would try this product again is the sauce. I really enjoyed the creamy texture and smokey flavor, but I just wish there was more bacon! I like that this product can be stored in my cabinet for a length of time, and I can pull it out when I want something fast or when I want to treat myself. For me, I can justify the cost by saving this product for an extremely occasional treat.
Have you tried Upton’s Naturals Ch’eesy Bacon Mac? You can find the product here. Let us know what you think! Feeling ambitious? Try out the homemade pumpkin mac ‘n cheese recipe from our Thanksgiving recipe roundup.