OK, so those of you who listen to The VeganAri Show podcast know that we do a segment every week where we try new vegan products. A couple weeks ago, we got our hands on the “Cheesy Mac” by Upton’s Naturals. I have to say, this is one of the most impressive new vegan products on the market because it’s literally ready in one minute and it’s actually really good.
A box of Upton’s Cheesy Mac comes with vacuum-packed pre-cooked pasta and the cheesy sauce. All you have to do is combine the two, microwave for one minute, and it’s done! There are two flavors: a regular mac and cheese and then a version with bacon.
The regular mac and cheese was my favorite of the two. It’s very reminiscent of the Kraft macaroni and cheese I grew up eating. It’s creamy and cheddar-y and the pasta was al dente, not overcooked or mushy. The bacon variety was distinctly different. Aside from having chunks of vegan bacon in the dish, each bite had a smoky/salty flavor that was not in the original. It’s really good and my husband actually preferred this version, but when it comes to mac and cheese I guess I’m a purist.
We found this product at Organix, an amazing market in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of LA that caters to vegans. But I’ve definitely seen Upton’s Naturals at Whole Foods. You can also buy this product on Amazon.
I want to add that Upton’s Naturals is a fantastic vegan company. Still a small, family-owned business based in Chicago, they support animal rights organizations and were the first U.S.-based food company to bring prepared jackfruit to supermarkets.
If you have more time in the kitchen, there are endless vegan mac and cheese recipes online. Our favorite is the one in the Real Food Daily cookbook. We’ve made it many times and it’s AMAZING! And leave out the agar if you try this recipe, it’s expensive and you don’t need it.