The Trader Joe’s food lineup is renowned for its innovative, flavorful twists on classic favorites. Their Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites stand as a testament to this culinary prowess. These bite-sized delights, nestled in the freezer section, beckon to anyone looking for a delectable, autumn-inspired snack. With their rich infusion of butternut squash puree, the savory goodness of cheese, and the familiar comfort of macaroni, they promise an extraordinary gustatory experience. But do they deliver?
Just like Speculoos Cookie Butter, the Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese product is a smash hit. People go nuts for this seasonal item every Fall and it is routinely out of stock at most Trader Joe’s. People will literally fill freezers full of this product to tide them through the rest of the year.
What is better than regular ole Mac and Cheese? Deep-fried mac and cheese balls, that’s what’s better!
Trader Joe’s took the Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese and then rolled them into balls put a breading on the exterior and then deep fried them and quickly froze them for your pleasure.
I don’t remember the first time I had fried mac and cheese balls. Probably at some bar several years ago as bar food. But when I first had them, my mind was blown. These are like the perfect bar food snack. They were served with a small dish of warmed up marinara to dip them in.
The problem, if you could call it a problem, is that you need a fork or a spoon to eat regular mac and cheese. It’s kind of a sloppy, gooey mess. But what if we roll balls of mac and cheese in some bread crumbs and then deep fry them? Voila! The perfect finger food!
Even better, Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash mac and cheese, which is soooo much better than the regular run of the mill mac and cheese because it has more flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I love regular mac and cheese. Especially Trader Joe’s mac and cheese because you can see the real cheese in it before you cook it. Now if you add some seasonal spices that give it a little more depth of flavor AND you deep fry the little balls, almost perfection!
How to Make Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites
This item is pretty simple to make. You really only have two choices here and Trader Joe’s spells it out pretty nicely for you in the cooking instructions directions on the side of the box. The only gotcha is that they want you to cook from frozen straight out of the freezer.
I used the conventional oven because I don’t have an air fryer yet. I suppose an air fryer might get you a more crispy exterior but I thought my regular oven was good enough. I did use an instant thermometer to check the temperature and mine did take more than 15 minutes to cook but it was worth the wait. I would not microwave them, they would just be a soggy mess.
So, how did they taste? They were almost like the regular Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese but one better! As I said, I dipped them in a Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce and ate them for lunch. You can’t eat all that many because three of them are 220 calories! 5-6 of them would be a whole meal! But if you are going to throw caution to the wind, these are the exact things I like to splurge on.
They are crispy on the outside, and gooey on the inside. Be careful because they are little molten lava balls when they come out of the oven and will burn the roof of your mouth if you don’t let them cool off. (ask me how I know this!) But once they are cooled off enough, they are a gooey bite-sized ball of heaven. Lots of gooey cheese sauce.
My final rating
Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites are a delightful merger of comfort food with the rich, earthy flavors of fall. They’re ideal for those crisp evenings when you crave something warm, cheesy, and slightly indulgent. They work wonderfully as an appetizer for a gathering or simply a snack on a lazy weekend.
However, they might not be for everyone. Traditionalists may prefer the unadulterated taste of regular mac and cheese. But for those willing to embark on a slightly different culinary journey, these bites are a treasure.
In conclusion, Trader Joe’s has once again proven its knack for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. Their Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites are a testament to their culinary ingenuity, offering a unique twist on a beloved classic. Highly recommended for those eager to experience a delightful autumnal treat.
I am going to rate these Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese bites 9 Bells!
Ingredients for Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Bites:
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH, HEAVY CREAM, ENRICHED MACARONI (WATER, ENRICHED DURUM WHEAT FLOUR [SEMOLINA, NIACIN, FERROUS SULFATE, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID]), CHEDDAR CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, MICROBIAL ENZYME, BETA CAROTENE [COLOR]), BATTER (YELLOW CORN FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, CORNSTARCH, SEA SALT, CREAM OF TARTAR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, GARLIC POWDER, ONION POWDER, CANOLA OIL, XANTHAN GUM)
- EXPELLER PRESSED CANOLA OIL, BREADCRUMBS (WHEAT FLOUR, SUGAR, YEAST, SALT)
- GOUDA CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT
- MICROBIAL ENZYME, BETA CAROTENE [COLOR]), SHALLOTS, EGGS
- WATER, CORNSTARCH, GARLIC, BUTTER (PASTEURIZED CREAM)
- SALT, SAGE, NUTMEG, CANE SUGAR, WHITE PEPPER, GINGER
- MUSTARD (WATER, MUSTARD SEEDS, VINEGAR, SALT)
- THYME, ANNATTO EXTRACT (FOR COLOR).
- CONTAINS MILK, EGG, WHEAT.
- MAY CONTAIN SOY.