I swear I am starting to turn a light shade of orange with all these squash and pumpkin products I’ve been tasting day after day. I guess the official end to pumpkin season is Black Friday when all of our attention turns to Christmas. So, another 45 days of pumpkin products to eat! Actually, I don’t mind pumpkin in my food, it’s the pumpkin spice when it’s not done right that drives me insane. If you like a more adult version of mac and cheese, I think you’ll really like this one!
This dish is made with something called “mezzi rigatoni” which seems to be just a type of rigatoni. Maybe a little wider but shorter than its cousin’s regular rigatoni. Trader Joe’s says this is made with a béchamel sauce with plenty of squash and cheese in the sauce. You can tell, the sauce is a nice bright orange color. Like the other mac and cheeses that Trader Joe’s sells, this one is made in a similar manner, just pop it in the microwave for about 5 minutes and eat right out of the paper tray it comes in. Or you could be more sophisticated and put it in a proper pasta bowl as I did.
So, how does this taste? First I was shocked at how spicy it was. Well, it wasn’t that spicy but I didn’t expect any spice and sure enough that last ingredient is CAYENNE PEPPER there also seems to be a fair amount of black pepper too.
Final Verdict on Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
I actually liked it once I realized it was a feature not a bug in the recipe. I really like the creamy texture and the larger rigatoni pasta in this. The squash really comes through and the bechamel is much better than the melted cheese on the regular mac and cheese. This would make a great pasta course with a salad or just eat the whole thing for lunch at work.
If you want to eat the whole box of Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese it will cost you 500 calories so that might be too much, but it is awfully small when you divide it in half. I really like this and will buy it as much as I can before they shut it down right after Thanksgiving!
At the of the day I am going to give this a rating of 8 Bells. It’s sooooo good!
MEZZI RIGATONI PASTA (SEMOLINA, DURUM WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), BUTTERNUT SQUASH, BECHAMEL SAUCE (MILK [MILK, SKIM MILK, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D3], UNBLEACHED ENRICHED FLOUR [WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID], BUTTER [CREAM, SALT], WHITE PEPPER), GOUDA CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, MICROBIAL ENZYME, BETA-CAROTENE [COLOR], CELLULOSE POWDER), CHEDDAR CHEESE (PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, MICROBIAL ENZYME, ANNATTO [COLOR], CELLULOSE POWDER), PARMESAN CHEESE (PASTEURIZED PART SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, MICROBIAL ENZYME, CELLULOSE POWDER), SALT, ONION POWDER, GARLIC POWDER, MUSTARD (DISTILLED VINEGAR, WATER, MUSTARD SEED, SEA SALT, SPICES, TURMERIC), NUTMEG, SAGE, BLACK PEPPER, THYME, CAYENNE PEPPER.
CONTAINS MILK, WHEAT.
2 servings per container | Serving size 1 cup (170g) | Amount per serving: Calories 250
Total Fat 8g (10% DV), Saturated Fat 4.5g (23% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 25mg (8% DV), Sodium 480mg (21% DV), Total Carbohydrate 38g (14% DV), Dietary Fiber 2g (7% DV), Total Sugars 4g—Includes 0g Added Sugars (0% DV), Protein 11g, Vitamin D 0.4mcg (2% DV), Calcium 180mg (15% DV), Iron 2mg (10% DV), Potassium 90mg (0% DV).
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.