Goodles Mac and Cheese

This Protein-Packed Boxed Mac and Cheese Tastes Like Kraft, But Better

Welcome to Take My Money, a column where we geek out about our favorite products.

I’m all for eating healthy, but you can pry boxed mac and cheese from my dead fingers. Take away sugary drinks, Heinz ketchup, and anything deep-fried—just don’t touch my cheese.

Despite my love for the classic Kraft, I’m always down for a healthy swap (so long as the flavor is on point). That’s why when I saw Goodles mac and cheese I knew I had to give it a shot. A year later, and I’ve said goodbye to traditional boxed mac for good.

Goodles is a healthy mac and cheese swap actually worth the swap, according to a mac and cheese addict. Here’s why.

What Is Goodles Mac and Cheese, And Why I Love It

It’s packed with protein

Compared to traditional boxed macaroni and cheese, and newer healthy brands like Annie’s, Goodles wins on the nutrition front. Each box puts up a massive 14 grams of plant-based protein from a unique chickpea and wheat blend.

There are also seven grams of prebiotic fiber and 21 different plant-based nutrients, like iron, vitamin C, and potassium, from organic veggies like sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli. Plus, it’s made with no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Bowl of Goodles Twist my parm mac and cheese
My bowl of Twist My Parm in all her glory. Pro tip; add fresh cracked pepper, grated parmesan, and lemon zest. You won't regret it.

Flavor is 11/10

Sure, healthy is great. But when it comes to mac, it’s all about taste. True to its name, Goodles are crazy good. Like, so good, I have their 12-box variety pack locked and loaded for monthly delivery.

There are six different flavors to choose from. So far I’ve tasted four: Cheddy Mac (cheddar), Shella Good (white cheddar), Twist My Parm (asiago and parmesan), and, my personal favorite, Mover & Shaker (cacio e pepe). Each flavor is creamy, rich, and satiating. And the noodles are always perfectly al dente (even if I leave them on the stove a few minutes too long).

Tasting their two newest flavors—Vegan is Believin’ (plant-ased white cheddar) and Down the Hatch (hatch chile popper)—is high on my priority list.

Allergy friendly

Thankfully, I have no allergies, but my husband is allergic to eggs. We were excited to find that this mac (unlike some healthier mac and cheese varieties) is egg-free. They also just released a vegan option for those avoiding both eggs and dairy.

However, if you’re gluten-free, Goodles are not the noodles for you. At least not yet. The brand is super transparent in its Instagram comments, and has alluded to a gluten-free option coming soon. Fingers crossed it’s sooner than later.

It takes no thought or time

Whoever said “it’s not easy being cheesy” was just plain wrong. Whipping up a box of mac and cheese takes no more than 15 minutes, and Goodles is no exception. I’ve eaten Goodles as a satisfying lunch, an easy side dish, and even a late-night snack. I’m consistently impressed with how simple it is to make such a satisfying meal.

It also makes a great base for mix in’s. Add in some roasted broccoli for an ode to cheddar broccoli soup, some grilled chicken for more protein, or roasted jalapenos for some spice. Fifteen minutes is just enough time to get fancy with it if you want to.

The Bottom Line

Goodles mac and cheese is the healthy boxed mac and cheese swap you always wanted but didn’t think existed. It delivers on flavor, and the nutrition checks out. If you have a savory tooth (like me) it’s worth stocking in your cabinet for moments of weakness. But, does it really count as a moment of weakness if the ingredients are this good? Asking for a friend.