We tried Howl Mac & Chef Deluxe Spicy Chipotle! Let's talk about this cashew-based, boxed vegan mac and cheese.
Howl mac and cheese review
As regular listeners know by now, our Friday night dinner around here is mac and cheese with air fryer tofu and broccoli on the side. This week, though, I skipped making the vegan mac and cheese from scratch and used the boxed Spicy Chipotle from Howl Mac & Chef that I scored at Whole Foods.
Friend of the show, Marilyn, told us about this brand, and, honestly, the box art really sold us on this mac and cheese. It looks like a book cover!
This vegan mac and cheese is a Velveeta-style cooking situation. It comes with the dry macaroni, and the cheese sauce is in a pouch, ready to add.
They do recommend reserving a bit of the pasta cooking water, in case you want to make the sauce creamier. I went with that option, because I always want my sauce creamier!
I boiled the pasta, reserved a couple of tablespoons cooking water, and added that into the cooked pasta along with the cheese sauce from the pouch.
This was definitely easy to make! Unfortunately, we weren't big fans of this mac and cheese. The texture of the sauce was great, but the flavor was a miss for all three of us.
It had all of the elements of a good vegan cheese sauce, but I felt like the balance was a bit off. It was too tart for my taste, and it needed more of that cheesy, umami flavor.
I also missed the spice and smokiness I was expecting from a chipotle cheese sauce.
Mac & Chef makes a Classic Cashew flavor, and Dave says he's open to trying it. We'll report back on how we like that as soon as we find some!
For now, I think I prefer Earth Balance Mac and Cheese for a quick, boxed vegan mac.
Mac & Chef is a cashew mac and cheese. Here are the Spicy Chipotle ingredients, according to the Howl website:
- Macaroni: Durum Wheat Semolina.
- Cashew Sauce: Water, Cashews, Nutritional Yeast, Natural Flavor, Chipotle Puree (Chipotle Peppers, Tomato Puree, Onion, Vinegar, Canola Oil, Sugar, Salt, Paprika, Garlic), Salt, Lemon Juice, Corn Starch, Lactic Acid, Organic Gum Acacia, Organic Guar Gum, Non GMO Xanthan Gum, Garlic.
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