Product Type: Sainsbury's Pasta / Noodles
Newest Review: ... have a ring pull on the top as many canned foods now do including many in the Sainsbury's range which is a bit more awkward if say you are... more
A quick macaroni cheese from Sainsburys
Sainsbury's Macaroni Cheese
Member Name: ryeb
Sainsbury's Macaroni Cheese
Advantages: Low price, creamy texture, plenty of sauce
Disadvantages: I would like the cheese sauce to be stronger
We have been having some renovation work done at our house recently which means that I haven't had access to my usual cooking facilities all of the time. I have been looking for things I can cook in the microwave, and my boyfriend suggested tinned macaroni cheese as something we could try. I normally have a prejudice against anything canned except baked beans becaus I tried some really awful examples when I was a student and didn't have a clue how to cook most things myself. I am always willoingbto be proved wrong though, so my partner bought a tin of Heinz Macaroni Cheese as well as a Sainsburys own brand equivalent. The second turned out to be my favourite, to my surprise. It cost just 65p for 410g, compared to 95p for the Heinz equivalent.
Sainsburys seem to be in the process of changing the labels for these. Half the cans on dsplay have a green background and a ring pull top, the others are yellow with no ring pull. Whatever the design, the contents of both tins are identical. The macaroni is easy to prepare as it is just a case of heating it up really. It takes 4 minutes in the microwave or 3-4 minutes on the hob. I had to use the microwave, which does mean you can heat it in the serving bowl if you want to. My boyfriend and I usually want to share a can and pour it over toast, and there is plenty enough in one tin for the both of us. If only one of us is eating at a time, then it is easy to keep the unused portion in the fridge, where it still tastes just as good the day after. I thought the sauce may dry out a bit but it doesn't. It is recommended you don't keep the macaroni beyond 48 hours of opening, but that has never been a problem for us.
The macaroni cheese is a pale yellow colour, and looks creamy. The pasta pieces are plump and are a good satisfying size. I prefer these to the ones in a Tesco version I have subsequantly tried because they are less chewy but at the same time they have some bite to them. The cheese sauce has a nice smooth texture, and a stronger and more authentic cheese taste than the Heinz one in my opinion. When I make my own, I make the sauce stronger still, and add mustard, but I still think that Sainsburys have done a good enough job at making a longer life product that tastes fresh. It also has the edge on Heinz because I thought the latter had a slightly salty aftertaste. I don't find that the Sainsbury's one does. It also has a relatively mild cheese scent on opening , but that seems to intensify pleasantly as it cooks. My favourite way to use left over macaroni cheese, which I have also tried with the tinned kind when I have access to an oven, is to turn it in to a crispy topped bake. This just involves tipping the macaroni into a oven dish, mixing in some chopped tomato and fried onion, and topping with breadcrumbs. You then bake or grill it until it's piping hot all the way through. The fact that the Sainsbury's canned macaroni has a good balance between sauce and pasta, means it works well like this. Some kinds are a bit too sloppy or dry.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste and texture of this. Nothing quite beats home made because you can tweak the recipe to suit you perfectly, but I will happily keep a can of this to hand for a lazy day, even when my kitchen gets restored! I was also pleased to see that the food is "only" rated orange in the traffic light system of labelling for healthy eating. I expected it to be "red", in other words, a product that was especially high in fat and unhealthy ingredients. Saturated fat is 3.7g per half can, and the calorie level is 211. Not a low fat food, but one that is better than I would expect a high cheese product to be. I would recommend you give this a try. It is the perfect thing to have on hand for a quick supper and it is very easy to prepare. At 65p it is also a bargain.
Summary: A decent tinned macaroni cheese at a good price
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