Is Costco mac & cheese good? Costco Mac and Cheese (AKA Kirkland Signature Macaroni and Cheese) is hard not to love! It’s easy to make, perfectly creamy, and topped with delicious cheddar cheese. Get Costco mac and cheese cooking instructions, nutrition info, reheating directions, and more in this Costco mac and cheese review. Plus, learn about other Costco Mac n Cheese options, like Kraft cups, and the popular Costco mac and cheese tub!
Does Costco sell prepared mac and cheese? Yes! You can find pre-made mac and cheese in the deli section of Costco.
It’s the best. I was truly surprised at how good the mac and cheese at Costco is. This is no Kraft dinner mac and cheese (though Costco sells that too, if you want it).
The directions on the Costco Mac and Cheese bake packaging are a bit vague. I’ve got a more specific Costco Mac and Cheese recipe for you here. In addition, you’ll also get reheating instructions and how to cook Costo macaroni and cheese from frozen.
- 🧀 Costco Mac and Cheese Review
- 🍝 How long do you bake Costco Mac and Cheese?
- 📋 Costco Mac and Cheese Calories
- 🥤 Costco Mac and Cheese Cups
- 🥘 Costco Mac and Cheese Tub
- 🔪 Costco Mac and Cheese Tray Price
- ❓ Costco Mac and Cheese Ingredients
- ⭐ Costco Mac and Cheese Nutrition
- 🤔 How many people does Costco Mac and Cheese serve?
- 🥶 Can I freeze Costco mac n cheese?
- ⏲ Can you put frozen Costco mac and cheese in the oven?
- 🌡 How long can Costco mac and cheese stay in fridge?
- 😋 How to make Costco Mac and Cheese better?
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 More Costco Reviews
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
🧀 Costco Mac and Cheese Review
Kirkland Signature Mac and Cheese is located in the prepared foods or deli section at Costco. At the Costco near me, this is all the way at the back of the store.
Kirkland Mac and Cheese comes in a large plastic tray and weigh 3.5-4.5 lbs. (1.59-2 kg). My biggest complaint about this product is that it doesn’t come in an oven-safe tray. This means you need to transfer your food to a baking dish before cooking.
This may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re looking for convenient options, dirtying one more dish doesn’t help. Once you put it in a metal baking pan, all that’s left is covering in foil and baking.
I’ve got to say, I wasn’t expecting much with this one, but I thought it tasted amazing. I know taste is a subjective measure, but this was creamy, not too salty, and the pasta to cheese ratio was just right. I’d be happy to use this as a side dish or even a meat-free main dish when I’m too tired to cook.
🍝 How long do you bake Costco Mac and Cheese?
Costco recommends baking their mac and cheese tray for 40-60 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C). I found that baking it for 40 minutes was sufficient.
To make this Costco mac and cheese recipe, you need an 8x8-inch metal pan (20.3x20.3 cm), aluminum foil, and a meat thermometer. You’ll also need cooking spray and the tray of mac and cheese (of course).
Here are the instructions for baking Costco mac and cheese:
- Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Spray a metal baking pan with cooking oil spray and place it on a dark baking sheet.
- Place half the mac and cheese in the pan. (If you want to cook it all at once, you’ll need a larger pan, perhaps 9x12 inches.)
- You need to cover the pan with foil. To keep the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the mac and cheese from sticking to the foil, spray the underside of the foil. Then you can cover the mac and cheese and put it in the oven.
- Bake the mac and cheese at 400F on an oven rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven. It’s done when it reaches an internal temp of 165F (74C). Use a meat thermometer to check and add cooking time as needed. My mac and cheese took 40 minutes.
- Alternatively, make air fryer Costco mac and cheese! After covering with foil, bake for 30 minutes at 400F (200C) in the air fryer oven instead of 40 minutes. Add time if the food isn’t at a safe temp yet.
📋 Costco Mac and Cheese Calories
One cup of Costco Wholesale Deli Mac & Cheese provides 270 calories. Note that nutrition information on Costco deli items is not on the packaging and is difficult to source.
🥤 Costco Mac and Cheese Cups
If you don’t want the deli mac and cheese, Costco has other options, like Kraft Easy Mac and Cheese Cups. Costco Easy Mac comes in a package of 12 2.05 oz cups, and costs $11.39 (price may vary by location and is subject to change).
With this product, your mac and cheese is ready in under 5 minutes. Just add water to the cup up to the fill line, microwave for 3.5 minutes, and stir in the cheese sauce mix.
This product is great for the kids and adults who want a snack now. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Kraft cups taste as good as the refrigerated mac and cheese. That said, they’re useful for snacking emergencies or when you simply can’t make it to the store.
Aside from the Kraft mac and cheese cups, you can also find other types of mac and cheese at Costco. For example, they usually offer Kraft Macaroni & Cheese dinner, the blue box mac and cheese that comes with cheese powder. Right now, they have 18 box packages (7.25 oz per box) for $18.49.
I’ve also seen Annie’s Organic mac and cheese at Costco, as well as a fancy truffle macaroni and cheese. I did not see either of those on my last visit.
This time, I noticed lobster macaroni and cheese (likely a seasonal item) and Beecher’s World’s Best Mac and Cheese. Beecher’s is a frozen mac and cheese that comes in a 46-ounce package. This vegetarian mac & cheese is highly rated, touting itself as coming from Seattle’s Pike Place Market and NYC’s Flatiron District.
Mac and Cheese Kraft Directions
If you lost your packaging, here’s how to make boxed Costco Kraft mac and cheese:
- Boil the pasta on the stovetop for 7-8 minutes. Drain.
- Add the cheese mix, 4 tablespoons butter, and ¼ cup milk to the pasta. Mix well to dissolve the cheese mix and melt the butter, and enjoy.
🥘 Costco Mac and Cheese Tub
Did you know you could get a 26 lb. 10 oz. Costco Mac and Cheese bucket at one point? The Chef’s Banquet macaroni and cheese bucket is no longer available online or at my local store. The 27-pound buckets each contained enough elbow macaroni and cheddar cheese mix for 180 servings!
Unless you’re a caterer, you probably don’t need a tub of mac and cheese that big. However, one of the big selling points is that you can use it for long-term emergency storage. The pasta can last up to 20 years, while the cheese sauce can last up to 10 years.
Costco online currently offers other emergency foods by brands such as Nutristore, Omeals, Nutrient Survival, Augason Farms, and Mountain House. Offerings change often, so perhaps they’ll bring their macaroni and cheese bucket back in the future.
🔪 Costco Mac and Cheese Tray Price
How much does Costco mac and cheese cost? At the time of writing, Costco mac and cheese costs $3.49 per pound, or about $13-15 per package. Prices are subject to change and may vary by location.
❓ Costco Mac and Cheese Ingredients
Here is the ingredients list for Costco mac and cheese from the prepared foods section:
- Cavatappi pasta (water, enriched durum semolina flour)
- Alfredo sauce (cream, milk, water, butter, Romano & Parmesan cheese, enriched flour, corn starch, salt, corn oil, olive oil, cream powder, sugar, yeast extract, natural flavors, garlic, cultured dextrose, xanthan gum, black pepper, spice, natural antimicrobial, annatto extract)
- Shredded cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzyme, annatto for color, natamycin- a natural mold inhibitor)
OK, so basically 3 simple ingredients. Haha
Seriously though, the magic flavor in this dish is definitely coming from the alfredo sauce. (So much cheese and other dairy goodness packed in there!) Also, this definitely counts as an ultra-processed food.
⭐ Costco Mac and Cheese Nutrition
Here is the nutrition info for Costco mac and cheese (1 cup serving):
- Calories: 270
- Total fat: 14g
- Saturated fat: 9g
- Cholesterol: 45mg
- Sodium: 420mg
- Total carbohydrate: 22g
- Fiber: less than 1g
- Net carbs: 22g
- Total sugar: 2g
- Protein: 14g
- Vitamin A: 8% DV
- Vitamin C: 0% DV
- Thiamin: 15% DV
- Riboflavin: 15% DV
- Niacin: 8% DV
- Folate: 20% DV
- Iron: 6% DV
- Calcium: 30% DV
Costco deli mac and cheese is a high fat, high carb food that does not fit vegan, low carb, or keto diets. You may be able to find Costco cauliflower mac and cheese at some locations (Nature’s Intent brand). The cauli mac and cheese is gluten free, vegetarian, and keto-friendly.
Is Costco mac and cheese vegetarian?
Costco mac and cheese is meat-free but may not be vegetarian. This product has “enzyme” in the ingredients list for its cheeses. This may or may not include rennet, an animal derived ingredient produced from the stomach of animals.
You can find a take and bake Costco vegan mac and cheese at select Costco locations. This product will of course also be vegetarian. Banza mac and cheese is offered at Costco Canada, and this is another vegetarian option.
Does Costco mac and cheese have eggs?
At the time of writing, the Costco mac and cheese from the deli does not contain eggs. Please note that recipes can change, and it’s important to check the label before buying the product if you need egg-free. Costco mac and cheese is made in a facility that processes eggs, and cross-contact may occur.
Is Costco mac and cheese gluten free?
Costco mac and cheese contains wheat noodles and is not gluten free. Also, it is made in a facility with other wheat-containing foods.
🤔 How many people does Costco Mac and Cheese serve?
Costco Mac and Cheese feeds how many? Costco lists about 10 servings per package. Realistically, I think Costco mac and cheese from the deli serves 4-6 as an entrée or 6-8 as a side dish.
🥶 Can I freeze Costco mac n cheese?
Yes, Costco mac and cheese can be frozen. The covered plastic container can be placed directly in the freezer for short-term storage. Use a freezer-safe container, vacuum sealed bag, or in a freezer storage bag with the air pressed out for longer-term storage.
⏲ Can you put frozen Costco mac and cheese in the oven?
Yes, you can cook Costco mac and cheese from frozen. Put the contents of half the tray in a metal baking pan, and cover with foil. Place the pan on a dark cookie sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 400F (200C) for 60 minutes.
You can check to make sure it heated properly with a meat thermometer. It should reach a minimum safe internal temp of 165F (74C).
🌡 How long can Costco mac and cheese stay in fridge?
Keep Costco mac and cheese for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. If you know you won’t eat it all in that timeframe, put the mac and cheese in the freezer.
Can you reheat Costco mac and cheese?
Yes! You can reheat Costco mac and cheese in the microwave. Put the chilled portion in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and microwave for 2 minutes on high. All microwaves are different, so you may need to adjust the microwave time based on your appliance.
😋 How to make Costco Mac and Cheese better?
You have several options to make Costco’s mac and cheese better. Try making it in a smoker, as I demonstrated in my smoked mac and cheese recipe. You can also experiment with toppings such as crumbled bacon, caramelized onion, and chives.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Costco mac and cheese is a highly processed food packed with carbs and fat with a moderate amount of protein. It’s high in saturated fat, but an excellent source of calcium and folate, and a good source of thiamin and riboflavin.
You may find it’s easy to eat an excessive amount of calories of mac and cheese (I know I do!). To balance out the meal a bit more, I’d serve some other food groups with Costco mac and cheese. The grains and dairy group are definitely covered here.
What I’d add to make it a meal are protein group foods and veggies. You could add a fresh garden salad and some air fryer rotisserie chicken, for example. The idea is to add more protein, fiber, and low-calorie volume to the meal to help keep you full.
If you want to make a less processed Costco mac and cheese copycat, it's easy to do. Mix your favorite cooked pasta with alfredo sauce, and top with cheddar cheese. Use a homemade alfredo (or health food store brand) that fits with your preferred way of eating.
Yes, you can microwave Costco mac and cheese. Place your portion in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes on high, or until a safe temp of 165F (74C) is reached.
Yes, you can heat Costco mac and cheese in a slow cooker. Butter or oil the crockpot insert and put the mac and cheese inside. Cover and heat on low until the minimum safe temp of 165F (74C) is reached, stirring occasionally.
Costco mac and cheese is cooked, with uncooked shredded cheese on top. That said, it should be reheated to 165F (74C), per Costco’s directions and the USDA recommendation for reheating leftovers.
Costco has a recipe for making mac and cheese balls using their Kraft mac n cheese here. If you’d like an even easier option, these Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese bites are absolutely divine.
👩🏻🍳 More Costco Reviews
Want to make the most of your Costco membership? Don’t miss these other reviews for Costco foods:
- How to Cook Costco Pork Belly
- Costco Cauliflower Rice
- Stuffed Peppers from Costco
- Costco Spanakopita
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All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Costco Mac and Cheese (Kirkland Mac n Cheese Recipe and Review)
- 1 tray Costco mac and cheese
- cooking spray of choice
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Spray a metal baking pan with cooking oil spray and place it on a dark baking sheet.
- Place half the mac and cheese in the pan. (If you want to cook it all at once, you’ll need a larger pan, perhaps 9x12 inches.)
- Cover the pan with foil. To keep the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the mac and cheese from sticking to the foil, spray the underside of the foil. Then cover the mac and cheese and put it in the oven.
- Bake the mac and cheese at 400°F on an oven rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven. It’s done when it reaches an internal temp of 165°F (74°C). Use a meat thermometer to check and add cooking time as needed. My mac and cheese took 40 minutes.
- From frozen: Bake the Costco mac and cheese for 60 minutes instead of 40.
How long to cook FROZEN Costco Mac and cheese in crockpot? Which temp setting should the crockpot be on? Butter the crockpot first?
Summer Yule says
Hi KH, I haven't tried this, but I would experiment by buttering or oiling the crockpot and cooking the frozen mac and cheese on low for 4-5 hours. For food safety, the mac and cheese should be >140F within 2 hours, and I'd turn the heat up to high for a bit if it's not getting there. Also, I'm thinking it might benefit from a good stir occasionally, especially if you have one of the oval crockpots where food tends to get burned on the edges. I'd love to hear if you try it, and good luck!