Typically, chips and other treats stay strictly in the snack section of the supermarket. But every once in a while, snacks get an upgrade into “real” food. That’s what happened when we discovered Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese on store shelves and knew that we had to try this snack turned pasta dish — and we’re glad we did.
It’s nearly impossible to miss Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese ($.99) on the store shelf. For one thing, it’s packaged in an unmistakable orange box, much like the color of Cheetos themselves. Also, the image of Chester Cheetah about to sink his teeth into a big bite of the mac ‘n cheese is totally tempting, which is why a box (or four) will wind up in your shopping cart for you to take home and try. There are three flavors to choose from: Flamin’ Hot, Cheesy Jalapeno, and Bold & Cheesy, which we tried.
As for the prep of Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese, it’s very much like any other box of packaged dry macaroni and powdered cheese. The pasta goes into boiling water, where it will boil away for about seven minutes or so. Once drained (don’t rise the pasta, like, ever), you’ll add two tablespoons of butter or margarine and let it melt. Once incorporated, you’ll pour in ¼ cup of milk and the seasoning packet (read: the cheese).
Oh, the cheese. We must talk about the cheese, which the box says is “authentic Cheetos cheesiness”. If by that they mean the insanely bright orange colored cheese that we all know and love, then yes, it’s very authentic. Still, when you rip open the seasoning packet to shake it out, the color (which is identical to traditional Cheetos) can be quite shocking at first. It’s that bright.
But how does it taste? Well, if you ever wondered what it would be like to eat Cheetos-flavored pasta, the Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese is all that — and more. It takes a minute to get used to the soft texture (as opposed to the crazy crunch of traditional Cheetos). But once you do, well, you might wonder how you ever made a kid’s meal (or adult, really) without it.
Sure, there might be healthier ways of making mac and cheese. But then you’d be missing out on the fun (and fab flavor) that is Cheetos Mac ‘N Cheese, which is truly a mealtime marvel.