Price: $46 for 12 microwavable cups on Amazon ($3.83 each)
Nutrition per package: 410 Calories, 11g Fat, 57g Carbs, 20g Protein
Muscle Mac makes high-protein mac & cheese, and if you’re judging a book by its cover, it looks very much like Kraft mac & cheese.
For this review, I tried a regular box of Muscle Mac, along with the microwavable cup, because those are the types of mac & cheese I grew up with. Muscle Mac does have different variations as well:
If you’re a fan of white cheddar, you can go that route, but I knew that would not be the flavor for me, so I didn’t try it for this review.
Muscle Mac Nutrition
This mac & cheese is advertised as having fewer carbs and more protein than regular mac & cheese, but is it a significant difference?
Let’s look at the microwavable cup to find out.
Each microwavable cup of Muscle Mac is 3.6oz, which is comparable to Kraft’s “Big Cup” which weighs in at 4oz.
As you can see, the calories are very comparable, but the big differences are indeed in the carbs and protein.
Muscle Mac contains a bit more fat than Kraft, which helps to bring the overall carbs down.
In terms of protein, Muscle Mac contains about 50% more protein than Kraft. 20 grams of protein is great, but is it a huge upgrade over the 13 grams of protein in Kraft mac & cheese?
Personally, I don’t find 7 grams to be a significant difference. But if you struggle to eat enough protein, small upgrades like this can really make a difference over the course of an entire day.
Are 7 grams of extra protein worth the cost?
At first, I thought that Muscle Mac was a waste of money considering each microwavable cup costs nearly $4. However, the issue is that I was comparing this to a small microwavable cup of Kraft, which is almost half the size of these cups.
When I checked the price of Kraft Big Cups, they sell for about $3 each, so the difference in price is not actually substantial.
Muscle Mac Taste
We’ve established that Muscle Mac is an upgrade over Kraft in the nutrition department, and the price is surprisingly comparable, so it all comes down to taste.
How does Muscle Mac compare to regular mac & cheese?
To me, they’re identical in taste.
In fact, if I did a blind taste test, I don’t believe I would ever be able to tell the difference. Both the microwavable cup and box mac & cheese (which is prepared with butter and milk, just like regular mac & cheese) taste exactly the way I’d hoped and expect, and the texture is also identical.
With most high-protein foods, there’s usually some kind of aftertaste or strange overall flavor, but that is not the case here.
If I had to choose only one, I’d stick with the microwavable cups over the box. They both taste great, but I love the ease of just adding water versus having to measure out milk and butter.
If I had one complaint, it would be that Muscle Mac doesn’t come in fun shapes the same way Kraft does, but that’s being pretty nitpicky (although if they were Spongebob-shaped, these would immediately be a 10/10 for me).
Otherwise, Muscle Mac is a real winner.
You’ll have to decide whether or not the relatively small amount of extra protein is worth the higher price tag for you, but if you’re struggling to get enough protein into your diet, this Muscle Mac may just be a great way to sneak in some additional protein.