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Pantry Staples

Goodles is Proving Boxed Mac and Cheese Can Be Convenient, Clean and Completely Irresistible

You’re going to want to add Goodles’ nutrient-rich noodles to your pantry ASAP.

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Cracking open a blue box of packaged mac and cheese (you know the one) and whipping up a cheesy bowl of dinner in just a few minutes is a memory we all have from childhood. But when you head to the grocery store as an adult and search the shelves for an alternative that’s equally easy to make yet free of preservatives, additives and that not-at-all-natural brilliant orange “cheese” powder, it’s near impossible to find something that tastes just as good.

Well, that used to be the case. Now, Goodles is answering the call for a better-for-you mac and cheese that’s as healthy and clean as it is delicious. 

If you’ve been searching for a boxed product that can compete with that classic blue box but is truly good for you, Goodles is the answer. And when it comes to nutrition, these unique noodles serve up an impressive amount of vitamins, minerals and more.

Goodles is just like the boxed mac and cheese you grew up with, but even better

At first glance, Goodles is a totally fresh spin on your classic store-bought boxed mac and cheese. Brightly-colored and perfectly trendy, these aren’t the noodles you’ve seen before. And they were created by a powerhouse team that includes Gal Gadot (yep, Wonder Woman had a hand in these cheesy noodles!) and experts who have a combined 100-plus years of experience behind them. 

With a product lineup that includes classic yellow cheddar, creamy white cheddar shells and even a cacio e pepe pasta, Goodles is reinventing mac and cheese with extra-delicious flavor and a whole bunch of nutritious benefits in every bite.

Deb Luster, Chief Impact Officer and one of the founders of Goodles, shared just how the company achieved the perfect balance of exceptional yet familiar flavor and healthful nutrition. 

“We knew we wanted to make something healthier, but we weren’t exactly sure what that would look like,” Luster says. “It took a long time to figure out how to get the noodle right, the cheese right – and marrying them together is a whole ‘nother thing. We spent a lot of time with our partners to come up with the best combo of ingredients for the highest nutritional value.”

And if you’re wondering if Goodles is similar to the chewiness and nutty flavor of other nutrient- and plant-forward pastas (like those made with lentils or chickpeas), the taste is totally different. It’s almost hard to believe just how familiar and true to traditional noodles Goodles’ products are.

“We tried to push (the nutrition) farther, but it was too chewy, too protein-tasting,” Luster explains. “Delicious was our baseline. Protein, fiber and nutrients were extraordinarily important, but if we tasted it at all, we rolled it back.”

Flavor, texture and an easy cooking process were so important that Goodles enlisted the expertise of Molly Michet, a food scientist with over 25 years of experience. Michet perfected the noodles-and-cheese mixture, ensuring Goodles tasted and cooked like a traditional box of mac and cheese yet still delivered clean, delicious results on your dinner plate. 

Goodles boxes
(Photo: Goodles)

Every bite of Goodles is stuffed with good-for-you nutrients and ingredients

If you’ve ever ripped open a packet of the powdery cheese that comes inside a box of packaged mac and cheese, you’ve probably wondered just how many additives, preservatives and other unknown ingredients are mixed in. 

Grab a box of Goodles, though, and you’re getting only the good stuff – in fact, you’re getting better-for-you ingredients.

Instead of simply stuffing the noodles with synthetic ingredients and artificial extras, Goodles is a completely clean boxed mac and cheese. As Luster notes, “We’re the first mac and cheese to get the Clean Label Project’s Purity Award, which tests for over 400 contaminants. We knew we didn’t want anything artificial, and as few ingredients as possible.”

What you’ll find inside each box of Goodles is a whole lot of fiber and protein, first and foremost. Each one-cup serving packs 15 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber (prebiotic fiber, which is good for your gut!). But the benefits don’t end there. Take one look at the nutritional labels on this mac, and you’ll be pretty impressed by how many nutrients are packed into these little noodles. You’re getting a wealth of them, taking in anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of your daily recommended totals for all kinds of vitamins and minerals – including calcium, folate, zinc, iron and selenium.

But Goodles doesn’t simply stick veggies into its mac and cheese. “We tried loading it with veggies in the beginning,” Luster says, “but nobody wanted it. Now, we use a special blend of extracts from organic vegetables to get the nutrients in there.”

So while you might not actually be eating veggie-filled noodles, each spoonful – or spork-ful, if you’re using one of Goodles’ cool rainbow sporks – of this cheesy pasta is filled with the nutrients you’d get from organic vegetables. And who doesn’t want all those benefits plus real, filler-free cheese on top?

Why I’m making Goodles my go-to mac and cheese

Diving into a box of Goodles is just as familiar as any other easy-to-cook mac and cheese. Boil water, add your noodles and cook until al dente, drain (don’t rinse!) and mix in your butter, milk and cheese packet.

With all of the vitamins, fiber, minerals, protein and more included in each box of Goodles, it’s kind of hard to believe that it’s going to taste good. But after trying all four of Goodles’ current mac varieties, I’m here to tell you that it’s more than good. It’s boxed mac and cheese all grown up, with slightly more intriguing flavor profiles that perfectly suit adults. And when it comes to classic cheddar mac, I was blown away by how deliciously creamy, cheesy and familiar Goodles’ Cheddy Mac tastes. 

Whether you’re craving simple comfort food, need a quick yet easy dinner or have young picky eaters at home, Goodles checks all the boxes. You can cook a box in under 20 minutes, and each bite serves up filling fiber, protein and veggie extracts – and best of all, you can adapt and customize your mac and cheese as much as you’d like. I enjoyed the basic recipe included on the box, but you can jazz these good-for-you noodles up with veggies, your favorite non-dairy milk (or water in place of milk) and even meat. 

It’s important to note, though, that Goodles isn’t as affordable as your typical boxed mac and cheese. At $5.99 a box, it’s more expensive and will eat up more of your grocery budget. However, I found that I ate less of this mac than the popular competitor; the extra protein and fiber are pretty filling, and you can make each box go a bit farther. 

When you’re putting clean ingredients and health-forward nutrition at the top of your must-haves list, Goodles is well worth it. From taste to the super simple cooking process to the nutritional bang for your buck, this is a mac and cheese that delivers in every way.

If you’re ready to get your hands on a box of Goodles, you can shop the brand’s mac and cheese online and have it delivered right to your door.