Progresso Meal Starters: Mac and Cheese

I was so excited to try the new meal starters from Progresso.  A friend of mine recommended them to me saying that she uses them pretty regularly for chicken and pastas.  I picked up the Creamy Three Cheese Cooking Sauce at my local grocery.  I was torn between that and the Roasted Garlic but mac and cheese is always a crowd pleaser so that's what I went with.

When you tear the label off the Recipe Starter there is a recipe inside to get you started (hee hee).  The Three Cheese Cooking Sauce comes with a recipe for bacon mac and cheese that I decided to use.

I followed the recipe (subbing in a half low carb pasta, half cauliflower mix for regular pasta) to a tee.  After I finished cooking everything I felt like the sauce was a little runny.  Or a lot runny, like cheesy cream or something.  I know that there are different palates for mac and cheese out there but the awesome boyfriend and I like ours to have more of a baked consistency and less of a goopy cheese consistency.  

I added a couple of slices of Velveeta to the pot, along with several hand fulls of shredded cheddar and kept stirring until the mix reached a consistency that I felt like I could work with.  I added the pasta/cauliflower mix and the cheese mixture to a large glass baking dish and then topped the whole thing with a little more shredded cheddar cheese.  

I put the whole thing in the oven for whatever the recommended cooking time and temperature was and we came out with a mac and cheese dish that wasn't a total fail.  I would say it was above average, but not as good as some of my other mac and cheese recipes.  

Serve with Texas Pete, of course.  
You can see in the picture that the sauce was so goopy that the pasta sort of floated to the top and middle.  The cauliflower did not and so there was not an even spread of cauliflower, pasta, and cheese.  

The main reason I didn't love this product was that it didn't do anything to make this dinner easier.  I was looking for a miracle mac and cheese base and I just didn't get it.  If I was going to make mac and cheese without the recipe starter I would have combined sour cream, Velveeta, and shredded cheddar for the sauce, and I had to do that anyway to get the starter to the consistency I wanted.  

The friend that recommended the starters to me in the first place says that the Roasted Garlic and the Tomato are both great, so I may give them another crack.  But for now I'm calling this one a fail, Progresso.  Skip the can and just make your cheese sauce from scratch.  It's not that complicated, and it will be worth it.  

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