Although I’m not someone who craves cheese, I was smitten with Field Roast Chao Slices at first nibble. This vegan cheese alternative held its own when eaten cold or melted, and had a satisfying umami quality. So I was excited to find out that Field Roast had used their Creamy Original and Tomato Cayenne flavors to make two varieties of Mac ‘n Chao!
Field Roast Mac ‘n Chao is a Cheesy Vegan Freezer Meal
Mac ‘n Chao is a frozen vegan mac & cheese alternative. It’s a heat and serve meal with directions for both the microwave and the oven. Each 11-ounce box is a very light serving for two people, or a hefty pasta serving for one.
Creamy Mac ‘n Chao
If you like Chao Creamy Original Vegan Cheese Slices, then you’ll love the flavor of this dairy-free mac and cheese dinner. The sauce is made simply with their slices, but kicked up a notch in flavor. It’s also very lightly spicy, due to a dash of hot sauce. I’ve moved my review to a formal review and rating below. While we thought they nailed the flavor, the pasta doesn’t cook nicely from frozen.
Ingredients: enriched flour (durum flour, wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), filtered water, creamy original chao slices [coconut oil, modified potato starch, fermented chao tofu (soybeans, sesame oil, calcium sulfate), sea salt, natural flavor, olive extract, beta carotene], nutritional yeast, modified corn starch, hot sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt) and spices.
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving / half container): 220 calories, 7g fat, 34g carbs, 1g fiber, 0g sugars (includes 0g added sugars), 5g protein.*
Chili Mac ‘n Chao
If you’re craving more flavor, then I recommend this dairy-free mac and cheese alternative, which is made with a combination of Chao Creamy Original and Tomato Cayenne Slices. It’s spiked with a with a very small smattering of pinto beans and Field Roast vegan burger bits. The pasta suffers the same “from frozen” issues when cooked, but perhaps you can find the optimal reheating method.
Ingredients: creamy original and tomato cayenne chao slices [coconut oil, modified potato starch, fermented chao tofu (soybeans, sesame oil, calcium sulfate), sea salt, natural flavor, olive extract, beta carotene, tomato juice, green and red dried bell peppers, cayenne pepper and paprika extract], filtered water, enriched flour (durum flour, wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), fieldburger (vital wheat gluten, organic expeller pressed palm fruit oil, barley, garlic, expeller pressed safflower oil, onions, tomato paste, celery, carrots, naturally flavored yeast extract, onion powder, barley malt, sea salt, celery seed, black pepper), pinto beans (pinto beans, salt), modified corn starch, hot sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt) and spices.
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving / half container): 220 calories, 7g fat, 33g carbs, 2g fiber, 0g sugars (includes 0g added sugars), 8g protein.*
The Facts on Mac ‘n Chao
Price: $5.99 per 11-ounce frozen meal.
Availability: Mac ‘n Chao is available in the freezer section of stores in the United States (and possibly Canada). Look for it at Target, Albertson’s, Safeway, and Sprouts stores.
Certifications: Mac ‘n Chao is Certified Vegan.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, Mac ‘n Chao is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.*
For More Product Information: Visit the Field Roast website at fieldroast.com.
*Always read the ingredient and nutrition statement prior to consumption. Ingredients, processes, and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company or product. Contact the company to discuss their manufacturing processes if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. No food product can be guaranteed “safe” for every individual’s needs. You should never rely on ingredient and allergen statements alone if dealing with a severe food allergy.
Like the Sauce, Pasta doesn't Cook Nicely
I liked the flavor of the Creamy Original Mac ‘n Chao, which is basically Chao Cheese Slices melted over pasta with a light kick of hot sauce. But I do think this freezer format is tricky. I tried different cooking methods, but each time, the cheesy sauce became a little thick, greasy and clumpy, with a bit of separation. After some stirring, it was more visually appealing and the sauce was tasty, but the noodles still cooked in a rather spotty fashion. Some dried out, some broke and were mushy, and some turned out perfectly tender. I think this would be better as a shelf-stable mac and cheese with dried noodles that you cook, and a prepared sauce that you squeeze on.
We had the same issue with the Chili variety. The tomato-y, spicy, cheesy sauce flavor was quite delicious, and it melted well, but the noodles were very dry or very mushy in spots. And I would have loved a double helping of FieldBurger and pinto beans to “beef” this up to two servings. It’s rather sparse.
The Best One
This was the best vegan mac and cheese we’ve tried, hands-down. It had none of the powerful fake cheese smell and taste of other brands.
convenient and tasty
I like both products. Just can’t find anything wrong with them. Good flavor, filling and so convenient. Buy them whenever I can find them. Glad Chao makes them. Thanx!
Not classic American mac
Consistency, texture and appearance is appealing. However is doesnt taste like classic American Mac cheese. It has like a sour goat cheese taste that is off putting.
I would call this food network bougie mac.
I had the chili mac and chao and the flavor was disgusting. not only that I basically felt like I was eating mac and cheese with pinto beans in it. was a weird combination. these are gross, smell funny and taste funny. come on field roast 🙁
I just tried the chili mac and I was pretty disappointed. There were like ten beans and exactly one piece of Field Roast in the one I purchased. And I had the same issue with the noodles – some super mushy and some so brittle I couldn’t eat them. Shucks, I love the slices but I probably won’t purchase the mac & chao again.
This is our favorite dairy-free cheese, so I feel like there’s potential here. I hope they work out the kinks.
Definitely! The flavor is there 🙂