Costco’s Kirkland Signature Macaroni & Cheese is Disappointing

costoc's kirkland signature macaroni and cheese On a recent trip to Costco my husband picked up some of their Kirkland Signature Macaroni & Cheese.  He wanted to try it since it’s one of their new products.  For the most part, we like the Kirkland Signature brand so thought what the heck, lets get it.

Can we say yuck-o-rama?  Barf?  Ick? Or, no thanks, I’ll have bread and butter tonight.

OK, it’s not THAT bad, but it doesn’t come anywhere NEAR close to Kraft’s macaroni and cheese.

Then again, homemade is the absolute best in my opinion.

But if you’re not in the mood or don’t have time to make it from scratch, boxed macaroni will do once in a while.

This was the case with tonight’s dinner.  I had a serious case of laziness and didn’t want to make dinner at all.

But my daughter was hungry. Hence, the macaroni and cheese, which was suggested by her.

Upon our first bite, we could instantly tell this wasn’t a quality product at all.

The noodles were flat and the cheese was VERY bland.  Even after adding some salt, which I almost never add to anything, it still tasted really bland.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend Costco’s Kirkland Signature Macaroni & Cheese unless you are looking to save a buck or two or as my daughter just said, “Buy it if you don’t have any taste buds!”  HA HA HA!!!

LESSON LEARNED:  Stick with Kraft or homemade macaroni and cheese.

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48 Responses to “Costco’s Kirkland Signature Macaroni & Cheese is Disappointing”

  1. HB — October 22, 2009 @ 7:21 PM (#

    I agree! The Kirkland Signature brand Macaroni & Cheese doesn’t taste nearly as good as Kraft. I won’t be buying it again. It seems a bit granular (not as creamy) and I’m not sure that they did themselves a favor by trying to make the noodles more al dente. It tasted better after adding onion and garlic powder, or blue cheese. And, a huge dissapointment for me is that it has Autolyzed Yeast Extract which is the same as MSG. I thought Kirkland brands tended to be “all natural” but I was wrong! 🙁


    • MsWonka replied: — October 22nd, 2009 @ 7:57 PM

      I called my daughter’s school today to see if they want it for their next food drive and they said yes. The local food bank will take it as well. I hear Annie’s Mac n’ Cheese is good and also sold at Costco. I’ll have to try that brand. Thanks for your input!

  2. blip — November 6, 2009 @ 12:36 AM (#

    I absolutely don’t agree and think it tastes great! +1 for Costco Mac ‘n Cheese!


    • MsWonka replied: — November 6th, 2009 @ 6:01 PM

      Really? Wow! Well enjoy the boxes you bought at Costco then. Have a great day! 🙂

  3. Joe — January 2, 2010 @ 8:23 PM (#

    Our family returned the mac n cheese to Costco. The one box we had was so bad, we didn’t even want to donate the other boxes to charity. I love Costco and most of the Kirland signature products, but the Mac n’ cheese is tasteless. Their facial tissue is also not nearly as good as Kleenex… but that’s another topic.


    • MsWonka replied: — January 2nd, 2010 @ 11:24 PM

      HA! It isn’t just us then! Good to know we aren’t the only ones who didn’t care for Costco’s Macaroni and Cheese! IT SUCKED!!!

  4. Jaimie — January 3, 2010 @ 10:17 AM (#

    I think it tastes a lot better than the Kraft one…it’s odd to see so many people disappointed in the Kirkland brand. From what I’ve thought of the taste, it tastes like its actual cheese on your pasta rather than powder you add water too! That’s why I like the Kirkland one. Maybe we’re all just so used to the Kraft one we don’t know better?!


    • MsWonka replied: — January 3rd, 2010 @ 1:03 PM

      Well, it’s just everyone’s opinions is all. Actually, homemade macaroni and cheese tastes a heck of a lot better than any of the processed mac and cheeses. You may be right, everyone is used to the Kraft brand, but again, the VERY noticeable chemical taste that the Kirkland brand has instantly grossed my daughter and I out. ICK-A-RONI!

  5. Bryant — January 5, 2010 @ 4:34 AM (#

    Did Kirkland run a survey and find out that the majority of people like sand in their mac & cheese? I didn’t mind the taste (although it’s akin to eating a battery) so much as I did the texture. When I made it the first time, I thought was my fault it turned out grainy, since I had prepared the “light” version of their recipe. 3 days later, I prepared it w/ butter and found that there wasn’t much difference at all. I always considered Kirkland signature products to be very close to popular brands but their mac & cheese has opened my eyes. I will not be buying this product again.


    • MsWonka replied: — January 6th, 2010 @ 5:08 PM

      Yip and the noodles are flat and too soft. ICK!!! I wonder if they still make it or if there are getting complaints left and right?

  6. Lola — January 10, 2010 @ 11:57 AM (#

    I was searching this product after trying it for the first time… I just knew after tasting it there had to be other people out there that thought it was a horrid as I did… the noodles were yuck and the barfy cheese sause…. is something unexplainable. My kids never refuse Mac and Cheese (any brand) this one they ate about three bites and my son said “hey ma, can you get your money back?” LOL. I didnt even say I thougth it was gross… I let him decide on his own. Anyway I was trying to find out if costco will take the remander back and refund… we only used 1 box!!


    • MsWonka replied: — January 10th, 2010 @ 1:23 PM

      Hi Lola! Thanks for the laugh. I did the same thing with my daughter, let her decide. I was trying to hide my initial reaction when i took the first bite, but my daughter soon took hr bite and said what I was already thinking.


      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on Costco’s Kirkland Signature Macaroni & Cheese. Too funny!

  7. Rich — January 21, 2010 @ 10:48 AM (#

    My Costco didn’t have any of the Kraft M&C so I bought the Kirkland brand. I make my M&C in the microwave and found the noodles to be just fine, but the cheese definitely mixed in and tasted different than the Kraft I was used to (was more tangy). I had to think carefully of what the taste difference was and whether it was a bad thing or not… since my initial knee-jerk was “this is not what I expected”.

    My opinion stands differently than the negative comments after actually comparing the taste of Kirkland and Kraft side by side with some real cheese. I found that extra “bite” or “tang” in the Kirkland is exactly what I experience in a good cheddar cheese block. Aesthetically, the Kraft is superior with it’s goopy-creamy texture, but Kirkland is fine as far as I’m concerned since my own homemade mac and cheese doesn’t cover like the Kraft instant anyway… and I’ll take it any day over that lame Velveeta stuff.

    Sorry some of you couldn’t get past the taste difference, but the battery acid accusation was a little far fetched. I really feel like this is a case of something tasting different than you expected rather than it really being a bad product. Different does not equal bad, repulsive equals bad.


    P.S. I did blind taste test with 3 people who loved the Kirkland M&C. One adult and 2 kids. One of the kids actually asked if it was home made!… funny.


    • MsWonka replied: — January 22nd, 2010 @ 1:26 PM

      Hi Rich! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to tell us your observations about Costco’s Kirkland Signature Macaroni & Cheese. 🙂

      I think what it boils down to is everyone’s taste buds are different. I did, however, find your comment about how people are “used to” a certain flavor. That is very interesting and I’m sure very true.

      I still feel the same way though – Costco’s Mac n Cheese is just nasty. I don’t know what we did with our boxes we didn’t eat (we only tried the one box, so had lots left over, of course, since Costco sells huge quanities). Oh, that’s right, my husband took them to work and gave them away. 🙂

      • Andrew replied: — March 26th, 2011 @ 6:38 PM

        I think Kirkland may have 2 different mac and cheese products. The mac and cheese I bought at costco didn’t come in a box, and tasted like Rich described. It tasted as if it had real cheese on it, like it were homemade.

        The mac and cheese I bought also did not look anything like kraft mac and cheese either.

  8. Greg — January 27, 2010 @ 12:22 PM (#

    If you’re near a Safeway, for a nice alternative to Kraft, try Safeway Organic Alfredo Macaroni & Cheese


    • MsWonka replied: — January 27th, 2010 @ 8:00 PM

      Thanks Greg! I’ll have to check out the Safeway version. There’s a Safeway just outside of our neighborhood. How cool is that! Safeway Macaroni and Cheese here I come!!! HAHAHAHA!!!

  9. Aunt LoLo — January 28, 2010 @ 10:16 AM (#

    HA! I came here hoping to get ideas…and all I found was agreement. LOL

    I MADE IT TASTE GOOD! I think I should get an award. 😉

    When the pasta was nearly done, I threw in some broccoli. When the broccoli was done, I drained it all. To finish: melt in a small pat of butter, then throw in two handfuls of grated cheddar, one big spoonful of ricotta cheese, two splashes of milk (don’t you love how exact I am? ;-)) and the cheese packet. Stir well and serve. It’s awesome!


    • MsWonka replied: — January 28th, 2010 @ 7:59 PM

      Hi Aunt LoLo! What a GREAT way to disguise the taste of Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand of Macaroni and Cheese. If I didn’t have to buy another butt load of that macaroni and cheese, I’d try your “recipe”. I love ricotta cheese too! Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

  10. the lonly goffer — February 13, 2010 @ 9:51 PM (#

    this mac n cheese is the hot dog of this centurys oboma. If anything this is an understatement this mac n cheese is the thing lucy in the sky was always dreaming of.


    • MsWonka replied: — February 14th, 2010 @ 1:51 PM

      Interesting comparison you have there. I still can’t stand Costco’s Mac ‘n Cheese. ICK!

      Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Beau Beauchamp — April 10, 2010 @ 4:59 PM (#

    Kirkland Signature Mac & Cheese is absolutely DISGUSTING. They should have taste-tested this tripe before putting it on the shelf. I’m VERY DISAPPOINTED Costco put their name on this crap. 😛


    • MsWonka replied: — April 11th, 2010 @ 8:07 AM

      You took the words right out of my mouth and said EXACTLY what I meant, but in fewer words. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the laugh. I AGREE!!!

  12. John Teichman — April 19, 2010 @ 1:39 PM (#

    Costco should be ashamed to have their name on this junk… I too thought after 30+ years of making Mac & Cheese that I “must have done something wrong” when I made the first box… my 9 yr old son took a few bites and was done with it… this has to be one of the worst things I have bought from Costco… oddly enough, I did not buy this to “save money” I bought it because of the “Kirkland” brand since I had luck with their other items… not so here… if you want to save big money on a better product, Aldi stores have a “preimum” mac and cheese which is priced less and is a better product than the craft or velveta products…


  13. Beau Beauchamp — April 20, 2010 @ 4:18 AM (#

    I was just in our local Costco (Orlando, FL) yesterday. The Kirkland Signature mac & cheese was nowhere to be found but we did see some massive palates of Kraft Mac & Cheese Dinner! Seems the top brass as Costco got the message that their brand was just junk. I still have some of those boxes of Costco mac & cheese. They’re probably headed for the trash. I wouldn’t even give this crap to a foodbank, it’s THAT bad!


    • MsWonka replied: — April 24th, 2010 @ 9:21 AM

      YAHOO!!! Glad they listened! Get that tasteless crap out of Costco!!!

  14. Andre — May 31, 2010 @ 10:16 PM (#

    I’m normally like Kirkland products. My sister picked me up a case of Kirkland Mac & Cheese from Costco. The first box I made I realized I didn’t have any milk after beginning to cook the noodles, so proceeded making it with water in place of milk thinking “it couldn’t be that bad”. I forced every last bite down as I hate to waste and was hungry anyway. Second box I figured the water is why it was so terrible the first time around. Made it per instructions, again I was seriously disappointed, tasted like I was eating boiled cardboard noodles. This was the third box tonight and I’m staring at the last two remaining bites wondering if I can hold the rest down, yes, it’s really that bad. I’ve been asking my sister to return it, there is a satisfaction guarantee on the box, but for over a month I’ve been forgetting to take it to her house and I doubt she has the receipt. I think I’ll still take it back to Costco with or without a receipt, it’s Kirkland brand, where else would they think I bought it? I’ll shove this garbage down their throats and see how long they can hold it down. I was really wondering if maybe I somehow got a box from a bad production run but after reading the comments here it seems thats the way it was designed. I could probably make something that you couldn’t distinguish the difference from Kirklands Mac & Cheese by blending cardboard and water to a thick liquid, dry it and extrude it into the shape of noodles and the cheese… Just smelling the cheese packet makes me nauseous, I just can’t describe the smell but it’s terrible, as someone else stated like a battery or something, just disgusting, as if the noodles weren’t bad enough the cheese just does it in. I’ll definitely be putting in a claim for that satisfaction guarantee. I couldn’t bring myself to give this crap to those food drives, even they don’t deserve this.


    • Andre replied: — May 31st, 2010 @ 10:24 PM

      Also, I have bought Annies organic Mac & Cheese from Costco before, and thats what I was looking for but they didn’t have any so I went looking for Kraft, no such luck and thats when I turned to Kirkland. I loved Annies, claims to be organic and from smaller local farmers. The only complaint I had about Annies is that the cheese is a very fine powder and difficult to mix in and is not the thick creamy cheese like Kraft. But it tastes great. I’ll gladly buy Annies again if our Costco ever gets it back.

  15. nick — September 1, 2010 @ 9:29 PM (#

    I’ve tried many different boxed Mac & Cheese such as Annie’s, Apple Signature, Velveeta, Safeway Select, Kraft, and Kirkland Signature. Some of them are better than others for sure, but all of them except the Kirkland Signature Mac & Cheese I would say taste good. This brand of boxed Mac & Cheese is absolutely horrible. And please don’t donate any of this brand to food drives, it would only be cruel.


    • gotchocolate replied: — September 2nd, 2010 @ 7:20 PM

      Do they even make this anymore? I would think the negative feedback would have caused Costco to pull it off their shelves. PURE GARBAGE!!! I can still taste how bad it was and it’s been almost ONE YEAR!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

  16. Mike — September 8, 2010 @ 1:20 PM (#

    My wife bought this product about a week ago in Canada. It was the worst Mac’n Cheese she had ever tried she said and the kids wouldn’t touch it after the first bite. I’m actually going to take it back as I wouldn’t want others to endure this tastelessness even if some food is better than nothing. I hope they take it off the shelves soon!


    • gotchocolate replied: — September 10th, 2010 @ 10:14 PM

      HAHAHAHA!!! I LOVE reading the comments on here. It’s been almost ONE YEAR and I’m still getting comments. Love it!!!

      Mike – I never thought about Costco having stores in Canada, so it’s interesting to read that Costco is still selling the Kirkland Macaroni and Cheese brand. I don’t frequent Costco very much, my husband usually does that chore (I hate shopping!). Anyway, the last time I was in there (2 months ago?) I noticed it wasn’t there.

      Hmmm, perhaps Costco listened to us? If so, I’m sure the mac and cheese at the Canada stores is to be gone soon. At least, one can hope!!!

  17. shnerdmonkey — September 12, 2010 @ 12:53 PM (#

    I just bought the usual, compulsory metric ton of Costco’s Kirkland brand mac & cheese, so yes they are still manufacturing it. That is just the nastiest stuff ever! I love to make mac & cheese, then add some browned hamburger in spaghetti sauce on top of it. The foul taste still came through. I thought it might be the noodles, so I cooked some regular macaroni noodles and added the milk, butter and cheese mix to that. Nope! It’s the cheese sauce mix alright. I would give this to a food pantry, but the poor already have so many other problems. I don’t think I want to take it back to Costco (wouldn’t they just argue that taste is subjective?), so I will just do the world a favor and throw this in the trash where it belongs. Put me down as disappointed in the normally wonderful quality of Kirkland brand, and skeptical of purchasing further untried Kirkland brand food items in the future.


    • gotchocolate replied: — September 12th, 2010 @ 7:07 PM

      One would think Costco has rec’d complaints about their house brand of macaroni and cheese. It’s almost been ONE year since I wrote this post and yet they still supply their stores with this garbage? Hmmm! I’m not so conceited to think they’d find my blog, read it and get rid of their Kirkland macaroni and puke.

      STILL, they MUST be receiving complaints about it?!?

  18. Quantos — September 17, 2010 @ 11:18 AM (#

    Goodness me, this tastes like cardboard.


    • gotchocolate replied: — September 18th, 2010 @ 7:29 AM

      I’d recognize the nasty taste even a year later. Blech!

  19. Angela — March 1, 2011 @ 4:09 AM (#

    You keep insisting that it’s nasty and blech and bla bla bla… I am so confused at what Mac and Cheese you are talking about? is it the one that you put in the oven? It cost about $10+ dollars and its in the ready made isles with you know all they’re other foods like fish, and enchiladas, and beef strogonaf??? Anyways that Kirkland Sig. Mac& Cheese is delicious, Its sooooooooooooo good even my mother liked it who doesn’t eat cooked cheese what so ever?? So please be specific?? are you talking about a boxed version??


    • Morgana replied: — March 3rd, 2011 @ 3:47 PM

      Everyone is talking about the boxed brand. In our Costco in Vancouver WA they eliminated the Annie’s Mac & Cheese and replaced it with their own. I know of a few dozen people who have complained over the past year and yet it is still there.

  20. Mystik — March 3, 2011 @ 11:43 AM (#

    I bought a couple boxes of Kirkland M&C and it was horrid. Not only did it taste disgusting but after it started to cool it actually looked gross. 2 thumbs down, never buying it again.


  21. bk — April 4, 2011 @ 8:01 PM (#

    stumbled upon this site after googling this pos.

    i’ve always had the velveeta mac and cheese and liked that the cheese isn’t powdered form.
    heck i haven’t ate the powdered cheese form for years! (I’m 23) now. My sister was telling me how she would buy me a bunch of mac and cheese at costco cause it comes in bundles. Me thinking it would be alright to save some money and have tons of food to eat , I said okay.

    She brought home a box of this kirkland mac and cheese. I gave it a weird look but thought that its fine..probably will taste like what I used to eat when I was a little kid (Krafts). I made my first box and it came out horrible. Tasted really bland and the noodles had a distinct taste to it. I thought I messed up so a few days later I am sitting here at the computer with my second box and it still tasted like crap. Next time I will try to add a few slices of real cheese to see if I could get it to taste better. I have at lease 15 more boxes that I don’t want to throw away.


  22. Robert james — April 9, 2011 @ 11:24 PM (#

    We bought some of the Kirkland Mac and Cheese this week, and tried it out as my wife runs a home daycare, amazingly the kids all loved it! What actually pursuaded me to purchase and try it was the fact that it does not contain any tartrazine (artificial color), as Kraft does, also nseems to be made with real cheddar cheese, another plus. Needless to say the kids loved it and I could not be happier..


  23. Lindsay — May 10, 2011 @ 5:04 PM (#

    I’m so glad I googled this site. I really thought about trying kirkland’s mac and cheese but hadn’t had the chance to buy it. thanks for the input I think i’ll stick to what I know best and not buy it. Doesn’t hurt to try it out but I don’t want to buy a whole case. hey do they ever have the sample ladies or guys I’ve seen a few who can cook this crap up and hand it out when you walk around sampling and shopping at costco. There’s an idea. On a positive note I needed pop and usually buy coke or pepsi regular not diet so I bought the kirkland brand of regular coke and it’s excellent. I find sweeter then coke, cheaper. Taste’s like coke classic which coca cola bring out sometimes over christmas in these fancy bottles and then sell regular coca cola which I swear tastes like battery acid the rest of the year. coke really should give the consumer a choice. We are the one’s making them money. Jeez. At least pepsi has there act together. Anyhow I know pop is not really considered food but kind of on the right track. Sorry don’t like diet pop so can’t help anyone there


  24. Mindy — September 6, 2011 @ 1:10 PM (#

    Wow, wish I would have read this before I bought it. I googled it after the fact, and the whole pot is sitting on the stove. This is the worst mac n cheese I have ever eaten. We are definitely Kraft fans, but I also make my own often and this Kirkland brand is horrible! My daughter poured half a jar of ketchup on hers to try and get it down. Whats with the noodles, and the grainy paper tasting cheese sauce. I couldn’t even swallow…I literally couldn’t get it past my throat. I love, love, love Costco…but I won’t be getting my mac n cheese there!


  25. JJ — January 26, 2012 @ 5:03 PM (#

    Kirland macaroni and cheese has more natural ingredients than Kraft, which is why I actually like it. Adding salt to something does not give it flavor, actually it just adds sodium. So how do I flavor the Kirkland macaroni and cheese, this is what I do:

    First, I cut almost all the butter they recommend adding, and only add one tbs of butter vs the four they recommend. I save most of the water from boiling the noodles, and add a splash or two of milk, and then let the tbs of butter melt on top along with the cheese mix. I do not drain the noodles, simply pour some of the water out of the pan! Then I turn the heat down low and pour in a generous portion of dried rosemary, thyme, or whatever herb I have on hand. I add a couple of tablespoons of dried jalapeno pepper, or cayenne, depending on what I have. Adding the flavors of dried herbs and a bit of jalapeno or cayenne gives this thing flavor. I do not eat macaroni and cheese often because it is high in fat and sodium, so I cut corners where possible – and add real flavor.


  26. Tammy — March 6, 2012 @ 11:08 AM (#

    I bought this product and it was terrible. Bland and grainy. Even if you add more cheese and salt it still does not taste right. I have the final four boxes at work today…I’m going to put them in the break room for some poor unsuspecting soul.


  27. neil5280 — April 24, 2012 @ 11:26 AM (#

    My family loves Kirkland Mac & Cheese, and we have been despairing that we can’t seem to find it anymore. I guess we were in the minority or something.

    Our first couple boxes did come out grainy, but we changed the way we cooked it to fix that.

    After boiling and draining, I put the pan back on the burner (electric so it’s still warm, if gas, then very very low). I put the stick of butter in and stir until it has completely melted. Then I evenly spread the cheese powder on and mix that until it’s evenly distributed. Finally I add the two ounces of milk and stir until creamy. Finally I take it off the heat and serve. Turns out great every time.

    We prefer the Kirkland brand because the ingredients are more wholesome and they don’t use any artificial coloring. We agree it doesn’t taste the same, but it definitely tastes delicious and we are sad we haven’t been able to find any for the last few months.


  28. Craig — February 20, 2014 @ 8:26 PM (#

    I don’t know how you can say that. I love that mac and cheese. It jus t took off the shelves! It”s gone! I’m so mad… 🙁


  29. skin care — September 15, 2014 @ 4:06 AM (#

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