Specially Selected Pesto Macaroni and Cheese

One of my favorite Aldi macaroni and cheese options is the Specially Selected Pesto Macaroni and Cheese. This green mac and cheese dish tends to show up during the winter months as a Seasonal Favorite. I like to stock up on it so I can enjoy it year-round.

Specially Selected Pesto Macaroni and Cheese

This is a product of Italy. A 6.5-oz box usually sells for under $2, and it’s described as “Italian pasta with cheese and basil sauce.” Sometimes Aldi also sells a more expensive pesto macaroni and cheese box mix with tortellini, but this regular version is more common in my stores.

One box contains 2.5 servings, with one 3/4-cup serving containing 280 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat (10% of your daily value), 760 mg of sodium (32% of your daily value), and 7 grams of sugars. One serving also has 10 grams of protein, and 8% of your daily recommended calcium and 10% of your daily recommended iron.

For those who are concerned about allergens, it contains wheat and milk, and it may contain soy, eggs, and crustacean shellfish (shrimp).

Specially Selected Pesto Macaroni and Cheese Ingredients

Nutrition info. (Click to enlarge.)

My family tends to either love or hate this macaroni and cheese. It depends on whether you’re a fan of pesto and seasonings like basil. My oldest daughter and I love it. The pasta is a variation on the classic shell design, and the seasonings are just right. The directions call for adding some grated Parmesan cheese, if desired, and I usually add a little more than the instructions say to up the flavor even more. This makes a good side dish with a meal, or you can splurge on carbs and make it a meal in and of itself.

The macaroni and cheese can be prepared on the stove top or in the microwave. I have always made mine on the stove.

To prepare on the stove top, bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in an 8-inch saucepan. Pour macaroni and sauce mix into the boiling water and cook uncovered over medium heat for 12-14 minutes (cooking time may vary). Stir occasionally  until macaroni is al dente (tender but firm) and water is completely absorbed. Do not drain. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese and 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter, if desired.

To prepare in the microwave (800-900 watts), in a microwave-safe container (about 2 quarts), add macaroni and sauce mix to 2 1/3 cups boiling unsalted water. Cook for 12-14 minutes until water is completely absorbed. Remove from the microwave and stir in 1 tablespoon of grate Parmesan cheese and 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter, if desired.

The Verdict:

Aldi’s Specially Selected Pesto Macaroni and Cheese is sold for a few months out of the year as a Seasonal Favorite. It’s an imported boxed pasta mix from Italy. The green color may look odd, but if you like pesto, you’ll enjoy this seasoned pasta. Stock up because it’s only in stores for a little while each year.

About Rachael

Rachael is the Senior Editor for Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and collecting house plants. You can learn more about her at www.rachaelsjohnston.com.

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