How many calories are in a Kraft Easy Mac Cup?

Quick Answer

A single serving of Kraft Easy Mac microwavable macaroni and cheese contains 210 calories. This is based on the nutrition information for the original flavor.

Calorie Count for Different Flavors

While the original flavor contains 210 calories per serving, the calorie count can vary slightly depending on the specific variety:

Flavor Calories per Serving
Original 210
Cheddar 210
White Cheddar 210
Three Cheese 210
Cheddar Cheese Melt 220
Macaroni & Cheese Dinner 210
Microwaveable Cups 210

As you can see, most flavors contain 210 calories per serving, while the Cheddar Cheese Melt has slightly more at 220 calories. But overall, the calorie difference between varieties is minor.

Serving Size

It’s important to note that the 210 calories is based on one serving or one microwavable cup. Here are the full nutrition facts for a serving of original Kraft Easy Mac:

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 210
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 5mg
Sodium: 740mg
Total Carbohydrate: 36g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Total Sugars: 3g
Protein: 5g

As you can see, one 214 gram serving provides 210 calories. If you ate multiple servings or cups, you would need to multiply the calories accordingly.

Ingredients in Kraft Easy Mac

To understand what accounts for the 210 calories, it helps to look at the main ingredients in Kraft Easy Mac:

  • Enriched macaroni (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
  • Cheese sauce (whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, contains less than 2% of citric acid, lactic acid, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, yellow 5, yellow 6, enzymes, cheese culture)
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Milkfat
  • Salt
  • Whey

The main sources of calories come from the wheat-based enriched macaroni noodles and the cheese sauce, which contains milkfat and milk proteins.

The macaroni accounts for most of the carbohydrates while the cheese sauce provides fat and protein. When combined, they make up the 210 calories.

Microwaved vs Stovetop

The nutrition information is based on preparing Kraft Easy Mac in the microwave. But you can also prepare it on the stovetop with similar results:

  • Microwave (as directed): 210 calories per serving
  • Stovetop: About 210 calories per serving

The stovetop method may result in slightly more evaporation, so the calorie count may be a bit lower compared to microwave. But in general, the calorie difference would be negligible.

With or Without Butter

The basic nutrition stats for Kraft Easy Mac do not account for any added ingredients like butter or milk. Here is how adding butter affects the calorie count:

  • Plain (as packaged): 210 calories
  • With 1 tbsp butter: About 275 calories
  • With 2 tbsp butter: About 340 calories

Butter contains about 100 calories per tablespoon, so adding it significantly increases the total calorie count.

If you add milk, this will also increase the calorie count, though not as much as butter. 1/4 cup of whole milk would add about 30 calories.

Calorie Count for Homemade Mac and Cheese

For comparison, if you make homemade macaroni and cheese from scratch, the calorie count will vary more widely based on the specific ingredients used.

Here is an estimate for a basic homemade baked mac and cheese:

Ingredient Calories
1 cup dry elbow pasta 200
2 tbsp butter 200
2 tbsp flour 60
1 cup milk 100
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 400
Total: 960

As you can see, a basic homemade mac and cheese made with full fat dairy can easily contain over 900 calories per serving compared to 210 calories for Kraft Easy Mac.

However, you could lower the calorie count of homemade mac and cheese by using reduced fat milk, low fat cheese, and portion control.

Macronutrient Breakdown

Here is the macronutrient breakdown for a serving of Kraft Easy Mac:

  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g

It contains a moderate amount of protein and a high amount of carbs, mostly coming from the enriched wheat flour used to make the macaroni noodles.

The cheese sauce provides a modest amount of fat, though not as much as you might get in a homemade cheese sauce made with lots of butter and whole milk.

Overall, a single serving provides a mix of carbs, fat, and protein to make up the 210 calories.


In terms of micronutrients, Kraft Easy Mac provides:

  • Calcium: 10% DV
  • Iron: 10% DV
  • Vitamin A: 6% DV
  • Vitamin C: 0% DV

It is fortified with iron and contains a modest amount of calcium from the cheese. But like most processed foods, Kraft Easy Mac is not a significant source of vitamins or minerals.

Some versions may be fortified with additional nutrients like vitamin C, but the original flavor has 0% DV for vitamin C.

Health Considerations

While Kraft Easy Mac is quick and convenient, there are some health considerations:

  • High in sodium: 38% DV per serving
  • High glycemic index due to refined carbs
  • Low fiber and nutrients
  • Artificial colors and preservatives

The sodium content is very high at 740mg or 38% DV per serving. Easy Mac is made with refined flour and contains almost no fiber. And the cheese sauce contains preservatives and artificial food dyes.

For these reasons, Kraft Easy Mac is considered more of an occasional treat rather than a regular part of a healthy diet. Consuming it frequently or in large portions may increase risk for chronic diseases.

Cost Considerations

Kraft Easy Mac microwavable cups are one of the most inexpensive pre-made mac and cheese options:

  • Kraft Easy Mac cup: About $0.50 per serving
  • Boxed mac and cheese: $0.25 to $0.75 per serving
  • Homemade: Around $1 per serving
  • Restaurant mac and cheese: $5 to $15 per serving

Easy Mac costs a bit more than basic boxed mac and cheese made from scratch but much less than restaurant mac and cheese. So it provides a fast, convenient option for those looking for an inexpensive ready-made meal.

However, homemade mac and cheese made from pantry ingredients can be even cheaper. But Easy Mac requires no cooking aside from microwaving, so it represents a good alternative when time and convenience are priorities.

Taste Reviews

Kraft Easy Mac gets mixed taste reviews:

  • Positive reviews mention creaminess, cheesiness, and nostalgic comfort food appeal.
  • Negative reviews cite bland, artificial flavor and mushy overcooked noodles.

Many reviews agree the taste is similar to standard boxed Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, with the convenience of being pre-prepared in microwavable cups.

However, some find the microwave preparation results in mushy noodles compared to stove top and doesn’t deliver the same level of creaminess and cheese flavor.

Overall though, Kraft Easy Mac remains one of the most popular and recognizable microwavable mac and cheese brands. Its affordable price point and quick prep satisfy cravings for cheesy comfort food.

Comparison to Other Microwavable Mac and Cheese

How does Kraft Easy Mac compare nutrition-wise to other microwavable mac and cheese options?

Here is a calorie and sodium comparison per serving:

Brand Calories Sodium (mg)
Kraft Easy Mac 210 740
Annie’s 280 780
Hormel 250 810
Banquet 270 950
Generic/Store brand 220-280 700-900

Most contain between 210-280 calories per serving, with slight variation between brands. Sodium content ranges from 700-950mg, all considered high.

So while calories are generally comparable between brands, sodium can vary. Overall though, all microwavable mac and cheese is high in sodium and low in nutrients.

Tips for Preparing

Here are some tips for preparing Kraft Easy Mac:

  • Follow microwave instructions carefully. Use lower power levels for best results.
  • Add extra sauce packet for creamier texture.
  • Stir thoroughly before eating to distribute sauce.
  • For stovetop, boil and stir frequently to avoid sticking.
  • Add mix-ins like cooked meat, veggies or spices for more flavor.
  • For lower sodium, rinse noodles before adding cheese packet.
  • Let sit for 2-3 minutes after cooking for creamier mac and cheese.

Proper stirring and allowing it to rest before eating can improve the texture significantly. Personalize with extra add-ins for a boost of flavor and nutrition.

Should You Eat Kraft Easy Mac?

Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Very inexpensive at around $0.50 per serving
  • Requires no cooking aside from microwave
  • Shelf-stable and portable for lunches or dorm rooms
  • Provides a sense of comfort and nostalgia for many
  • Kid-friendly and appealing to picky eaters
  • Can be jazzed up with add-ins


  • High in sodium
  • Contains artificial ingredients
  • Low in nutrients
  • Reputaton as unhealthy fast food
  • Not the best choice for regular meals

Overall, eating Kraft Easy Mac occasionally or in moderation can be fine for an easy meal or treat. But for regular intake, it may be better to make homemade mac and cheese with less processed ingredients.

Consider your overall diet and lifestyle. For some, Easy Mac is perfectly acceptable while others may want to limit intake of highly processed convenience foods.

Healthier Alternatives to Kraft Easy Mac

If you want a healthier mac and cheese option, here are some alternatives to consider:

  • Make stovetop mac and cheese from scratch with whole grain pasta, reduced fat milk and real cheese
  • Substitute cauliflower florets for some or all of the pasta
  • Use Greek yogurt instead of milk and butter for a protein boost
  • Add pureed butternut squash or carrots to the cheese sauce
  • Use reduced sodium cheese and limit added salt
  • Stir in extra veggies like broccoli, spinach or tomato
  • Top with breadcrumbs, crushed almonds or panko for crunch
  • Substitute whole grain or legume-based pasta for refined varieties

With some simple substitutions and additions, you can give any boxed or homemade mac and cheese recipe a nutrition upgrade.


Kraft Easy Mac provides 210 calories per single serving cup. It is high in sodium at 740mg but low in most other nutrients.

Occasionally enjoying Easy Mac can satisfy a craving for convenient comfort food. But for regular meals, consider making homemade mac and cheese with less processed ingredients or adding nutrition boosts through mix-ins.

At the end of the day, Easy Mac is an indulgent pleasure food. As part of an overall healthy diet, enjoying it in moderation is unlikely to cause harm. Just be mindful of your personal dietary needs and goals.

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