Instant macaroni and cheese is a savior for college students everywhere. This cheap, long-lasting food is simple enough to make after a Thursday night out. It might not compare to homemade macaroni and cheese, but it doesn't taste (entirely) bad.  Nonetheless, college independence calls for "cooking" a meal.  So, to affirm your independence, here are the best kinds of instant macaroni and cheeses to guide you in making your instant meals a little more bearable. Charge on, chef!

corn, pasta, macaroni
Sydney Eisenberg

5. Velveeta 

milk, cream, pasta
Sydney Eisenberg

Velveeta should stick to making cheese slices because their instant mac was flat out disappointing.  They make a good attempt with a fancy shell shape, but nothing makes up for the odd after taste, which resembles processed cheese-flavored milk. The unavoidable and overwhelming fake flavor, unfortunately, puts Velveeta at the bottom of this list. 

Rating: 1/5 

4. Stouffer's 

macaroni, cheese, pasta, vegetable
Sydney Eisenberg

Considering this took six minutes to make, Stouffer's can hardly count as instant mac (ain't nobody got time for that). However, I will say that their cheese didn't taste (too) fake, so it's a step above Velveeta. Given this information, there are probably only two ways I would ever eat Stouffer's again. One, if someone made it for me and two, if I ate all of my other food.

Rating: 2/5

3. Kraft

Sydney Eisenberg

I had high hopes for my favorite childhood brand, but Kraft somewhat let my inner child down.  It wasn't horrible, but it definitely did not compare to the Spongebob stove top version — ugh. The cheese flavor was there, and it didn't taste super processed, but it just wasn't the creamy Kraft taste I was used to or expecting.  

Rating: 3/5

2. Annie's

pasta, macaroni, cheese, cheddar
Sydney Eisenberg

The cute bunny logo wasn't the only good thing about Annie's instant mac and cheese. Shockingly, the cheese actually tasted real (unlike every other previous instant mac on this list), and it wasn't too thick, so it didn't overwhelm me. Plus, it's organic, so you can eat it without feeling too guilty, right?  

Rating: 4.5/5

1. Lean Cuisine

macaroni, milk, pasta, cheese, cream, dairy
Sydney Eisenberg

Lean Cuisine truly surprised me. I really couldn't believe my number one ranked instant mac was the brand with the word "lean" in it. The cheese was smooth and creamy, and the noodles were soft, dissolving beautifully on my tongue almost as soon as I started chewing.

Rating: 5/5

Clearly, there are some instant macaroni and cheese brands that I've deemed shine over the rest, but that doesn't mean you'll necessarily agree. In the spirit of all things easy, instant, and representative of college, I encourage you to try them all. In the end, there is really no such thing as too much macaroni and cheese — even if it's instant and slightly fake tasting.