Review: Amy's Kitchen Lasagne / Mac & Cheeze

Dairy-free pasta meals with Daiya cheese... the only source of Daiya in the UK as far as we're aware. These frozen ready meals are available in health food shops in the UK. Be careful when selecting the lasagne packs, as the dairy-free version looks similar to the dairy version. What we're itching to know... is Daiya all it's cracked up to be...?

The meals come in oven-proof cardboard trays. No frozen ready meal is going to look great before it's cooked, but we were particularly saddened by the sorry looking lasagne... you can practically count the cheese shreds... 

Macaroni cheese (or mac and cheese in US-speak) is easy to get wrong, or at least the vegan version is. Vegan cheese melts at higher temperatures than the dairy-stuff, which can lead to something silky in the pan becoming stodgy on the plate.

Our first exposure to Daiya isn't good. This mac and cheese is extremely cloying. The cheese is quite cheesy in flavour, but tastes over-salty. The rice pasta is fine - you'd never know this wasn't 'normal' pasta. 

That's not a melting cheese! (Daiya)

THIS is a melting cheese! (MozzaRisella)

The lasagne barely gets any of the Daiya cheese, and this is further compounded by the fact that this is a lasagne without any béchamel layers. It's almost dairy-free-by-leaving-out-the-dairy. What you get are layers of pasta and tomato-puree sauce, topped with a tiny bit of cheese. There are pieces of tofu in there, but we think of these as a meat replacement rather than replacing a white sauce.

The Daiya does melt...just about. You have to cover the lasagne with foil while cooking, to stop it burning though. If this is what Americans rave about for dairy-free cheese, we have to wonder why. For a real melting cheese that's great for lasagne, check out our reviews of MozzaRisella. Maybe Amy's should look into using MozzaRisella for their UK ready meals.

We can't be too harsh on Amy's Kitchen - they produce some great products , and they're one of the few producers actually making vegan ready meals. Their dairy-free efforts are underwhelming though - the use of Daiya is not a shortcut to great dairy-free meals. These pasta meals are tasty and filling however, and as a frozen standby, we're still inclined to recommend them.

The Good: Tasty, filling and widely available dairy-free pasta meals
The Not-so-good: Cloying mac 'n' cheese, No white sauce on lasagne

Veganoo Score: ★★★
Amy's Kitchen Vegetable Lasagne / Macaroni Cheese

Footnote: Ingredients
Here are the ingredients panels from the packs we reviewed.

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  1. Its funny you say that, I love the mac n cheese. I think the lasagne is salty.

  2. MozzaRisella melts perfectly but I prefer the taste of the Daiya cheese.

    1. Thanks for the comments. We'll need to wait until Daiya arrives in the UK to do a proper comparison.

  3. I'm praying for that day to be soon!!

  4. I like the cheese flavour of the macaroni but think the pasta is a bit too soft

    1. Yeah, it's not 'al dente' but it's pretty good for GF pasta

  5. I hated the mac and cheese lol, it tasted to me like that tinned 'real cheese' macaroni you can buy and smells of feet!! :( I was gutted. I make my own now from the Vegan macaroni cheese recipe on vegnews, it is incredible and no soy alternatives :) x

  6. I wonder where you've found the vegan lasagna in the UK, since VegFest13 I've spoken with the guy at Amy's stand and he said lasagna would be released in the UK in October/13, but since then I can't find it anywhere to try! :(

  7. We're lucky in Nottingham to have several good independents who stock new vegan lines early. We found it in a health food shop.

  8. I loved the the flavour of the mac n cheeze, but rather disappointed by the portion size! I really want to try daiya!


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