Tasting of Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Company Side Dishes


When we received an email asking if we’d like to try a few of the new frozen side dishes from Beecher’s Cheese Company, we were unsure at first – just kidding!! If you’ve ever tried the cheeses from Beecher’s, then you know why we were so excited. Famous for their artisan cheeses, they are also known for making the “World’s Best Macaroni & Cheese.” In fact, as soon as the box of side dishes arrived in the mail, we scheduled a special lunchtime tasting event, put our microwave to work and got down to the business of tasting the four products we were sent: Fresh Kale and Brown Rice Gratin, Santa Fe Style Hominy with Cheese, Smoky Roasted Vegetable Cavatappi and Three Grain Risotto.

Beecher’s Cheese Company is located in Seattle in the Pike Place Market and we’d highly recommend stopping by if you’re ever in the area. But don’t despair if you don’t have a Pacific Northwest trip on the agenda – you can also find Beecher’s products at a variety of local retailers by clicking here. – by Liz Conant 

Jessica Smith – “Being a vegetarian I was very excited to try Beecher’s side dishes because of the possibility as treating them as a main course.  My two favorites were the Cavatappi and the Hominy.  The Cavatappi was very hearty thanks to the smoked Flagship cheese and the mushrooms.  The Hominy side dish was equally hearty with just enough Serrano chilies to give it a kick.  Both highlighted Beecher’s signature cheeses in a way that made me want to come back for seconds.”

Jenna Buhagiar  – “I can’t decide if I enjoyed the Smoky Roasted Vegetable Cavatappi or the Fresh Kale and Brown Rice Gratin more. Both were equally cheesy and satisfying and certainly hearty enough to be served alongside a light main dish like rotisserie chicken.”

Kim Bedwell – “I really loved everything about the Santa Fe Style Hominy – great texture, yummy flavor, and it featured my all-time favorite cheese, Beecher’s Flagship!”

Kris Caputo Hurley  – “The Fresh Kale and Brown Rice Gratin exemplifies why I love Beecher’s products so much.  The Flagship cheese complements the brown rice and kale perfectly.  I’m also a big fan of the extra layer of cheese on top for browning – doesn’t brown as much as the picture shows but gives it a nice crunch.”

Karlie Bettencourt  – “My favorite Beecher’s side dish was the Smoky Roasted Vegetable Cavatappi. The flavor of the smoky cheese sauce complimented the tastes of the pasta and vegetables. The Fresh Kale and Brown Rice Gratin was a close second. The pieces of kale were cooked to perfection-which is very impressive coming from a microwavable side dish. I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to eat either of these dishes again.”

Vanessa Smith  – “The hominy dish is truly a taste of the Southwest, with the perfect blend of cheesy corn-flavor – it’s almost like eating enchiladas made with corn tortillas. Yum! The Kale and Brown Rice Gratin would be a great choice for an inventive side dish to dress up an otherwise boring chicken breast dinner.”

Christine Schunk  – “The sides were great, but my favorite by far was the Smoky Roasted Vegetable Cavatappi.  I love smoked cheese, and this one even gave a hint of bacon flavor, minus the bacon. How they did this I have no idea, but it was delish!”

Cecily Fuller  – “Most of the time, microwaveable meals are a last resort that end up leaving our taste buds and appetite less than satisfied.  Not these! All four options we tried were so packed with flavor and completely satisfying, I’d even consider serving them without the packaging and taking credit for a home cooked meal!”

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