Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese

Yes, Chick-fil-A has the quintessential comfort food now. You can get creamy mac and cheese as a side option. Their macaroni and cheese has the homemade taste you crave, so put down those waffle fries and try their classic macaroni and cheese recipe. There is no need to go to the drive-thru for this side dish.

Copycat Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese in three bowls.

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Creamy Mac and Cheese

So often when you enjoy mac and cheese, it is dry, pasty, and flavorless. The fast-food chain Chick-fil-A set a high bar and created a special blend of cheeses and made a creamy cheese sauce that you will love when you take your first bite.

Your taste buds will know that this is one of the best mac and cheese recipes you will ever try.

The CopyKat Analysis of Chick-Fil-A’s Recipe

What is Chick-Fil-A mac and cheese made of? I don’t believe it is made with a dry mix or powder, because the flavor is too good. I believe their special cheddar blend comes in the form of American cheese because of the mouthfeel, but the flavor is not straight-up American cheese, it is more sophisticated.

I think it also helps to account for the indistinct cheeses they mention in their original recipe. Romano and Parmesan can cut through American cheese to give you a better flavor, and a more interesting texture.

I topped my version with Colby Jack cheese. The Monterey Jack melts wonderfully, and it browns up a bit. If you pay much attention, you will notice the restaurant version has the browning as well.

Can’t get to a Chick-fil-A? Make it at home!

Why is it we all crave those chicken sandwiches and waffle fries on a Sunday? I have no idea. They added one of the first permanent side addition in a long time.

This recipe was tested in many select cities at many different local Chick-fil-A restaurants before being shared nationally. What’s the only drawback? You don’t have to be stuck with a small bowl of the new side dish when you may Chick-fil-A’s mac and cheese at home.

You can make this homemade mac and cheese pasta and share it with the whole family.

Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese Ingredients

This recipe is very straightforward. In my opinion, this recipe is very close to the Outback Mac and Cheese. My copycat recipe is made with several different kinds of cheese. For you to make this mac n cheese recipe you will need:

  • American cheese – not Velveeta (that’s for Rotel dip) – go to your deli counter at your grocery store, and ask for this cheese. The deli version is rich, creamy, and full of flavor.
  • Parmesan Cheese – just a little adds a touch of nice nutty flavor to the cheese sauce.
  • Romano Cheese – is the perfect compliment to parmesan.
  • Colby-Jack cheese – this is a combination of Monterey Jack cheese and Colby cheese. Use Colby instead of sharp cheddar cheese because it is milder and has a better melt than cheddar.
  • Heavy Cream – This helps create a rich sauce and is best for reheating. You could use whole milk, but heavy cream is best for reheating.
  • Evaporated Milk – this helps with the creaminess of the dish.
  • Macaroni elbow pasta – Use a good brand like Barilla, or De Cecco.
Copycat Chick Fil A mac and cheese ingredients on a marble surface.

How to Make Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese

  1. Cook the macaroni noodles according to the package al dente directions.
  2. Preheat the oven to its broil setting.
  3. In a large saucepan, you will make the sauce. Pour the heavy cream into the saucepan, and heat. You will then add American, Romano, and Parmesan cheeses to the pan.
  4. Whisk until all of the cheese has melted.
Collage of cooking macaroni and making cheese sauce for Chick Fil A mac and cheese.
  1. Pour the cooked pasta into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  2. Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni into the baking dish. You can stir to coat the macaroni with the cheese sauce.
  3. Sprinkle shredded Colby Jack cheese on top.
  4. Place the baking dish under the broiler and cook for just long enough that the cheese begins to brown.
Collage of making copycat Chick Fil A mac and cheese.
  1. Serve and enjoy!
A bowl of copycat Chick Fil A mac and cheese and two forks.

Tips and tricks for making the best copycat macaroni and cheese.

  • Use good quality cheese. This will make a big difference in the flavor of your dish. If possible, use freshly shredded cheese from the block.
  • Cook the pasta al dente. This means it should be cooked until slightly firm to the bite. This will prevent the pasta from becoming mushy in the cheese sauce.
  • Add the cheese gradually. This will help to prevent the cheese from curdling.
  • Season the cheese sauce to taste. Add salt, pepper, and other spices to your liking.

Why should you use American cheese in macaroni and cheese?

American cheese has a bad reputation, and it shouldn’t. A good-quality American cheese has good flavor and one of the best melting profiles of any cheese. This sauce is made with heavy cream and American cheese.

You can find American cheese in the deli section of your grocery store. Ask them to cut off a large chunk of it, or you can ask them to slice it. Chunk or sliced, it doesn’t matter. You are going to be melting it!

American cheese melts beautifully, doesn’t get stringy, and does not separate from the oils. It is a good base for mac and cheese, and you can always add additional cheese for more flavor.

Additional Parmesan and Romano cheeses are added to the cheese sauce to really bring out the flavor. When you combine different kinds of cheeses, you will get a side of mac and cheese that tastes just like Chick-fil-A’s.

Copycat Chick Fil A mac and cheese in a baking dish.

How to Store Leftover Mac and Cheese

I recommend storing any leftover mac and cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. You can also freeze mac and cheese leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months.

How to Reheat Copycat Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese

I personally like to reheat this mac and cheese in an oven if I have a lot of it leftover. I place it in an oven-proof dish, place foil over the top, and reheat at 350 degrees until has warmed through.

Copycat Chick Fil A mac and cheese on a fork held over a bowl of it.

Can’t get enough Chick-fil-A? Try these copycat recipes!

What Goes with Mac and Cheese

Take a look at more of my easy side dishes and the best copycat restaurant recipes.

Copycat Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese in three bowls.

Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese

Make creamy mac & cheese just like Chick-fil-A does at home!
4.92 from 146 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chick Fil A Recipes, mac & cheese, mac and cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 494kcal


  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni pasta
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/4 pounds American cheese sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tablespoon Romano cheese grated
  • 4 ounces Colby Jack cheese shredded


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the macaroni noodles. Cook according to package al dente directions.
  • Preheat the oven to its broil setting.
  • In a medium saucepan, add the heavy cream and evaporated milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced American cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Romano cheese to the saucepan. Whisk until all of the cheese has melted.
  • Pour the cooked pasta into a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni.
  • Sprinkle the shredded Colby Jack cheese on top.
  • Place the baking dish under the broiler and cook for just long enough that the cheese begins to brown.


Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 1464mg | Potassium: 188mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1130IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 607mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Laura

    I’m not going to put this under a broiler but I will put it in the oven only until bubbly. No one in my house would eat the top cheese

  2. Tess

    1 star
    Absolutely awful. Tasted like biting into a block of American cheese. Extremely thick and inedible. Followed all instructions and this was just something else don’t know how to explain how bad it was.

  3. MeMe

    5 stars
    My teenager loves CFA mac n cheese. I told him to consider how much more of it he can have if he learns how to make it at home. In comes Copykat. When he took the second bite of the finished mac, he pretended to cry and gave me a hug. It turned out really great. I halved everything to make a smaller serving portion, but couldn’t find Romana cheese so we used smoked Gouda instead. It turned out AMAZING. It was extra creamy, so it may have needed to bake a few minutes before adding the top layer of cheese and broiling. I used a little over a teaspoon of mustard powder, as people suggested.

  4. Karen

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness!! This is the BEST Mac and cheese!! It’s easy and taste wonderful!! Next time I’m gonna cut the recipe in half because there’s only 2 of us. But HANDS DOWN I will make this again!!!

  5. Brenda Littell

    I am so excited to find your CFA recipe. I been looking for it long time & can’t wait to try it !

  6. Emma Bringhurst

    4 stars
    It tasted too salty, I would make it 2 teaspoons of salt, not 1 tablespoon but it still was pretty good

  7. Sue Pearl

    5 stars
    my teenaged son found this and loves to make it. I’ve never actually had Chik Fil A’s mac n cheese, so I can’t speak to just how it compares to the actual thing, but it’s to die for.

  8. April

    Can I make this in advance and keep it in the fridge overnight? I’d like to make everything, refrigerate, add the topping in the morning and then broil, but not sure that it would work?

  9. Stephen Stupak

    5 stars
    Just wondering if anyone uses a bit of vinegar in their recipe like I do. It ads a bit of sharp flavor you can’t get from just cheese. I do like the broiled shredded Colby-Jack on top to get a bit of crunch on top! 👍🏼👍🏼

  10. Cathy

    5 stars
    This was delicious but just seemed to lack a sharpness that Chick fil A has. I always think theirs taste like Cheez its, lol. But this is a very delicious recipe..will be saving this one! Thanks!

  11. Angela

    4 stars
    Definitely yummy and cheesy! I feel like I’m missing some sharpness or something though, so I wouldn’t think it’s a copy of CFA. But that didn’t stop us from enjoying this recipe! Thanks for posting it!

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