Yes, Chick-fil-A has the quintessential comfort food now, you can get creamy macaroni and cheese as a new 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.
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Creamy Mac and Cheese
So often when you enjoy macaroni 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.
With a little bit of work, 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 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.
- Colby-Jack cheese – this is a combination of Monterey Jack cheese and Colby cheese. Here are using Colby instead of cheddar cheese, it is milder, and has a better melt than cheddar.
- Heavy Cream – this helps give you a rich sauce, and it also helps in reheating. You could use whole milk, but for reheating, heavy cream is really best.
- Macaroni elbow pasta – I like to use a good brand like Barilla, or De Cecco.
How to Make Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese
- Cook pasta according to package al dente directions.
- Preheat the oven to its broil setting.
- 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.
- Whisk until all of the cheese has melted.
- Pour the cooked pasta into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Pour the cheese mixture over the macaroni into the baking dish. You can stir to coat the macaroni with the cheese sauce.
- Sprinkle 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.
- Serve and enjoy!
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 is 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, it doesn’t get stringy, and oils do not separate out of the cheese. American cheese is a good base for mac and cheese, you can always add additional cheese for more flavor.
Additional favors of Parmesan and Romano cheeses are added in the cheese sauce to really bring out the flavor. When you combine different kinds of cheeses you are going to get a side of mac and cheese that tastes just like Chick-fil-a’s mac and cheese.
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 leftover mac and cheese 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.
Can’t get enough Chick-fil-A? Try these copycat recipes!
- Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing
- Chick fil A Chicken Nuggets
- Chick fil A Chicken Sandwich
- Chick fil A Sauce
- Frosted Coffee
- Frosted Lemonade
What Goes with Mac and Cheese
- Deep Fried Turkey
- Honey Baked Ham
- KFC Fried Chicken
- Oven Brisket
- Ritz Cracker Chicken
- Roast Beef
- Smoked Whole Chicken
Take a look at more of my easy side dishes and the best copycat restaurant recipes.
Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni pasta
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/4 pounds American cheese
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Romano cheese
- 4 ounces Colby Jack Cheese shredded
- Fill a large pot 2/3 full of water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. When the water comes to a boil add the pasta. Cook to al dente. Drain the macaroni noodles
- In a medium-sized pot add heavy cream, American cheese, Parmesan cheese, and Romano cheese. Melt cheeses with heavy cream over medium heat. Stir frequently. Do not allow the cheese to scorch.
- Turn the oven on to broil, on high.
- Place cooked pasta into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Pour melted cheeses over the pasta.
- Add shredded Colby Jack cheese to the top of the pasta. Place under broiler.
- Broil just until the cheese begins to brown.
I made this it was delicious 😋
Melinda D Urenda
I have always liked Chick-fil-A, salads, sandwiches, I’d like to try the Mac and cheese.
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!!!
I am so excited to find your CFA recipe. I been looking for it long time & can’t wait to try it !
Was wondering is the parm & remano the ground or the shredded
Either is fine.
Almost too much cheese. I added mustard and it still lacked the sharp flavor. My son loved it though.
You may want to add additional mustard powder. Thank you for trying the recipe.
It tasted too salty, I would make it 2 teaspoons of salt, not 1 tablespoon but it still was pretty good
I am sorry to hear it was too salty for you! I am glad you still liked it.
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.
You put a glass dish under a broiler and it is very apt to break
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?
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! 👍🏼👍🏼
How much and when do you add vinegar
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!
Maybe the sharpness comes from a small dash of dry mustard
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!