The reviews are out and we are loving this at-home recipe with delicious ingredients, Copycat Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese. This from-scratch, casserole-style, side dish will be your new comfort food favorite the whole family will love. And it's made with real cheese!
Step aside waffle fries, this casserole-style dish is our new go-to to pair with everything from chicken sandwiches to nuggets. After reviews from viral platforms like Tiktok and Reddit we had to try and make our version of this comfort food. We love this hack for a cost effective copycat side dish that tastes just like the real deal.
Pair this southern side dish with our bacon-wrapped chicken, or air fryer chicken nuggets. Our other comfort food side dishes are our homemade Green Bean Casserole, and Sweet Potato Casserole. Or try this Four Cheese Pasta Cheesecake Factory.
We made this copycat recipe with easy ingredients you are likely to have at home or can easily access. Though the original recipe calls for Bellavitano cheese, we made it in a way that preserves that unique taste but with staple ingredients.
- Unsalted Butter- We often use unsalted butter in our recipes. If you use salted butter that's great, make sure to use less salt.
- All-Purpose Bleached Flour-For making a simple butter and flour roux. The roux helps to form the cheese sauce.
- Whole milk- for best results we recommend using whole milk as it will give the cheese sauce the right consistency. From our experience, 2% and 1% milk works but the sauce will not be as rich and creamy.
- Heavy whipping cream- Heavy whipping cream adds extra depth and taste to the sauce that may be missing in whole milk.
- Table Salt
- Sharp cheddar- A delicious staple to this meal that gives it that original macaroni and cheese taste.
- Romano cheese- This grated cheese really pinpoints that extra fruity and nutty cheese taste when you take a bite of the real deal menu item.
- Parmesan cheese- A grated cheese that pairs nicely with the Romano and sharp cheddar.
- Colby jack cheese- A milder cheese that tops this casserole giving it that signature crispy cheese taste but also doesn't take away from the other flavors.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese
Follow these step-by-step instructions for the best results. Use the pictures below to help with texture and look.
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter and add flour to make a roux. Slowly add the whole milk and heavy whipping cream stirring constantly. Simmer and stir until it begins to thicken.
2. Add sharp cheddar, grated Romano and Parmesan cheese to the milk mixture. Mix until a smooth cheese sauce is formed.
3. Add cooked elbow pasta noodles to the prepared cheese sauce and mix until coated.
4. Pour the coated noodles into a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with Colby jack cheese and bake for 5 minutes. Broil for an additional; 3-5 minutes until the top cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Serve and enjoy!
Hint: You can easily freeze or prep for later by making this recipe all the way until the baking instructions. Cover and store in the refrigerator or freezer and then bake when ready to serve.
Manage the calories you put into your dish by making alterations and substitutions. Make sure the price is right for you with what type of cheese you use.
- Gluten Free - make this a gluten free meal by using your favorite gluten free noodles. Or try this Gluten-free Mac and Cheese variation.
- Parmesan Cheese- while this recipe already calls for parmesan cheese and Romano cheese, you can replace the Romano cheese with all parmesan cheese.
- Bellavitano Cheese- This cheese can be used instead of Romano cheese. It has a fruity and nutty taste that gives Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese it's signature taste. But it can be hard to come by.
- Deluxe - take it up a notch by adding 1 cup of cooked pulled pork before baking. Top with Colby Jack Cheese and bake.
Try another tasty version Cottage Cheese Mac and Cheese.
Learn From Us
I wasn't expecting the roux to thicken up as quickly as it did when I added the 4 different kinds of cheese. Luckily I had pasta reserve water and added it to thin the cheese sauce. It worked perfect and tasted great.
How To Serve
Not only does this make a great side dish but my family loves it as a family meal. We have made it for so many family dinners. I've also made it as a side dish for Thanksgiving and Easter and everyone loved it.
How to Store Copycat Mac and Cheese
Store Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave, or oven.
Make this meal ahead of time and freeze it for up to 2 months in an air-tight, freezer-friendly container. You don't need to bake it before freezing. When ready to eat, thaw and bake as instructions say.
When making the roux, make sure to keep stirring and don't add the cheese until it begins to thicken. If it gets too thick, add pasta water to the mixture to help thin the sauce out.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese:
Chick Fil A Mac and Cheese
- medium saute pan
- medium sauce pan
- 1 9x13 baking dish you can also use a 9x9 baking dish, the casserole will be thicker.
- 16 ounce elbow pasta
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅛ cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup sharp cheddar
- ½ cup grated romano cheese
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup Colby jack cheese
- Cook elbow pasta according to package directions.Drain and set aside. Reserve ½ cup pasta water just in case you need to thin cheese sauce.16 ounce elbow pasta
- Preheat the oven to 350* F
- While the noodles cook: In a medium saute pan, on medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted add the all-purpose flour and mix together.2 tablespoons butter, ⅛ cup flour
- Slowly pour in the whole milk, continually stirring. Then add the heavy whipping cream. Stir on medium heat until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt.2 cups whole milk, ½ cup heavy whipping cream, ½ teaspoon salt
- When the sauce begins to thicken, add in the sharp cheddar, parmesan, and Romano. Mix until a smooth mixture is formed. If the sauce is too thick for coating noodles add in pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time. See photos above for a great visual on these steps.1 ½ cup sharp cheddar, ½ cup grated romano cheese, ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Add the cooked elbow pasta into the cheese sauce and mix until completely coated. Transfer the noodles into a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with Colby jack cheese. Add more if desired.½ cup Colby jack cheese
- Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Change the bake setting to broil and broil on high for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. If your oven runs hot, make sure to check after 1 or 2 minutes so you don't burn the cheese.
- Serve hot as a side dish or make it a meal!
- Make ahead and freeze for up to 2 months. Make sure to skip the baking step before freezing. When ready to serve, thaw and bake until heated through and cheese on the top melts and begins to brown.
- If serving later assemble with colby jack cheese on top and place in the refrigerator before cooking in the oven. When ready to serve, cook in the oven at 350* F for 5 minutes and then broil for 3-5 minutes as directed.
- Instead of Romano cheese you can use 1 cup of parmesan cheese. The Romano cheese gives the copycat recipe that similar taste.
- Reheat in the microwave or oven until heated all the way through.
- If the roux becomes thicker then you would like, thin down with extra pasta water reserve.
- Make this dish spicy by adding in red pepper flakes.
- Add bacon crumbles to the noodle and cheese mixture.
- Serve with grilled or breaded chicken on the side for extra protein.