A Better than Copycat Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese Recipe

When I say that this is a “better than” Copycat Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese Recipe, I mean it!

Do you have a craving for some amazing mac and cheese? Well Chick-fil-A makes some of the best mac and cheese around. So if you live by one (and it is not Sunday), I suggest saving yourself the time and just head to your nearest Chick-fil-A.

But if you don’t (or it is closed), you are in the right place. After a good deal of trial and error, I have crafted a Mac and Cheese recipe that is even better than the original.  Trust me. Your family and friends are going to love this one. Allowing you to make delicious mac and cheese at home that is as good as any that you would get in a restaurant. 

What is Chick-fil-A cheese sauce made of?

According to Chick-fil-A’s website, the cheese sauce is a special blend of over many different cheeses (including Romano, cheddar, American, MontAmore, Asiago and Parmesan). This cheese blend is crucial because Chick-fil-A’s macaroni and cheese has a strong cheese flavor in every single bite. I highly suggest that you include all of these cheeses in the recipe, your tastebuds will thank you.

In addition to the cheese, the sauce includes margarine, water, non-fat dry milk, salt, sugar,  egg yolk, and enriched wheat flour.  That is a lot, isn’t it? Well, don’t worry. We have clear directions on how to create this delicious dish below.

Do you need to make a roux to create authentic copycat Chick-fil-A mac and cheese?

Depends on the type of noodles that you are using. A roux is highly suggested if you are using standard wheat-based noodles. However, don’t worry. Making a roux needed for this recipe is incredibly easy to make.

If you are using gluten-free macaroni, feel free to skip making the roux.  Instead, stir in the cheese slowly. The reason for the slow speed is because the cheese will not have any starch to prevent the cheese from breaking. Go slow, and you will still end up with a delicious and thick (almost as thick on the glutenous version) mac and cheese. 

Tips for perfect Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese

Before we started with the recipe, here are some quick tips that I have learned over time with this recipe:

  • All ingredients should be at room temperature 
  • For thick mac and cheese, use whole milk. If desired, low fat milk can also work; however, the mac and cheese will not be as thick. I would stay away from using non-fat milk.

Why is there Egg Yolk in Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese?

Sometime people are surprised that Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese contains egg. However, egg yolk is a common ingredient in cheese sauces. It helps to thicken the sauce and gives it a rich flavor.

Additionally, another reason to add an egg yolk to mac and cheese is because of its ability to emulsify other ingredients, which bings together oil and water (which if you remember from your science classes do NOT mix on their own).

How to make Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese

Ingredients for Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese

  • 16 oz. of elbow macaroni (typical standard package) 
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup of flour (skip if you are making a gluten-free version)
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 7-9 slices American cheese, torn or cut into small pieces
  • 1-½ cups grated cheddar cheese, plus additional cheese for the top layer
  • ½ cup grated of MontAmore Cheese or BellaVitano Gold cheese (Substitute either of these cheeses with additional Parmesan if you’re unable to find it at your local grocery store)
  • ¼ cup grated of Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated of Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground smoked paprika
  • Pinch of ground turmeric
  • (Optional) Black pepper to taste
  • (Optional) Bacon (chopped into bits) to taste
skillet-copycat-chick-fil-a-mac-and-cheese-recipe
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5 from 2 votes

A Better than Copycat Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese Recipe

According to Chick-fil-A’s website, the cheese sauce is a special blend of over many different cheeses ( including Romano, cheddar, American, Montamore, Asiago, and Parmesan).
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Copycat
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chick fil a mac and cheese recipe, chick-fil-a, copycat recipe, mac and cheese
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 627kcal
Author: Daily DIY Life

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. of elbow macaroni typical standard package
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup of flour skip if you are making a gluten-free version
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 7-9 slices American cheese torn or cut into small pieces
  • 1-½ cups grated cheddar cheese plus additional cheese for the top layer
  • ½ cup grated of BellaVitano Gold cheese Substitute this hard cheese with additional Parmesan if you’re unable to find it at your local grocery store
  • ¼ cup grated of Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated of Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon ground smoked paprika
  • Pinch of ground turmeric
  • Optional Black pepper to taste
  • Optional Bacon (chopped into bits) to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (This step is optional. Only if you plan on broiling your mac and cheese at the end so you get a cheesy crust will you need your oven.)
  • Cook your macaroni according to the instructions on the packaging and ADD ten extra minutes to the cook time once it reaches al dente. The reason for the extra time is that it helps over saturate the pasta in order to prevent the pasta from soaking up the cheese sauce.
  • While the pasta is cooking, start making the cheese sauce by first melting the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add in the flour and then whisk it continuously for approximately 5 minutes over low heat.
  • In another bowl, add nonfat dry milk powder and the water to this bowl. Then, whisk together until the powder and the water are fully mixed together.
  • Slowly add this milk mixture into the roux (from Steps 2 and 3), and bring the combined roux to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the liquid thickens.
  • Place the egg yolk in another small bowl. Add ½ cup of the hot milk blend to the egg yolk. Make sure to whisk the egg yolk to prevent yolk from scrambling. Add a second ½ cup of hot milk. Continue whisking until the mixed ingredients are well combined. Then add the combined egg-milk blend back to the pot.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the combination of cheeses one handful at a time. Start with the American cheese and then add the other grated cheese once the American cheese has fully melted.
  • If a cheesy crispy top is desired, transfer your mac and cheese into a large baking dish. Cover the top of your mac and cheese with your additional grated cheddar cheese. Bake your mac and cheese for 5 mins. Then top broil the mac and cheese on low so that you can have a delicious crispy top.
  • Remove your mac and cheese from the oven. Wait until it is cool enough to eat. And serve (add bacon bites if you want) and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 627kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 1316mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 946IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 805mg | Iron: 2mg

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Congratulations! You have successfully made a comfort food dish that your family will rave about. Plus, if you have leftovers, this meal should last for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container. So it is a gift that keeps on giving!

Need a side dish for your mac and cheese? Try our Crack Green Bean Recipe and let us know what you think.

More Copycat Recipes

Looking for more copycat recipes? Try out a few of our favorites below:

Top Copycat Recipes (America’s Favorites)

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah May 14, 2022 Reply
    • Heather May 14, 2022 Reply

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