As far as side dishes go, mac and cheese is one of the classics! But to anybody who’s tried it, Chick-fil-A’s version is to die for! So I set out to make my own version of the classic. With this copycat Chick-fil-A mac and cheese recipe, you can have creamy, cheesy, perfectly tender pasta with less calories and sodium than the original version! This recipe makes four generous servings.

The two types of cheese — parmesan and romano — create a beautiful sauce that stays nice and even when reheated. The recipe starts with a traditional roux of flour and butter to make the cheese sauce but don’t let this put you off, it’s actually really easy!

 Do NOT follow the macaroni elbows packet directions for once in this recipe. By cooking them for longer than al dente the noodles become super soft and soak up so much water it means they do not absorb all the cheese sauce. That’s just a part of what makes this dreamy recipe so perfect!

You can still enjoy this here and there if you’re sticking to WW point — 11 points per serving. But everything in moderation, of course. Fortunately, it is very filling and the perfect accompaniment to grilled vegetables. 

copycat Chick-fil-A mac and cheese sauce

Why you should try this recipe Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese (Copycat) recipe?

  • This is a super easy way to get the restaurant taste of Chick-fil-A’s mac and cheese at home. And it’s a perfect side to almost any dish and can be made within 30 minutes – quicker than takeout!
  • Mac and cheese is a familiar comfort food, but this version is lightened up so you can still enjoy it with family dinners. 
  • Perfectly seasoned taste, fewer calories, and less saturated fat and carbs than the original.

Ingredients

  •  Macaroni elbows, uncooked: 2 cups
  • Skim milk: 1.5 cups
  • Wholemeal flour: 1 tablespoons
  • Butter, salted: 1 ¾ tbsp
  • Nutmeg: ½ tsp
  • Paprika: ¼ tsp
  • Tumeric ¼ tsp
  • Black pepper, ground, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated: 1 ¾ tbsp
  • Romano cheese, grated: ⅓ cup
  • Cheddar cheese, grated: ½ cup
  • Breadcrumbs, panko, ⅓ cup

copycat Chick-fil-A macaroni and cheese ingredients

How to make Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese (Copycat)

  1. Preheat oven 200C/350F. Bring a large pot of generously-salted water to a rolling boil. Add macaroni elbows and cook 14-15 minutes until very soft to the bite. 
  2. Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. Melt until bubbling. Add the flour and whisk into a thick paste. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the milk until a smooth sauce. Season with the spices and stir. Add parmesan, romano and half the cheddar. Mix until smooth and set aside.copycat Chick-fil-A macaroni and cheese sauce
  3. Stir the pasta into the sauce and turn to coat. Add to a large, greased baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with tin foil.copycat Chick-fil-A macaroni and cheese pasta and sauce
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes then remove foil. Broil 2-3 minutes until golden brown and piping hot. copycat Chick-fil-A macaroni and cheese served

Weight Watchers points breakdown

  • Macaroni elbows – 2 cups, uncooked: 21 points
  • Skim milk – 1.5 cups: 3 points
  • Wholemeal flour – 1 tablespoons: 1 point
  • Butter, salted – 1 ¾ tbsp: 4 points
  • Nutmeg: ½ tsp
  • Paprika: ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric ¼ tsp
  • Black pepper, ground, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, grated – 1 ¾ tbsp: 4 points
  • Romano cheese, grated – ⅓ cup: 3 points
  • Cheddar, grated – ½ cup: 9 points

Variations and Substitutions

  • Part of what makes this recipe so close to the original is the types of cheese I use. They are strongly flavored so we need less, which lowers the fat content. But feel free to substitute the cheese with whatever you have and experiment with flavor. I’ve used pepperjack, gouda, camembert and even feta once! 
  • My favorite shape for cheesy pasta sauces is the double macaroni elbow called bucatini, but you can use really any shape of pasta you have on hand. 
  • This is  filling meal on its own but you can always serve with grilled chicken or steak for the meat eaters. 

Tips and Tricks

  • This recipe calls for cooking the pasta longer than al dente. This is because we want to soak up as much water as possible into the pasta to make it super tender and stop it from soaking up too much of the sauce.
  • I season all of my pasta sauces to taste, sometimes the cheese adds enough saltiness, other times I need to add more. So when you’re making the sauce, taste it after you’ve added the cheeses and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
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Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese (Copycat)

Servings: 4 people
copycat Chick-fil-A mac and cheese sauce
With this copycat Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese recipe, you can have creamy, cheesy, perfectly tender pasta with less calories and sodium than the original version!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups uncooked Macaroni elbows
  • 1 ½ cups Skim milk
  • 1 tbsp Wholemeal flour
  • 1 ¾ tbsp Butter, salted
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Tumeric
  • Black pepper, ground, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 ¾ tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • cup Romano cheese, grated
  • ½ cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • cup Breadcrumbs, panko

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven 200C/350F. Bring a large pot of generously-salted water to a rolling boil. Add macaroni elbows and cook 14-15 minutes until very soft to the bite.
  • Place a saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. Melt until bubbling. Add the flour and whisk into a thick paste. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the milk until a smooth sauce. Season with the spices and stir. Add parmesan, romano and half the cheddar. Mix until smooth and set aside.
  • Stir the pasta into the sauce and turn to coat. Add to a large, greased baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with tin foil.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes then remove foil. Broil 2-3 minutes until golden brown and piping hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 80gCalories: 383kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 18gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7.5gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 577mgPotassium: 93mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 3.6gCalcium: 401mgIron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Tried this recipe?Mention @drizzlemeskinny or tag #drizzlemeskinny!

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Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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