Chick-fil-A, the home of the original chicken sandwich, recently added mac and cheese to its lineup of delicious sides. This marks the first permanent side dish addition to the Chick-fil-A menu since 2016. Now, I enjoy pretty much everything that Chick-fil-A has to offer. My order generally consists of the Hash Brown Scramble Bowl and a Vanilla Cold Brew for breakfast or a nugget meal for lunch. Not to mention, Chick-fil-A’s waffle fries are incredibly hard to beat. With an already great menu I wondered, “How does mac and cheese fit into this equation?”
I’m not sure if it’s a regional thing, but I have seen a resurgence in mac and cheese sides on restaurant menus lately. For example, KFC introduced a new $5 Fill Up Mac and Cheese bowl which combines the restaurant’s famous mac and cheese and chicken in one meal. The Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese at Panera has become a fan favorite over the years; well until its recent Tik Tok controversy. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see Chick-fil-A hopping onto the mac and cheese train, but of course I had to give it a try.
This side comes in three different sizes: small, medium, or large. I ordered a small and enjoyed as a side to the rest of my meal, but I can see the larger portions being used for a family dinner or a party. A small portion of mac and cheese will cost you 260 calories, which is comparable to a small side of fries (280 calories). The mac and cheese can stand alone as a meal if that’s what you prefer, or you can substitute for fries in any meal.
According to the Chick-fil-A website the macaroni and cheese dish features, “a special blend of cheeses including cheddar, parmesan and Romano.” I enjoy the kind of mac and cheese where you can truly taste the combination of cheese, and that’s exactly what you get in this dish. The Chick-fil-A mac and cheese reminds me of the homemade version that my mom makes on special occasions. Underneath a thick layer of melted cheese lay a mixture of macaroni and a rich, creamy cheese sauce.
Whether you add as a side to a chicken sandwich or enjoy on its own, the Chick-fil-A mac and cheese serves as a wonderful new addition to the menu. I now understand why this dish passed in each of its test markets with flying colors. This dish brings a more home-style element to the already popular menu. I am interested to see how Chick-fil-A will continue to innovate with its products offerings after the roaring success of the mac and cheese.