Fried Chicken With Mac And Cheese


Fried chicken with mac and cheese are two of my favorite dishes to make. Unfortunately I’ve had bad run-ins with these dishes many times. I never even knew what fried chicken was until I was an adult. The problem was that the chicken wasn’t cooked! I remember seeing people eating raw (literally) chicken at restaurants. It looked quite disgusting actually, but it tasted sooooo good when it was cooked correctly. 

Fried Chicken Mac N Cheese

This fried chicken mac n cheese recipe is what happens when you decide to combine to classic favorites and just go for it.

Fried Chicken Mac n Cheese

Fried Chicken Mac N Cheese
Cooking Tips:

Making a roux ensures that you have a creamy cheese sauce. Make sure you add your milk in 1/3 to make sure you cook out the flour taste.

Can You Make Ahead?

Fridge: After mac n cheee cools off, place in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days max.

Reheating: Pop in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes or bring a small amount of milk to a boil and stir in mac n cheese, cook until hot. *A 1/4 cup of liquid will be enough for 1 cup.

Fried Chicken Mac n Cheese

Substitution Options:

Tenderloins or chicken thighs are a great substitute instead of breast.

Have fun and use different combinations of your favorites cheeses. White cheese’s melt better than yellow


Fried Chicken Mac n Cheese

Fried Chicken Mac & Cheese

Fried Chicken Mac & Cheese- This recipe is what happens when you decide to combine to classic favorites and just go for it. Impressively this will be on your dinner table just because it’s so good!

PREP TIME15 mins

COOK TIME30 mins


COURSEAppetizer, Main Course, Side Dish

CUISINEAmerican, Creole, Southern




Fried Chicken

  • 3 chicken breast 1 inch dice
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • Canola oil for frying

Mac N Cheese

  • 1 lbs. elbow macaroni cooked
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 quart half and half
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar
  • 2 cups mozzarella

Shop Recipe


  • In a bowl add chicken, buttermilk and spices, stir together let sit for 30 minutes-1 hour in refrigerator. Heat oil to 375 degrees; over medium heat in a large skillet. Dredge chicken in flour and fry for 5 minutes; if frying in batches hold finished chicken in 200-degree oven.
  • Cook pasta in boiling water for 6 minutes.
  • In a pot over medium heat melt butter, then add flour and whisk together for 30 seconds. Add salt, pepper, garlic and dry mustard.
  • Whisk in half and half in thirds, then add cream. Bring to a boil once boiling add 2 cups cheddar and 1 cup mozzarella. Reduce heat to medium low and stir until cheese has melted. Add macaroni, 1/3 fried chicken and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour in mac and cheese into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish sprinkle 1/3 fried chicken and the remaining cheese over top. Pop in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese has browned evenly. Remove from oven and top with remaining chicken.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Chicken-Fried Macaroni and Cheese


My family and I occasionally order fried mac n’ cheese from Swanky Frank’s in Norwalk, Connecticut, or wherever else we spot the stuff. I’ve always wondered, “Can I make this at home??” So here’s my version, sort of ramped up if you will, chicken-fried style. I adapted the dredging recipe from the Chicken-Fried Steak recipe over at Saveur. My kids prefer a milder cheese, so if that’s to your liking, replace some of the sharp cheddar with a milder cheese like American, which has awesome meltability.


WHO: You know mrslarkin for her scones and contest wins, but wait until you see what she does to macaroni and cheese!
WHAT: Cheesy mac is dredged in buttermilk and flour, then fried—and then gobbled.
HOW: Toss together a simple sharp cheddar sauce with macaroni, freeze it into a pan, cut it into squares, and give them the chicken-fried treatment.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Warning: This recipe may lead you to fry up mac n’ cheese each time you make it—don’t worry, we won’t tell a soul. —The Editors

  • Test Kitchen-Approved
  • Your Best Mash-Up Recipe
  • SERVESa whole mess
Ingredients send grocery list
  • For the macaroni and cheese:
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup heavy cream or milk
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • For the dredging:
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • large egg
  1. To make the macaroni and cheese, cook macaroni to al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Grease a 9- x 13-inch cake pan and set aside.
  3. In the same pasta pot, heat the cream and cheese over medium-low heat, stirring until creamy and smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Add cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce. Mix very well.
  5. Spread macaroni and cheese into the greased pan, smoothing with a spatula. Freeze until firm for about 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight.
  6. Cut macaroni in the pan into about 20 squares. A bench scraper works well. Just eyeball your lines (or use a ruler) and press directly downwards with the bench scraper.
  7. To dredge and fry the macaroni, heat 1/2-inch vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  8. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  9. In another shallow bowl, whisk the buttermilk, Tabasco, and egg.
  10. Using a skinny and bendy metal spatula to remove a few macaroni squares from the pan at a time. Keep unused squares chilled. Dredge each square of macaroni in the flour mixture, then egg mixture, then flour mixture, shaking off the excess.
  11. Fry macaroni squares until golden, then flip and fry other side until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel-lined cooling rack set over a sheet pan.
  12. Sprinkle with some flaky sea salt if you’ve got it, or kosher salt is just fine, too. Serve hot with a spicy marinara or gravy, or just plain ol’ ketchup.

Sriracha Fried Chicken Mac and Cheese

I’m quick to tell anyone that Mac and Cheese is my favorite meal ever. The only people that ever say they don’t like Mac and Cheese just think it’s too bland. This layered recipe of sweet, creamy and spicy is perfect for Mac and Cheese lovers and skeptics alike.

Boasting my proud Canadian heritage with creamy maple butter to balance out creamy and salty, this is the perfect show stopper recipe to impress friends and family.

2 mini cast iron pans are filled with Mac and cheese and topped with fried chicken and maple butter. A bottle of maple butter and 2 forks are in the background.

Substitutions and Diet Modifications

Diet Modifications

I’m on a diet, how can I eat this recipe? This probably isn’t the recipe for you. A meal like this isn’t fit for every day consumption. It’s rich, it’s filling and it’s high calorie. If you have a hankering for comfort food, you can try my 5 Minute Microwave Mac and Cheese that only clocks in at 300 calories a serving. You can also “fry” the chicken with an Air Fryer or in a convection oven.

Can this recipe be made vegetarian? Yes! Leave out the chicken and just make the Mac and Cheese. That will change the recipe significantly and I’d recommend not putting maple butter on without the chicken. Alternatively, you can serve it with meatless chicken tenders like these ones from Gardein.

What about vegan? Honestly, there are some amazing vegan Mac and Cheese recipes that I’d recommend instead of trying to veganize this one. Although very different, you can use my vegan baked mac and cheese recipe and top with meatless chicken tenders and maple butter,

Can this recipe be customized for a keto diet? Sort of! For keto, I’d recommend substituting macaroni with steamed cauliflower. Instead of using a mix of milk and cream for the sauce, just use cream and use about half the amount. Feel free to add in cream cheese for extra fat and to thicken. As for the chicken – use this recipe from Savory Tooth instead.


Chicken Breasts? Chicken thighs can be substituted. You’ll need to cook the chicken for slightly less time or they’ll dry out. Make sure either the breast or the thigh are boneless and skinless.

Maple Butter? Maple syrup is a great substitution! If you don’t have either, it can be left out entirely or replaced with honey in a pinch. Don’t use artificial syrups like Aunt Jemima as they’re basically corn syrup and just add sweetness with no depth of flavor.

Another amazing option is Hot Honey! If maple isn’t your thing, try this incredible hot honey recipe from Casual Foodist. If you love spice, it pairs perfectly with the sriracha fried chicken.

Sriracha? Add in some cayenne pepper, about 1 teaspoon. If you don’t like spice this can be left out all together.

Cream/Milk? If you only have milk/cream or don’t have the right percentage of milk – it’s just important that you use the same amount of liquid. Use the dairy you have and just know that different fat percentages being subbed out will either make the dish thinner, less rich or thicker.

Buttermilk? Pour 1 tablespoon of white vinegar into a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the rest of the cup (up to the 1 cup line) with milk. It’s not the exact same as buttermilk but works better for a recipe like this than it would in baking.

Cheddar/Smoked Gouda? No worries – use what you have. Just make sure you use the same amount of cheese and avoid non-melting cheeses like Halloumi/Paneer, very mild cheeses like Mild Cheddar/Mozzarella or overly pungent cheeses like Gorgonzola. Also, if you use Parmesan, make sure it makes up no more than ¼ of the cheese and that you reduce the salt.

Macaroni? You can use any noodle at all. I prefer short ones over shapes like spaghetti, fettuccini or linguine.

Cutting into the crispy crust of the Mac and cheese with a fork to reveal a creamy interior, topped with crispy fried chicken and maple butter

Instructions, FAQs and Other Tips

Instructions (Optimized for Speed)

  1. Eight hours before cooking (or the night before) add all the marinade ingredients together and marinade the chicken for 8-12 hours ideally – 4 is sufficient.
  2. Start preparing the dish by cooking your noodle of choice. Drain and set aside.
  3. Grate the cheese(s) and divide into 4 equal parts.
  4. In a medium pan, make a roux by melting butter and cooking off flour. Add in milk/cream and simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and mix in spices and ½ of the cheese. Allow the cheese to melt completely.
  5. Combine the pasta, cheese sauce and ¼ of the grated cheese. Place in an oven safe dish and top with the remaining ¼ portion of cheese.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered until bubbly and browned. If desired, broil for a few minutes for extra browning.
  7. While the mac and cheese is baking, breading ingredients. Remove chicken from fridge and shake off excess buttermilk. Coat in flour mixture. Repeat process of buttermilk and flour coating 2 times. Set aside.
  8. Heat oil in a dutch oven or deep fryer to 360 degrees. Cook chicken until browned and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees for food safety. Set aside on a wire rack.


  • If you’re using individual cast iron pans (recommended), place a piece of chicken on top of the mac and cheese and top the chicken with 1 teaspoon of maple butter, or to taste. Optionally, garnish the dish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
  • If using a large baking dish, divide the mac into cheese into desired portions (about 4) and place chicken on top of the mac and cheese. Place 1 teaspoon of maple butter on the chicken. Optionally, garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.


Can I make this ahead? How do I reheat it? Yes! Mac and Cheese is best served immediately but remains safe for about 5 days in the fridge. To reheat, place the pasta in an oven safe baking dish and bake at 300 until warmed through. For best results, heat the chicken on a separate baking dish and flip once after about 7 minutes.

Can I make this ahead and freeze it? I doubt there will be enough left over to freeze no matter how much you make, but yes. If your plan is to cook this, slightly undercook your pasta for best results. The night before you want to eat it, let it defrost slowly in the fridge. Once defrosted, heat in the oven at 300 until heated through. If you’re lazy, you can nuke it in the microwave for about 5 minutes at medium power. I like to add a bit of milk to the top to help it stay moist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.