Craving the homestyle goodness of Cracker Barrel’s famous Macaroni and Cheese? Say goodbye to those restaurant lines and hello to your own kitchen magic!
Our Copycat Cracker Barrel Macaroni and Cheese Recipe is here to bring that comforting, cheesy delight straight to your table. No need to decode secret recipes – we’ve got you covered with a step-by-step guide to recreate that rich, creamy goodness with simple ingredients.
Get ready for a taste of nostalgia and the satisfaction of mastering the art of cheesy perfection right in your own home. Let’s turn your kitchen into the ultimate comfort food haven with this irresistible Cracker Barrel recipe!
Looking for another go-to recipe for comfort food? Check out our favorite Cracker Barrel Copycat Recipes here!
And be sure to see the allergen-friendly versions of this recipe too.
This can be a great main dish weeknight meal, or you can serve it as a side dish with fried chicken, pork chops or even hot dogs. This is a family favorite recipe that can be a quick family dinner.
You can use the noodles of your choice, but we like using the traditional elbow macaroni.
You’ll use this to create the roux for your cheese sauce.
We recommend all-purpose flour, but you can use wheat flour if you want to.
You can also use chicken stock if you’d rather.
For best results, we recommend you use heavy cream and step away from skim milk or whole milk.
We recommend shredding this your self! Pre-shredded cheese has a powdered coating that prevents it from melting like regular cheese. You could also replace some of the colby cheese with sharp cheddar, but it depends on your personal preference.
SALT AND BLACK PEPPER
Stir in some meaty mix ins, like diced ham or cooked bacon bits. We also like to top ours with panko breadcrumbs.
Step 1: Follow the box instructions to cook your macaroni to al dente. Shred your cheese.
Step 2: Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to create a thick paste.
Step 3: Stir in chicken broth and heavy cream. Stir until the sauce thickens. Add shredded cheese and stir until melted.
Step 4: Combine with cooked noodles and pour into oven-safe dish. Top with panko breadcrumbs (optional) and bake until edges are browned, typically for 10 minutes.
HINT: An 8-ounce block of cheese typically makes 2 cups of shredded cheese. For this recipe, you’ll want to purchase at least a 12-ounce block of cheese.
This can easily be made into a gluten-free Cracker Barrel Mac n Cheese Dinner. Click here for our full recipe.
Avoiding Dairy? You won’t believe how creamy our Dairy-Free Cracker Barrel Macaroni and Cheese Copycat Recipe is.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This homemade mac n cheese freezes really well. After baking, let cool complete. Cover in tin foil and freeze for up to three months. When ready to eat, let thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30-45 minutes or until heated through.
You can also freeze prior to baking and follow the same instructions for reheating.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
While elbow macaroni is the classic choice, you can experiment with different pasta shapes based on your preference. Shells, penne, or cavatappi work well too!
Colby is key to replicating the signature Cracker Barrel taste. Feel free to experiment with adding additional cheeses to match your cheese preferences.
Absolutely! Prepare the macaroni and cheese, refrigerate, and then reheat when needed.
Pair it with a crisp green salad, roasted vegetables, or grilled chicken for a well-rounded meal. The versatility of this dish makes it a perfect companion to various sides.
Absolutely! Customize your mac and cheese by adding crispy bacon bits, breadcrumbs, or even a dash of hot sauce for an extra kick.
Gradually add the cream while making the cheese sauce, and avoid overheating. If it seems too runny, let it sit for a few minutes off the heat to thicken.
While pre-shredded cheese is convenient, shredding your own will give you a smoother melt and better texture. Pre-shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can affect the sauce.
Yes, it can easily be vegetarian-friendly. Simply substitute the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Double-check the other ingredient labels to ensure there are no animal-derived additives in your chosen pasta and cheese.
An 8-ounce block of cheese typically makes 2 cups of shredded cheese. For this recipe, you’ll want to purchase at least a 12-ounce block of cheese.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 30 min