Out of all the side dishes we have available to us, is there anything better than a delicious mac and cheese?
The ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese is thick, creamy, crispy, and super cheesy. It doesn’t matter if it’s processed, baked, or even fried, it always lights up everyone’s eyes when they see it on the menu.
Complimenting almost any dish, most fast food restaurants (see also ‘10 Fast Food Family Meals That Are Simply Wonderful‘) have mac and cheese on their menu. However, which fast food chain (see also ‘The 15 Oldest Fast Food Chains To Come Out Of The US‘) makes the best mac and cheese?
In all honesty, answering that question is impossible. There are far too many fast food restaurants that make a good mac and cheese.
Having said that, that doesn’t stop us from listing the very best. That’s exactly what we’ve done in this post.
In this post, you’ll find the best 9 fast food mac and cheese options. This could be hungry work, so you might want to grab a snack now!
Let’s kick start this list with Boston Market’s delicious mac and cheese recipe. For those that don’t know, Boston Market is a fast-casual food restaurant with a reputation for producing the best comfort food.
With side dishes like mac and cheese on the menu, it’s not hard to see why the chain is so popular. The mac and cheese at Boston Market is quite unique. This is because the chain uses rotini noodles instead of macaroni.
The noodles are coated in a thick, creamy, and extremely decadent cheese sauce made from cheddar cheese. There are two sizes available.
You can buy a regular side that contains just 260 calories or a large one that contains 620.
With over 300 restaurants across 25 U.S. states, getting hold of this tasty side dish shouldn’t be too difficult.
We all know how good KFC is at making fried chicken but did you know that they also make a killer mac and cheese?
If not, you do now!
To put it simply, the mac and cheese at KFC is phenomenal. The texture of the elbow macaroni combines beautifully with the creamy, super smooth layer of cheesy goodness.
The best thing about KFC’s mac and cheese though is how well it goes with the fast food chain’s chicken.
The crispy coating on the chicken compliments the soft, rich taste of the mac and cheese perfectly. To top things off, KFC has even released a special item to their menu called the mac and cheese bowl.
The mac and cheese bowl is a combination of Kraft noodles, a three-cheese blend, and KFC’s iconic popcorn chicken.
What’s not to like?
Next up, we have Golden Chick and their mac and cheese. Based out of Texas, Golden Chick is another fast food restaurant that’s best known for its fried chicken.
Making some pretty awesome chicken tenders, the restaurant is fast becoming known for its mac and cheese too. Available in just 33 locations, the mac and cheese made at Golden Chick is special.
Unlike other fast food restaurants, Golden Chick uses a traditional recipe to make their elbow macaroni and cheese.
Therefore, you can expect an incredibly tasty, extremely cheesy, and super-rich mac and cheese just like the one you used to have as a kid.
One serving contains just 160 calories and accompanies one of the chain’s many main meals easily.
We love our Golden Chick mac and cheese with signature chicken tenders or a fresh chicken sandwich.
If you’re looking for one of the best baked fast food restaurant mac and cheese side dishes make sure you pay Church’s Chicken a visit.
Unlike Golden Chick, you’ll find this scrumptious mac and cheese dish in 900 different locations across 26 different states.
Made from elbow macaroni, Church’s Chicken’s mac and cheese features a generous sprinkling of cheddar cheese and a creamy cheese sauce.
The macaroni is topped with these ingredients before being placed into the oven for baking.
Once baked, the mac and cheese is creamy, rich, thick, and delightfully crispy. You can purchase this side in regular or large. The regular only comes with 210 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 12 grams of fat.
Why not purchase some chicken tenders too and dip them in your mac and cheese? Trust us, you won’t regret it.
Bizarrely, there isn’t much talk about Popeye’s mac and cheese, when in reality there really should be.
It may not be the very best fast food mac and cheese out there, but it’s certainly up there with the very best. What we love about Popeye’s mac and cheese is their approach to homestyle.
Popeye’s (see also ‘20 Top Banana Cocktails‘) has done all it can to make a mac and cheese that tastes even better than the traditional mac and cheese we would normally make at home.
Like Church’s Chicken’s mac and cheese, this Popeye side dish is also baked. Featuring a golden-brown crust and rich, stringy gooey pasta, you’ll find yourself wanting more and more.
Admittedly, this mac and cheese does have room for improvement, but as far as fast food restaurant food goes, it’s damn tasty.
Let’s be honest, Chick-Fil-A very rarely disappoints with anything new it puts on the menu. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the chain’s mac and cheese is up there with the best mac and cheese fast food options.
Offering ultimate satisfaction, this mac and cheese recipe is loaded with flavor. The recipe contains a cheesy blend of parmesan, romano, cheddar, and super soft macaroni.
To take the side dish to a new level, a creamy, rich cheese sauce is poured over the top and mixed in.
As you tuck into this mac and cheese, you’ll feel the hot cheese melt in your mouth.
You’ll be able to taste each cheese, and you’ll appreciate the crispy cheese and macaroni topping that gives the side dish a little bit of something else.
If you haven’t tried this mac and cheese before, you’re seriously missing out.
If you’d prefer something different, it’s about time you checked out the mac and cheese on offer at Panera Bread (see also ‘11 Best Gluten-Free Items At Panera Bread‘).
Unlike no other, this mac and cheese doesn’t contain any cheddar. Instead, the recipe calls for the macaroni shell noodles to be coated in a creamy, very thick white sauce.
While the recipe might be very different from a traditional mac and cheese, we personally love the unique twist Panera Bread puts on this classic recipe.
The strong savory flavors of the sauce linger, reminding us somewhat of a rich cheddar soup.
It’s such a popular recipe that Panera Bread has even started releasing the recipe in stores. This gives customers the chance to enjoy this dish at home.
The only downside to this mac and cheese is that it is quite expensive.
With a name like Noodles & Company, we can expect something great straightaway. In fact, when it comes to variety, no fast food chain beats Noodles & Company (see also ‘11 Tasty Cook Out Menu Items‘).
Noodles & Company is the only fast food restaurant on this list that has its own mac and cheese category. Yes, you read that right, a mac and cheese category!
In total, the restaurant has four different mac and cheese dishes to choose from. These are the Wisconsin-style bowl, the Buffalo Mac, the BBQ Chicken Mac, and Gluten-Sensitive Pipette Mac.
These variations make it much easier for us to find the mac and cheese we’ll enjoy most. It also gives those with dietary requirements the opportunity to enjoy a tasty mac and cheese.
The Wisconsin bowl contains less cheese, while the Buffalo Mac bowl enhances flavors using hot sauce and green onions.
The final mac and cheese option on our list comes from Southern fast food chain Bojangles.
Well known for its tasty Cajun-inspired fried chicken made from buttermilk biscuits, there are almost 800 Bojangles locations across the United States.
The Bojangles mac and cheese offers a wonderful basic, yet classic mac and cheese made using a creamy cheese sauce and elbow macaroni.
Like most of the Bojangles menu, you can order their mac and cheese in two sizes. Those sizes are picnic and individual.
It’s worth noting that the picnic size is big enough for a whole family.
Rich, creamy, smooth, and cheesy, an individual serving of the Bojangles mac and cheese contains 280 calories. It also contains 18 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Brought Mac And Cheese To America?
Mac and cheese was once reserved for the upper classes of society. Interestingly, many historians credit American President Thomas Jefferson with introducing the delicious dish to the United States.
What Are The Best Cheeses For Mac And Cheese?
A wide range of cheeses can be used to make mac and cheese. However, the best cheeses to use are cheddar, romano, and parmesan.
What Country Invented Mac And Cheese?
It is believed that mac and cheese (see also ‘The Top 16 Frozen Mac & Cheese Brands‘) originated in Italy in the 13th century. The first recording of a macaroni and cheese recipe is believed to have been found in a cookbook called Liber de Coquina.
When it comes to mac and cheese, the United States is blessed with a huge range of fast food options. Whether it be a simple, yet scrummy side dish or a full main meal loaded with chicken tenders, there’s a mac and cheese recipe everyone will enjoy.
In this post, we’ve taken a closer look at 9 of the best fast food mac and cheese options. While it’s too hard to narrow the options down to just 2 or 3, we firmly believe that we’ve given you a solid list of the best options.
If you haven’t tried all of the mac and cheese options on this list, you need to change that quickly. All 9 options on this list are rich, creamy, smooth, and most importantly, delicious.
To miss out on just one would be a shame.
With that in mind, you should now work out which mac and cheese you haven’t tried. You can then head to your local restaurant and see what you think.