Copycat Popeyes Mac and Cheese Recipe

Popeyes’ mac and cheese is iconic – so much so, that my review of their side is one of the highest viewed posts here. This copycat Popeyes mac and cheese recipe is so easy you will wonder how you ever survived without it.

Similar to my Christmas Eve Alfredo recipe, this one also uses cream in place of béchamel, subbing the parmesan for extra sharp cheddar. Lots and lots of extra sharp cheddar. Like that recipe, this one won’t reheat well so it’s best to scale to how many people you need to serve. Don’t plan to have it tomorrow for lunch. Popping it in the microwave leads to a soppy greasy mess.

Note: This article contains affiliate links to products that I love and use to make mac and cheese in my own kitchen. When you click links here and make a purchase, I receive a commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my Affiliate Link Policy here.

The magic of this recipe is Cheddar Cheese. So much cheddar cheese. I use the generic Kroger extra sharp cheddar from my local Dillons, but grab whatever sharp cheddar you can find. Both Tillamook and Cabot are great options. Don’t buy the pre-shredded cheese if you can avoid it. In order to ensure it won’t clump together on store shelves, they use anti-caking ingredients. This is awesome for them, but not so awesome when you’re trying to get it to melt together in a beautiful crust. It’s worth the effort to grate it fresh. If you’re killing your arm, this is my favorite rotary cheese grater.

This Copycat Popeyes Mac and Cheese Recipe will get you your fast food mac and cheese fix to serve alongside anything you want. Or eat a whole bowl of it by yourself. Nobody’s judging here.

Copycat Popeyes Mac and Cheese Recipe

Course: Side DishCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 16 oz Pasta

  • 1 pint Heavy Cream

  • 1 teaspoon Ground Mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

  • 1 tablespoon miced garlic

  • 1/4 tablespoon onion powder

  • 8 ounces Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated. Reserve 1/2 cup for topping.


  • Turn on your broiler
  • Prepare the pasta according to package directions.
  • Heat the heavy cream until it just starts to simmer. Stir in spices and remove from heat.
  • Add the grated cheddar, reserving 1/2 cup and whisk the cheese mixture until the cheese is combined in the sauce.
  • Stir the pasta and cheese sauce together.
  • Spread the mac and cheese into an oven safe dish.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Pop your mac and cheese in the oven until the cheese topping melts.

1 thought on “Copycat Popeyes Mac and Cheese Recipe”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *