Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese Copycat Recipe

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Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese is buttery, creamy, and just maybe the ultimate comfort food! This easy stovetop recipe is over-the-top delicious and always a crowd-pleaser.

Copycat version of Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese, served in a black bowl.

Great for potlucks and weeknight meals alike, this recipe is modeled after my favorite side dish from Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese

If you’re a lover of mac and cheese and the blue-box variety, promise me now you’ll try this recipe! You’ll never go back to the blue box. This recipe is just as easy, almost as quick, and the flavor is above and beyond the boxed variety.

This has a cheesy sauce and chewy pasta.

Bowl of pasta with creamy white sauce.

Recipe Tips

  1. First of all, I don’t recommend using pre-shredded cheese. It is coated with cornstarch to keep it from clumping. It will alter the recipe, especially the thickness of the sauce. As well, it tastes different.
  2. Additionally,  you can omit the last step. You don’t have to be bake it. I like the cheese to get slightly crispy around the edges though.
  3. If you are putting it in the oven, be sure not to overcook your pasta. It will continue to cook and absorb moisture in the oven. I like pasta to be al dente. (firm when bitten)
  4. As well, you can substitute any cheese. Use your favorite or what you have on hand. Yes, it will alter the taste, but if you like the cheese you’ll like it mixed into pasta.
  5. Finally, try different mix-ins like ham, bacon, vegetables, caramelized onions, and peppers to add a change to traditional mac and cheese.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Restaurant Mac and Cheese

More Mac and Cheese Recipes

Reader Tip

It tastes 99% cb if ya follow recipe 💯, just ADD 1/2cup VELVEETA…BAM tastes 99% CB. JUST NEEDS SMIDGE OF VELVEETA (found it in another copy cat recipe and it made ALL the difference). Keep all other measurements the SAME AS THIS RECIPE, literally just add that lil VELVEETA 😋 😉 😘

Serving of Cracker Barrel Restaurant Mac and Cheese Recipe
Cracker Barrel mac and cheese in a small serving dish.

Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese Copycat Recipe

This Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese copycat recipe comes from my love of creamy mac n cheese. It makes a restaurant style comfort food meal!
Author: Paula
4.74 from 61 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 and ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 and ½ cups shredded Colby cheese
  • 2 and ½ cups uncooked pasta
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • optional add-ins 1 cup diced ham, 1 cup cooked bacon, 1 jar drained diced pimentos, 1 cup caramelized onions, or 2 cups steamed broccoli spears.


  • Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a separate pot; add salt and pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente then drain.
  • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add the flour a little bit at a time whisking to combine to make a roux. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Heat the broth.
  • Add the broth to the roux, stirring constantly with the whisk.
  • Add cream until it reaches the desired consistency. Remember it will thicken more as it cooks.
  • Add shredded cheese to the cream sauce stirring until cheese melts. 
  • Add the pasta and stir to combine.
  • Pour the mix into an oven safe dish and bake uncovered in a preheated oven set to 350°F for about 10 minutes or until brown around the edges.
  • Remove and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy! 


Recipe from Paula All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission that includes copying the ingredient list or entire recipe and posting in the comments on Pinterest for Facebook. If you want to share this recipe, please simply link back to this post for the recipe.


Calories: 564kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 144mg | Sodium: 789mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1538IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 421mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 5 stars
    This is delicious! It turned out perfect! It was smooth and creamy and flavorful! Thank you!

  2. 4 stars
    Not exactly Cracker Barrel ( they probably add a ton of salt anyway) but it was good and creamy. And came together pretty quick. Next time I may use half cheddar for a sharper flavor. The kid liked it, and that’s most important.

    1. It tastes 99% cb if ya follow recipe 💯, just ADD 1/2cup VELVEETA…BAM tastes 99% CB. JUST NEEDS SMIDGE OF VELVEETA (found it in another copy cat recipe and it made ALL the difference). Keep all other measurements the SAME AS THIS RECIPE, literally just add that lil VELVEETA 😋 😉 😘

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I added slightly more cream and I also added some chopped bacon that I’d fried. Then topped with breadcrumbs and popped under broiler for a couple of minutes. Probably THE BEST mac n cheese I’ve ever made. Thanks!!!

    1. 5 stars
      Delicious! I used 1/2 colby and 1/2 extra sharp cheddar. I also added a little dry mustard.
      Now a family favorite.
      Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  4. Just cooked for a side dish for a high school event. Can’t wait to hear the reviews. It looks amazing. Stars to follow.

  5. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I will definately give it a try!
    I hope I will manage as I am not a great cook!

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Your email address will not be published. Have you tried this recipe? Consider giving it 5 stars!