Copycat honey pepper chicken Mac n cheese recipe

Indulge your taste buds in the irresistible fusion of flavors with this Copycat Applebee’s Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese. A culinary masterpiece that combines crispy honey pepper chicken with creamy, cheesy mac and cheese, this dish is sure to elevate your home dining experience.

Follow this detailed guide to recreate the signature Applebee’s dish, allowing you to savor the perfect balance of savory and sweet, crunchy and creamy.


For Honey Pepper Chicken:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
For Mac and Cheese:
8 oz elbow macaroni or your preferred pasta
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste


Honey Pepper Chicken:
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
Dredge each piece in flour, then dip in beaten eggs, and coat with breadcrumbs.
Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, mix honey, soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic powder. Heat over low heat until well combined. Pour the sauce over the fried chicken and toss to coat.
Mac and Cheese:
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour to create a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Gradually whisk in the milk, making sure there are no lumps. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the shredded cheddar and Parmesan cheese until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and stir until well coated.
Serve the honey pepper chicken over the mac and cheese and drizzle with extra honey pepper sauce if desired.

Why You’ll Love It:

Embark on a culinary journey with this Copycat Applebee’s Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese, and discover a symphony of flavors and textures that will undoubtedly captivate your taste buds. Here’s why you’ll love it:

  1. Perfect Harmony of Flavors:
    • The honey pepper chicken brings a delightful blend of sweetness and savory notes, creating a perfect harmony with the rich and cheesy mac and cheese.
  2. Crispy and Tender Chicken:
    • The bite-sized chicken, crisped to golden perfection, offers a satisfying crunch on the outside while remaining tender and succulent on the inside.
  3. Creamy, Cheesy Mac and Cheese:
    • The mac and cheese component provides a luscious and velvety texture, showcasing the richness of sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.
  4. Balanced Sweet and Savory Profile:
    • The honey pepper sauce not only adds a touch of sweetness to the chicken but also infuses a savory depth, achieving a well-balanced flavor profile.
  5. Versatile Comfort Food:
    • It’s the epitome of comfort food, combining the familiarity of mac and cheese with an elevated twist, making it a versatile and crowd-pleasing dish.
  6. Homemade Goodness:
    • Recreate the magic of Applebee’s in the comfort of your home, enjoying the satisfaction of preparing a restaurant-quality dish from scratch.
  7. Textural Contrast:
    • Experience the delightful contrast between the crispy exterior of the honey pepper chicken and the smooth, creamy consistency of the mac and cheese.
  8. Eye-Catching Presentation:
    • Impress your guests with a visually appealing dish that features golden-brown chicken perched atop a bed of vibrant and cheesy pasta.
  9. Customizable to Your Tastes:
    • Adjust the seasoning, honey, or pepper levels to suit your personal preferences, allowing you to tailor the dish to your unique taste.
  10. A Memorable Dining Experience:
    • Whether for a cozy dinner at home or entertaining guests, this dish promises a memorable dining experience that combines the best of both comfort and gourmet elements.

How to store it:

To preserve the freshness and flavor of your Copycat Applebee’s Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese, proper storage is essential. Here’s a guide on how to store it:

Short-Term Storage:

  1. Refrigeration:
    • Allow any leftovers to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
    • Transfer the mac and cheese and honey pepper chicken into airtight containers.
    • Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Separate Storage:
    • If possible, store the honey pepper chicken and mac and cheese in separate containers to maintain their individual textures.

Long-Term Storage:

  1. Freezing the Mac and Cheese:
    • For longer storage, freeze the mac and cheese portion.
    • Place it in a freezer-safe, airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
    • Label the container with the date for reference.
    • Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  2. Freezing the Honey Pepper Chicken:
    • Freeze the honey pepper chicken separately to preserve its crispiness.
    • Place the chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid.
    • Transfer the frozen chicken pieces to a freezer-safe container or bag.
    • Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.


  1. Reheating Mac and Cheese:
    • Thaw frozen mac and cheese in the refrigerator overnight (if frozen).
    • Reheat in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently to maintain the creamy texture.
    • Alternatively, microwave in short intervals, stirring in between, until heated through.
  2. Reheating Honey Pepper Chicken:
    • Preheat the oven to a moderate temperature (around 350°F or 175°C).
    • Place frozen chicken on a baking sheet and bake until crispy and heated through.
    • Alternatively, use an air fryer for a quicker reheating process, ensuring the chicken stays crispy.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Consider reheating the mac and cheese and honey pepper chicken separately to maintain their respective textures.
  • Drizzle extra honey pepper sauce on the chicken just before serving for a fresh burst of flavor.
  • Serve with a side of fresh greens or a crisp salad to balance the richness of the dish.

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