Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese

Who doesn’t love copycat recipes this Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese is an at home Applebee’s version that is a serious hit!

Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese

I have noticed that I have a lot of dessert recipes on my blog. Whoops. I totally am not apologizing for that at all. Dessert is my favorite meal of the day. I always always always have a dessert around my house. They are fun to make and even more fun to eat. Although my thighs may not agree with me on that aspect. But I realize that I have to switch it up time and time again and give you guys some other good stuff…say a pasta dinner dish?

Applebee's Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese

That’s where this Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese comes in. If you guys have an Applebees near you, you may have seen something similar to this on their menu. This has quickly become one of my favorite dishes from their. Creamy cheese, crispy chicken strips and a honey pepper sauce….who goes wrong with that. 

Applebee's copycat

I love being able to do copycat recipes at home. Saves this girl a bunch of money and it makes my take-out loving husband super happy. This is a great meal for the whole family to enjoy. It has just enough heat that they kids will love it! And mac and cheese is a no brainer for feeding a hungry family! Enjoy!

Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese3

4.34 from 12 votes
Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
  • 1 16 oz box spiral noodles
  • 1 bag breaded chicken strips
  • 5 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Basil
Honey Pepper Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbs vinegar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of paprika
Cheese Sauce:
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup colby jack cheese
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  1. Bake or deep fry chicken strips until done (you can also make your own), set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile in medium saucepan mix all your Honey Pepper sauce ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring often..
  4. To make your cheese sauce melt your butter and cream together in medium sauce pan.
  5. Once melted add your cheese and garlic and stir until combined and reduce heat until all cheeses are blended in.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add pasta to large bowl and pour sauce and crumbled bacon over top, stir to combine.
  8. Dip each of your chicken strips into the honey pepper sauce until coated. Set aside.
  9. When ready to serve, dish up your pasta and top with chicken strips and sprinkle with basil.

Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese Collage

50 thoughts on “Honey Pepper Chicken Mac and Cheese

  1. Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely delicious! I cannot wait to cook this for my family. It’s so wonderful to see pictures of what the dish looks like complete that aren’t crazy intimidating. Sometimes I see the pictures in recipe books and it puts me off making it because I don’t think I could ever recreate it. Your pictures are lovely, vibrant and real. Again, I absolutely cannot wait to make this!!

    1. How sweet. Your comment literally made my day. I agree with you on trying to recreate some of those cookbook or even blog photos. Unless you are an amazing food stylist my food won’t look like that!

  2. So you’ve got two of my boys favorites in this recipe, so clearly I must pin and try this some evening. Nothing like some good ole’ comfort food! Thanks for sharing Alli!

  3. When I came across this on pinterest last week, I knew I had to try it right away! I just got back from the store and picked up the ingredients I needed and I’m making it tonight! This is my favorite item on Applebee’s menu!

  4. Hi!!! Absolutely so excited to make this recipe for my family!!! Just a quick question though…..where did you buy your breaded chicken strips/what brand of chicken strips are they? ???? Thanks!

    1. I’m so happy you’re excited for this. We just got our breaded chicken straps at Walmart in the frozen section by the meats. You can use tyson, banquet and off brand. Any will do really!

    1. Hi Jess, I’m so sorry your sauce never thickened. If it doesn’t thicken naturally what I like to do is in a small bowl mix together 1 Tbs cornstarch and 1 Tbs water and stir until combined. Pour that into your sauce and heat, it should thicken it right up.

  5. I have made this twice now for my roommates and myself! We love it! However, biting the honey pepper sauce is one hell of a challenge! I have boiled the sauce over the pan both times I did it! The moment I turn my eye away from it I hear the burning of sauce on the burner! Turned into a mess! Always ends up with two roommates running with kitchen towels trying to cover the smoke detectors as fast as possible so we don’t set the entire apartment building fire alarms off! This recipe is building memories!!! I also featured this recipe in my September favorites on my blog!

    1. Hi Sarah! I’m so happy you love this recipe. Yeah sometimes sauces can be a pain, I’ve done the exact same thing and had my sauce boil over because I didn’t keep my eye on it and it’s not fun to clean! I’ll definitely add that to my notes in the recipe to carefully watch the sauce because it likes to boil over. But I’m extremely happy that memories are being built from this!! ❀❀

    1. Hi Sally! To make your own you take a few thawed chicken breasts and cut them into strips. In a bowl you can add about 1 1/2 cup flour mixed with salt, pepper and some paprika, another bowl you can mix about 1 cup milk and 1 beaten egg. Dip your chicken into your flour to coat, then into your milk then back into flour. You then deep fry them until golden. Hope that helps!

  6. This recipe looks amazing. I wanted to just try out the sauce for dinner idea sometime. About how much sauce does this make (serving size)? I was thinking of inviting some friends over to try it and wanted to know how much I might need. Thank you!

    1. Hi Meghann, the sauce probably makes around 3/4-1 I guess I’ve never actually measured since it’s more or less for a coating in this recipe. But looking at all the ingredients volumes I’m thinking after it thickens it will result in about that πŸ™‚

  7. I am so excited to try this tonight! I am going to attempt to half the recipe because it’s just two of us. How well does the cheese sauce coat for the full recipe? I’m debating whether I should half this as well or leave as is.

  8. This recipe is amazing! My sauce thickened nicely and I had no issues with it. My fiancΓ© loved it as well. We both crave it quite frequently! πŸ™‚

  9. this recipe is awesome and now a staple in our house as that is my significant others favorite meal at applebees, thanks for sharing!

  10. I have made this so many times now for my son. He loves it and says it is almost exactly like his favorite dish at Applebees! You have saved me a lot of money with this recipe.

  11. I read the reviews before I made this and was prepared for the sauce to not thicken because I have the worst luck with that! But i told myself i would make this the first time without changing just to see. I’m so glad that I did! I followed this recipe to a T and it came out beautifully! And it tasted delicious! Thank you for this recipe!!

  12. Can I mix some of the ingredients in advance? Traveling to a cabin tomorrow and plan on making this. Trying to make things as easily as possible….

Leave a Reply

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