Copycat Applebee’s Chicken Mac & Cheese with Sweet Honey Chili Sauce
- 1 box deluxe Mac N Cheese – white cheddar
- 1 lb Tyson boneless chicken wings
- 1/2 cup bacon bits
- Extra milk, butter, and shredded cheese for Mac N Cheese
- Cooking spray for the casserole dish
For the Sweet Honey Chili Sauce:
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- Black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, paprika, chili powder (season to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and lightly grease a casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Prepare the Sweet Honey Chili Sauce by combining honey, soy sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, lemon juice, vinegar, and seasonings (black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic salt, paprika, chili powder) in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a low boil and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to thicken.
- Meanwhile, cook the deluxe Mac N Cheese – white cheddar according to the package instructions. Add in bacon bits and adjust the consistency with extra milk, butter, and shredded cheese to prevent it from drying out while baking.
- Toss the Tyson boneless chicken wings in the prepared Sweet Honey Chili Sauce until well coated.
- Pour the bacon-infused Mac N Cheese into the greased casserole dish, spreading it evenly.
- Layer the saucy chicken on top of the Macaroni.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
Enjoy your homemade Copycat Applebee’s Chicken Mac & Cheese with Sweet Honey Chili Sauce! It’s a delicious and budget-friendly meal for the whole family
Here are some tips to make the Copycat Applebee’s Chicken Mac & Cheese with Sweet Honey Chili Sauce even more delicious:
- Marinate the Chicken: For extra flavor, marinate the Tyson boneless chicken wings in a portion of the Sweet Honey Chili Sauce for at least 30 minutes before tossing them. This enhances the taste and ensures a flavorful chicken topping.
- Customize the Cheese Blend: Experiment with different cheese blends for the Mac N Cheese. You can combine white cheddar with other cheeses like Monterey Jack, Gouda, or mozzarella for a rich and complex flavor.
- Add Vegetables: Boost the nutritional value by adding vegetables to the Mac N Cheese. Consider incorporating diced bell peppers, onions, or spinach for added color and freshness.
- Adjust Spice Levels: Tailor the spice levels in the Sweet Honey Chili Sauce to your preference. If you like it spicier, increase the amount of cayenne pepper or chili powder. For a milder taste, reduce the spice quantities.
- Bake with a Crispy Topping: Create a crispy and golden top layer by adding a breadcrumb or crushed cracker topping before baking. Mix breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle it over the casserole for a delightful crunch.
- Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Just before serving, garnish the dish with fresh herbs like chopped cilantro or parsley. This adds a burst of freshness and a pop of color to the final presentation.
- Serve with a Side Salad: Balance the richness of the Mac & Cheese by serving it alongside a simple green salad. The crisp and refreshing salad will complement the creamy and savory flavors of the main dish.
- Double the Sauce: If your family loves the Sweet Honey Chili Sauce, consider making a double batch. You can use the extra sauce for dipping or drizzling at the table.
- Preheat the Casserole Dish: Before adding the Mac N Cheese and chicken layers, preheat the casserole dish in the oven. This helps the dish cook more evenly and creates a nice crust on the bottom.
- Experiment with Chicken Varieties: While Tyson boneless chicken wings work well, you can try other boneless chicken options such as grilled chicken breast or shredded rotisserie chicken for a different twist.
Remember to adjust the recipe to suit your preferences and get creative with the ingredients to make it your own. Enjoy your homemade Copycat Applebee’s Chicken Mac & Cheese with Sweet Honey Chili Sauce