If you’ve ever stopped at KFC and bemoaned the fact that the restaurant’s mac and cheese is a mere side dish, rather than the basis for a full meal, you may now cease your wailing: KFC is launching Mac And Cheese Bowls in just a few days’ time. The marriage of KFC’s classic mac and cheese side dish and the concept of the KFC Famous Bowl, these new entrees bring together the creamy cheesiness of a good bowl of mac and the delightful crispiness of KFC’s Popcorn Chicken. They’ll be arriving on the menu at participating locations on Aug. 26, so, uh… look out, world. Here I come.
KFC’s mac and cheese has long been a favorite side dish at the fried chicken chain. The Original Famous Bowl, meanwhile, was introduced in 2006. Combining two of KFC’s classic sides — mashed potatoes with gravy and sweet corn — with bite-sized bits of crispy chicken not too dissimilar from the Popcorn Chicken the chain originally added to the menu in 1993 and topped off with shredded cheese, the bowl quickly became fan favorites among those who like to mix their foods as they eat them. (Those in the “each food must be eaten separately and also must never touch on the plate, ever” camp, however, were understandably somewhat less enamored with the idea.) At the tail end of 2018, another variety of Famous Bowl hit the menu — the Spicy Famous Bowl — adding a drizzle of Nashville Hot sauce to the mix.
Now, though, both dishes have come together into one glorious mélange — with the notable bonus of mac and cheese finally arriving on the KFC menu as an entrée. The new bowls are available in two varieties — the regular Mac And Cheese Bowl and a hotter variation, the Spicy Mac And Cheese Bowl — both of which start by swapping out the mashed potatoes and gravy found in the original Famous Bowls for a heaping portion of KFC’s mac and cheese. The bowls are then piled high with crispy bites of chicken and a sprinkling of more cheese (because when it comes to cheese, more is always better) — and if you opt for the Spicy Mac And Cheese Bowl, you also get a slug of Nashville Hot sauce on top.
As Andrea Zahumensky, the Chief Marketing Officer for KFC U.S., put it in a press release, “Mac and Cheese has a cult-like following, and bowl food is a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. So, it made perfect sense to call up a favorite side dish to the big leagues, in a way that only we could, with Mac And Cheese Bowls.” And how!
It’s worth noting, by the way, that their U.S. debut is actually not the Mac And Cheese Bowls’ first outing; back in 2018, they made appearances in a number of Asian markets, including Singapore. It does seem as if they’ve tweaked the recipe a bit since then — rather than being topped with shredded cheese, the bowls in Singapore were topped with nacho cheese sauce — but the current bowls are essentially the same thing: Servings of mac and cheese topped with Popcorn Chicken. Clearly, they did well enough in other markets to warrant a wider release.
Mac And Cheese Bowls are perhaps not the most extra thing KFC has ever come up with; indeed, for a chain that tends to specialize in unusual takes on otherwise familiar foodstuffs (Mac And Cheese Zinger, I’m looking at you), these options are downright tame. They do, however, look like they might have some staying power, so give ‘em a shot if the idea of chicken and mac and cheese together floats your boat. For a limited time, they’re available as part of the $5 Fill Up menu, adding a medium drink and chocolate chip cookie to the order. Find your nearest KFC here.