8 Best Milk Substitutes for Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese, also called macaroni and cheese in the U.S, is a dish mixed with a stringy, creamy, melty cheese sauce and cooked macaroni pasta.

Based on each region, there are many ways to make mac and cheese.

The most popular method is to create a thickening agent called a roux and mix it with milk slowly under heat. Then, add your favorite cheeses and pour them into the macaroni before baking.

Suppose you want to renew the recipe, replacing the milk with other ingredients that can significantly impact the flavor.

The best of them include: whipping cream, almond milk, sour cream, cream cheese, plain yogurt, coconut milk/cream, evaporated or powdered milk, and cashew milk.

Milk Substitutes For Mac And Cheese

8 Best Milk Substitutes For Mac And Cheese

Whipping cream

There are many types of cream, so make sure to pick up the suitable whipping cream. It should blend easily and well to the roux with a thin consistency.

Given that you lack the whipping cream use the double cream instead is delicate.

Compared with milk, whipping cream could make your dish richer and creamier. In this case, butter becomes redundant.

On the other hand, the cream type tends to dilute the cheese sauce’s color intensely. I suggest using a brighter cheese such as the orange cheddar to keep the dish predominantly yellow hue.

A 1:1 ratio for the milk substitute, in this case, is ideal.

Almond Milk

As a big fan of almond flavor, I highly recommend using almond milk as a great milk sub.

There are two main types of almond milk, including unsweetened and sweetened. Both are accessible and dairy-free.

However, in my experience, when you utilize it to make mac and cheese, the sweetened version might give a better result. It is more similar to the milk in the sweetness aspect.

Plus, almond milk offers a thinner consistency than its peer. For this reason, you should add more cheese or roux to balance your dish.

Sour Cream

Sour cream, also called soured cream, is a popular dairy product created through the fermentation of typical cream with a particular acid bacteria.

It is considered an excellent milk sub in mac and cheese due to its same texture and the cream’s complex taste.

For more details, it offers a sour and tangy flavor, which expectedly brings the mac and cheese a fantastic element. Also, the cream is thicker than regular milk.

Suppose you do not want the acidity included in the sour cream; you can add some dried herbs or freshly minced garlic. The tangy flavor of the dish would not change overall.

Concerning the ratio, the milk can be replaced with sour cream in equal parts. Otherwise, some people want a more particular taste, so they use half sour cream and half milk in the mac and cheese. The dish even becomes more balanced.

Cream Cheese

Never forget the cream cheese when you substitute the milk with mac and cheese. It is simply because it has an exceptionally slightly sweet and mild flavor that seems different from the milk.

However, cream cheese owns a much spreadable and thicker consistency than its counterpart. The dish gets creamier with the sub.

For this reason, when you use cream cheese instead of milk, you can get rid of the butter without changing the dish’s consistency. Softening or melting the cheese before mixing it with the roux would help reduce the cooking time.

Another piece of advice when you buy cream cheese is to use several types to find which is best for your family. In my case, I love one with the herb flavor. Not only does it give my mac and cheese an extra taste, but it tends to be good for my health.

Plain Yogurt

Plain yogurt (or plain Greek yogurt) is the next one on this list. It has a pretty similar taste and texture to the cream cheese above.

However, plain yogurt offers a creamier consistency than its peers, coming together with a delicious tangy savor.

When heating the plain yogurt, keep in mind to do that slowly. The fat and water tended to separate, leading to a split product.

Using a double boiler to cook the yogurt’s sauce would undoubtedly help. Stir consistently at a low heat as well.

Coconut Milk/Cream

If you are a vegan preferring non-dairy ingredients, coconut milk/cream is an ideal option.

As its name indicated, coconut milk contains a characteristic coconut flavor. However, while that can influence the dish’s taste, it is not so intense that it can overpower other ingredients.

In some cases, some of my friends do not like the coconut taste. Then, I often add extra garlic, some herbs, or other intense aromatics to get rid of it. Suppose you lack those condiments; mixing your sauce with a bit of water would be helpful.

Often, a coconut cream may provide a creamier texture for your cuisine other than the milk one.

Evaporated or Powdered Milk

My pantry never lacks the powered milk cause I can store it longer than the regular milk, which releases much of my stress in cooking.

For this reason, when you want a quick sub for the run-out-of fresh milk, I highly recommend the powdered one.

It offers a creamier texture, blending with a slightly sweeter taste. Add a little salt to your recipe, and you can balance the dish.

Other than that, a container of evaporated milk is also a great option. The sole minus of this substitute is its much sweeter flavor, which might make brand-new cooks frustrated to balance their dishes.

Cashew Milk

Once you are not allergic to nuts, cashew milk is an excellent option for its silky-smooth texture and rich flavor.

Moreover, it can seamlessly combine with your dish with no sign of difference. Using it in a 1:1 ratio for the regular milk would ultimately boost the effect.

Of course, keep in mind to pick one without being flavored or sweetened. That could ultimately protect your dish from strange flavors appearing.

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FAQs About Mac And Cheese Substitutes

Which Kind Of Milk Is Best For Mac And Cheese?

Apart from the cheese, there are some other ingredients that you should choose carefully, including flour, butter, spices, pepper, salt, and milk.

For instance, I suggest purchasing whole milk due to its creamier texture. Also, reduced-fat milk is my favorite type for its health benefits.

Do You Need Milk For Mac And Cheese?

Both milk and butter are required in a regular mac and cheese dish. However, if there is no milk left in your pantry, you can double the amount of butter and add a little water. That tends not to change the dish’s flavor much.

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In conclusion, the above list is the 8 best milk substitutes for mac and cheese.

To my experience, I suggest whipping cream for its popularity and rich flavor. Besides, coconut milk/cream is an excellent replacement, especially for vegans who often use dairy-free products.

Hopefully, the information has helped you have a delicious meal for your family.

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