20 Mac & Cheese Milk Substitutes/Alternatives To Try

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With any of these substitutes I would recommend starting with 1 cup. As most box macaroni and cheese call for one cup of milk. Then you can add more for desired flavor and consistency.

Easiest Mac and Cheese Milk Substitute In a Pinch

Water has to be the easiest substitute for milk in mac and cheese.

I would use the same water used to boil the pasta. Leave approximately 1 cup of water remaining in the pot and drain the rest.

You want the starch from the noodles for a creamier cheese sauce. Since you wont be adding any milk it won’t be too runny.

Dairy Milk Substitutes for Mac and Cheese

You can use heavy cream, half & half, sour cream, cream cheese, plain yogurt, ranch or mayonnaise instead of milk.

  • Ranch
    • You can use ranch sauce or a ranch mix.
  • Mayonnaise
    • Use a plain mayonnaise
  • Sour Cream
    • Leave water in the pot or add extra before stirring.
  • Whipping Cream
    • Again you can skip on the Butter.
  • Cream Cheese
    • A little goes a long ways.
  • Plain Yogurt
    • Don’t Heat Too Quickly and Stir Gradually.
  • Powdered Milk
    • Condensed Milk is sweeter and slightly thicker than evaporated milk.
  • Half & Half
    • Because half and half can have more than double the fat content of milk. Consider skipping out on adding in any butter to your mac and cheese.
  • Goat Milk
    • Try With Goat Cheese!
Dairy Milk SubstitutesTaste vs Dairy MilkConsistency vs Dairy Milk
Half & HalfRicherMore Creamy
RanchSweeterMore Creamy
Sour CreamTangyMore Creamy
Whipping CreamRicherExtra Creamy
Cream CheeseSweeterMore Creamy
Plain YogurtTangyMore Creamy
WaterLess FlavorLess Creamy
ButterRicherLess Creamy
Powdered MilkSweeterMore Creamy
Goat MilkSweeterSimilar

Vegan Milk Alternatives for Mac and Cheese

The good news is any non-dairy vegan milk can used to make macaroni and cheese. Be aware each one has a distinct flavor that may be stronger than regular dairy milk.

  • Cashew Milk
    • Choose unsweetened for less sugar and visa versa.
  • Soy Milk
    • Use unsweetened unflavored soy milk.
  • Almond Milk
    • Add more cheese or flour to thicken and make creamier.
  • Hemp Seed Milk
    • Look out for added sugars.
  • Oat Milk
    • Use unsweetened oat milk.
  • Rice Milk
    • May require some extra flour, or other thickeners.
  • Coconut Milk
    • Use unsweetened
  • Macadamia Milk
    • Use equal amounts as you would dairy milk.
  • Pea Milk
    • Add in extra cheese to mask flavor more.
Vegan Milk SubstitutesTaste vs Dairy MilkConsistency vs Dairy Milk
Cashew MilkNuttyMore Creamy
Soy MilkLess SweetMore Creamy
Almond MilkSweeterLess Creamy
Hemp Seed MilkNuttyMore Creamy
Oat MilkSweeterSimilar
Rice MilkSimilarLess Creamy
Coconut MilkCoconutMore Flavor
Macadamia Nut MilkMildSimilar
Pea MilkBitterMore Creamy
Hazelnut MilkSweeter, NuttySimilar
Sesame MilkNuttySimilar

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