13 Ways to Substitute for Milk in Mac and Cheese

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Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by Toya

Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food, but for those who are lactose intolerant or following a plant-based diet, milk can be a no-go. Also, if you’ve just run out of milk and really want to make mac and cheese, you must be wondering if there are other options you can use.

Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious alternatives that you can use as a substitute for milk in your mac and cheese recipe.

In this comprehensive guide, I will explore 15 creamy and flavorful options that will make your mac and cheese just as satisfying without the milk.

From coconut milk to heavy cream, each of these substitutions will not only provide the perfect texture for your mac and cheese but also enhance its flavor.

Let’s dive into each of these milk substitutes in detail.

Substitutes for milk in mac and cheese

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a versatile and flavorful substitute for milk in mac and cheese recipes. It is a popular choice among those following a vegan or dairy-free diet due to its creamy texture and subtle sweetness that complement the sharp flavor of cheese.

To incorporate coconut milk into your mac and cheese, start by selecting a full-fat version for optimal creaminess. Swap out the milk in your recipe with an equal amount of coconut milk. You can also experiment with using a combination of coconut milk and vegetable or chicken broth for added flavor.

Almond Milk as a Substitute for Milk in Mac and Cheese

If you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative to milk in mac and cheese recipes, almond milk is an excellent option. Almond milk has a mild nutty taste and a creamy consistency that can provide a velvety texture to the dish.

When using almond milk in your mac and cheese recipe, it’s important to remember that it has a slightly thinner consistency than whole milk. To counterbalance this, you can use a bit more flour or cornstarch in your roux to thicken the sauce. Also, opt for unsweetened almond milk to avoid any added sugars that can alter the taste of your dish.

Soy Milk

If you’re looking for a dairy-free milk substitute for your mac and cheese recipe, soy milk might just be the perfect choice. It has a creamy texture and neutral taste that can enhance the flavor of your dish without overpowering the other ingredients in your recipe.

If you are substituting soy milk for regular milk in your mac and cheese recipe, use it in the same amount as you would milk. Start by adding 1 cup of soy milk to your cheese sauce and adjust the consistency as needed. I

Additionally, if you are using soy milk, make sure to use a high-quality unsweetened variety to avoid adding unnecessary sweetness to your dish.

Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is a luxurious and versatile ingredient that can be used as a substitute for milk in macaroni and cheese recipes. Made by soaking and blending cashews with water, this creamy mixture can add a rich and velvety texture to your dish.

How to Make Cashew Cream

Making cashew cream is simple and easy. All you need are raw cashews, water, and a blender. Here’s how:

  1. Soak one cup of raw cashews in water for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the cashews and rinse them well.
  3. Put the cashews in a blender with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water, depending on how thick you want the cream to be.
  4. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender as necessary.
  5. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Using Cashew Cream in Mac and Cheese

To use cashew cream as a substitute for milk in your mac and cheese recipe, simply replace the amount of milk called for with an equal amount of cashew cream. You may need to adjust the consistency of your sauce by adding more or less water to achieve the desired thickness.

Cashew cream can also be combined with other dairy-free milk substitutes, such as coconut milk or almond milk, to add even more flavor and creaminess to your dish.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is a popular non-dairy milk that can be used as a great alternative to milk in mac and cheese recipes. Oat milk has a creamy consistency and subtle sweetness that make it an ideal choice for mac and cheese.

To use oat milk in mac and cheese, simply replace the amount of milk called for in your recipe with an equal amount of oat milk. Be sure to choose an unsweetened variety to avoid affecting the taste of your mac and cheese.

Rice milk

Rice milk is another great milk sub for mac and cheese for those with allergies or sensitivities to dairy or nuts. This non-dairy, nut-free alternative imparts a mild and slightly sweet flavor to mac and cheese. While it may not provide the same richness as other substitutes, rice milk offers a light and refreshing twist to your dish.

Heavy cream

jar of Heavy cream

Heavy cream is an excellent replacement for milk in mac and cheese. Its high fat content and richness impart a luscious texture and enhance the overall flavor. Its creamy consistency ensures a velvety smoothness that will please anyone!

Generally, heavy cream can be used as a 1:1 substitute for milk in mac and cheese recipes. However, keep in mind that heavy cream is thicker and richer, so adjust the amount according to your preference.

If a recipe requires 1 cup of milk, you can use 1 cup of heavy cream instead. For a lighter version, you can combine half a cup of heavy cream and half a cup of milk or even water.

Half and Half

Half and half can be a suitable milk substitute for mac and cheese. It is a combination of equal parts whole milk and heavy cream.

When substituting half and half for milk in mac and cheese recipes, it’s important to consider the ratio.

To achieve a similar consistency, you should use a 1:1 ratio of half and half to milk. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of milk, you would use 1 cup of half and half instead.

Light cream

Light cream is another option that can be used in mac and cheese. With a lower fat content than heavy cream, it provides a lighter and more delicate flavor while still maintaining the creamy texture. Light cream can be an ideal choice for those who prefer a lighter mac and cheese recipe.

Evaporated milk

Evaporated milk

Evaporated milk is an excellent alternative to regular milk in mac and cheese for several reasons. First, it has a rich and creamy texture that adds depth to the dish.

Additionally, evaporated milk has a longer shelf life, making it a convenient pantry staple. It also offers a slight caramelized flavor that enhances the overall taste of your mac and cheese.

For every cup of regular milk required in the recipe, use ½ cup of evaporated milk and ½ cup of water.
This ratio ensures that the mac and cheese will still be creamy without being overly thick or heavy.

If you do not mind it, you can use a 1:1 substitute ratio.

Sour cream

Sour cream

If you enjoy a tangy flavor in your mac and cheese, sour cream can be a perfect substitution. Its creamy texture and slight tartness create a unique taste in a mac and cheese recipe.

The general rule of thumb is to use equal parts of sour cream to replace the milk. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of milk, you should use 1 cup of sour cream instead.

Vegetable puree

By using a puree of butternut squash, cauliflower, onions, and garlic as a substitute for milk, you can create a creamy and flavorful mac and cheese that is both nutritious and dairy-free.

To make it, sauté some garlic and onions.

Then, add squash, cauliflower, and broth to a pot and bring to a steady simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.

When veggies are very tender, transfer them to a blender. the garlic and onions, and blend until very smooth.

There are numerous ways to replace milk in mac and cheese that cater to various dietary needs and preferences. From almond milk to cashew cream, to soy milk, these alternatives can help you achieve the creamy texture and cheesy taste you crave in your macaroni and cheese recipe.

Experiment with these substitutes and discover your new favorite dairy-free mac and cheese recipe!

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