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The 5 Best Substitutes for Butter in Mac and Cheese

Most people love mac and cheese, but not everyone knows that butter is one of the key ingredients in this dish.

While some recipes call for margarine or oil, butter is what gives mac and cheese its signature creaminess and flavor.

But what if you’re out of butter? Or what if you’re looking for a healthier alternative?

Here are five substitutes for butter in mac and cheese that will still give you a delicious and creamy dish.

Why Do You Put Butter in Mac and Cheese?

There are few comfort foods more beloved than mac and cheese.

Creamy, cheesy, and carb-loaded, it’s the perfect food to curl up with on a cold day.

But what makes mac and cheese so special? One key ingredient is butter.

Butter has a long history in Mac and cheese.

The dish is thought to have originated in England in the 14th century when it was made with a mixture of cheese and cream.

Butter was added to the dish in the 18th century as a way to thicken and add creaminess.

Today, butter is still an essential ingredient in many mac and cheese recipes.

So why does butter make such a difference? It all comes down to taste and texture.

Butter adds a rich, velvety mouthfeel that can’t be replicated with other ingredients.

It also helps to hold the sauce together, giving it a smooth consistency.

And, of course, butter is delicious. When combined with cheese and pasta, it creates a dish that is simply irresistible.

So next time you’re enjoying a piping hot bowl of mac and cheese, take a moment to appreciate the humble butter.

Without it, this classic comfort food would simply not be the same.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Butter in Mac and Cheese

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to butter in your mac and cheese, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are five of the best substitutes for butter in mac and cheese that will still make your dish just as creamy and flavorful.

1 – Margarine

Margarine is a type of spreadable food made from vegetable oils.

It is rich in unsaturated fats, which makes it a healthier option than butter.

Margarine also has a neutral taste, which makes it a good choice for baking.

Additionally, it has a smooth texture that can be easily spread on bread and other food items.

One of the most popular uses for margarine is macaroni and cheese.

When used in place of butter, margarine helps to create a creamier and richer dish.

To substitute margarine for butter in mac and cheese, simply add an equal amount of margarine to the recipe.

This will ensure that the dish has the same creamy texture and rich flavor.

2 – Olive Oil

Olive oil is a popular cooking oil that is extracted from olives.

It has a distinct taste and a slightly fruity flavor.

It is also high in healthy nutrients like monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.

Olive oil is a versatile cooking oil that can be used in many different dishes.

It has a higher smoke point than other oils, so it can be used for frying or sautéing.

It can also be used to replace butter in recipes like macaroni and cheese.

To substitute olive oil for butter, simply use a 1:1 ratio.

So, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 1 cup of olive oil instead.

Olive oil is a healthy and delicious option for your cooking needs.

3 – Ghee

Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has been popular in Indian cooking for centuries.

Unlike regular butter, which contains water and milk solids, ghee is made by simmering butter until all the water has evaporated and the solids have settled to the bottom of the pan.

This process not only gives ghee a higher smoke point, making it ideal for high-heat cooking but also gives it a rich, nutty flavor that regular butter lacks.

Ghee can be used in any dish where you would normally use butter, but it is particularly well-suited for mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and baked goods.

If you’re looking for a delicious way to add some extra flavor to your cooking, give ghee a try.

4 – Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a thick, rich cream that is used in many different recipes.

It has a distinct taste and texture that make it ideal for use in sauces, soups, and desserts.

While it can be substituted for butter in many recipes, it is best known for its use in making rich and creamy dishes like macaroni and cheese.

When substituting heavy cream for butter, it is important to keep in mind that the fat content is much higher.

As a result, dishes made with heavy cream are likely to be richer and more indulgent.

For those looking to cut back on calories, using a light or reduced-fat version of heavy cream can help to reduce the overall fat content without sacrificing flavor.

5 – Cream Cheese

There’s nothing quite like the taste of creamy, smooth cream cheese.

It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet or savory dishes, and it has a unique texture that sets it apart from other cheeses.

While it may be most commonly associated with bagels and cream cheese, there are endless possibilities when it comes to cooking with cream cheese.

One of my favorite ways to use it is as a substitute for butter in macaroni and cheese.

The creaminess of the cheese lends itself well to the dish, and it adds an extra level of richness that you just can’t get from butter.

Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in some extra calcium.

If you haven’t yet tried cooking with cream cheese, I highly recommend giving it a try.


In conclusion, there are many excellent substitutes for butter in mac and cheese.

Whether you’re looking to add more flavor or are trying to reduce the fat content of your dish, there is a substitute that can meet your needs.

Margarine, olive oil, ghee, heavy cream, and cream cheese all make great replacements for butter and can help you create delicious and unique dishes.

So, go ahead and try something new – you might be surprised at how good it turns out.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Butter in Mac and Cheese

The 5 Best Substitutes for Butter in Mac and Cheese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Margarine
  • Olive Oil
  • Ghee
  • Heavy Cream
  • Cream Cheese


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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