Skip to Content

Tasty Tweaks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Milk in Mac and Cheese

Listen up, cheese lovers!

We’ve all been in that spot—craving a gooey mac and cheese but bam, the milk’s gone on a mini-vacation from your fridge. No milk? No problem.

Finding the perfect substitute for milk in your mac and cheese isn’t just doable; it’s a game changer.

Ever thought about using yogurt or, wait for it, coconut milk? Yeah, we’re serious.

These swaps aren’t just about making do—they can amp up your mac to a whole new level of yum.

Stick with us, and you’ll discover five milk alternatives that might just make you ditch the dairy aisle for good. Ready to become a mac and cheese magician?

What Does Putting Milk in Mac and Cheese Do?

It’s important to know what foods are mixed with milk before adding more milk.

Macaroni and cheese is a food where milk is commonly added.

If you want the mix to have a little bit of milk, you can either mix it in or separate some of the cheese sauce first, then add just enough milk to give it that extra bit of flavor and creamy texture.

How much milk you add is completely up to you and your preference–add just a little for a subtle difference, or add more if you want the mix to be softer and wetter.

Milk changes the consistency of macaroni and cheese because it contains casein proteins, which makes the cooked macaroni and cheese creamier and softer.

As for the flavor, it is debatable whether or not the milk changes the dish’s taste.

Some people think that adding milk can change how you perceive flavors in food, making them seem sweeter and more pronounced than they would be if the milk weren’t added.

Some people think that macaroni and cheese taste different, while others think it looks different.

Why Consider Substituting Milk in Mac and Cheese?

why consider substituting milk in mac and cheese

There are many reasons why someone might consider using milk in macaroni and cheese instead of water.

For one, some people prefer the taste of foods when they’re made with milk instead of water–the creaminess that it adds is something that many people enjoy.

This also goes for when you’re eating leftovers or reheating food–the creaminess that milk adds can turn so-so leftovers into something tasty.

For another, some people prefer the taste of foods when they’re made with milk instead of water–it tastes much better than what it does when you cook it with water.

Another reason is that if you have dietary restrictions or allergies, certain foods may not be available, or you might have to find creative substitutions for foods normally made with a certain ingredient.

For example, a person with lactose intolerance can still enjoy macaroni and cheese by using milk in place of the water when making the dish.

So, even though this person could not eat the classic dish of macaroni and cheese, they can still have a satisfying dish that is just as good.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Milk in Mac and Cheese

Here’s a detailed comparison of the 5 best substitutes for milk in mac and cheese, along with their key characteristics and proper ratios:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Cream CheeseCream cheese adds richness and creaminess to mac and cheese. It has a mild tang and smooth texture.Use an equal amount of cream cheese as you would with milk.
Plain YogurtPlain yogurt provides a tangy flavor and creamy texture. It can help keep the mac and cheese moist while adding a slight tanginess to the dish.Use an equal amount of plain yogurt as you would with milk.
Sour CreamSour cream adds richness and tanginess to mac and cheese. It has a thick texture and provides a creamy mouthfeel.Use an equal amount of sour cream as you would with milk.
Coconut Milk or Coconut CreamCoconut milk or coconut cream can add a subtle sweetness and tropical flavor to mac and cheese. They have a creamy texture and can be a good dairy-free alternative.Use an equal amount of coconut milk or cream as you would with milk.
Almond MilkAlmond milk is a non-dairy milk alternative that adds a nutty flavor to mac and cheese. It has a thin consistency and may require additional thickening agents.Use approximately 1 cup of almond milk for every 1 cup of milk.

Now let’s delve into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Cream Cheese

cream cheese

Cream cheese is a soft, pliable dairy product usually sold in block form.

In terms of smell, it has a subtle smell. As for taste, it’s tangy and moist.

It usually comes in different flavors, such as chives or garlic and herb.

It becomes richer and creamier when someone adds cream cheese to macaroni and cheese.

Depending on macaroni and cheese, other ingredients can be added to cream cheese.

These include truffle oil, chopped bacon bits, garlic powder, parsley flakes, finely grated Parmesan cheese, finely shredded Cheddar cheese, or dried bread crumbs.

To give it a crunchier texture within dishes such as macaroni and cheese, you can add toasted bread crumbs.

In addition, other ingredients may be added, such as finely chopped hard-boiled eggs or finely cut truffles.

2 – Plain Yogurt

plain yogurt

Plain yogurt is a dairy product that has been produced by fermenting milk and making it into curds.

In addition to macaroni and cheese can be used in other foods such as chips, dips, baked goods, and sauces.

It’s crucial to note that plain yogurt has a creamy texture and slightly tart flavor that may also be sour.

It is a popular ingredient in salads and side dishes such as raita, cucumber yogurt salad, and lamb kebabs.

Plain yogurt is not used very often in macaroni and cheese recipes because of its tartness.

However, it can be made into dressings or dips that people use on salads and vegetables.

Depending on how it will be used, people can add different ingredients such as garlic powder, salt and pepper, mustard, chopped scallions or chives, herbs such as basil or oregano, minced cucumber, lemon juice concentrate (for a little sweetness), and more.

3 – Sour Cream

sour cream

Sour cream has a tangy taste that makes it ideal for different foods.

For instance, it tastes great on baked potatoes, steamed vegetables, and fried dishes such as egg rolls or potato pancakes.

It is also the key ingredient in cheesecake recipes such as blueberry or lemon.

When sour cream is added to macaroni and cheese, it gives the dish a creamy texture.

It also gives the dish a tangy taste that makes it perfect for adults and children.

In addition, people can add chopped ham, bacon bits, or chives to their macaroni and cheese.

4 – Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream

coconut milk or coconut cream

The reason why coconut milk and cream are a great choice for macaroni and cheese is that they taste sweet, have a creamy texture, and soft consistency.

In addition to macaroni and cheese recipes when baking cakes or cookies.

You can add sugar to the recipe when using coconut milk or cream in terms of taste.

When coconut milk and coconut cream are added to macaroni and cheese, it has a wonderful taste that kids will love.

In addition, this ingredient gives the dish a creamy texture and sweetness that takes away its sharpness.

5 – Almond Milk

almond milk

Almond milk is a common substitute for people who have allergies or preferences in terms of ingredients.

In addition, it’s also widely used by vegans because it doesn’t come from animal products.

In terms of taste and smell, almond milk has a subtle nutty flavor that makes it ideal for different recipes such as macaroni and cheese.

On the other hand, if you do not want to use almond milk as a substitute for cow’s milk, you can try using it for cream or half-and-half.

It’s crucial to note that almond milk has no flavor and is very versatile.

In this case, people can add different ingredients such as salt, pepper, chopped chives or scallions, minced parsley, etc.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Milk in Mac and Cheese

Seeking alternatives for milk in your mac and cheese recipe? You're in luck! Discover our handpicked selection of the five best substitutes that will flawlessly replace milk in your favorite cheesy dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Cream Cheese
  • Plain Yogurt
  • Sour Cream
  • Coconut Milk or Coconut Cream
  • Almond Milk


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for milk in mac and cheese
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating