Creamy Substitutes for Milk in Mac and Cheese Pie Dish

Mac and cheese is a creamy pasta-pie that has a gooey texture, subtle and milky flavor. It originates from Italy but it has become popular all over the world. 

This pie dish is made with milk which plays a great role in its preparation process and reflects not only on the taste but also on the texture. 

Milk makes the pasta creamier, so we need to use a substitute that has the same function. Here we offer the best options. 

The best substitute for milk in mac and cheese are as follows: water, roux, sour cream, shredded cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, oat milk, cream cheese, goat milk, plain yogurt and chicken broth. 

1. Water – If you want to save all the hassles

Water is the easiest substitute for milk in mac and cheese. Although it won’t bring the desired flavor and creamy texture, it will help you cook your favorite macaroni or pasta dish without leaving the house or looking for another alternative. 

It’s better to use pasta water and start with small quantities. It serves as a melting agent for the butter and you should be careful with the quantity. Once the cheese is melted you can pass on the rest of preparation as regular. 

Check the flavor and add seasonings to bring the taste to the desired level. 

2. Roux (butter + flour)

Roux is the next substitute for milk as a thickening agent. It’s a mixture of butter and flour that ideally works with mac and cheese. Heat the butter, mix it with flour until smooth and add to the melted cheese prepared for the mac. 

The flavor is going to be similar to milk as butter is a dairy product and has similar features. You will also get a thicker yet creamy texture. 

3. Sour Cream

Compared to milk, sour cream has a thicker texture and it can provide a creamy result for mac and cheese. Mixed with cheese, it becomes even creamier and thicker which you can thin out with water, but it’s recommended to leave it the way it is.

Add some seasonings and enjoy the slightly sour and tangy flavor of this substitute in your mac and cheese. 

4. Shredded Cheese

Combine the cheese of mac and shredded cheese in this recipe if you like to get a more cheesy flavor and skip adding milk. 

Try to make your choice between mozzarella, parmesan or cheddar. They best work in mac and cheese as they are prone to melting and providing a creamy substance. In order to make the texture creamier, you’d better add a little bit of chicken broth or water while making the sauce. 

5. Cream Cheese

Another cheesy substitute is cream cheese. It’s a perfect alternative for milk in mac and cheese. Cream cheese comes with a dairy flavor and provides a creamy texture. It has a slightly sweet and mild taste close to milk’s flavor. 

The only difference is the texture; while milk is thin, cream cheese has a thicker texture, and it is reflected on the dish. However, we have a solution for this. 

Since mac and cheese is usually served immediately you can melt the cream cheese and mix it with melted cheese as well as skip adding butter and the result will be less thick. 

6. Heavy Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream both work well in place of milk in many recipes and mac and cheese is one of them. Using one of these substitutes you make sure you get a richer consistency with a  creamier texture. 

As for the flavor, it is going to be mild and slightly sweet like milk and your pie will definitely taste good. 

7. Vegan Milks: Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Coconut Milk, Oat Milk, Cashew Milk

There are awesome substitutes for milk special for vegetarians or people looking for diet-friendly alternatives for milk in mac and cheese.

Here are vegan milks that can be used to substitute milk in mac and cheese: almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, oat milk and cashew milk. 

Use whichever you have and reach the best flavor with the help of suitable seasonings. If you don’t have milky versions of these substitutes you may consider creamy options such as cashew cream or coconut cream but the flavor will be nuttier and stronger. 

8. Goat Milk

Another great alternative for cow milk is goat milk and it is considered to be healthier. Compared to cow milk it’s easier to digest. 

You can use this milk in many recipes to replace cow milk as it works the same way and the flavor doesn’t differ too much. 

Goat milk is creamy and tastes sweet and mild. It is an ideal choice for a mac and cheese dish if you don’t want to use cow milk or are looking for another animal milk. 

9. Plain Yogurt

Use plain yogurt instead of milk in mac and cheese as it works like cream cheese or sour cream. ¼ cup of plain yogurt is enough to use for a cup of macaroni. Its texture is neither too thick nor too thin and the result will be creamy enough for this dish. 

10. Chicken Broth

If you are looking for a unique and tasty substitute for milk in pasta or macaroni dishes, then choose chicken broth. It’s a non-dairy option and tastes delicious with mac. Chicken broth has a savory taste. 

Although it doesn’t provide a creamy texture it still works, and is a great option for lactose-intolerant people. 

Use a few tablespoons of chicken broth instead of milk and check the saltiness before adding salt. 


Can I substitute water for milk in mac and cheese?

Yes, you can. The water will not add as much flavor to the dish as milk would, but it will still work. If you want to add more flavor to the dish, you can substitute beef broth or chicken broth for the water.

Can you freeze mac and cheese?

Yes, you can. You will have to let it completely cool first, then seal it, and at last label it. You can freeze it for up to 3 months.

Can dogs eat mac and cheese?

No, the milk products in most types of cheese can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea in some dogs. 

Is mac and cheese healthy?

While it is easy to prepare and can be very tasty, mac and cheese is not necessarily a healthy dish. The noodles are typically high in carbohydrates, and the cheese is high in fat. 

In addition, many brands of mac and cheese contain preservatives and other additives. As a result, it is important to consider both the nutritional value and the ingredients list when determining whether or not to include mac and cheese in your diet.

What goes well with mac and cheese?

For a simple weeknight meal, mac and cheese can be served with a green salad and a slices of hearty bread. 

For a more indulgent dish, try adding crumbled bacon or chopped lobster. If you’re looking for something truly unique, try pairing mac and cheese with roasted Brussels sprouts or grilled peaches. 

No matter what you choose to pair it with, mac and cheese is sure to be a hit.

Summing Up

So, there you have it – a few substitutes for milk in mac and cheese that will help you get your cheesy fix even without any of the dairy. Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or just trying to cut back on dairy, you can always find a substitute here.

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