You grab your boxed mac and cheese the end of the cupboard, gain a pan ready, and then BAM.

You are watching: How to make kraft mac and cheese without milk or butter

You’ve run out of milk.

SURELY there’s a quick and easy settle without that tastes nice and doesn’t show off going to the store?

There is. I’ve personally tried and also tested 12 various milk substitutes in mac and also cheese, so girlfriend don’t have actually to.

Some that them to be disgusting (I’m looking in ~ you sweetened condensed milk) and some were actually far better than plain old milk.

So, what’s the finest substitute for milk in Kraft Mac and Cheese?

The finest milk substitute for kraft mac and also cheese is finely shredded cheese. Add 90g of shredded cheese because that a typical 7.25oz crate of mac and cheese. Other milk substitutes for mac and also cheese encompass cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, evaporated milk, olive oil, pasta water, and also a roux.

A note about my experiment and also how I’ve tested each substitute:

For the functions of this experiment, ns cooked up a totality box the Kraft Mac and also Cheese and also divided it into 12 equal portions. I supplied the standard measurements of butter (4 tablespoons) and water (6 cups) to chef the macaroni.

I then incrementally added tiny amounts that the milk instead of to each dish and noted down the results.

RELATED: Kraft Mac and also Cheese there is no Butter – I shot 11 Substitutes

The finest Milk Substitutes because that Mac and also Cheese

I’ve listed all that the substitutes i tried in the table below, in addition to my thoughts on exactly how each one affected the dish.

Overall, ns was many impressed with the shredded cheese, cream cheese and heavy cream. That said, a most the substitutes ns list below work perfectly fine to change milk in the mac and cheese.

Shredded cheeseCheesySlightly thickerGreat
Cream cheeseCreamy & slightly cheesierThickerGreat
Heavy creamNot lot differenceCreamierGreat
ButterRich & much less cheesySlightly thickerGreat
Evaporated milkNot much differenceCreamierGreat
RouxSlightly richerThickerGreat
Olive oilPossibly come oilySlightly slimeyGood
Pasta waterLess cheesyA little thinGood
Soya milkSlightly sweetNot much differenceGood
Sour creamTangyNot lot differenceToo tangy
Almond milkDistinctiveNot lot differenceTasted strange
Greek YogurtSweet & TangySlightly thickerTasted strange
Condensed milkToo sickly and also unpleasantCreamierNot recommended

Shredded Cheese

Shredded cheese tastes, well, cheesy, and also makes the food a small thicker. My personal favorite milk substitute.

Honestly, if you have actually some cheese going spare, this is the ultimate way to instead of milk in your mac and also cheese.

I made sure to finely grate the cheese as this help it to melt easily when adding it to the cheese powder and butter mixture.

How lot cheese must I use?

I shredded 90g the parmesan cheese to replace the 1/4 cup that milk for whole regular-sized box of Kraft mac and also cheese.

This is around 50% more cheese 보다 the identical weight of milk, however hey, i love cheese.

I recommend adding at least 60g of shredded cheese to change the milk at about a 1:1 ratio.

These measurements are for a continuous 7.25oz box of Kraft macaroni and also cheese. I’m sure this will likewise work fine for most other boxed mac and also cheeses.

What varieties of cheese have to I use?

Any tough block the cheese will work-related for this. Ns personally offered parmesan, however cheddar and also virtually all other hard cheese varieties will also work wonderfully.


Taste: Cheesylicious. (Is that even a word?).

Texture: A little thicker, but not so lot that it’s one issue.Overall: This is the next best thing because that replacing milk. Heck, this is now going to be added even when I have milk on hand.

Cream cheese


Okay. So probably shredded cheese simply isn’t because that you. Or probably you don’t have any but do have actually a lonely bath tub of Philadelphia cream cheese just begging to it is in used.

This is the equipment for you.

The ideal thing about using cream cheese is the variety and creaminess that adds.

Anyone for garlic cream cheese or cream cheese through sundried tomatoes?

Yes, I know the point is to not go to the store. However once you’ve make the efforts cream cheese in her boxed mac & cheese, i doubt you’ll ever before go back.

How much cream cheese have to I substitute because that milk?

I provided 60g that cream cheese in place of Kraft’s recommendation of 1/4 cup of milk (60g).

This is basically a 1:1 swap and works well to not make the food overly thick.

(measurements for a consistent 7.25oz box of Kraft macaroni and cheese)


Taste: The mellow cheesiness in ~ the cream cheese adds a subtle however delicious flavor come the dish.

Texture: Thicker. I recommend including the cream cheese in a hot pan come ensure the melts and mixes well with the cheese powder and also butter. Include a pair of teaspoons of hot water come the mix if it’s too thick.Overall: Honestly, this is so an excellent that I’ll it is in deliberately subbing in cream cheese walking forwards.

Heavy cream


Heavy cream is a great alternative come milk, mostly since it doesn’t influence the flavor of the mac and also cheese.

If friend don’t desire to change the taste or structure (much) of your mac and cheese, heavy cream is the perfect substitute because that milk.

How much hefty cream need to I substitute because that milk?

I went because that a right 1:1 substitution v no issues.

If you’re cooking a continual 7.25oz box of Kraft macaroni and cheese, this method adding 1/4 cup (59ml) of hefty cream.


Taste: Honestly, no noticeable difference in taste. (Great because that mac and also cheese purists).

Texture: slightly creamier. Not lot thicker than milk though, simply a tad.Overall: If you weren’t told that the milk was substituted, you more than likely wouldn’t know.



Using extra butter renders the mac and cheese fairly rich and slightly much less cheesy. Yet it’s still delicious.

Go basic with how much extra you add. The dish currently has a decent amount in it.

Butter works well as lengthy as girlfriend make sure it’s all melted by including it to a hot pan and mixing it thoroughly.

How much butter should I substitute because that milk?

Start by including 2 tablespoons (28g) of butter and also ensuring the melts and also blends in with the cheese powder/butter mixture.

This works out at about a 1:2 substitution ratio of butter come milk.

You may choose to add much more butter than me i m sorry is perfect fine. Simply make sure to stir the thoroughly enough so the it melts and also blends in with the cheese powder before adding more.


Taste: A bit richer, have the right to mask the cheese odor if you’re not cautious and add too much

Texture: A tiny thicker, not much.Overall: Does a great job overall.

Evaporated milk

Spot the difference: pic mirrors condensed not evaporated milk

OK. Public business Announcement: Evaporated milk and also condensed milk space NOT the same.

This is mainly for my partner which accidentally obtained the wrong deserve to from the store.

But don’t worry, after ~ noticing the error – ns still determined to try the condensed version as some bloggers claim you have the right to use it. Hint: lock 100% have actually not tried it. Yuk!

I tested the evaporated version after taking the picture of the initial batch. Here’s what i found.

Evaporated milk works well together a milk substitute, especially when friend mix it v water beforehand.

Evaporated milk is made by heater it to remove fifty percent of the water content, so it renders sense to substitute constant milk because that a 50:50 mix that evaporated milk and water.

The end result is a dish reasonably similar in taste and consistency to using continuous milk.

How to instead of evaporated milk for consistent milk in mac and also cheese

Mix 2 tablespoons evaporated milk with 2 tablespoons the cold water in a tiny bowl.

Next, add the evaporated milk and water mixture as you normally would come the mac and also cheese, butter and also cheese powder mix.


Taste: No noticeable differences.

Texture: No remarkable differences.Overall: Works fine. A an excellent option if you have some evaporated milk prepared to it is in used.



After analysis some comments on a few food forums, I decided to shot using a roux to replace the milk in the mac and cheese. As you probably already know, a roux is generally used to thicken up a food or sauce.

Therefore, the mac and also cheese finished up more thickness (as you would certainly expect) however with a tiny less richness contrasted to just including butter alone.

If you prefer your mac and also cheese creamy and also thick, making use of a roux in location of milk is a an excellent way of afford that. All you need is a tiny extra flour and also butter.

How to use a roux to change milk in mac and cheese

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a pan and melt.Add 2 tablespoons that flour and also whisk into the melted butter mixture till smooth.Cook because that at least 60 secondsAdd the mac and cheese come the pan and also mix through all various other ingredients (cheese powder, butter, macaroni).


Taste: contempt richer than with milk, yet less so than just including pure butter.

Texture: Thicker 보다 usual.Overall: Works well and doesn’t impart too much the a odor change. Great if you don’t have some that the other ingredients noted above.

Olive oil


Olive oil is OK at instead of milk. Nothing one-of-a-kind though, but fine in a pinch if used sparingly.

I much prefer the approaches I’ve detailed above. This is where the substitutions either count on:

Personal preferenceLack of other ingredients available to you

So v that warning the end of the way, what did i think about using olive oil together a milk substitute in mine mac and also cheese?

The mac and cheese feeling a small oily and dare i say it – a bit slime-y.

There’s potential that ns went a tiny overboard on including the oil. I definitely wouldn’t introduce subbing that in making use of a 1:1 ratio as with most of the ingredient so far.

How lot olive oil need to I use rather of milk?

Start by including 1 tablespoon of oil in with the cheese powder and butter. Mix fine until every one of the cheese powder has actually blended right into a sauce.

If the cheese powder hasn’t fully dissolved, include another tablespoon (or a tiny less) and also continue to mix till the cheese flour has completely dissolved and coated the macaroni.


Taste: not much difference. Can taste the oil ever before so slightly.

Texture: A small oily – ns probably added too much oil initially.Overall: Works fine.

Pasta water


Pasta water. Some contact it ‘liquid gold‘.

It’s the water left behind ~ you’ve cooked the macaroni. Slightly cloudy and also gray looking, it’s filled v starch and helps to tie the sauce come the pasta.

Why don’t lock tell friend this top top the box?!

I included the pasta water in place of milk in a 1:2 ratio. For a continuous 7.25oz crate of mac and also cheese, this method adding 2 tablespoons of pasta water.

Mix the pasta water v the cheese powder, butter, and also macaroni and also stir until the mixture is smooth and also without lumps.

Continue to include extra tablespoons that pasta water if crucial until the cheese powder mixture has totally emulsified.


Taste: boosts the butter taste slightly, overall great though.

Texture: A little less thin. You can combat this by continuing to heat the macaroni for a couple of seconds after ~ you’ve blended the ingredients in. As several of the water in the mixture evaporates, the dish will certainly thicken slightly.Overall: A great substitute, specifically considering that you don’t need any other ingredients.

Soya milk


Soya milk is an amazing one. The adds a touch of sweetness to the mac and also cheese and has practically the very same consistency as milk.

I wouldn’t go out of my means to do this substitution, but it works well sufficient when you don’t have regular milk to hand (or among the over ingredients).

How lot soya milk have to I usage in location of continuous milk?

Use a 1:1 ratio. Together soya milk is quite comparable to continuous milk in countless ways, the doesn’t make sense to adjust the proportion of what you add to the dish.


Taste: slightly sweet. Personal preference comes into play here. No my favorite.

Texture: no difference.Overall: If you currently have soy milk in ~ home, chances are you’ll choose it enough to usage it together a substitution.

Almond milk


Almond milk is one of the many varieties of alternative milks girlfriend may have actually in her refrigerator or cupboard. But unlike others, almond milk has actually quite a distinctive and sweet taste.

Along v soya milk, this is the only other alternate milk I’ve tried together a substitute.

And ns didn’t like it.

The flavor is just way too distinctive to walk well in together a savory and also cheesy dish.

That claimed though. You may personally love almond milk. If you do, there’s no harm in offering it a shot. Just be certain you use level almond milk, no the sweetened version.

How much almond milk have to I usage as a milk replacement?

I would begin by utilizing a 1:2 ratio and including in an ext almond milk if necessary. That way, you obtain the advantage of the milk binding the sauce and also introduce the brand-new flavor gradually.

What other milks deserve to I use as a milk instead of in mac and cheese?

Most milk alternatives will occupational here. It greatly comes under to an individual choice and also what flavors you prefer. Some examples that I’ve seen mentioned online include:

Rice milkHempseed milkOat milkFlaxseed milkCashew milkCoconut milk


Taste: no for me. However if it’s in your cupboard, my guess is you prefer the taste. Protect against using almond milk that’s been sweetened.

Texture: No actual difference.Overall: This choices really under to an individual preference.

Sour cream


Initially, i couldn’t really taste the difference in between sour cream and also using regular milk.

However, ~ trying another few mouthfuls a couple of moments later, the dish tasted fairly tangy and unpleasant. Because that me, cake cream simply doesn’t go with timeless mac and also cheese.

Not recommended.

How much sour cream must I usage as a milk substitute?

If you’re collection on using sour cream instead of milk, begin by adding a single tablespoon and also mixing it extensively with the cheese powder and butter.

If the cheese powder has created into a nice, emulsified sauce, there’s no need to continue adding any more sour cream. Have a taste and decide if you’re happy.


Taste: Tangy, unpleasant. No what you desire from mac and cheese.

Texture: A little gloopy. Maybe a tad thicker 보다 usual.Overall: Not recommended.



Yogurt is another milk substitute that will divide people. I desired yogurt come sour cream, however did keep in mind a strong tang and extr flavor within the dish.

If you choose to instead of milk because that yogurt, unflavored, unsweetened is best. I offered an unflavored Greek yogurt for this test.

It to be OK.


Taste: remarkable flavor, tangy.

Texture: Not much difference. An extremely slightly thicker.

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Overall: A fine substitute in a pinch.