Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to make a delicious and creamy mac and cheese without using milk? There are many reasons to want to try this, but will you end up with a palatable meal at the end?
Can you make mac & cheese without milk? It’s perfectly possible to make a creamy mac and cheese dish without using milk, provided you swap the right ingredients in to replace it. Four alternatives for making mac & cheese without milk are cream cheese, plant milk, whipping cream and yogurt.
If you’ve realized you haven’t got any milk in the fridge, or if you’re looking to reduce how much milk you consume, you don’t have to scratch this staple off your menu.
How Do You Make Mac and Cheese Without Milk?
You can make mac and cheese without milk by adding cream cheese to your recipe instead. This will create a creamy, velvety texture. You can also use any of the plant milks, such as almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, etc. Alternatively, try a bit of whipping cream and some vegetable broth to create a rich, milk-like sauce, or some plain yogurt for a slightly sourer flavor.
Any of these ingredients should work to create a delicious version of mac and cheese without milk, so check what you’ve got in stock and whether anything can be swapped in.
How Do You Use Cream Cheese to Make Mac and Cheese?
If you want to use cream cheese, you’ll need to start by melting butter in a saucepan, and then stirring the cream cheese in until it melts into a rich sauce that you can slather all over the macaroni.
To do this, you should first cook your macaroni in another pan, and then add butter to a larger pan and melt it. Once the butter has turned into a liquid, make sure the heat is low and add the cream cheese.
Heat it slowly, stirring so that it doesn’t stick or burn. It should gradually turn into a thick liquid too. Once this has been achieved, stir in your shredded cheese and your cooked macaroni and mix thoroughly to combine.
You can finish this in the oven, or serve it as it is if you don’t want a crispy surface.
How Do You Use Plant Milk to Make Mac and Cheese?
Plant milk is an easy substitute if you are used to making mac and cheese with a roux, because it involves essentially the same method. This is the case regardless of which plant milk you use; you can simply stir it into the roux as you would do with cow milk.
To do this, melt butter in a saucepan, and then add flour and fry gently. Some people also include finely chopped onions, as these add flavor and prevent the flour from becoming lumpy, but this is optional.
Next, take the pan off the heat and start gradually adding the plant milk of your choice, stirring as you go to prevent it from forming lumps. Once the plant milk has all been incorporated, put the pan back on the heat and keep stirring.
Heat it gently until the sauce thickens, and then add your cheese. You can thin it with a little more plant milk if it gets too thick.
Once the sauce is ready, coat the pasta with it and serve, or bake and then serve.
If you have some cow milk and you don’t want to change the flavor of the dish too much, consider doing your recipe with half plant milk and half cow milk. This can be a great way to help your tastes adjust and make the change less noticeable. You can keep adjusting the ratio until you are used to the plant milk if you prefer.
How Do You Use Whipping Cream to Make Mac and Cheese?
Again, whipping cream works well if you are used to creating a roux. Heat the butter, fry in some flour, and then add a cupful of vegetable broth and stir until smooth and thick. Add the cream and a little more broth if necessary, and keep gently heating the mixture until it becomes thick.
You can add as much liquid as is needed, but be cautious of adding too much cream, or your sauce may end up being sickly. The broth ensures that you have enough liquid without too much fat, and stops the dish from becoming overwhelming. If you don’t have any vegetable broth, you can just use water instead.
Stir in other herbs and spices, add the cheese once your mixture is thick, and then combine it with the pasta and serve it. You should find that the sauce is deliciously creamy, and you’d never know the milk was missing!
How Do You Use Plain Yogurt to Make Mac and Cheese?
This substitute creates a less satisfying, creamy flavor, but you can use it in a pinch. If you find mac and cheese too greasy, you may prefer a yogurt-based recipe. You should use a full fat yogurt with no sugar, preferably Greek yogurt, and make sure you heat it slowly.
Yogurt tends to split when heated fast, so be careful about this. Use a low heat, and stir the yogurt into the cheese until the cheese has fully melted and they are combined. You don’t need to make a roux, because the yogurt should be thick enough to give the sauce a good texture.
Taste your sauce and add seasoning if necessary, and then stir your pasta into it and serve. You may want to add a little sour cream or whipping cream to the sauce if you find it too tangy.
Will Mac and Cheese Taste the Same Without Milk?
You will probably find that mac and cheese tastes a little different if you skip the milk, although you may find that you actually prefer some of these alternative recipes. On the whole, as long as you have a creamy ingredient, the difference should be slight.
This is because the dish gets most of its flavor from the cheese, rather than from the milk. If you have good cheese, this ought to carry the dish and ensure that it tastes great no matter what.
However, if you find that you don’t really like one of the suggested substitutes above, consider giving one of the others a go. This is particularly true for using the plant milks; you may have to try a few to work out which one you enjoy.
Can You Just Use Extra Cheese Instead of Milk?
It isn’t possible to make a mac and cheese sauce with just cheese and butter, no. This will often result in the cheese going lumpy, and a sauce that is too thick to distribute evenly across the pasta. You may also find that the cheese flavor is too strong and salty if it doesn’t have a creamier, milder ingredient diluting it.
If you don’t have any milk alternatives, you can try this, but you may be better off simply grating the cheese onto your macaroni and enjoying a cheesy pasta, because making a proper cheese sauce requires a runny ingredient, like milk or one of the alternatives listed above.
You can make mac and cheese without milk, as long as you replace it with another suitable ingredient. Cream cheese, almond milk, soy milk, plain yogurt, and cream will all work well, and should give you a delicious meal to enjoy.