Can you cook Mac and Cheese without milk?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you cook Mac and Cheese without milk” with an in-depth analysis of the general features and properties of Mac and Cheese. Moreover, we are going to discuss the general recipe without the use of milk to prepare this delicious dish as well as the different milk substitutes from both animal and plant sources that can be used to make an innovative food product.

Can you cook Mac and Cheese without milk?

Yes, you can cook Mac and Cheese without using milk. The main reason behind this change in the recipe may be to bring a unique change in the flavor, texture, aroma as well as the source (plant-based sources) of the product by replacing the milk with other alternatives, such as evaporated milk, creams, plain yogurt, and plant-based sources (oat milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and almond milk).

Cooking recipe:

The general recipe to cook delicious mac and cheese without milk may contain the following steps:

  • Take macaroni, cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, cornflour, or all-purpose flour, cream, butter, non-dairy milk (almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk), flavorings, chopped herbs, seasonings (mayonnaise, ketchup sauce).
  • Take a pan and pour water into it. Turn on the stove and heat the water until it starts boiling.
  • Add pasta or macaroni in boiling water and boil for about 5-7 minutes. You can check the cooking status of pasta by simply mashing it with a spoon or fork.
  • Strain the pasta in the strainer.
  • Now, take a frying pan or pot and add 1-2 tablespoons of butter to it. Melt the butter at very low heat. To give a delicious flavor to the dish, you may add chopped green or white onion or garlic in butter and fry them until they turn golden brown.
  • Now take ½ cup of non-dairy milk or simply water in a bowl and mix 2-3 tablespoons of cornflour or all-purpose flour in it and stir well to dissolve clumps.
  • Cook this liquid for 2-3 minutes until it gets thickened as per your requirement.
  • Now add heavy cream or yoghurt whichever you would prefer and stir it well.
  • Now add salt and pepper to the pan. Add macaroni and stir the mixture well.
  • Add shredded cheddar cheese and heat the mixture until the cheese is melted. Meanwhile, also mix the mixture to uniformly distribute all the ingredients throughout the pan.
  • Take out the cooked macaroni completely covered in creamy cheese in a serving dish or plate.
  • Add seasonings on the plate and also top the plate with chopped herbs, such as coriander leaves, mint leaves, and chopped vegetables. And serve the mac and cheese pasta with other sauces, including ketchup or mayonnaise.

Mac and Cheese:

Mac and cheese is a well-known dish that has been liked and consumed widely within all the regions of the world. This classic dish is made with a cooked macaroni pasta with a creamy, melty, and cheesy sauce.

As the dish is consumed throughout the world, the dish may vary in flavor and taste depending on the specific cooking methods and the use of seasonings and flavorings confined to the specific region. The final dish is also garnished with extra cheese or added with breadcrumbs to make the texture crunchy.

The sauce is considered the most important component of the whole dish which is obtained by mixing different ingredients, such as milk or milk substitutes, all-purpose or cornflour, thickening agents, salt and pepper, and flavorings, in an appropriate proportion.

Milk alternatives:

The milk from dairy sources can be substituted with other alternatives if the milk is not available in enough quantity. Moreover, milk can also be substituted to bring changes and innovations in already practiced recipes. These changes can be desired to develop changes in the properties, such as tastes, aroma, flavors, acceptability, and demand of the macaroni dishes.

In this regard, the milk may be substituted with powdered milk, creams, or other liquid alternatives, such as almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, rice milk, and oat milk, etc. The use of non-dairy milk substitutes may also be attributed to the developing interest of people towards plant-based proteins which have more health benefits as compared to animal-based protein sources.

This vegan trend has also enabled the markets to produce plant-based cheese that can be used to make an entire plant-based mac and cheese dish that is thought to be lighter in weight and calories and can be consumed by patients also.

You can read how to make creamy mac and cheese here.

Other FAQs about Mac and Cheese which you may be interested in.

How do you fix undercooked mac and cheese?

Nutritional significance of mac and cheese:

The mac and cheese dish is considered to contain a lot of nutritional value and benefits as most of the ingredients included in the dish have well-known nutritional value. The non-dairy milk sources used may have low nutrients originally but nowadays, these substitutes are manufactured in the industries with fortified nutrients.

The vegetables and herbs used for topping also contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Cheese is also a good source of proteins. And the major ingredient, macaroni or pasta, is also one of the nutritious food items that are consumed as a staple food in many regions of the world.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you cook Mac and Cheese without milk” with an in-depth analysis of the unique characteristics of this product when cooked by using milk alternatives instead of using cow’s milk that can enhance the demand and acceptability of the food product.

Moreover, we discussed the recipe as well as the nutritional significance of a mac and cheese dish without milk that is not much different from that one cooked with milk added to it.


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.