What can I substitute for milk in Kraft mac n cheese?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for milk in Kraft mac n cheese?” with an in-depth analysis of the milk in Kraft mac n cheese, what are its uses, and what are the possible substitutes for milk in kraft mac n cheese.

What can I substitute for milk in Kraft mac n cheese?

We can have different substitutes for milk in Kraft mac n cheese including shredded cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, evaporated milk, roux, olive oil, pasta water, soya milk, almond milk, sour cream, and yoghurt.

The average world export of cheese in the period under research was 5.7 million tonnes with the tendency to increase to up to 4.6% per year. In terms of country analysis, Germany is the most significant cheese exporter in the world with the average export of 1 million tonnes, which represents 18.6% of total world export (1). 

Substitutes for milk in Kraft mac n cheese

Following are the substitutes for milk in Kraft mac n cheese.

Shredded cheese

When you are preparing the recipe and the milk in Kraft mac n cheese is out of hand then you can go for a substituted product as a good replacement like shredded cheese. Shredded cheese is the ideal alternative product for milk in kraft mac n cheese. 

Shredding is desirable to consumers as a means to increase the surface area covered by cheese to achieve a desired culinary effect with a minimum cheese quantity. Cheddar cheese requires about 30 d of ripening before shredding, adding refrigerated storage and handling costs to the product. Key attributes improved by this ripening time are the amount of crumbles, surface smoothness, shred mean length, and uniformity of shred length. Other desirable attributes improved by ripening are shred to shred piece adhesiveness, visual perception of oiliness and residual oiliness during shred handling by consumers (2).

Shredded cheese is recommended to add at least 60 grams in a perfect replacement for milk in ratios one and one. The taste of shredded cheese is cheesylicious. And its texture is mildly thicker.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a substituted product that is almost perfect for recipes as an alternative for milk in Kraft mac n cheese. Cream cheese is considered the best choice due to two major reasons, firstly it has a good variety, and secondly, it gives more creaminess to the recipes.

A mild cream buttery flavor and slight dairy sour taste, total absence of bitterness, along with a creamy texture, and a consistency that varies from brittle to spreadable and with shiny appearance, characterizes this acid coagulated fresh cheese product. Standard cream cheese must include at least 33% milkfat and not exceed 55% moisture content, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Moreover, the allowed raw materials included milk, skim milk, cream, condensed milk or condensed skim milk or non-fat dry milk solids; added hydrocolloids were limited to not more than 0.5% (w/w) (3).

The taste and the flavour of the cream cheese are mellow cheesy which adds a delicious and mouthwatering taste and flavour to the dish. It is thicker in texture. To adjust the thicker texture of cream cheese, firstly make its thin paste in a hot pan to bring it in melted form and then mix well with the butter and the cheese powder which will give it a good texture for the recipes. 

Or a few couples of teaspoons can be further added to the cream cheese to reduce the thickness of the cream cheese. 

Heavy cream

Heavy cream is another substituted product for milk in Kraft mac n cheese. It is also one of the good alternatives for milk in Kraft mac n cheese. The taste of both heavy cream and milk in Kraft mac n cheese is almost similar so these can be exchanged perfectly.

The cream is a concentrated emulsion of milk lipid globules in skimmed milk and is prepared commercially by centrifugal separation of the less-dense lipid phase from skimmed milk. The cream products could be classified according to the milk fat contents, such as heavy cream (>36%), light cream (18-30%) and half and half (>10.5%) in the United States (4).

It is recommended in one ratio one as a substituted product. It is claimed by the users of its substituted product and for milk in Kraft mac n cheese that honestly, we notice not a big difference in their taste and flavour.

The texture is lightly creamy and it is not much thicker as compared to regular milk.


Butter is also a good substitute for the milk in Kraft mac n cheese when it is out of hand. While adding the butter, recipes will demand to add both the milk and butter, but as we are preferring to use butter due to shortage of milk then the best solution is to use a double quantity of butter to replace milk. 

Butter is not considered as the most nutritious food but in preparing mac n cheese a creamy texture material or ingredient is required, that requirement in shortage of milk can only be fulfilled by the butter or some other substituted product for milk in Kraft mac n cheese.

Butter has been considered to increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases in humans because, in comparison to other lipid sources, they contain a higher proportion of lauric, myristic, and palmitic acids and a lower proportion of unsaturated fatty acids. A higher ratio of saturated fatty acids also contributes to the hardness and poor spreadability of butter at refrigeration temperature. It has been reported that 80% of the variation of butter texture can be explained by differences in milk fatty acid composition (5).

Sour cream

Sour cream is another good alternative ingredient for milk in Kraft mac n cheese. When we use sour cream the dish will be creamier and tangier, which is a good choice for some people while some do not prefer to eat creamier mac n cheese. To get this tangier taste and flavour sometimes, it is also called by recipes to add sour cream plus milk.

Sour cream has a milky white color, fragrant flavor, and delicious taste. It can be eaten directly with bread, and is widely used as a condiment, in cooking, and baking various types of pastry. Traditionally, sour cream is obtained from the natural fermentation of raw milk fat with the action of lactic acid bacteria (6).

Heavy or whipping cream

Heavy or whipping cream is a good substitute for milk in Kraft mac n cheese. These creams are packed with a high content of calories. In cow’s milk, more than 98% of fats are triacylglycerols, but monoacylglycerols and diacylglycerols, free fatty acids, phospholipids, sterols, carotenoids, fat-soluble vitamins and flavor compounds are also found (4).

Non-dairy milk substitutes

But sometimes, it is seen that people who love to eat mac n cheese in creamy sauce and texture but they are allergic to lactose. So, then they should go for those substitutes for milk in Kraft mac n cheese which are lactose-free ingredients that might not cause the lactose problem. 

These non-dairy milk substitutes in kraft mac n cheese include cashew milk, soy milk, and oat milk. These non-dairy products can easily swap the milk in Kraft mac n cheese.

Unfortified non-dairy milks have less calcium than dairy, although many commercially available non-dairy milks are calcium fortified. Prospective data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Studies showed that increased calcium intake from dairy or nondairy dietary sources is associated with a lower risk of incident symptomatic kidney stones. However, there is concern that some nut-based milks may have a high oxalate content. This could have implications for patients with kidney stones (7).

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

Can you eat expired Mac & Cheese?

Does kraft mac and cheese have pork in it?

Can you freeze Costco mac and cheese?


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What can I substitute for milk in Kraft mac n cheese?” with an in-depth analysis of the milk in Kraft mac n cheese, what are its uses, and what are the possible substitutes for milk in kraft mac n cheese.


  1. Vlahović, Branislav, Anka Popović-Vranješ, and Izabela Mugoša. International Cheese Market–Current State and Perspective. Econ Ins Trend Challen, 2014, 66.
  2. Serrano, Jazmin, et al. Moderately high hydrostatic pressure processing to reduce production costs of shredded cheese: microstructure, texture, and sensory properties of shredded milled curd cheddar. J food sci, 2005, 70, S286-S293.
  3. Pombo, Alan F. Wolfschoon. Cream cheese: Historical, manufacturing, and physico-chemical aspectsInt Dairy J, 2021, 117, 104948.
  4. Shamsi, K., et al. A comparative study of dairy whipping cream and palm oil-based whipping cream in terms of FA composition and foam stability. J Am Oil Chem Soc, 2002, 79, 583-588.
  5. Bobe, G., et al. Texture of butter from cows with different milk fatty acid compositions. J Dairy Sci, 2003, 86, 3122-3127.
  6. Yu, Jie, et al. Bacterial microbiota and metabolic character of traditional sour cream and butter in Buryatia, Russia. Front Microbiol, 2018, 9, 2496.
  7. Borin, James F., et al. Plant-based milk alternatives and risk factors for kidney stones and chronic kidney disease. J Renal Nutr, 2022, 32, 363-365.