Did you ever want to make mac and cheese without milk as you had run out of milk or someone in your home is allergic to milk? It may sound impossible. We have reviewed the many ways you can have and cheese without a drop of milk added to the recipe.
Mac and cheese is a pasta dish that can be the main dish for kids and adults. When prepared with a completely nutrient-balanced ingredient, it can fulfill the requirements of your staple diet. With specific recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you can satisfy your family. Besides, it can give you equally taste cheesy and milky mac and cheese without milk.
What are Mac and Cheese?
Mac and cheese is a short form of macaroni noodles and cheese. The word comes from “macaroni”. Mac and cheese is a pasta dish made of macaroni pasta and cheddar cheese sauce. The sauce is a mixture of flour, butter, cheese, and milk. The mac and cheese dish may have added ingredients like meat, shrimp, and bread crumbs. You can imagine it is a cheesy and creamy dish.
Because of the ingredients, mac and cheese is healthy food. Although a processed food, it has plenty of fiber and protein. This more or less fat-containing food has turned to be a comfort for children, helping fulfill the calories required for kids in winter. As we want to make mac and cheese without milk, first let us find out the milk substitutes.
Milk Substitutes for Mac and Cheese
Some of the milk substitutes that apply to mac and cheese are cream cheese, soya milk, sour cream, rice, plain yogurt, almond, coconut milk, whipping cream, and other dairy and non-dairy products. Some of the agents may not thicken as much, then ‘roux’ a thickening mixture made of starch and butter in variable amounts helps in the right consistency. Let us give the role of some substitutes for milk for preparing mac and cheese.
1. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese has been a perfect substitute for milk in mac and cheese recipe. Cream cheese is also known as double cream is a combination of cream and unskimmed milk to create a soft but rich cheese. It is slightly sweet, but mild and is very similar to milk. However, it is thicker and spreads with the macaroni consistently.
You can use the cream cheese in the same proportion of milk as the recipe calls require. As it is creamy, you can omit the butter and melt the cream to make it soft before adding to the sauce. Cream cheese comes in many flavors, therefore; you can switch flavors to bring variability in taste.
2. Sour Cream
Sour cream is prepared by blending cream with the culture of lactic acid, also containing a gelatin stabilizer. During culture, the bacteria make it thick and sour.
Sour cream, which has a fat content of around 20 percent, is made by mixing cream with a lactic acid culture, the bacteria thickens and sours it. It may also contain stabilizers, like gelatin or rennin, which aid in the thickening.
Using sour cream as a substitute for milk produces a similar texture but with a complex flavor. The sour cream is a substitute having equal proportion to the milk of the sauce. The taste is different from the creamy sauce, giving it a tangy taste. The application of minced garlic gives the mac and cheese a distinct flavor.
3. Whipping Cream
Whipping is a mixture of butterfat and thick cream. It contains 36 to 455 fat, the highest fat content among dairy products.
Whipping cream being thicker than double cream makes mac and cheese, richer and creamier. As it produces quite a rich dish, you may omit the butter from the recipe. Because of the white color of the whipping, the color of your mac and cheese dish may become light. If you prefer a dark yellow macaroni, use orange-colored cheese.
4. Plain Yogurt
Macaroni lovers appreciate yogurt as a substitute for milk. It is like sour cream in consistency.
Plain yogurt gives a tangy taste to the mac and cheese and produces a creamy sauce. Yogurt comes in low fat too. Therefore, you can decide if you want a low-fat mac and cheese to regulate the fat content in your diet.
If your recipe needs heating, heat up the yogurt in low, slow heat to avoid splitting. It is preferable to use a double water boiler and heat it before adding the creamy roux. The sauce with yogurt needs consistent stirring to create a creamy and smooth mixture for the mac and cheese dish. The proportion of yogurt is the same as milk.
5. Almond Milk
Almond milk is a non-dairy product that is a perfect substitute for milk for preparing mac and cheese. This plant-based source has a distinct nutty flavor. Almond is a wonderful low fat, you can however sweeten it give it a special taste.
As almond is lighter than dairy cream products, the sauce becomes lighter. You can thicken your sauce by adding extra cheese and roux.
6. Soy Milk
Soy milk, another non-dairy substitute derived by boiling soya beans to produce a blend of protein in water, and natural oil is a popular substitute for milk in mac and cheese dishes.
The taste of soy milk is distinctly different, the flavor of which is compensated by the addition of aromatic cheese. It is less sweet than milk and can be used either sweetened or unsweetened.
7. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a vegan and non-dairy substitute for milk. The milky juice extract of the coconut flesh is perfect for making a sauce of mac and cheese.
Coconut milk consists of a distinctive flavor of coconut. If it is not a favored item of macaroni lovers, you can garnish it with garlic and herbs. Coconut cream is also a suitable substitute and acts as a creamier ingredient than coconut milk.
You will find the best result with unsweetened coconut milk. Many kinds of preserved coconut milk also works out well for mac and cheese dishes.
8. Rice Milk
Rice milk is a vegan emulsion made from rice ground rice, water, and sweetener. The flavor is not strong but perfectly suits with mac and cheese. The difference as a substitute for milk is not likely as it is quite creamy.
As it has no fat, using butter and more cream cheese will give your mac and cheese dish an excellent taste. The rice milk binds with the sauce easily giving it a creamy appearance. The rice milk works perfectly with an equal proportion of the recipe.
9. Oat Milk
Oat milk is a non-dairy product and is a favorite of many macaroni lovers. Oak milk is made by soaking oat grains in water and extracting the milk.
Oak milk creates a creamy consistency, with not out of the ordinary flavor. The sauce comes out delicious with flavorings of nuts. You can use either of the sweetened and unsweetened forms.
10. Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is an emulsion of cashew nuts. As a substitute for milk for making mac and cheese, it is just perfect. As it is a non-dairy product, it has no fat.
Cashew nut milk blends well with the sauce and the mac and cheese to produce a silky texture and neutral flavor. You can use cashew nut milk in the same proportion as regular milk.
Care must to taken not to serve mac and cheese with cashew nut milk to people who have allergies to nuts
Now that you know the many ways you can make mac and cheese without milk, you need not worry about missing an important ingredient. The substitutes we discussed are both dairy and non-dairy-based. Choosing from the wide list may seem difficult. However, you can sort out the best that suits your family by trying one at a time.
Mac and cheese are nutritious processed food. Using milk substitutes makes it even better by adding nutrients and minerals to the cheesy food. Besides, the substitutes are variable in texture and flavor. The addition of spicy condiments to the sauce makes it appetizing. The bottom line is to enjoy your meal with any of the ingredients that suit the mac and cheese dish.