If you haven’t heard of Kraft Mac and Cheese we can’t be friends. Just kidding, of course, we can, but you are seriously missing out.
Kraft mac and cheese is one of those family favorite meals that kids love for the creamy cheesy deliciousness and parents adore for its ease and convenience to prepare.
If you’re looking for a quick-fix meal that you’ll devour in mere minutes because it’s that delicious.
Then this 15-minute mac and cheese should always be your go-to. Once you’ve got your mix in hand, you’ll only need a few extra ingredients to bring the meal to life!
But what do you do when you’ve mixed together your noodles, cheesy flavoring, and butter, to open your refrigerator to find that someone has just used the last drop of milk? Despair?
Not at all.
In fact, there are tons of tasty options that you can use instead of milk to ensure that the tasty meal makes its way onto your plate. What are they? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Kraft Mac And Cheese?
Okay, just in case we have any Kraft mac and cheese newbies amongst us, let’s talk about exactly what it is.
Simply put, it’s boxed pasta that comes complete with its own packet of delicious cheese powder flavoring.
To create this delightful meal, you’ll only need to add ¼ cup of milk and 4 tablespoons of butter to the mix, and voila, you’ll have the perfect mac and cheese.
1. Heavy Cream
Heavy cream is a popular substitute for milk in many different meals and beverages.
You’ve probably swapped your milk for a splash of heavy cream in your coffee before now, and it works pretty similarly in mac and cheese.
Heavy cream is essentially milk that is heavier, richer, and creamer. In terms of taste, the two can be almost indistinguishable.
So, you’ll keep all your favorite flavors when substituting it in your mac and cheese, the only difference will be that the sauce has a thicker and creamier texture…and that’s never a bad thing.
2. Goat Milk
Don’t have any cow’s milk to hand but have a bottle of goat’s milk buried in the back of your refrigerator? Feel free to use it in your mac and cheese.
Again, there’s very little difference in the taste of the two and they also produce similar textures too. Keep your substitution a secret, and likely no one would notice.
Goats milk has a creamy, mild, and somewhat sweet taste that works amazingly well for this meal.
3. Evaporated Milk
For those who don’t know, evaporated milk is basically normal milk, just without over half of the water content. And so, it can work really well in your mac and cheese box mix.
You’ll want to combine equal amounts of milk and water, though, to keep things tasting great so instead of a ¼ cup of milk, you’ll add ⅛ cup of water and evaporated milk.
4. Sour Cream
If you’ve got some sour cream lying around, or something similar such as buttermilk or kefir, then this can definitely work as a substitute for milk in your mac and cheese.
The only thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that sour cream and the likes have a slightly more tangy taste which will be noticeable when you tuck into your meal.
However, if this is something that you don’t mind, it will work a treat. You’ll want to add the product one tablespoon at a time and continue adding more as needed.
5. Cream Cheese
If you don’t mind the added caloric content, then cream cheese can help you achieve a super creamy textured mac and cheese that is seriously addictive.
If you’re opting for cream cheese instead of milk, you’ll want to ensure you cook your noodles on low heat and then slowly but surely add more tablespoons of the good stuff until the pasta reaches your desired consistency.
6. Double Up On Your Butter
If you’re lacking some of the ingredients listed in this article, then you can always double down on the amount of butter required for your macaroni and cheese.
In terms of texture, it’s not quite as creamy as you might like, but it works well when you are stuck for options, especially since it will taste pretty much identical.
If you don’t have butter, margarine or light oil also does the same job.
7. Greek Yogurt
Like the idea of adding cream cheese or sour cream for its textural advantages but are trying to cut the calories? Then Greek yogurt might be the answer to your prayers.
You’ll get that similar tanginess that comes with the aforementioned ingredients, but you’ll also get that creamier richer texture too.
Much like the other similar ingredients, you’ll want to add just a small amount at a time until you’ve got that desired consistency.
Butter but different. That’s essentially a roux, well, it’s butter mixed with flour to give it a slightly thicker texture.
And it works great in mac and cheese since it improves the texture without changing any of the flavors.
To create a roux for your kraft mac and cheese, simply mix together a tablespoon of both ingredients and then add to your noodle mix.
9. Soy Milk
If you’re looking to lower the dairy intake in your mac and cheese (you can’t get rid of it completely since there is whey in the box ingredients) then soy milk is a pretty good way to go.
Soy milk is pretty pound-for-pound in terms of the nutritional value of cow’s milk, it has a similar texture and is the closest-tasting in terms of non-dairy products, so it’ll provide a meal that is almost identical to the original recipe.
10. Almond Milk
Almond milk is a pretty popular non-dairy option that is widely available, and the plain unsweetened version can work really well as a substitute for cow’s milk.
It’ll produce a meal with a similar consistency and texture and is pretty close in terms of taste.
Almond milk, as you may expect, has a slightly nutty taste which you may notice in your meal, though it definitely won’t be overpoweringly so.
11. Coconut Milk
Providing a slightly sweet element to your mac and cheese is unproblematic for you, coconut milk is another viable option.
Granted, it’s probably not the most ideal option, but it will work if you’re in a jam.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re using canned coconut milk, you’re not going to want that coconut cream on the top making its way into your noodles.
Not unless you want super sweet and nutty mac and cheese, anyway.
12. Cashew Milk
Cashew milk has a very similar consistency to that of cow’s milk and has a pretty mild sweet and nutty flavor that can be easily masked by the other ingredients in your pasta box.
This makes it a pretty good option for those that don’t have any regular milk to hand.
13. Oat Milk
In terms of non-dairy milk, this one is relatively new to the scene, but even with that being said, obtaining it at a local supermarket tends to be pretty easy.
Its texture is pretty similar to that of cow’s milk and in terms of taste, it’s fairly sweet with an oaty aftertaste.
But this isn’t too overpowering, so it still works well for creating a delicious bowl of macaroni and cheese.
What’s great about this option, though, is that it’s super healthy! It has tons of nutritional benefits, can help to lower blood sugars and cholesterol, and aids digestion too.
14. Hemp Milk
Granted, this isn’t a common household ingredient that everyone has access to, but you will find it in a few specialty grocery stores along with many online stores, and if you do happen to have some lying around, it can be used in your mac and cheese.
It’s a type of milk that is derived from the hemp plant, but don’t worry, it contains 0 THC content and is perfectly legal. It’s also a great source of omega-3 and has several health benefits.
The only thing worth keeping in mind is that it has quite a powerful nutty taste to it that not everyone loves.
15. Rice Milk
Rice milk is popular amongst those who have nut, soy, or dairy allergies.
It’s usually pretty easy to get your hands on and if you have some lying around, you can definitely add it to your mac and cheese mixture.
16. Olive Oil
Now, it’s worth mentioning that while olive oil can definitely be used as a milk substitute in your mac and cheese, it will directly impact both the taste and texture.
So expect it to taste a little different from usual.
But notice how we said different and not bad. It’ll still taste good, it just won’t be exactly like what you’re used to eating.
If you’re opting to use olive oil in place of cow’s milk, please do not add ¼ cup of olive oil. That’s a great way to ruin a delicious meal.
Instead, opt for a tablespoon at a time until you get the perfect consistency for you.
17. Vegetable Oil
If you’ve had a root around your kitchen for olive oil but only found vegetable oil, you’ll be happy to know that you can use this too.
And in fact, it will probably have less of an impact on the overall taste of your meal since it is much lighter.
Again, the same rules apply for substitution, don’t pour ¼ cup of vegetable oil into your mixture, and instead, add a spoonful at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
18. Chicken Broth
Most people tend to have a bit of chicken broth lying around in their cupboards, and that’s great because it can be used in your Kraft Mac and Cheese.
Obviously, it will affect the flavor somewhat, but many consider this an improvement.
Plus, if you don’t have chicken broth, you can use beef, bone, vegetable, or any other broth that you have in the cupboards.
19. Powdered Milk
Powdered milk is a popular substitute for cow’s milk in general simply because it has a much longer shelf life since it doesn’t need to be refrigerated which is definitely more convenient.
And if you’ve got powdered milk and a Kraft mac and cheese box at home, we have good news! It can be used to create your favorite meal!
To do so, you’ll want to follow the instructions on your packaging since different brands can differ slightly.
However, as a general rule of thumb, you’ll want around 2 tablespoons of powder and 1 cup of water. You can then pour ¼ cup of this mixture into your mac and cheese and voila!
20. Pasta Water
If you’re super stuck for substitutions, then pasta water is a viable option that everyone should have access to.
Since the starch from the pasta makes the water slightly thicker, it works well enough to produce a tasty mac and cheese.
The only issue you’ll find with this option is that you won’t get a particularly thick consistency.
It’ll be a little runner than usual and you’ll also lose some of the flavor. But it’s definitely still better than no mac and cheese at all.
Finally, if all else fails, everyone should have access to water. And if you’ve already accidentally poured your starchier thicker water down the drain, it will work as an absolute last resort.
But it should definitely stay as that since you will end up with an incredibly watery and runny consistency that is fairly devoid of flavor.
It won’t be the most appetizing meal of your life, for sure, but hey, it’s better than no meal at all…we guess.
Kraft macaroni and cheese is one of those quick and easy meals that is super scrumptious. A win-win all around, really.
But you can be left in quite the pickle when you’re missing one of the few vital ingredients. Luckily, now though, you are well aware of all the ingredients you can use instead when you’re in this bind.
And as a last parting piece of advice, let us mention a few ways that you can fancy up your mac and cheese should you wish.
Experimenting with extra cheese can add some extra flavor and texture, while sprinkling a bit of meat over the top such as chicken or crumbled bacon can add some much-needed protein.
You can also boost your five-a-day intake by opting to add a few extra veggies such as spinach or green beans to the mix too.