sub for milk in mac and cheese

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Making mac and cheese? Don’t have any evaporated milk? Keep reading to see the best ways to substitute for evaporated milk in mac and cheese.

Substitute For Milk In Mac And Cheese

If you’ve ever tried evaporated milk mac and cheese, you know that there is no other quite like it. Mac and cheese is a creamy, cheesy dish made with common ingredients like macaroni noodles, cheddar cheese, butter, and milk.

Mac and cheese is commonly made using regular milk, but many people, myself included, really enjoy making it with evaporated milk 

However, if you’re about to make mac and cheese and you have no canned evaporated milk. Or if you’ve recently decided to cut out dairy which would include evaporated milk, then the replacements for milk below will give you options worth trying out. 

We’ve shared the best ways to replace evaporated milk for general recipes here. However, we thought it would be of value to you if we shared the best ingredients that can properly replace evaporated milk in a specific recipe like mac and cheese. 

Best substitutes for evaporated milk in mac and cheese

Velveeta cheese sauce

Velveeta cheese

One of the easiest substitutes for evaporated milk in macaroni and cheese is Velveeta cheese sauce. Velveeta cheese sauce is a processed cheese sauce made from ingredients including whey, milk, and milk protein concentrate to name a few. It can easily replace evaporated milk in stovetop mac and cheese. Just pour the contents of the Velveeta pack into your cooked macaroni and stir well until properly combined. 

Please note that when added to cooked macaroni on its own, the Velveeta cheese sauce tends to produce a cheesy, drier mac and cheese compared to mac and cheese that is made with a combination of milk and Velveeta which is less dry and a bit more creamy.

Whole milk


If you have no evaporated milk but have whole milk then you can use this ingredient as an alternative to evaporated milk in your macaroni and cheese recipe. 

When whole milk is used to make mac and cheese, the raw macaroni noodles are usually boiled in the milk, then the grated cheddar is added afterward.

Most recipes that are made using this method use an average of 1 ½ cups of milk for every cup of raw macaroni noodles. The results are a creamy pot of mac and cheese that no one will be able to resist. If you want to see how to make macaroni and cheese with whole milk, check out the recipe linked here.

Powdered milk

Powdered milk

If you have powdered milk, it can also be used to replace evaporated milk in a macaroni and cheese recipe. To use, simply reconstitute the dry milk by adding 1 part powdered milk and 4 parts water into a saucepan or bowl and mix until well combined.

You can use this reconstituted powdered milk as is. Or, you can go on to make this into homemade evaporated milk by simmering the reconstituted dry milk for 40 minutes on medium heat until it is thickened or reduced by half. Use it just like you would use store-bought evaporated milk.

Related: 23 Substitutes for milk in kraft mac and cheese

Heavy cream

Heavy cream

Heavy cream is another ingredient that can be used to replace evaporated milk in mac and cheese. Heavy cream produces a very rich and decadent macaroni and cheese recipe. It’s great for people who want to enjoy a very decadent side dish as this mac and cheese will definitely be over the top.



Buttermilk can also be used to make mac and cheese as an alternative to evaporated milk. It makes for a nice creamy mac and cheese, especially if you add a little extra cheese to the dish. Besides making a creamy macaroni cheese dish, buttermilk also adds a bit of tartness and tanginess to this dish that many people may enjoy.

Almond milk

almond milk for mac and cheese

If you have some in your kitchen, almond milk will work as a good alternative for evaporated milk in mac and cheese. Generally, unsweetened almond milk is ideal and can be used as is to make a creamy vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free mac and cheese recipe. Or, you can make a dairy-free evaporated almond milk by simmering a few cups of almond milk until most of the water evaporates and it is reduced by half. This will take about for about 40 minutes if you’re using 3 cups. 

Besides, unsweetened almond milk, vanilla almond milk is also sometimes used to make macaroni and cheese.

Oat milk

Oat milk

Unsweetened oat milk is another great replacement for evaporated milk. Oat milk is rich and thick and makes some creamy, decadent mac and cheese that can be made vegan, dairy free or even gluten free if you so choose. You can learn how to make oat milk mac and cheese here.

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