No milk? No problem! When you need some serious comfort food, you can still make this rich, creamy, indulgent mac and cheese without milk in just 30 minutes!
Could you use some serious comfort food to wind down from the day, stave off the winter chill, or just enjoy with the family?
This mac and cheese without milk comes together on the stove in less than half an hour!
The gooey, cheesy sauce tastes so delightfully indulgent, and you don’t even need any milk!
I don’t always have milk stocked in the fridge, so this recipe is a lifesaver for me. If you’re looking for something dairy-free, I also have options for you below!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- My family’s favorite recipe for stovetop mac and cheese without milk
- What to do if you want to make baked mac and cheese
- How to turn this recipe into dairy-free or vegan mac and cheese
- What to serve with this yummy meal
- How to store leftovers so you can enjoy them all week
This dish turns out so rich and creamy, it’s almost like Southern mac and cheese without milk!
Combined with the tender noodles and just the right balance of seasoning, it’s the kind of dish that will have both kids and adults begging for seconds.
How to Make Mac and Cheese Without Milk
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
STEP TWO: Add the noodles and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the starchy cooking water before draining the pasta.
STEP THREE: In a medium skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk until the roux forms.
STEP FOUR: Cook the roux, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
STEP FIVE: Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly to ensure no lumps form.
STEP SIX: Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it has thickened slightly about 5 minutes.
STEP SEVEN: Add the cream cheese, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. Stir until the cream cheese has melted.
STEP EIGHT: Add the cheddar cheese one handful at a time, stirring to melt the cheese fully between each addition.
STEP NINE: When all of the cheese has melted, remove the pan from heat and add the noodles. Stir to combine. If the mac and cheese becomes too dry, add a splash of reserved pasta water.
STEP TEN: Taste and season with additional salt if needed. Serve immediately and enjoy.
How to Make Baked Mac and Cheese Without Milk
- Follow the recipe as usual. When you reach the end, transfer the mac and cheese to a greased 9×13” baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1½ cups breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons melted butter.
- Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs over the mac and cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.
How to Make Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese or Vegan Mac and Cheese
Want to skip the dairy altogether? No problem! Just swap out the butter, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese for dairy-free versions.
I personally love Violife’s “just like cheddar” shreds for this recipe.
To make this dish vegan-friendly, follow the instructions above to replace the dairy, then simply use vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.
You’ll have a super creamy plant-based meal ready in no time!
Other Variations for this Mac and Cheese
- Switch up the shape of the pasta — any small dried noodle will work well for your mac and cheese!
- Play around with the cheese options — I love the flavor you get from sharp cheddar, but mild cheddar, colby jack, monterey jack, or any other options will work just as well.
- Grate your own cheese for the smoothest sauce — pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking agents that can make it a little harder to melt
What to Serve with Mac and Cheese
- 5-Ingredient Squash Casserole
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Air Fryer Ranch Potatoes
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Wedges
- Garlic Cheese Bread
Can You Store Leftover Mac and Cheese?
You bet! This dish will make amazing leftovers throughout the week. You’ll be so glad you have them!
Allow the extra mac and cheese to cool to room temperature, then cover or transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Other Mac and Cheese Recipes You’ll Love:
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- 3 Ingredient Mac and Cheese
- Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- Mac and Cheese Bites in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Mac and Cheese Bites
- Ninja Foodi Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound dried noodles (elbow, shells, cavatappi, etc)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the noodles to al dente according to the package directions. Make sure to reserve ½ cup of starchy cooking water before draining the pasta.
- In a medium skillet or saucepan (large enough to hold all of the pasta), melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk until the roux forms. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly to ensure that no lumps form. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it has thickened slightly– about 5 minutes.
- Next, add the cream cheese, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. Stir until the cream cheese has melted.
- Next, add the cheddar cheese one handful at a time, stirring to melt the cheese fully between each addition.
- When all of the cheese has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the noodles. Stir to combine. If the mac and cheese becomes too dry, add a splash of reserved pasta water. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 717Total Fat: 50gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 1012mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 35g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.