Do you need butter for mac and cheese? The answer may surprise you. While butter does give the dish a richer flavor, there are plenty of other ingredients that you can use as a replacement.
For instance, milk is a common ingredient in mac and cheese, and it will also help create a creamy consistency and a rich depth of flavor. If you try one of the more delicious nut milk, like one of the substitutes for milk in mac and cheese, then you’ll be on the right track.
Alternatively, you could try using olive oil or even some even use cream cheese. Each of these ingredients will give your mac and cheese a different flavor, but they will all help create a delicious and creamy dish.
We go into details about each mac and cheese butter substitute below. So whether you run out of butter or want a healthier version of the dish, here are some ideas.
What Are Some Butter Substitutes for Mac and Cheese?
This list is meant to be a guide for ideas to use when you ran out of butter for mac and cheese. Furthermore, you’ll need to use this list to experiment and find out which butter substitute works best for you.
There is no one easy answer, but keep in mind that you can also skip the butter all together. However if you do decide to skip the butter when making mac and cheese, just know that the flavor profile won’t be as rich.
Do you need butter for mac and cheese? If you’re looking for a butter substitute for mac and cheese that will give the dish a slightly different flavor, olive oil is a good option. It will still help create a creamy consistency, but it will also add extra flavor to the dish.
I always have on hand an extra virgin olive oil from Italy and an unfiltered olive oil from California. Each one has a deep flavor that may overpower the mac and cheese, so it’ll be better if you have a more mild olive oil.
Pro Tip: Save 1/4 of a cup of the pasta water and add this back into the noodles after you drain them. You can add the olive oil, pasta water, and cheese packet all at the same time. More importantly, the pasta water will help bind everything together.
Crushed Nuts Mixed With a 1/4 Teaspoon of Oil
Do You Need Butter for Mac and Cheese? Not if you have some nuts in your cupboard. Take some walnuts, cashews, or almonds, and use one of the best choppers for nuts to grind them coarsely. Then after you have your chopped nuts, mix them with a tsp of mild oil.
The nutty oil mixture will help replace some of the fat you’ll miss without using butter. Walnuts are considered “brain food,” and eating a few each day will help keep your brain healthy, so why not add them to mac and cheese!
Don’t worry if you do not have a proper nut chopper; you can use a DIY mortar and pestle instead.
You may not have realized it, but you can get away with not adding any butter to the dish. If you use milk as one of the ingredients, it will help create a creamy consistency without any butter.
Just make sure that you don’t overcook the noodles as this will make them mushy, and not having butter with mushy noodles will be a kitchen disaster.
Pro Tip: You can sprinkle 1 tsp of parmesan cheese on the top if you skip the butter altogether. Using parmesan at the end will create an umami flavor and add a little depth to your mac and cheese. If you are vegan then there are plenty of vegan parmesan alternatives!
Cream cheese is another ingredient that you can use as a butter substitute for mac and cheese. It will help create a creamy consistency and add a bit of extra flavor to the dish. I prefer the olive oil method because I am not a big fan of cream cheese. However, if you want to try it out, go for it!
Pro Tip: Only use a small amount of cream cheese since it has a more robust flavor. You don’t want it to overpower the mac and cheese. If the box calls for 4 Tablespoons of butter, only use 2 Tablespoons of cream cheese.
Milk is another common ingredient in mac and cheese, and it will also help create a creamy consistency and a rich depth of flavor, especially if you try one of the more flavorful nut kinds of milk as one of the substitutes for milk in mac and cheese.
Do you absolutely need butter for mac and cheese? Not if you have margarine on hand! Margarine is a great butter substitute for mac and cheese. It will help create a creamy consistency and add a bit of extra flavor to the dish.
Miyokos Cultured Vegan Butter
This coconut cashew vegan butter substitute can be found at most grocery stores or even online. The fact that they use cultures makes it a tastier butter alternative. It’s also a great option if you’re looking for a dairy-free butter substitute for mac and cheese.
If you are visiting NYC, check out some of the best vegan mac and cheese restaurants in the city!
Coconut oil does have a more robust flavor than safflower oil, although some people might like the flavor it imparts on the dish. Using coconut oil will still help create a creamy consistency while allowing all ingredients to meld. Adding a bit of extra flavor and health to the plate is a bonus for those who enjoy coconut oil.
In a pinch, the safflower oil will at least provide the fat needed to help turn the cheese packet into a creamy sauce. The flavor is relatively neutral so that it won’t alter the dish’s taste too much.
While many people use yogurt as a milk substitute for mac and cheese, you can also use it as a butter substitute. Yogurt will give the mac and cheese and sour taste, so if you’re looking for a tangy mac and cheese, then this is your ingredient.
Keep in mind that yogurt is thinner than butter and has much less fat. Therefore it won’t give you that rich depth of flavor that butter will.
You can use vegetable stock as a butter replacement in cooking, although you may also want to add a tsp of olive oil. The vegetable stock will help create a delicious depth of flavor without adding much extra fat. However, sometimes you need that fat to help coat the noodles and bind the cheese.
How to Substitute Butter for Something Else When You’re Making Mac and Cheese. (How to Make Mac and Cheese Without Butter?)
Check the box to see how much butter is required.
Never use more oil than the required amount of butter. For example, if the recipe calls for 2 TBS of butter, make sure you use no more than 2 TBS of oil. Anything else you use as a butter substitute for mac and cheese is trial and error.
If you are using a blend of oil and pasta water, you can reduce the amount of oil by 1/2.
Remember that when you are substituting ingredients, it is an experiment. Remem er there are always ways to improve your substitutions. However, you will first need to experiment to see how your mac and cheese taste without butter.
What’s the Best Butter Substitute for Mac and Cheese?
While there are plenty of butter substitutes for mac and cheese, we think olive oil is the best option. It will help create a creamy consistency and add a bit of extra flavor to the dish. Plus, olive oil is a healthy fat, so you can feel good about using it in your mac and cheese.
If you’re looking for a dairy-free butter substitute for mac and cheese, we recommend Miyokos Cultured Vegan Butter. It’s made with coconut cashew and is an excellent option if you’re looking for a better alternative. Do you need butter for mac and cheese? Not necessarily.
Can You Skip The Butter When Making Kraft Mac and Cheese?
Yes, whether you ran out of butter and didn’t realize it or you want to reduce the calories, you can skip the butter. The only thing you’ll compromise on is the flavor. Furthermore, even if you are not a foodie, you may not even notice the slight flavor difference.
What is the Best Butter Replacement for Mac and Cheese?
I love using olive oil and pasta water to substitute butter in mac and cheese. However, using margarine or one of the vegan butter substitutes will be the closest butter replacement for mac and cheese.
What to Do if You Ran Out of Butter for Kraft Mac and Cheese?
If you ran out of butter after you began cooking your Kraft mac and cheese, you would use one of our substitutes above. Don’t be afraid to skip the butter altogether; however, if you want to replace the fat from the butter, then use olive oil, safflower oil, or a nut blend.
Final Thoughts for Do You Need Butter for Mac and Cheese?
So, do you need butter for mac and cheese? The answer is no; there are plenty of other ingredients you can use as a replacement. Each of these ingredients will give your mac and cheese a different flavor, but they will all help create a creamy and delicious dish. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect butter replacement for your mac and cheese.
So, the next time you’re wondering whether or not to add butter to your mac and cheese, don’t be afraid to experiment with other ingredients. You may find that you prefer the taste of mac and cheese without butter.