Mac & Cheese Without Milk

We’re thrilled to share our unique twist on a classic comfort dish - Mac and cheese without milk. Even though we’re not using milk in this recipe, the dish is just as creamy and delicious as the traditional version.

A rounded dish of beautifully cooked mac and cheese (without milk) with a golden crust on top.


We’re all about personalizing recipes, so feel free to choose your favorite cheeses. In our kitchen, we’re blending cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan.

  • Cheddar: This cheese is a true game-changer in our recipe. Its bold and sharp flavors stand out, offering a rich depth to the dish. The robust taste of cheddar gives our mac & cheese that classic, comforting feel.
  • Mozzarella: Now, here’s where the magic of texture comes into play. Mozzarella lends a beautifully melty, gooey quality. Its subtle tanginess is a gentle flavor, providing a delicate balance to the sharper notes of cheddar.
  • Parmesan: Last but definitely not least, parmesan is our secret weapon. It’s all about bringing a sophisticated touch to the table with its nutty essence and slightly granular texture; parmesan rounds off the flavor profile, adding a layer of complexity that ties everything together perfectly.

No milk?

You heard us right - no milk is needed here! We’ve discovered you can still achieve that beloved cheesy creaminess without it. Our secret? A mix of water and a touch of cream cheese. This little tweak keeps the dish lusciously creamy and oh-so satisfying.

No milk, but what about a little something extra?

Don’t get us wrong, we love the classic mac and cheese and could eat it for days, but now and again, we get a craving for something else…here are some of our favorite mac and cheese easy adaptations;

  • Bacon & jalapeño: An irresistible mix of smoky bacon bits and spicy jalapeños, perfect for those who love a kick of heat with their creamy cheese.
  • Veggie-loaded: Pack your dish with fresh vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, and spinach for a nutritious twist on the classic dish.
  • Lobster: Elevating the dish with chunks of succulent lobster, ideal for a luxurious, indulgent meal.
  • Truffle: This version is for those special occasions, infused with the rich, earthy flavor of truffles.
  • Four cheeses: A cheese lover’s dream, blend in a fourth cheese, like gouda, fontina, gruyere, or asiago, for a complex and deeply satisfying cheesy experience.
  • Vegan: Using plant-based cheese and milk alternatives for a vegan-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on flavor.

A baking dish of fresh out of the oven of mac and cheese (without milk). It has a golden-brown crust with pasta surrounding it.

Go all out

We’ve said in this recipe that this dish is just all the comfort food we need, and it’s a plate of carb-goodness. That doesn’t mean we need to stop there; why not add a little bit and indulge? Here are a few options (with a few healthy choices);

  • Garden salad: A fresh, crisp garden salad with a variety of greens and a light vinaigrette can balance the richness of mac and cheese.
  • Garlic bread: Toasted garlic bread complements the creamy dish with its crunchy texture and flavorful buttery garlic topping.
  • Steamed vegetables: Lightly steamed broccoli, carrots, or green beans add a healthy, colorful side that pairs well with the cheesy goodness.
  • BBQ ribs: For a heartier meal, BBQ ribs with their smoky, sweet glaze go wonderfully with the creamy texture of mac and cheese.
  • Grilled chicken: Simple, seasoned grilled chicken breasts can add a lean protein to your meal, making it more balanced and satisfying.
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts: Caramelized Brussels sprouts with a touch of balsamic vinegar offer a deliciously earthy counterpoint to the dish.
  • Chili: A hearty bowl of chili alongside mac and cheese can transform the meal into a deeply comforting experience.

How long can I keep macaroni and cheese in the fridge?

Store macaroni and cheese in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

Can I freeze macaroni and cheese?

Yes, you can freeze macaroni and cheese and it will keep for around 1-2 months. Be sure to freeze your macaroni and cheese in an airtight container or freezer bags. You can freeze macaroni and cheese in individual portions.

Can I use different cheese?

Yes, feel free to swap out our cheese choices for your cheese preferences, such as Gruyere, Gouda, or Monterey Jack.

Mac & Cheese Without Milk

Mac & Cheese is truly the ultimate comfort food for us - gooey, creamy, cheesy, and loaded with carbs. We’re sharing our take on an easy, delicious mac & cheese without milk!



0 mins

30 mins

30 mins

885 kcal

A pan of baked macaroni and cheese (without milk) with a beautiful golden-brown crust; it sits on a rustic wooden board and it's surrounded by various herbs, spices, and cooking utensils, including a wooden spoon, a sprig of thyme and ground spices.


  • ¼ cup grated mozzarella

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan

  • ½ cup grated cheddar

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ cup flour

  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • 3 ounces cream cheese

  • 1¼ cup water

  • 17 ounces elbow macaroni


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F on the broiler setting.

  2. Cook elbow pasta in a pot of boiling water until al dente (cook for 1 minute less than the packet instructs).

  3. While the macaroni is boiling, melt ½ cup butter in a pot on low heat. Once the butter is melted, slowly incorporate ½ cup flour until the flour is completely combined and there are no lumps in the mixture.

  4. While still on low heat, slowly combine 1 ¼ cup water and 3 ounces cream cheese into the butter and flour mixture until it’s smooth and creamy.

  5. Once the pasta is boiled and drained, mix in the cream mixture and the cheeses: ¼ cup mozzarella, ¼ cup parmesan, and ½ cup cheddar. Then season the pasta with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and mix thoroughly. If the pasta mixture is a bit dry, add a little bit more water to the pasta (approximately ¼ cup water).

  6. Move the pasta to a pan and sprinkle ⅛ cup cheddar, ⅛ cup mozzarella, ⅛ cup parmesan onto the top of the dish. Cook in the oven for approximately 15 - 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.


  • We cook the macaroni and cheese in a cast-iron skillet since this results in a very crusty and crispy base. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, this isn’t a problem! But if you do, we recommend trying out this method.


  1. Calories 885 kcal | 
  2. Carbohydrate Content 104.4 g | 
  3. Cholesterol Content 104.3 mg | 
  4. Fat Content 39.2 g | 
  5. Fiber Content 4.5 g | 
  6. Protein Content 27.9 g | 
  7. Serving Size 1 portion | 
  8. Sodium Content 642.5 mg | 
  9. Sugar Content 4.4 g | 

About the author

Emma Donin is the culinary maestro behind this blog that serves as a melting pot of global cuisines and gastronomic adventures. Her culinary journey began in her grandmother's kitchen, where she learned the fundamentals of cooking and the importance of using fresh, quality ingredients.

Headshot of the author, Emma Donin