Can You Make Mac And Cheese Without Butter?

mac and cheese without butter

Man and cheese is the ultimate comfort food for a lot of people. It is delicious, creamy, cheesy, and makes you all kinds of happy. But, what if you want to make mac and cheese and you don’t have any butter. I mean, all the internet videos show butter to be an essential ingredient. So, the question arises, can you make mac and cheese without butter?

Butter is not essentially required in making mac and cheese. However, It helps to make it more flavorful and creamy. You can simply achieve that texture by using any butter substitutes, like margarine, sour cream, plain yogurt, cream cheese, olive oil, and even mayonnaise.

You can use any of these and make equally delicious or even better mac and cheese than the buttery one. You just need to use these substitutes and you’ll have yourself a delicious, creamy, and steamy bowl of mac and cheese.

Is Butter Really Necessary For Mac and Cheese? 

mac and cheese without butter

Another frequent question about mac and cheese is that is butter really necessary to make mac and cheese?

Actually, no. Butter isn’t really necessary. The only reason butter is added to mac and cheese is to make it creamier and thicker. It adds flavor to the dish. But, if you are not using butter, you should at least use a substitute for it. Otherwise, your mac and cheese will become thinner, less dense, and overall less delicious.

If you like your mac and cheese to be thick and creamy but don’t want to add better, using substitutes is a good option. You can also use them according to your taste palette and preference. 

Some of the substitutes that you can use are mentioned below:

1. Margarine

Margarine is very similar to butter in taste and texture. So, it makes a perfect substitute for butter in mac and cheese. It is also a lot healthier than butter. It has less saturated fats and less cholesterol. It is also dairy-free and vegan, as it is made from plant oils, like soybean, palm, canola, and olive oils. You can use its salted or unsalted variant, according to your preference.

You also don’t have to worry about proportions when using margarine. You can use margarine in a 1:1 ratio with butter. 

2. Sour Cream

Sour cream is another great alternative to butter in mac and cheese. It checks of not one but two boxes. You can substitute sour cream for milk and butter. It gives a great depth and texture to the dish. If you like tanginess in your dish, sour cream will be the perfect alternative to butter.

I would suggest using less sour cream. It has a high fat and calorie content, so don’t use too much. Also, using a lot of sour creams may make the mac and cheese too tangy.

3. Plain Yogurt

plain yogurt

Plain yogurt is also a great substitute for butter in mac and cheese. You can also skip milk when using yogurt. It will add flavor and depth to the mac and cheese. Your result will be creamy and thick pasta with high protein content.

4. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a great substitute if you want your mac and cheese to be extra gooey and thick. You can also skip milk when using cream cheese. This gives the mac and cheese an amazing texture. But, remember you don’t want to put a lot of it. Otherwise, you’ll end up making a heart attack in a bowl.

5. Olive Oil

You can use olive oil in mac and cheese to make it thick. But make sure you use as little as a teaspoon. It is a healthy alternative, but it isn’t known for its flavor when added to mac and cheese. 

6. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise may sound like an odd choice, but it can also be used to make creamy mac and cheese. It is similar to sour cream and gives the mac and cheese a tangy taste. Like other options, you should use less of this.

Why Do You Need Butter For Mac and Cheese?

Butter is often listed as an additional ingredient for mac and cheese. But adding butter elevates the dish and its flavors.

Mac and cheese without butter, or any other kind of added fat, has a thin sauce and a bland flavor. Adding butter to mac and cheese makes the sauce rich and creamy. It also adds flavor to the dish.

But if you don’t have butter available or simply don’t want to use it, there are substitutes that you can use instead. Each of them brings a unique flavor to the dish.

Does Mac and Cheese Without Butter Taste Bad?

Although, you might think that mac and cheese may taste bad without butter. Let me enlighten you. No, mac and cheese doesn’t taste bad without butter. If you use full-fat milk to make the base sauce, it becomes thick and creamy. You can still make a thick and creamy mac and cheese even if you don’t use butter.

The trick is to make the roux using full-fat milk. The fat in the milk balances the fat in the butter to some extent. You also have to stir it for a longer time. But the result is a rich and creamy pasta that’ll serve as great comfort food.

Mac and Cheese Without Butter Recipe 

If you want to make mac and cheese without butter or any added fat, you can easily do so. It tastes delicious and you can use different kinds of spices to make it flavorful.

When making mac and cheese without butter, you make the roux with milk and flour and don’t add any additional fat. To make it creamy and rich, you should use full-fat milk. You can also use raw, low-fat, no-fat, or non-dairy milk. But full-fat milk makes the mac and cheese creamy. 

To make mac and cheese without butter, cook the macaroni al dente, drain the water and set it aside. Then, in a pan, add 2 cups of milk and flour. Stir them on low heat. When mixed, add one more cup of milk. Stir continuously for about 3-5 minutes. Then, add cooked macaroni, cheese, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Stir until all of the cheese melts. Serve hot.

Let me tell you the recipe in complete detail.

Ingredients For Mac And Cheese Without Butter 

The ingredients you’ll be needing to make mac and cheese without butter are mentioned below;

  • 450 g Macaroni 
  • 3 cups milk (full fat) 
  • 4 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Chili Flakes

These are all the ingredients you’ll need to make a creamy and rich mac and cheese, and that too, without butter.

How Much Time Will It Take To Make Mac And Cheese Without Butter? 

Preparation TimeCooking TimeTotal Time
10 Minutes15 Minutes25 Minutes

You can make this delicious mac and cheese in less than 30 minutes. It is also easy to make. You just need arm strength for continuous whisking.

Directions To Make Mac And Cheese Without Butter 

It is simple to make mac and cheese without butter. Let me tell you how.

  1. Fill a pot with water and add the macaroni to it. Place the pot on heat and cook the macaroni al dente. In other words, cook it until it is just firm. 
  2. Then, drain all the water in a colander and put the cooked macaroni in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a pan, add 2 cups of milk. Place the pan on low heat. Add in the flour and stir continuously.
  4. When the flour and milk have mixed and no lumps have formed, add in the remaining one cup of milk. Stir continuously for about 3-5 minutes until it becomes thick.
  5. Then, add the cooked macaroni, cheese, salt, pepper, and chili flakes to the pan. Keep stirring until all the ingredients combine.
  6. If you think the mac and cheese are too thick, you can add milk to it until you reach your desired consistency. Your creamy and delicious mac and cheese is ready to be served.

Nutritional Breakdown of Mac And Cheese 

Here is a table that’ll tell you the nutritional breakdown of this recipe.

Protein9 g
Fat6 g
Carbohydrates50 g
Dietary Fiber2 g

Mac and Cheese Without Butter | Video 

Here is a similar video that you can watch to understand the recipe better. Check it out.

Video by Beaumont’s Home Kitchen


This was all about mac and cheese without butter. Now, you know all there’s to know about it, including the substitutes and the recipe without butter. I hope you like it and do try to make it at home. 

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