12 Best Milk Substitutes For Hamburger Helper That You Need To Try!

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A hamburger helper must be a lifesaver when whipping quick and easy meals. Just add a few simple ingredients, and your meal is ready quickly! But, for some reason, are you looking for a milk substitute for a hamburger helper? Then you have reached a suitable space! 

Milk substitutes for Hamburger Helper

Some of the best milk substitutes for hamburger helpers are cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, vegan milk, coconut milk, stock, and water. 

Lately, there are a lot of ready-to-eat meals available in the market. But, what makes hamburger helper a little more special than other meals is that there are also added fresh ingredients and boxed ingredients. 

In most cases, you may have to add ingredients like meat and milk to your hamburger helper, and it can make a wholesome meal for the entire family to enjoy. Moreover, hamburger helpers can also be made vegetarian-friendly or even vegan! 

But, for that, or even if you have lactose intolerance, milk will not sit well in a typical hamburger helper recipe. No need to worry, though, as even if you run out of milk at the last minute, plenty of options can be used. 

Hamburger Helper can be made with several substitutes instead of milk, which also works. Here, you will find options that are dairy-based and vegan as well. So without further ado, let us explore these substitutes! 

12 Best Milk Substitutes For Hamburger Helper

Here are some of the best substitutes you can try in place of hamburger helper and the substitution ratio for each option. 

1. Water 


Starting with the easiest and most widely available substitute, good old water! If you are in a fix and don’t have any other replacements on hand, there is nothing better than replacing the milk in hamburger helper meals with some water. 

But, then again, water is not rich like milk. Milk has some fat in it, giving it a rich texture. This, in turn, translates to the recipes it is added to, making them more creamy and delicious! 

But that being said, milk also adds a lot more calories! So, water is an excellent option if you are also trying to cut down your calorie intake! Just replace milk in any recipe with the same amount of water. 

2. Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

This alternative is excellent if you want an extra rich and creamy finish to your hamburger helper meals! Cream cheese has a lot more fat than milk, making your sauces extra delicious! 

Of course, you cannot use cream cheese as it is in place of milk. For that, you must replace the milk with equal parts of water. But, what you can do is, once the sauce is ready, you can add in dollops of cream cheese for a smooth finish. 

For every cup of milk, you would add to a hamburger helper recipe, replace it with equal water and 1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese. Go for plain cream cheese, and you can change the quantity to be added as you wish. 

3. Sour Cream

sour cream

This substitute works well, as per quite a few people. But many people don’t like adding sour cream to hamburger helpers. The reason behind this is just the fact that it is sour. 

As the name suggests, sour cream tends to have a sharp and prominent sour flavor. For anyone who does not like the taste of sour cream, it is best to steer clear of this substitute option. 

But, if you like sour cream, it can be used like cream cheese in any hamburger helper recipe. Replace the milk in any recipe with the same amount of water, and then stir in 1-2 tablespoons of sour cream for a rich and creamy flavor. 

4. Cheese


There is nothing better than some good old cheese, and it is indeed something that you might already have in your pantry! This option is great because anyone who loves milk would surely love cheese! 

Plus, cheese is so versatile, with several options! You could go for any cheese you like, but I prefer cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan, as they give the best texture. 

You could also go for soft cheese, like ricotta, for a creamy and smooth texture. Replace the milk in the recipe with water, then stir in some cheese, from ¼ cup to ½ cup, depending on how thick and creamy you like your sauce. 

5. Vegan Milk

oat milk

Are you looking for vegan options that could replace milk in your hamburger helper recipe? Then there are plenty of vegan milk options that you can use! In general, there are so many vegan milk options available in the market that they would leave you spoiled for choice! 

But, it is best to stick to the unsweetened versions of vegan milk and the ones that have a creamy texture. Oat milk is hands down the best option to consider when considering vegan milk for a hamburger helper recipe. 

Other than that, rice, almond, and cashew milk can also work. But stick to the unsweetened versions. Replace the milk in any recipe with equal amounts of vegan milk, and your hamburger helper will be good to go. 

6. Butter


Nothing is better than a good old dollop of butter to add flavor and creaminess to any recipe possible! Butter does indeed make everything better, and hence, it makes a good substitute for milk in hamburger helper recipes. 

Butter adds a rich texture and mouthfeel to your hamburger helper recipe, just like milk. Similarly, if you are looking for a non-dairy substitute option similar to butter, then margarine will work too! 

If you want to take it further, consider options like bacon grease! But in either case, use only one tablespoon of fat for every cup of milk, as otherwise; you will get a greasy mouthfeel. Like cream cheese and sour cream, replace the milk with equal amounts of water. 

7. Evaporated Milk

Evaporated Milk

This milk product tends to have 60 % of the water removed from the milk, which gives it a thick and creamy texture. Evaporated milk is unique, as it serves the same purpose as milk, with a thicker consistency. 

But, more often than not, people tend to confuse evaporated milk with condensed milk. Please do not use condensed milk for a hamburger helper recipe, as it has a lot of sugar added to it and will ruin the flavor. 

Evaporated milk is a good option if you want something as close to milk as possible. While using it as a substitute, you may have to mix half of it with half the quantity of water to get the right consistency. 

8. Cream

Double Cream

Similar to evaporated milk, the cream is a lot thicker and heavier. But this can work very well with your hamburger helper recipe! If you are fond of making creamy sauces and curries, then I am sure you will have a pack in your refrigerator. 

Here, I recommend using single cream and not double cream. Double cream tends to be much fattier than single cream, adding a lot more calories and making the recipe very heavy. Single cream is heavy, too, compared to milk. 

But it is still very manageable and can be added. To get the consistency right, mix half the quantity of single cream with half the water, and use that as a direct substitute. Additionally, you can add an extra dollop of cream if you want a thicker consistency. 

9. Stock

vegetable stock

This is another vegan option and is also very accessible in most kitchens. Whether you have beef, vegetable, or chicken stock packed in your fridge does not matter. They can all work very well as a milk substitute in hamburger helper recipes! 

I recommend not using fish or seafood-based stock, as they tend to have a very pungent flavor. But you can do so if you like that flavor. Stock will also not add a creamy texture to your recipe like milk does. 

But it is a perfect alternative for vegans to consider! If you use stock as a substitute and still want a creamy finish to your sauce, add just a little cheese! Use the same stock quantity as milk in any hamburger helper recipe as a substitute. 

10. Mayonnaise


This option will seem out there to many of you. But, hear me out, mayonnaise can work as a substitute for milk in hamburger helper recipes! Although mayonnaise is not technically made with milk or similar products, it adds a lot of creaminess. 

Since mayonnaise is made with egg yolks and oil, the emulsification makes the sauce rich, creamy, and just a tad bit sweet! This can work in favor of quite a few hamburger helper recipes! 

Like some options mentioned above, mayonnaise cannot be used directly as a substitute. You will have to replace the milk with equal amounts of water. Add a tablespoon of mayonnaise for every cup of milk but in the end. 

11. Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut cream is also an option you can consider as a substitute for milk in hamburger helper recipes, just like coconut milk. They both tend to have the perfect creamy consistency like that of milk. 

However, with coconut milk and cream, it is essential to remember that they have a sharp flavor of coconut, which is very evident in every recipe they are added to. So, only use this substitute option if you are prepared for a slight flavor change. 

But that being said, coconut milk and cream are lovely vegan options to get that creamy consistency! If using coconut milk, you can use the same quantity as milk in any recipe. If using coconut cream, mix half the amount as compared to milk with water, and then use that as a direct substitute. 

12. Powdered Milk

Powdered milk

If you like milk but can’t finish too much at a time, then your pantry is probably stacked with some powdered milk. This milk can also work well as a substitute for milk in hamburger helper recipes! 

Powdered milk removes 100% of the water, making it an attractive option to store for a long time. Once you mix powdered milk with the right amount of water, it has a creamy consistency, just like milk! 

So, if you use this as a substitute for milk in hamburger helper recipes, you can barely tell the difference! Just prepare powdered milk as per the instructions given in the package. Then, use that as a substitute for milk in a 1:1 ratio. 

Short Recap For Milk Substitutes For Hamburger Helper

Here is a short recap of the best substitute for milk in hamburger helper recipes. These substitutes have been divided into a few categories based on essential factors. 

Best Milk Substitutes For Hamburger Helper In Terms Of Flavor and Texture: 

  1. Powdered Milk
  2. Evaporated Milk
  3. Cream

Best Milk Substitutes For Hamburger Helper In Terms Of Availability: 

  1. Cream Cheese
  2. Sour Cream
  3. Cheese

Best Vegan Milk Substitutes For Hamburger Helper:

  1. Vegan Milk
  2. Coconut Milk
  3. Margarine

How To Use Milk Substitutes For Hamburger Helper

Milk substitutes for Hamburger Helper

12 Best Milk Substitutes For Hamburger Helper That You Need To Try

Some of the best milk substitutes for hamburger helpers are cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, vegan milk, coconut milk, stock, and water.
5 from 1 vote


  • Water
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheese
  • Vegan Milk
  • Butter
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Cream
  • Stock
  • Mayonnaise
  • Coconut Milk
  • Powdered Milk


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Hamburger Helper has made life so much easier for everyone by providing quick and easy meals to please everyone! The best part about it is that it is a mix of fresh and boxed ingredients, one of the vital ingredients being milk. 

But, if you are looking for options that can be used instead of milk, whether you are in a fix or have lactose intolerance, there are plenty of substitute options! All the options mentioned above work well but in slightly different ways. Which of these substitutes worked best for you? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are all the substitute options mentioned above readily available in the market? 

Yes, most, if not all, are readily available in the market. 

Will all the substitute options above give a hamburger helper meal the same consistency as milk? 

The consistency might be different with every substitute. However, it will be somewhat similar to that of milk. 

Which vegan milk is the best substitute option to consider? 

If you are going for vegan milk, I recommend oat milk as it has the closest consistency to regular milk. 

Does coconut milk have a very sharp flavor? 

Yes, coconut milk has a sharp flavor that will impart its flavor to any recipe it has been added to.

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