11 Heavy Cream Substitutes For Mac And Cheese You Can Use

Many people have had to maintain a meal routine of heavy cream in mac and cheese for years. This is not necessarily because they love it but haven’t yet discovered other heavy cream substitutes for mac and cheese.

This article is for you if you are tired of the same recipes and cooking procedures or want a different taste. You don’t have to look too far; just read and learn other heavy cream substitutes for mac and cheese.

This article contains all the information you need concerning other dairy products that go well with macaroni pasta and bechamel sauce.

What is heavy cream?

Heavy cream is a high-fat dairy product and a homogenized blend of milk and milk fat. The fat in heavy cream is emulsified and thoroughly mixed into the milk to prevent separation. The manufacturers make the dairy product by adding specific proportions of milk fat to milk.

According to the labeling standards of the Food And Drug Administration, heavy cream contains 36% to 40% milk fat. You can find 36% of dairy products in the grocery, while restaurants have heavy cream that contains 40% milk fat.

Heavy cream is also heavy whipping cream, which is another fantastic option for recipes. It is thicker than regular heavy cream, so you must adhere to its conversion rate. Combine cream with milk to make half and half.

SEE: Where Can You Find Heavy Cream In Grocery Stores?

What are mac and cheese?

Macaroni and cheese – also called mac and cheese in the United States, is a dish of cooked macaroni pasta and cheese sauce, commonly known as cheddar. It also consists of ingredients like bread crumbs and meat.

Typically, mac and cheese is a casserole baked in the oven. However, you can prepare it in a saucepan on the stove. All you have to do is incorporate the cheese into a sauce; bechamel sauce is excellent for it.

The cheese and bechamel sauce join to make more sauce which you add to the macaroni pasta. While people use cheddar cheese a lot, you can use other cheeses. You can cut your macaroni into any shape or size.

SEE: Is Mac And Cheese A Type Of Pasta?

Can you make mac and cheese without heavy cream?

Yes, you can. If you notice you have run out of heavy cream in your kitchen, you don’t have to fuss. You have to check for another dairy or non-dairy product in your kitchen, and you are good to go.

Heavy cream substitutes for mac and cheese

1. Milk

Using milk instead of cream prevents excessive calories and saturated fats. You can also be sure that the mac and cheese will not taste overly heavy and sweet. While milk is thicker than heavy cream, it is a calorie-friendly option.

You can also decide to use low-fat milk. When cooking mac and cheese, you can use milk in the same amount as heavy cream. Its conversion ratio should be 1:1. It is also imperative to heat the white sauce on low heat so that the milk does not curdle before it gets thick.

You can boil cream without any adverse reaction, but milk curdles at high temperatures of 189°F and over. Milk is an effortless substitute for high-fat dairy and is readily available.

SEE: Here’s How You Can Make Milk From Heavy Cream

2. Half and half

As the name implies, half and half are two halves of two dairy products. It is simply equal halves of milk and cream. It contains between 10% to 12% fat. You can’t use it for baking, but it’s excellent for nourishing soups and other food like mac and cheese.

Using half and half can lighten up a recipe without any consequences. You can use half and half to make mac and cheese and be sure of extra richness and a fantastic taste. Meanwhile, you don’t need too many ingredients to make mac and cheese with pasta.

SEE: Can You Use Heavy Cream Instead of Half and Half?

3. Crème fraîche

Yes, you can use crème fraîche as a substitute for heavy cream in mac and cheese. Crème fraîche is a lighter dairy product. But you can use it in place of heavy cream because it has a similar taste and consistency.

You can also use it in the same amount and quantity as heavy cream. Crème fraîche is an excellent replacement for cream recipes and has fewer calories than heavy cream.

4. Cream cheese

Also, you can use this for your mac and cheese recipe. Although people mainly use it as a spread, you can use it in place of heavy cream. It’s as thick as heavy cream and has its cheesy flavor as a bonus.

5. Greek or plain yogurt

This substitute is another fantastic option for recipes. It is thicker than regular heavy cream, so you must adhere to its conversion rate. Combine cream with milk to make half and half. Yogurt and half & half is a great combination.

6. Light cream

This dairy is excellent for mac and cheese. It features a fantastic consistency and richer taste. It would help if you started with a small amount of the light dream and worked your way up to the desired texture.

7. Buttermilk

This product is rich, thick, and has a tang. All you need to do is swap the amount of heavy cream called for in your recipe with buttermilk. It will balance the flavors of your mac and cheese and make it creamier.

8. Oat milk

If you are a vegetarian, you will love this substitute. It is rich, creamy, and cheesy. Additionally, it does not contain nuts and gluten. This oats recipe uses arrowroot powder to thicken the sauce and hold it together nicely.

9. Sour cream

It is a fermented dairy product that you can consume in various ways, one being Mac and cheese. This dairy makes the dish fuller because of its thickness. Sour cream will change the taste, but if you can accommodate the tangy feel, the cream is for you.

SEE: Comparisons Between Heavy Cream and Sour Cream You Should Know

10. Almond milk

Almond milk is a suitable replacement for those trying to avoid dairy products. It has a nutty, sweet taste to it, but compared to other non-dairy milk products, its flavor is neutral. Note that almond milk is thinner and lighter than heavy cream.

Its texture will make the mac and cheese a little less creamy. The best thickeners for this product are butter, flour, and cheese.

11. Cashew milk

While this is not a dairy product, its taste is more akin to that of dairy. It isn’t as sweet as almond milk, has a less nutty flavor, and is thicker than dairy milk.

Your mac and cheese will come out creamy. When you use it, be mindful of the amount you put in so it doesn’t come out thicker than you’d like.

Why do you need a substitute for mac and cheese?

Everybody likes mac and cheese, but not everyone wants heavy cream. Because of its fat content, many people want to enjoy their mac and cheese without worrying about adding so many calories.

Vegetarians, on the other hand, might want a dairy-free recipe entirely. People’s different needs make heavy cream substitutes for mac and cheese essential.


Can you substitute heavy cream in mashed potatoes?

Yes, you can. There’s a lot of flexibility that comes with a recipe like this. You can use almost any dairy instead of heavy cream for mashed potatoes.

You can use whole milk, cream cheese, buttermilk, half and half, sour cream, and many others. If you prefer a vegan option, use coconut milk; its flavor is fantastic.

How long can mac and cheese sit out in a container?

Mac and cheese can only sit out for two hours a room temperature before getting spoilt. If it’s boiling above 90°F, then your mac and cheese will only last for an hour.

When is mac and cheese day?

The perfect day to celebrate and enjoy mac and cheese is July 14.

Can you use leftover pasta to make mac and cheese?

Yes, you can. As long as the macaroni pasta is good, you can make your mac and cheese.


You don’t have to be a child to enjoy the creamy goodness of mac and cheese. Many restaurants have added it to the adult menu. You can walk into an eatery and order the cheesy goodness.

You can also sit at home, read this article, and be inspired to use the different recipes to make your macaroni and cheese.

Thank you for reading.

Indeed, you are always welcome to check out more related articles at Cheffist.