What Cheese Does McDonald’s Use? Find Out Here

You’ve probably heard that McDonald’s has a special cheese that makes their cheeseburger, Big Macs, and burritos different from any other. If you love to replicate recipes from your favorite restaurants at home, you’ll want to know about their special ingredients.

McDonald’s is one of the largest fast food chains in America and many other countries around the world. It has its headquarters in Chicago and is popular for its Big Macs. The fast food chain also has many people talking and making speculations about their ‘special cheese.’

Moreover, for the sake of dietary restrictions due to an allergy, lifestyle choices, and health reasons, some people cannot eat just anything and anywhere. For whichever reason, you want to know what their special cheese is, you’re about to find out.

Continue reading to see the answers about this special cheese you’ve been looking for.

What cheese does McDonald’s use?

McDonald’s uses American cheddar cheese. You can’t get this cheese from stores or directly from their suppliers, Great Lakes Cheese Inc. It is specially prepared for McDonald’s, and this is why their items have a special taste and flavor.

The cheese contains 60% American cheddar cheese. The remaining 40% is a blend of ingredients like milk, butter, cream, salt, enzymes, cheese cultures, water, emulsifiers, food coloring, and whey protein.

Additionally, their special cheese has a distinct orange color because it contains beta carotene. Among the many speculations about the cheese is that it contains plastic.

This, however, is not true. The plastic in the cheese is rather used to separate each piece of cheese to keep them from sticking together.

How many calories are in McDonald’s cheese?

One slice of McDonald’s American cheddar cheese contains 50 calories.

SEE: How to Get Your McDonald’s Favorites For Free

Is McDonald’s cheese gluten-free?

McDonald’s cheese is not gluten-free. The cheese does not contain any gluten ingredients. It is specially made in a gluten-free facility to make it safe for people with gluten sensitivity.

Is McDonald’s cheese dairy-free?

McDonald’s cheese is not dairy-free. It is made from real cheese, milk, and cream, which are from dairy sources. Therefore, if you have a dairy allergy, you should stay off items that include cheese or make an order of your favorite meals without the cheese.

SEE: This is What McDonald’s Lunch Hours Have To Offer

Is McDonald’s cheese lactose-free?

No, it is not. The cheese contains milk and is not lactose-free. If you’re lactose intolerant, you should leave out the cheese in your order or go for other items that do not include cheese.

Is McDonald’s cheese vegan?

No, it is not vegan because it contains dairy products that are from animal sources.

SEE: Here’s What Many People Don’t Know About McDonald’s Hot Dog Story

Can you buy McDonald’s cheese from stores?

No, you can’t. The cheese is not available in stores. It is a special cheese from Great Lakes Cheese Inc., specifically for McDonald’s restaurants.

Are there alternatives to McDonald’s cheese?

The closest alternative for McDonald’s cheese is Kraft’s single-serve processed cheddar cheese. However, it is not entirely like McDonald’s, but it can give you a similar outcome if you are fine with a change in the taste.

SEE: McDonald’s Position Titles You Don’t Know


Is McDonald’s cheese true cheese?

Yes. McDonald’s cheese is real American cheddar cheese. The extra ingredients that make up the cheese are what give it its unique color and taste.

Is McDonald’s keto-friendly?

McDonald’s has some keto-friendly items on its menu. When placing your order at McDonald’s, leave out the hash browns & biscuits, replace the bun on a Big Mac with greens, eat a cheeseburger and sandwich without the bun, and ditch the muffin in egg McMuffin.

Is McDonald’s fit for a low FODMAP diet?

Yes, it is. Some options at McDonald’s are fit for a low FODMAP diet and safe for people with IBS too. However, you’ll have to leave out the bun, biscuits, onions, ketchup, sauces, french fries, and salad dressing because they are not low FODMAP.

Can a diabetic eat at McDonald’s?

Most of the options at McDonald’s are high in carbs and fat. If you want a diabetic-friendly meal at McDonald’s, save the calories by leaving out items high in calories. Replace them with items that are lower in carbs and go for small servings too.

If you must have their cheese, you must also include healthy options that cut down on the total carbs and calories.


McDonald’s magic cheese is a processed form of cheddar cheese. It is made from dairy milk with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, according to the McDonald’s website. The cheese contains 60% real cheddar and other ingredients that make it delicious.

Regardless, if you want to replicate any of the restaurant’s recipes that use cheese at home, you can’t get this cheese in stores. The closest alternative to use is Kraft’s single-serve processed cheddar cheese.

Thanks for reading.

Visit Cheffist to get relevant information about your favorite fast food chains.