What Cheese Does McDonald’s Use In Its Cheeseburgers, Burritos & Big Macs?

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 is popular for its Big Macs. The fast food chain also has many people talking and making speculations about their ‘special cheese.’

Let’s put an end to those assumptions. Dive into the article to find out about this special cheese you’ve been looking for.

What cheese does McDonald’s use?

McDonald’s uses American cheddar. You can’t get this cheese from stores or directly from their suppliers, Great Lakes Cheese Inc.

This cheddar is specially prepared for McDonald’s, and this is why their items have a special taste and flavor. The same cheese is used in all the items with cheese on the restaurant’s menu.

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 this cheese is that it contains plastic. This, however, is not true.

The plastic people talk about is rather a wrap that is 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 contains 50 calories.

Is McDonald’s cheese gluten-free?

McDonald’s cheese is gluten-free. The cheese does not contain any gluten ingredients. Also, 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.

Is McDonald’s cheese lactose-free?

No, it is not. The cheese contains milk and is not lactose-free.

Therefore, 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.

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 to 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 taste.


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 low FODMAP 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 low-carb items 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. According to the official website, the cheese is made from dairy milk and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

The cheese contains 60% real cheddar and other ingredients that make it delicious.

Regardless, you can’t get this cheese in stores if you want to replicate any of the restaurant’s recipes that use cheese at home. 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.