Have you ever tried Mac n cheese?

Well, I would be dumb if I would be asking this question from the people of the United States. You know why?

Because ‘Macaroni and Cheese’, popularly known as Mac n Cheese is the most preferred and favorite comfort food of the Americans. They can have it at literally any time of the day, be it snacks, lunch, breakfast, and even dinner. By the time you would have judged their love for Mac n Cheese. Right?

Besides this, it is very much liked by kids also!

What Exactly is Mac N Cheese?

Judging by its name, it reveals itself as a combo of macaroni of course with some cheese… Right?

No no no… You are mistaken boss!

I agree cheese is the main ingredient. But apart from cheese, there is one ingredient that gives your mac n cheese an amazing flavor and marvelous texture. Any guesses?

Of Course, it has to be Butter!

So, to sum it all Mac n Cheese is exotically made with butter, flour, milk, your favorite cheese, before being mixed with macaroni and a little salt sprinkled thereon. You can either make it on the stove or bake it with some breadcrumbs in the oven.


But, what if you are craving for Mac n Cheese and you are out of butter?

Awww… Do not worry at all, Your food coach is here to help you in such an emergency.

First of all, let me tell you:

Is Butter Really Important for Making Mac n Cheese?

Ummm, the answer lies somewhere between yes and no. I will state some facts to make it more clear.

  • Many people say that butter gives the dish more savor as the fats present in it enhance the dish’s taste. Even though the dish gains fats from milk, they prefer adding butter as it provides a rich flavor. Also, Butter adds more thickness to the mixture. People say that it won’t taste bad without butter but it’s just better with butter.
  • Most vegan and health-conscious people prefer avoiding butter in order to make their mac n cheese a little healthier.
  • If you have ever noticed boxed mac n cheese, you will see that they do not contain butter. This is because of its short shelf life. A majority of boxed mac n cheese can be made without butter.
  • Mainly, the only cooking part in making boxed mac n cheese is boiling the pasta. You can add butter after the cooking part is completed. It enhances the final dish and imparts a new flavor and richness to it.
  • Even though butter has its amazing flavor, if you want to avoid it you are absolutely free to do it.
  • Generally, fats such as butter are added to give flavor to a dish. Mac n cheese will still have fat in the form of milk but adding butter yields an even richer taste.
  • I would say that though Mac n cheese would not taste bad without butter but, it would be better with it.

What role does butter play in Mac n Cheese?

As you got a hint by now, that butter adds an amazing flavor to your Mac n Cheese. But apart from that, butter or any other fat source is used to prepare the base sauce in homemade mac and cheese. Basically, butter helps in thickening the sauce. Another role that butter plays is preventing your mac and cheese from getting dry. It helps in keeping your mac n cheese moist and gooey.

Do you see the importance of butter? Right? But what if you run out of butter? Or what if you are a vegan? Can we use something else to substitute butter in mac n cheese?

Well! Well! Well! You will be more than happy to know that you can indeed make the creamiest mac and cheese even if you do not happen to have butter or whatever may be the reason. So creamy that you would not even realize that you were out of butter in the first place.

Yes, there are some substitutes for replacing butter.

Substitutes of butter in Mac N Cheese

You can use different types of non-dairy alternatives like margarine, oil, and plant-based butter, etc. Also, there are milk alternatives like ghee, heavy cream, or creamy cheese to replace butter in your mac n cheese. Vegan folks can use options that include nut-butters like tahini or peanut butter. You can also go for olive oil.

Now, I am going to list down some substitutes that you can use to replace butter. Also, each substitute will add its unique flavor to your mac n cheese.


Margarine is the most common butter substitute wholly trusted by vegans. And you know what’s the plus point? Margarine is even better than butter as it is made from vegetable oils and contains less saturated fat than butter. Also, there’s no cholesterol in margarine. And to your surprise, you will find that it’s very similar to butter in terms of texture and resemblance. It is also known as vegan butter as it is a plant-based fat source. Trust me it is the best option to get the flavor you are looking for.


This is the best handy substitute as you can find ghee in literally every Indian household. If you have no dairy restrictions, then ghee can be a good option for you. Even though it has a high-fat content, it is richer and less oily than butter.

Heavy cream

If you are a total foodie and don’t give a damn about calories, then you can go for this calorie-rich alternative of butter- Heavy cream.

Fun fact- you know this is what butter is made of! Therefore, you can yourself make your butter at home using this heavy cream. Well, you can ask your mother or grandmother as it is a traditional Indian way of making butter from heavy cream, although you may have heard it for the first time.

Pour some heavy cream into a tightly closed container and shake it for a few minutes.

Plant- based options

Plant-based options include coconut oil, nut-based oil, tahini, or peanut butter. These options are best for vegans and lactose intolerant patients.

Coconut oil is very similar to butter and thus makes a good base sauce.

Tahini and peanut butter are very oily in nature. Therefore, they will make the mac n cheese really creamy.

Olive oil

It is an oil extracted from olives. It is widely used for its flavor and health benefits. It is preferred for its taste and unique smell, which is why it is used for salad dressing and cooking. So, even if it is mac n cheese that we are talking about, you can never go wrong with olive oil.

But in case of substituting any oil in place of butter, just be careful of the quantity of oil you put in there, as you wouldn’t want your dish to be oily.

Can we use mayonnaise in place of butter?

Yeah, it would be a good option for making the boxed mac n cheese more creamy. But I would not suggest You to use mayo in making the base sauce for homemade mac and cheese.

With all that being said, now it’s time to start Cooking!