Substitute For Butter In Mac N Cheeseeverinsight

Excerpted from Raquel Pelzel’s Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless.
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It’s pretty cool that you can make mac and cheese on a sheet pan in the oven—no fuss, no muss, and no pre-boiling pasta necessary! It’s ultra creamy thanks to evaporated milk, a good bit of heavy cream (you could substitute half-and-half, if you like), and not a shy amount of cheese! For extra nutrition (and less fat) try substituting 1 cup vegetable puree for 1 cup cream. It will be less dairy rich but still creamy and luscious—carrots, cauliflower, and butternut squash all work well. (You can even use jarred baby food in a pinch.)

Serves 6 to 8


The exact same amount of margarine as the recipe calls for butter. It will make a milder flavored mac and cheese than with butter, and you might find you prefer it, as the cheese flavor will shine through better. Substitutions: Margarine for butter. It's fine to use dairy substitutes for the milk and cheese, but it won't taste the same and I can't be responsible for your results. If you don't have cayenne then substitute 1 tsp hot sauce, any brand. Of course, if you tolerate spicy heat well, more is better in my mind.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons melted
  • 2 cups dry, plain bread crumbs (I like Japanese panko)
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (preferably freshly grated)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (15 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (preferably orange cheese)
  • 8 ounces (about 2 cups) freshly shredded fontina cheese
  • 1 box (16 ounces) elbow macaroni, uncooked

Substitute For Butter In Mac And Cheese


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  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease a rimmed sheet pan with the room-temperature butter and set aside. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in a medium-size bowl. Stir in the melted butter and set aside.
  3. Whisk the whole milk, evaporated milk, cream, onion, garlic powder, salt, and the Cheddar and fontina cheeses in a large bowl. Add the uncooked macaroni and stir until well coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared sheet pan, spreading it in an even layer. Cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil (you may need 2 sheets), crimping it tightly around the edges to seal (make sure to get a good seal on the foil, otherwise the pasta won’t cook). Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Wearing oven mitts, remove the foil and stir the macaroni. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top and continue to bake for 25 minutes more.
  5. Turn the broiler to high and broil the macaroni and cheese until it is golden brown on top and bubbling, about 10 minutes (watch the macaroni and cheese closely as broiler intensities vary). Remove from the oven and let the pasta stand, covered, 5 minutes before serving.

Substitute For Butter In Mac N Cheese