Lactose-free mac and cheese

Lactose-free mac and cheese

40 min
Lactose-free mac n cheese, mac & cheese, or macaroni and cheese – no matter how you spell the name of this American classic, it is a delicious dish with tender pasta and a rich and cheesy sauce. Made with great lactose-free milk, cream, and cheese, everyone can indulge in the velvety smooth sauce that ties this dish together and makes it incredibly scrumptious. To keep things interesting, we turn up the heat slightly with a bit of cayenne pepper and top the lactose-free mac and cheese with fresh and crispy toppings for added crunch and texture.


Lactose-free mac and cheese
  • Boil macaroni according to the instructions on the package.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in flour. Add milk and cooking cream a little at a time while constantly whisking until the sauce thickens.
  • Let the sauce boil for a minute. Stir in vinegar, shredded cheese, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  • Mix the sauce with macaroni and pour into a large baking dish or into individual portion dishes.
  • Melt butter in a frying pan. Fry panko in the butter over medium heat until golden.
  • Drain on paper towels if necessary. Mix with salt and parsley.
  • Sprinkle on the lactose-free mac and cheese and serve.

The best way to ensure a nice and thick lactose-free mac and cheese sauce is to spend a little time on its roux base. A roux is a mixture of flour and fat, in this recipe lactose-free butter, that is used to thicken sauces and soups. It is made by cooking equal parts of flour and fat over low to medium heat until the mixture gets a light golden-brown colour.


It is important to cook the roux for a few minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste before adding the milk. This process helps develop a nutty, toasty flavour that will add depth and richness to your sauce and ensure a velvety texture. Once the mixture is smooth, add lactose-free milk and cream gradually. Whisk constantly to prevent lumps.

Questions about lactose-free macaroni and cheese

With an easy lactose-free macaroni and cheese recipe everyone gets to enjoy this beloved family favourite. Read on to learn more about lactose-free mac and cheese below.

Can you use lactose-free milk in mac and cheese?
You can certainly make mac and cheese lactose-free by using milk and cream that does not contain lactose. The result will be just as delicious. The same goes for the cheeses – to make certain everybody can take part in the yummy goodness, select lactose-free variants. If you want to make gluten and lactose-free mac and cheese, you will need to use gluten-free flour rather than regular wheat flour and select gluten-free panko for your toppings.
What to serve with lactose-free macaroni and cheese?
A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing can be a light and refreshing side dish. The fresh greens help cut through the richness of the sauce and create a well-rounded eating experience with different textures and mouthfeels. Other favourites to serve with lactose-free mac and cheese include smoky grilled chicken to balance the creaminess of the cheesy sauce, crusty garlic bread for additional texture as well as an aromatic garlicky contrast, and roasted vegetables for more crispness as well as savoury goodness.
How long does lactose-free mac and cheese last?
Homemade lactose-free mac and cheese generally lasts for 3-5 days in the fridge. Allow it to cool before transferring it to an airtight container. If you want to extend the shelf life further, you can freeze your mac and cheese for about 3 months.


Lactose-free mac and cheese:
400 g
Lactose-free butter
3 tbsp
Wheat flour
3 tbsp
Arla® LactoFREE Milk
450 ml
Arla® LactoFREE Whipping and cooking cream
100 ml
Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp
Lactose-free cheddar, shredded
150 g
Lactose-free mozzarella, shredded
150 g
1 tsp
Cayenne pepper
¼ tsp
Lactose-free butter
2 tbsp
Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp
¼ tsp
Fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp

Indulge in a creamy macaroni & cheese without lactose

When it comes to comfort food, macaroni and cheese is a classic dish that many people turn to. But for those who are trying to be mindful of their lactose intake, it might seem out of reach. Luckily that is not the case. With a great lactose-free mac and cheese recipe like ours, making the rich and creamy American classic is entirely possible and just as easy as it normally is.

Lactose-free mac and cheese makes for a satisfying meal with a lot of flavour. The soft two cheeses sauce covers the mild-tasting macaroni in a tender combination that is sure to make your mouth water. For added crunch and freshness, we serve our rendition with butter-fried panko and fresh parsley. The result is a fresh, crunchy combination that infuses the dish with nutty, savoury, and slightly peppery notes.

Other classic recipes without lactose that are sure to delight children as well as adults include this recipe for lasagne, this one for white pizza, and this hamburger with lactose-free yogurt garlic sauce.

The lactose-free mac and cheese sauce is what binds it all together

Making mac and cheese with lactose-free milk, cream, and cheese does not alter the delicious nature of this important part of the dish. The thick sauce is rich and flavourful. It owes its creamy and slightly gooey texture to the melted mozzarella and cheddar.

The mild mozzarella provides a slightly sweet and tangy taste, while flavourful cheddar brings lovely nutty and salty notes as well as a bit of savoury sharpness. This sharpness, the brightness of the vinegar, and the smoky heat from the cayenne pepper balance the richness to ensure a complex and flavourful sauce.

The sauce is what brings all of the elements together, binding the tender macaroni and crispy toppings into a cohesive and satisfying meal.

Serve with a fresh salad to counterbalance the rich and creamy macaroni

Serving a light vinaigrette-dressed salad alongside cheesy lactose-free mac and cheese can be a refreshing addition. The fresh greens in the salad can help balance the richness of the dish, making for a satisfying meal that is well-rounded and balanced.

You can use the same vinegar in the vinaigrette as in the sauce. Spinach and rocket are nice selections as their slight bitterness will cut through some of the indulgent richness of the lactose-free mac and cheese. Tomatoes are also a good choice as they can brighten any meal with their vibrant acidity.

Ideas for varying the recipe

A tasty way to experiment with our easy recipe is to mix up the toppings you use to brighten the dish and give it a bit of crunch. Different fresh herbs such as chives, basil, sage, and coriander can be used to introduce unique twists to your meal. You can also use different types of breadcrumbs like homemade ones seasoned with your favourite herbs and spices or crushed crackers for a saltier addition.

Another salty addition that is quite popular is crumbled bacon and ham. These meaty suggestions will make the lactose-free mac and cheese even more filling and provide additional texture. Other less salty proteins such as delicate shrimp and lobster may even be used for a decadent twist.