Velveeta cheese isn’t real cheese, but rather a processed cheese product commonly known as liquid gold because the cheese melts easily. Original Velveeta was made from cheese cast-offs, and today it’s a processed cheese product that doesn’t contain cheese. The FDA confirmed in 2003 that this product is a processed cheese product and not real cheese.
Velveeta’s bright orange color, mildly-cheesy flavor, and easy ability to melt often cause people to think Velveeta is a traditional cheese.
What Is Velveeta Made of?
Velveeta cheese is made of whey protein concentrate, whey, water, milk protein concentrate, milkfat, pasteurized milk, calcium phosphate, sodium phosphate, 2% salt, sodium citrate, sorbic acid, lactic acid, enzymes, annatto, and cheese culture.
Velveeta has a higher protein content than natural cheeses because it contains whey protein. Along with other health benefits of whey protein, this type of protein absorbs quickly, digests easily, and has sustantial protein value. Milk protein isolate increases Velveeta’s nutrition value by aiding quality protein consumption to strengthen bones and enhance muscle growth.
Velveeta is also processed and pasteurized to melt easily and maintain a smooth consistency.
What Kind of Cheese Is Velveeta?
According to Velveeta cheese history, the product was invented by Emily Frey in 1918 when the Monroe Cheese Company asked her to use the cut-off parts of cheddar, Colby, and Swiss cheese wheels to create a new cheese product. Frey added whey products to the repurposed cheese pieces and made a cheese that melted easily, tasted like mild cheddar, and had a smooth, velvety texture. This velvet feel gave Velveeta cheese its name. Velveeta was a success, and the Velveeta Cheese Company was launched in 1927.
Once the Monroe Cheese Company realized the nutritional value of whey products, the company began using emulsifiers, milk protein, pasteurized milk, and salt to improve the nutritional value and shelf life of Velveeta. After this point, Velveeta no longer contained real cheese products. In accordance with the FDA, the company changed Velveeta’s labels to reflect the use of processed products instead of real cheese products.
Is Velveeta the Same as American Cheese?
No, Velveeta isn’t the same as American cheeses like Cheese Whiz or Kraft Singles. Velveeta and American cheese are processed products that use whey, emulsifiers, and pasteurized milk to create a smooth melt and longer shelf life.
Velveeta vs. American Cheese
The timeline of American cheese shows the origins of processed cheeses as far back as 1903. Processed American cheeses were introduced to improve shelf-life, consistency, and safety. Kraft Foods owned 40% of the processed cheese products by the 1930s.
Though Velveeta and American cheese aren’t the same, they share a lot of similarities.
|Ingredients||Water, whey, milk, milk protein concentrate, milkfat, whey, whey protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, 2% salt, sodium citrate, sodium alginate, calcium phosphate, sorbic acid, lactic acid, cheese culture, enzymes, annatto||Cultured pasteurized milk, skim milk, buttermilk, milk protein concentrate, salt, 2% sodium, potassium, phosphates, sorbic acid, lactic acid, enzymes|
|Nutritional value per 100 grams||Calories: 303|
Fat: 22 grams
Saturated fat: 14 grams
Carbohydrates: 9.8 grams
Protein: 16.3 grams
Sugar: 8 grams
Fat: 21 grams
Saturated fat: 14 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams
Protein: 21 grams
Sugar: 7 grams
|Uses||Macaroni and cheese, cheese sauce, queso dip, soup, casserole, stuffed peppers, grilled cheese sandwiches, fudge||Macaroni and cheese, omelets, cheese burgers, cheesy sauces, quesadillas, dips, grilled cheese sandwiches|
|Flavor||Mild and creamy like cheddar||Mild and salty|
|Appearance||Soft, springy consistency with a bright orange color||Soft consistency with a white or pale-yellow color|
Velveeta cheese is best used in sauces, dips, casseroles, soups, and macaroni and cheese because the cheese melts to a smooth texture with mild, creamy, and cheesy flavors. American cheese slices, like Kraft Singles and Cheese Whiz, are the best substitutes for Velveeta.
Land O’Lakes cheese, Kraft singles, and Cheese Whiz melt as quickly as Velveeta. Cheddar cheese’s stringy consistency doesn’t make it a good Velveeta substitute in dips.
Tex-Mex Queso Dip Recipe With and Without Velveeta Substitute
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and chopped
- ½ of a medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon pickled serrano chiles
- 2 cups Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with chiles
- One 4.5-ounce can of green chiles
- One 13-ounce can of evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound Cheeze Whiz cheese spread or 2 pounds of shredded Velveeta cheese
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- Pico de gallo for garnishing
- 1 pack fresh tortilla chips
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat
- Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeños, and cook for 3 minutes until soft
- Add the pickled serrano chiles, Ro-Tel tomatoes, and green chiles, and cook the sauce for another 3 minutes until the tomatoes start breaking down
- Combine the corn starch and evaporated milk in a medium bowl, and whisk the mixture until smooth. Whisk the water into the evaporated milk mixture, and add the bowl’s contents to the skillet
- Stir the skillet veggies with a wooden spoon until they thicken
- Add the American or Velveeta cheese, and stir the dip until the cheese melts completely
- Add the cumin, pepper, onion powder, salt, and cilantro, and allow the dip to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes
- Transfer the dip to a warm bowl to serve, and top it with the pico de gallo garnishing
- Enjoy the dip with fresh tortilla chips
Velveeta cheese creates a creamier taste in this recipe, while American cheese creates a saltier, spicier flavor.
Velveeta Cheese Uses
Velveeta has a smooth melting point with a light, soft texture. The cheesy product melts on the stove without milk, whereas traditional cheese requires milk to melt in a pan. The taste of Velveeta is smoother and creamier than conventional cheese and the product has a mild flavor, similar to cheddar.
Velveeta makes delicious cheese sauces, dips, casseroles, soups, and sauces for macaroni and cheese.
Velveeta cheese sauce works wonders over roasted vegetables, french fries, chicken nuggets, macaroni, and burgers.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of low-fat milk
- 14 ounces of cubed Velveeta cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until the mixture looks like a paste
- Add milk slowly while constantly whisking the mixture to thicken. Whisk the mixture for another 4 minutes over medium-high heat once all the milk’s added for a thicker sauce
- Remove the pot from the heat, and add the Velveeta cheese. Whisk the sauce until the cheese melts, and move it back to the medium-high heat
- Add the garlic, pepper, salt, and hot sauce while whisking the sauce for 1 minute. Remove it from the heat, and serve it hot
Melt the cheese into sauces right at the end of a recipe, otherwise, the cheese will lose its strong flavor. Cheese that melts too soon in sauce loses its creamy, smooth taste.
Velveeta dips are delicious and creamy. The dip is ideal in quesadillas, over tortilla chips, meatballs, and roasted potatoes. Velveeta dips add a profoundly creamy texture to other foods.
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 cup seeded jalapeno peppers, chopped
- 1 cup of water
- 10 ounces of freshly chopped spinach
- 18 ounces of Velveeta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
- One 10-ounce can of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with chiles
- 8 ounces of Philadelphia cream cheese
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat, and add the jalapeño peppers to cook for 5 minutes until soft
- Add the water and spinach to the pot, and cook the spinach for another 5 minutes
- Drain the water off the spinach with a colander, and return the pan to medium-high heat while adding the Velveeta cheese, Philadelphia cheese, and tomatoes
- Stir the dip for 3 minutes while the cheeses melt and the tomatoes soften
- Remove the dip from the stove and leave it to cool to room temperature before serving it in quesadillas, over nachos, or on the side with meatballs
Use Velveeta as a stuffing by adding it to hollowed jalapeños. Add the stuffing to bell peppers to get a similar creamy and spicy flavor combination.
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 8 large whole jalapeños, seeded
- 12 ounces of shredded Velveeta
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon chives, freshly chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, spray a baking tray with spray, and cook
- Mix the shredded Velveeta, Italian herbs, chopped chives, and pepper in a small bowl
- Use a spoon to stuff the jalapeños with the herbed cheese mixture
- Put the jalapeños on the baking tray, and leave them in the oven for 4 minutes to melt the cheese
- Serve the jalapeño peppers as a side dish or appetizer
Velveeta Cheese Spread
Velveeta makes delicious cheese spread. Use the spread for deli bread and cheese sticks for added cheesy flavors.
- 1 pound grated Velveeta
- 1 cup of Miracle Whip
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- ¼ cup onion, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the Velveeta, Miracle Whip, eggs, onion, chives, salt, and pepper in a medium microwave-safe bowl
- Microwave the bowl for 3 minutes until the cheese melts
- Whisk the cheese spread until it’s smooth
- Refrigerate the spread overnight until it’s firm enough to spread over bread
How Not to Use Velveeta Cheese
Velveeta cheese is best for sauces, dips, and melting recipes. Don’t use this product for sprinkling over top of dishes like macaroni and cheese. Instead, use traditional cheddar, or other cheeses that don’t melt as quickly.
Velveeta cheese isn’t the same as traditional cheeses because it includes non-cheese ingredients that create a longer shelf life and easy melting. Store the Velveeta in the pantry or fridge.
Unopened Velveeta blocks can be stored in dry, cool spaces for as long as the best-before date allows. Opened Velveeta should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or put in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to eight weeks.