Cheese pairs well with a ton of recipes making a great accompaniment. Velveeta cheese to be more specific is creamy and has the kind of consistency that melts right in your mouth. It gives better results when liquefied in the microwave or stove. No wonder it is commonly used as a side dip or sauce alongside other dishes.
If you like Velveeta cheese and are wondering if there are any close substitutes, the answer is yes. In fact that there’s a whole list to choose from. In this read, we put together 7 great Velveeta cheese substitutes and at the end a homemade recipe of the same.
Cheese Types 101
If you’ve been around cheese long enough you know that not all cheese is the same. There’s the dry hard kind and soft cheese all of which bear unique characteristics.
Dry hard cheese is different in that it is hard to melt. The production process involves separating and draining most of the whey (the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled) before pressing the curd. Because of this, the cheese particles are rid of excess moisture hence they toughen.
If you tried to melt dry cheese it does not liquefy like soft cheese will. Apart from this, usually, hard cheese is aged longer and this is evident in its taste. You will notice a tangy savor much stronger than in other types. Popular hard cheese types include Parmesan and Gouda.
Velveeta cheese on the other hand falls in the category of soft cheese. Some do not consider it real cheese because nowadays it is mainly made of whey protein concentrate, milk, fat, and preservatives. Because of this, it flows much smoother and has a lower melting point. Its protein particles are loosely packed with a lot of water between them so once exposed to heat, it only takes seconds to melt.
Luckily, other cheese types work just as well as Velveeta. If your local store happens to run out of some, here are some of the options that can make up for it.
1. Swiss Cheese
Swiss cheese has a lot of different kinds and they do a fairly good job but your best bet is Emmental and Gruyere. These two are real cheese and they bring on a nice flavor to your meals. Compared to Velveeta cheese, Emmental and Gruyere also share the yellow color and a mild nutty flavor.
This soft sharpness is a result of aging and as you can imagine, it adds a nice twist to your food. As far as texture goes, they both melt moderately.
2. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese is a popular favorite and for good reasons. It is especially a frequent choice when it comes to BBQ, grilled cheese, nachos, and sandwiches. It’s because cheddar gives a unique bitter flavor uncommon to many competitors.
For best results, you can opt to cold smoke it first before melting it to give it that extra punch. But even without the extras, it is a crowd-pleaser. The color and consistency are not identical to that of Velveeta, but, they are not too far apart either.
3. Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
This particular type is an elevation to the previous. If you have a palette for sharp cheese, this should satisfy your cravings. Extra sharp cheddar cheese can be used to replace Velveeta because when melted it turns into a creamy, salty delight. However, you have to give it enough time in the microwave.
It’s the taste of this cheese that is its strongest selling point. Try it on snacks, appetizers, quesadillas, and chili for the best results.
4. Pepper Jack
Pepper Jack is another great replacement for Velveeta if you do not mind a bit of spice in your cheese. It is made with sweet peppers, a touch of rosemary, and chilies. It, therefore, combines a sweet and hot flavor.
Further, the cheese is semisoft and will melt at low temperatures rendering a nice smooth consistency. It is great with hamburgers, quesadillas, and other quick-to-make snacks. Only be careful with the amounts so your cheese doesn’t end up overly hot.
5. American Cheese
It is the closest substitute to Velveeta cheese since its particles are less grainy. It also has a creamy and salty flavor, the perfect combination for grilling macaroni, cheese, and pasta.
You need to be careful when liquefying American cheese because it can easily burn. Other than that, you are free to use it in all recipes that require Velveeta.
6. Cheese Wiz
The yellow color found in Cheese Wiz is also found in Velveeta. Cheese Wiz is made with sodium flavors, oil, wheat, and other preservatives that make the cheese last very long. Seeing as it has a further expiration date, you can keep it fresh for months at room temperature. Cheese Wiz works well with crackers, sandwiches, and appetizers.
7. Eden Cheese
Eden cheese happens to be amongst the softest and creamy cheese types available. It is readily available in local grocery stores so you should have an easy time finding some. The cheese has more of a delicious mild flavor that will only complement rather than overpower your side dishes.
Homemade Velveeta Cheese Recipe
If the idea of replacing Velveeta cheese doesn’t fancy you, the good news is you don’t have to. You could make some of your own right from your kitchen. Plus, it only takes a few minutes so you can prepare it fast when you have last-minute guests coming.
For the ingredients you’ll need;
- Natural American cheese
- Sharp cheddar cheese
Mix the ingredients in a bowl and stir before putting in the microwave. Time 5 minutes until the result is a thick, creamy cheese dip. Serve and enjoy with some snacks or a nice meal.
Q. What is the shelf life for Velveeta cheese?
A. Velveeta is estimated to last about 6 months without opening, and 8 weeks once the seal is broken. It has a long shelf life and does not need to be refrigerated.
Q. Can you melt regular cheese?
A. Processed cheese stands a better chance of melting than regular cheese. Be sure to melt the cheese under low heat so it doesn’t end up too stringy.