Velveeta Shells and Cheese Original Shell Pasta and Cheese Sauce Meal 3 ct Pack, 12 oz Boxes on the shelf in a grocery store.

5 Best Velveeta Cheese Substitutes

You simply cannot picture a game day feast or great mac-and-cheese without thinking of Velveeta, but how can cooks deal when this melty wonder is out of stock?

Some many snack-time favorites include creamy, melty Velveeta cheese. It has the rich, cheesy flavor and awesome melting power to turn any dip into a dream, but sometimes you want to opt for another ingredient. These amazing Velveeta cheese substitutes can help add smooth, melty, cheese to your tasty recipes. Deliver delicious dip with these crafty Velveeta cheese substitutes! 

Uses for Velveeta Cheese

Velveeta cheese is the perfect product for anyone in need of an easy-to-melt, yellow cheese. Velveeta is made from a blend of whey protein, milk, protein, dairy, and other flavorings. The original flavor is beloved for its classic American cheese taste and incredibly easy-to-melt texture.

The melty texture and quintessentially American flavor has made this processed cheese into a favorite for some excessive snacks, like salsa con queso dip, creamy mac-and-cheese, cheesy potatoes, and more. Velveeta is used anywhere where fast-melting cheese would be useful.

Is Velveeta Cheese Bad for Me?

Velveeta cheese is rich and tasty, but it does have some downsides. Velveeta cheese is very high in sodium and fairly high in fat. The one nutritional bonus of Velveeta is that it has a nice amount of added calcium. While this processed cheese product may taste good it is a product best enjoyed in moderation.

Cheese is a delectable snack that adds a lot of flavor to many dishes, but like Velveeta, many of these swaps are high in fat and sodium. If you want to make a healthier choice than Velveeta consider choosing a fresh, non-processed cheese. These cheeses have fewer artificial additives and are more natural.

How to Choose a Velveeta Cheese Substitute

The two biggest reasons people choose Velveeta is its American cheese flavor and its ease of melting, so those should be the two concerns at the top of your mind when choosing a substitute for Velveeta cheese. Look for a swap that has a nice salty, yellow cheese flavor that melts well.

Keep in mind when choosing a cheese for melting that bricks of cheese are always the best choice. Shredded cheese is sometimes coated in a substance that allows the shreds to retain their shape as they melt, which makes them harder to incorporate versus freshly grated cheese.

The 5 Best Velveeta Cheese Substitutes

No.Substitute NameIs it Natural or Processed Cheese?
2.American CheeseProcessed
3.Cheez WhizProcessed

1. Cheddar

Cheddar cheese cube

This common yellow cheese is an easy-to-find Velveeta cheese substitute. Cheddar has the briny cheese flavor that Velveeta brings to mind and it melts nicely. Cheddar also has far more calcium than Velveeta, so while cheddar may not be a healthy food, it does have some things going for it versus Velveeta.

Cheddar’s flavor and color work very well for replacing Velveeta in dips, mac-and-cheese, and more! When freshly shredded, the cheddar melts very nicely into smooth cheesy sauces, just like the Velveeta. If you are looking for a Velveeta substitute with similar orange color and salty savor, cheddar is a great choice.

2. American Cheese

American Cheese

This processed cheese is a good swap for Velveeta in some recipes. American cheese is the thin orange cheese that can be found in individual wrappers. It is loved for its long shelf-life and low melting point. It has a salty taste that is sure to remind you of the cheesy flavor of Velveeta. American cheese does not have any health benefits over Velveeta, but it does taste good.

American cheese is sold in slices that are perfect for tossing into any recipe you would use Velveeta in. This product will behave very similarly to Velveeta except that it melts slightly thicker. Try thinning out an overly-thick American cheese dip or mac with some liquid dairy.

3. Cheez Whiz

Cheez Whiz cheese spread and topping.

This ingredient has a flavor that is extremely close to Velveeta making it a great substitute in many recipes. Cheez Whiz is a smooth processed cheese that is packaged in jars to make spreading and scooping simple. The texture and flavor of the cheese straight from the jar is similar to an already melted Velveeta.

Use this processed cheese anywhere you would use Velveeta. Its premelted, smooth texture makes Cheez Whiz simple to work into dips, cheesy vegetable dishes, mac-and-cheese, and beyond! There are no added health benefits of Cheez Whiz versus the Velveeta but it can be used as a flavorful substitute in almost any recipe.

4. Swiss

Original flavored Velveeta is their most popular variety, but they do offer a Swiss version, too. If you like the Swiss variety of Velveeta then Swiss cheese might be the right substitution to make for your recipe. Swiss is a light yellow to white, hole-marked cheese with a semi-hard texture. Swiss is known for its mild nutty and sweet flavor as well as its ease of melting.

Swiss is a good choice for anyone looking for a light and melty cheese for recipes, but it does not have any health benefits compared to Velveeta. Swiss is a high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sodium cheese. It tastes wonderfully salty and can melt beautifully but it does you no favors in the nutrition department.

5. Gouda

Gouda cheese

Gouda is a rich, full-flavored cheese that works well as a Velveeta substitute in many dishes. Gouda is a creamy and sweet cheese. Younger gouda cheese melts better than aged gouda making young gouda a nice swap for Velveeta. Natural cheeses like gouda tend to have higher calcium contents than processed cheeses, and that is the case for gouda over Velveeta; however, there are no other added benefits of this cheese.

Gouda can work as an even substitute for Velveeta in creamy pasta dishes, dips, and almost any recipe imaginable. This natural cheese may melt down a little thicker than Velveeta and require a little added liquid dairy to thin out any sauces made with this swap. Gouda is also sweeter than Velveeta so taste your cheese creation as you go and try to balance the flavor.

The Runner-Up

There are many great choices when it comes to Velveeta substitutes but a few stand out. The runner-up for best overall Velveeta substitute is American cheese. This funky yellow cheese has a very similar flavor to Velveeta and it melts in a similar fashion.

American cheese is easy-to-find but it is individually wrapped, so for a dip or mac-and-cheese, you might be unwrapping singles for hours before you have enough cheese to make the sauce. The other downfall of this cheese is its processed nature. If you are trying to find a more natural choice of cheese, American is not your cheese.

The Best Overall Velveeta Cheese Substitute

While all of these cheeses bring something tasty in place of Velveeta, only one can be named the big cheese, and that is cheddar. Cheddar has a color, saltiness, and easy-to-melt texture that makes it perfect for replacing Velveeta. Cheddar is easy to find and reasonably priced.

Cheddar is not more healthy than Velveeta per se, but it is a naturally produced cheese taken straight from the dairy farm to the table. In moderation, this cheese, like Velveeta, can turn dips and veggies into show-stopping dishes. Be sure to choose a full block of cheese and shred your own for a wonderfully melty Velveeta cheese substitute.

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