Velveeta style American cheese is a homemade version of the store bought staple. This recipe yields the same melty goodness you know and love but without any of the questionable ingredients and at less of a price.
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Do you ever balk at the prices of those processed loaves of cheese?
Do you buy them anyway, because sometimes a recipe (or a grilled cheese) demands their melty goodness and no substitute will do?
This happens to me every time I purchase that cheese.
Even worse, every time in the back of my mind is a nagging reminder of all the preservatives and other things in them that I should try to avoid feeding my family.
In an effort to be more frugal and avoid some of the chemicals, I found a way to replicate this ooey, gooey cheese.
My boys had asked to have BLT Mac N Cheese this week and were afraid with my new REAL cheese that it wouldn’t live up to their high standards.
They couldn’t have been more shocked themselves to discover this cheese made it even better.
This velveeta style American cheese recipe knocked the ball out of the park! It was spot on everything I was looking for and then some.
It’s real food you can make at home quickly, with ingredients you can easily find (and pronounce), without sacrificing any of that heavenly meltiness.
What kind of cheese is Velveeta?
According to the Daily Meal, a spokesperson for Velveeta says it contains cheddar cheese to give you that melt and flavor you know and love.
However, if you read the label, Velveeta doesn’t contain any actual cheese and it is a “pasteurized recipe cheese product.”
My homemade version contains actual cheese.
To make this you’ll need:
- Water– to dissolve the gelatin in
- Powdered gelatin– Make sure you use unflavored gelatin.
- Colby Jack cheese– Very finely shredded with the smallest size of cheese grater you have
- Milks– Both nonfat milk powder and 2% milk
- Salt– For flavor
- Cream of tartar– You could substitute 1.5 times the amount of baking powder if needed.
How to Make
You won’t believe how easy it is to make this!
To do it, line a small 4×5 loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting the excess hang over the sides.
Then, stir together combine the water and gelatin in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the shredded cheese, milk powder, salt, and tartar in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing a few times to combine.
Once it’s combined, heat the 2% milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
When milk begins to simmer, transfer the hot milk to a measuring cup and slowly add milk into the food processor feed tube, pulsing the food processor as your pour.
Add prepared gelatin.
Food process until the mixture becomes perfectly smooth. Scrap the sides if needed and whir again.
Working quickly, transfer the mixture into the prepared mold, pressing the mixture down into the pan with a spatula to help eliminate any air bubbles.
Then, smooth the surface of the cheese, and cover with the overlapping plastic.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Slice, cube, or melt as needed and use as you would Velveeta or individually wrapped processed American cheese.
If you store it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge, it will last about 2 weeks.
However, the longer you store it, the less beautifully it will melt.
Will homemade Velveeta cheese go bad?
Yes, toss this after 2 weeks in the fridge.
Unlike the store bought kind, this doesn’t have preservatives in it so it has a shorter shelf life.
Tips and Tricks
- For the smoothest melting cheese, don’t skip grating the cheese before you food process it.
- If you are pressed for time, you could freeze the cheese loaf for about an hour and a half.
- Don’t skimp on the salt. It adds a lot of flavor.
- Use a block of cheese that you will grate yourself instead of the pre-grated kind. The pre-shredded cheese has anticaking agents on it that will make it more difficult to melt.
Recipes to Use Homemade Velveeta Cheese In
We love this Velveeta style American cheese. It is fabulous in any recipe you’d use store bought cheese product for.
Some of our favorites include:
- Loaded Buffalo Cheese Fries
- Tex Mex Grilled Cheese
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Smoked Queso Dip
- Instant Pot Shells & Cheese
- Cheesy Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole
- Bacon Cheeseburger French Fry Platter
If you’ve tried this HOMEMADE VELVEETA STYLE AMERICAN CHEESE, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Velveeta Style American Cheese
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
- 12 oz Colby Jack cheese very finely shredded (think TINY grater holes)
- 1 tbsp nonfat milk powder
- generous 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp 2% milk
- Line a small 4×5 loaf pan (I only had a full size pan handy) with plastic wrap, letting the excess hang over the sides.
- In a small bowl, combine the water and gelatin. Stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Combine cheese, milk powder, salt, and tartar in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing a few times to combine.
- Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- When milk begins to simmer, remove from heat, transfer hot milk to a measuring cup (to make pouring easier) and slowly add milk into the food processor feed tube.
- As you slowly add the milk, pulse the food processor.
- Add prepared gelatin.
- Turn the food processor on, and continue to stir until the mixture becomes perfectly smooth. Scrap the sides if needed and whir again.
- Working quickly, transfer the mixture into the prepared mold, pressing the mixture down into the pan with a spatula to help eliminate any air bubbles.
- Smooth surface of cheese, and cover with the overlapping plastic.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight. (If pressed for time, a little over an hour and a half in the freezer will work too!)
- Slice, cube, or melt as needed and use as you would Velveeta or individually wrapped processed American cheese.
*The loaf pictured in this recipe is 2x (doubled) the recipe called for*
recipe originally published April 26, 2013
This post may contain affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my full Disclosure Policy for details. As always, all opinions are my own.
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