Homemade Velveeta Cheese Recipe

Who doesn’t love that velveeta cheese dip? Want a recipe that isn’t full of all those processed ingredients?

You’ve been asking us for months to please come up with a processed block cheese substitute. After 46 pounds of cheese and 21 recipes, I’m thrilled to finally share with you a real substitute. The kind of substitute that tastes, performs, and looks like the real thing.

Many of you submitted recipes to us—thanks by the way—and it turned out that nearly one of my last attempts before I scratched the whole project was by chance the one that worked best. I’ve used Google, and I haven’t found this exact recipe anywhere. Therefore, we will call this MOMveeta.

Pictured above is not a MOMveeta lunch; it’s our football MOMveeta tray. While our friends ate nasty block cheese dip and hot dogs, my kids ate their healthier version.


The above picture shows the steps for making MOMveeta in the microwave. Clockwise: Add ingredients in the bowl, begin to melt, stir often with a fork, do a chip test, and serve.


Above are the slow cooker and cooling directions. Slow cooker temperatures vary, but give yourself at least 2 to 3 hours. Add all ingredients in the slow cooker, heat, and serve. After it’s cooled, you can freeze it in 1-cup servings.


Recipe #19 (above) was the winner. In order to make the cut, it had to taste like the real thing, have simple ingredients, cool off and form a “block” of sorts, and when reheated, it had to perform like the original and, of course, the taste test. I wasn’t looking for a queso dip recipe, I was looking for a real substitute.

Check out this video for step-by-step on how it’s made:


Of all the flops, #17 was the most disgusting. This was Monterrey Jack and mild Cheddar. The texture was like gum. Aren’t you glad I did all the testing for you? Check out the recipe and how to make MOMveeta Mac and Cheese. Feel free to share this recipe with your friends, and please let us know how your family enjoys it.

4.9 from 12 reviews
Homemade Velveeta Recipe
Makes about 4 cups.
Cuisine: Snacks
  • 16 ounces natural American cheese
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes & green chilies, drained* (optional)
Microwave directions:
  1. Place all the ingredients inside a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stopping to stir every 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture might seem watery during the first few stirs, but it should come together as a nice runny dip after all the cheese is melted.
  2. Serve immediately as a dip with tortilla chips. You can cool this in a loaf pan and refrigerate for a week to use as you would use traditional Velveeta.
Slow cooker directions:
  1. Place all the ingredients in a small slow cooker (that will fit at least 4 cups of liquid). Turn it on high for 2½ hours. Mix the ingredients every hour to prevent the cheese from sticking to the walls and possibly burning. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and enjoy!
* The diced tomatoes & green chiles is optional, but it adds a lot more flavor. To make this as a true Velveeta replacement, take out the diced tomatoes & green chilies, and add ½ cup additional milk. Cool and refrigerate or freeze in 1-cup portions. Reheat every 30 seconds until creamy and hot. Use as you would with Velveeta.
Not all white American cheeses are made equal. Check the ingredients because some don’t really expire. If it says “cheese product,” it’s probably not real. I used Land O’Lakes brand in our test. Yes, I know, it's not the best, but many of you asked for it. After 21 tests and more than $300 in cheese, there is just no way to get around it. Get the best quality you can find and afford. For both recipes, I purchased the cheese from the deli counter in a big chunk; don’t use sliced cheese.


  1. Joseph Chance Watkins says

    Mmm, nice recipe and a Good alternative for the processed Velveeta cheese. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us; Jesus Christ Bless you! :)

  2. Danielle says

    I’d like to use this recipe. My favorite potato soup calls for velveeta and it’s soooo good.
    I have a question: what is Natural American Cheese? Is there another type I can use instead? I live in Canada and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen this this type before, although I’ve never had a reason to look for it.

      • Jamie says

        What kind of cheeses are melting kinds?I have looked for the American cheese everywhere. I found it at deli counter (I don’t know if it’s natural or not but it was the brand you recommend) would that still work?

  3. Melissa says

    Coming across this recipe seriously just made my day. I make a menu plan for every 2 weeks and one of the days is our “snack night” BBQ meatballs and rotel dip. I love the taste of Velveeta but despise all the extra junk in it. I will definitely be trying this out! Cant wait!

  4. Tom says

    Wow. I can’t believe how good this is, I’m making it right now. Recently I have gone the way of trying to remove any and all artificial foods from the house and replacing them with natural food. The sauce has been sitting in the crock pot for about a half hour right now and a little taste test, I can’t believe how good it is. It’s better than Velveeta if you ask me. Thank you for doing all of the work and getting this out there.

    • Tom says

      I also have a question. I want to use this cheese for mac and cheese. Can you tell me roughly what ratio of ounces of elbow macaroni verses this cheese I should use? Usually when I make mac and cheese I will use 1 box (12 oz) of elbow macaroni. How many cups of this cheese should I make?

      • says

        Tom, this recipe is a 1:1 substitute for velveeta. If you look up a velveeta mac and cheese online, you follow the directions but use this homemade version.

      • km754 says

        Just made mac and cheese using this recipe … it came out fantastic and tasted exactly like velveeta.

        I would suggest using 4 servings of shredded cheddar cheese (112g or 1 cup) and 12 slices of american cheese (225g).

    • says

      I’m thrilled you like it Tom! don’t’ forget to lower your temperature in the crockpot to low if it’s going to sit out a while and to stir once in a while! Enjoy!

      • Tom says

        Yeah, as soon as it reached consistency I turned it on low, had it sitting for hours waiting for guests. Made nachos topped with chili meat and cheese. Was better than Velveeta in my book. I will never touch that fake stuff again.

  5. Cristy says

    I have a recipe for a cheese roll made by rolling out Velveeta (and then covering with cream cheese and chopped jalapeños). Do you think this MOMveeta would roll out well after chilling in a loaf pan? Thanks!

    • says

      Cristy, i haven’t tried using momveeta in that way but we have over 100k people that have downloaded our recipe and used it in any way you’d traditionally use the regular type. why not line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper, pour momveeta, cool it, and use it to lift it out? just a thought.

  6. Keena says

    I DID IT!! I AM SOOOO HAPPY THAT WE HAVE A VELVEETA ALTERNATIVE!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA! So it had to be the crockpot! I used sliced applegate cheddar that I shredded down in the food processor as well as the applegate american from the whole foods deli. I shredded the American in the food processor as welll! I used 1 1/4 cup of milk and melted it all in a makeshift double boiler! I constantly stirred and its PERFECT! I cant wait to make a big pan of macaroni & cheese!! ;) Thank you so much for taking the time to develop this recipe!! :)

    • says

      Keena, I’m soooo happy it finally worked!! nothing like your awesome persistence and glad you figured out it was the crockpot!

  7. Keena says

    Hi! I attempted to make this cheese today with applegate sliced american and the whole foods brand organic sharp cheddar. I was making it without the tomatoes and chiles so I added extra milk. I am making it in the crock pot and it seems that my cheese curdled. Any idea where I went wrong?

    • says

      Keena, I don’t know! thousands have made this recipe successfully with applegate’s american and cheddar! did it fully melt? the tomatoes are optional.

      • Keena says

        Hi! Thanks for your response! It did melt, but it was all curdled. The flavor was great, it just never melted smooth. Maybe it was the block of cheese that I used…I will try it again! I would like to use this recipe to make a healthier mac & cheese for my kiddos! :) So hopefully switching to all applegate will work! Thanks again! ;)

        • says

          Keena, let me know how it works out. I know there are a lot of comments but I’m sure that others have used applegate without issues. even if you omit the tomatoes don’t add any additional milk unless you need it. Also, I hope you didn’t throw out the “curdled” one! You can use that one for macaroni and cheese for sure!

          • Keena says

            Hi! So I made it again on low and it curdled again. :/ It could just be my crockpot. This time I used American cheese that I bought from the Whole Foods Deli and the Whole Foods Sharp Cheddar. I am going to buy enough for two more batches and try it in the microwave and the stovetop. Ill update you when I do it! Thanks! & This time I kept the curdled one and Im going to use it for Mac & Cheese! Thanks!!

      • Keena says

        I just watched the video! I am going to try it in the crockpot again, but maybe on low instead of high. If that doesnt work, ill try the microwave method! :) Thank you again for coming up with this recipe! :)

  8. says

    I used White American Cheese from Publix Deli and Sharp Cheddar Cheese (block) from Costco. I used half and half because that’s all I had on hand and a little cumin. It turned out great and tastes just like Velveeta, so I am happy to have an alternative that is much healthier. Now…on to make Macaroni and Cheese! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. linda says

    for american cheese- if you want something even more amazing than the Land O’Lakes — America’s Test kitchen has a DIY american cheese.

    I am trying that american cheese + the rest of your ingredient idea and making this.

  10. says

    Hi. This is fantastic! Thank you for going through all of those trials and then for sharing! I wondered if in any of your experiments you might have tried white Cheddar? If there is a difference in how the cheese melts or something? Or maybe there is not sharp white cheddar available?

    • says

      You can use white cheddar instead of the yellow cheddar. I used the orange/yellow cheddar to give it the same color as the velveeta. white cheddar instead of the american will not work.

  11. Lynne says

    It looks so good but I didn’t want a runny substitute. If you put it in the fridge does it thicken up like regular Velveeta?

  12. Cammi says

    As someone else posted, I used sliced American and it worked fine. We buy American in bulk at Sam’s Club. It’s sliced, but not wrapped. I just took the amount I needed, left it stacked together, and then cut into cubes. As it was melting in the microwave, it did come apart, but I just stirred about every minute, and it came out perfectly. Thanks!

  13. John says

    You rock! I am going to try this this weekend. By the pics it seems to harden up ok in fridge. I need to grind velveeta and mix with ground meat looks like it will work fine.

  14. Elena says

    Oh my gosh. I just made this and it was awesome. I need to use it in a GF goldfish recipe that called for Velveeta. I didn’t want to use Velveeta so I searched the internet for a “healthier” version of Velveeta. I should have known you would have one Laura. Thanks so much!!! I thought my picky 7 year old would have scoffed at bc of the cumin, but as I am typing this reply he’s scraping the bowl with chips saying, “MMMMM. So cheesy. Cheese-erific!” Lol!!! Total winner.

  15. Dawn says

    I am going to try this today! I live in Austria so there isn’t American Cheese in blocks but I’ve read that you can sub swiss cheese for American or perhaps Emmentaler. I hope it works!

  16. Emily Elliott says


    I have read through all the comments and I think to make this just a regular block of velveeta, you just leave out the rotel? Please confirm :) We all really appreciate you taking the time to experiment!

  17. Jennifer A. says

    I have not tried this yet, but it looks like a 5 star winner to me. No chemical processed yuck! Hooray! BTW, this is the best meal plan service I have signed up for ever. I have a 5 year old daughter with Anaphylaxis to peanut and I was struggling for lunch ideas. (She is also very picky eater.) I’ve been trying to get all my friends signed up with MOMables. Thank you! Keep the allergy friendly ideas coming!

  18. KGtheCook says

    Hey!!! I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for working on this! By any chance can I cook this on the stove top? I’m thinking med-low heat and babysitting it till she’s perfect? Didn’t know if you attempted a stove top rendition…

  19. Al P. says

    WOW! To say this was fantastic is an understatement! This was EPIC! Legendary! I would definitely make it again. I followed the microwave instructions. I used Land-o-Lakes White American Cheese (chunks cut from a pound I got at the deli), Cracker Barrel Cheddar (orange), Rotel Tomato & Green Chilies and fat free milk (not that it matters, but that’s what we drink) and cumin. Microwaved for 2 minutes, stirred, and them 1 minute increments after that for about 7 minutes. It started off a little liquidy, but once all the cheese melted and I took it out, it firmed up pretty quickly. My wife and I devoured about half of it watching football. Great work, MOM!

  20. Christina says

    Just tried this on Sunday. Based on reviews I tried Colby in place of the natural American since I couldn’t find it. The results were not good – it separated and did not blend well. Unfortunately I tried this for a gathering and could kick myself for not doing a trial run first. I’m sure it was user error but I’m not sure if it was the Colby (and right now I’m starting to wonder if it was Colby Jack and not pure Colby I used) or if it could have something to do with the crockpot heating method? Maybe I over heated it? I had it on high per instructions and I did stir it frequently. I’ll have to try again – maybe on the stovetop instead.

    • says

      Oh no! I am sorry to hear this Christina! Colby did not provide consistent results which is why it did not make the recipe cut. Jack will only work in place of the cheddar but a cheddar + jack will not work. So sorry!!

  21. Ginger says

    I’m so excited I found this recipe , Thank you so much for finding a natural substitute :), I have a queso dip that I love that calls for 1lb. Velveeta , 1lb. Burger , one jar salsa and one can cream of mushroom soup . I have been able to substitute everything but the velveeta , would I be able to put the two cheeses and milk along with all the other ingredients in the crockpot and have it turn out smooth and creamy or will I have to make the momveeta first and refrigerate first ? Thanks !

    • says

      Hi Ginger! this recipe yields about 1.5lbs of momveeta (approximately). I would recommend you make the momveeta first, and add the other ingredients into the crockpot (the meat being cooked). Although it *might* work. I haven’t tried it with uncooked meat. You can, of course, make the momveeta, refrigerate and then use it as you normally would use a block of velveeta. I have to say that it’s not designed to sit in a crockpot for more than 4hours… since you have to stir it up so that it doesn’t burn on the sides (it is REAL cheese after all..).

  22. Allison says

    Thank you! You’ve really taken the time and effort here and I am so excited to find this recipe. Making my Momveeta right now. I try to cut out all additives and preservatives in my diet because they give me migraines, and now I have a sub that I can use for making apps to bring to parties, a cheeseburger soup recipe my husband loves, and a queso dip. I’m making it now without the tomato/chilis as a true Velveeta sub. Thank you thank you thank you!

  23. Lisa says

    Is whole milk recommended? Or can I use fat-free or reduced fat versions? And what about lactose-free milk; does that work, do you know?

    • says

      I recommend whole or low fat milk for this recipe. It’s very difficult to make this recipe latose free, since the cheese needed is not lactose free.

  24. miranda says

    Hi, I am expat in China and Velveeta is no where to be found here. I struggle to get Cheddar most days, but if I can time it right with the shipments I can get cheddar. I’ve read through the comments and saw that you suggested Edam cheese to one person. Have you heard any feedback on that? I have seen that here. I have also seen Emmental and Gouda. I can sometimes find a block or two of the Colby/Monterey Jack cheese, but I wonder how the Monterey Jack would affect it. What would you suggest out of those to replace the American cheese? All of them are quite expensive, but sometimes….it’s totally worth it. haha.

    • says

      Miranda, I don’t know what you are able to get your hands on in China… but look for cheeses that can easily be melted and hold texture –think of it as in fondue. I”ve heard of success with Edam. All cheddar will not work (see the picture with the big flop? yeah.. did not work-at all).

  25. MicheleF says

    How do you pack this cheese in a lunchbox? I’m looking at your nachos “lunchable” but not sure how to keep this dippable. It is too small of an amount to put in a thermos and I can’t think of what else to do. Thanks!!

    • says

      I don’t pack it in a lunch as the nacho-remake. that was consumed shortly after. The other option is to pour the MOMveeta over the tortilla chips and then packing it in the lunchbox. if you have a short and wide thermos, you can preheat the thermos, heat the cheese and close it. :)

  26. Sandi says

    Tillamook was advertising a completely natural american cheese sometime in the past year or so. I have never found it in my grocery store, but it would probably be perfect for this if you can find it.

  27. Stephanie says

    This sounds great! I will definitely try with Boar’s Head: the label on their website says “pasturized process american cheese”, and the FDA regulates terminology for cheese product. “Pasteurized process cheese” contains 100% cheese, “pasteurized process cheese food” contains at least 51% cheese, and “pasteurized process cheese product” contains less than 51% cheese. So by those standards and their labeling, Boar’s Head at least is 100% cheese, even if it is processed to be smoother and meltier.

    My mom has a chili cheese dip recipe from an old crockpot cookbook that she and now I have used for years. It calls for 1 lb. of Velveeta, 1 lb. ground beef, 1 can tomatoes and chilies, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder as its only ingredients (I can’t recall the measurements of Worcestershire sauce and chili powder because I just dump it in until it looks good, haha). This would be a great sub for the Velveeta, adding in ground beef (I’ve also used very lean ground turkey to good effect) and subbing the Worcestershire and chili powder for the cumin, or adding it. If you don’t want it very spicy, use less chili powder and mild tomatoes and chilies (I use Rotel usually); spicier can come by way of a bit more chili powder and the hot version of Rotel. Thank you so much for this! I love that recipe and really want to clean it up so I feel a bit more virtuous eating it!

    • says

      Stephanie,I only suggested Boars Head because as far as most of their products go… they are good quality. Yes, it’s not “unprocessed” cheese but…
      I’ve recently found that Applegate Farms has real unprocessed American cheese. check it out here. you can buy them at all whole foods.

  28. AshleyJ says

    Two questions … I tried to read comments first, but didn’t see them:
    1. When we omit the tomatoes/chiles, do we also omit the cumin? I rarely need a spicy melted cheese, just a plain one for mac ‘n cheese.
    2. Would this work with raw cheese?

    • says

      I would not omit the cumin. it adds a little smokiness that i compared to some of the artificial flavors (but natural) in actual velveeta. you could half it. cumin isn’t spicy at all. I have not tried it with raw cheese but I have a feeling it wont’. I tried it with nearly every cheese combination out there… don’t waste your money… eat raw cheese how it’s best enjoyed… not like this.

  29. Susan says

    I’m Canadian so we don’t have ‘natural American cheese’ – is this cheese yellow/white or orange (i.e. mozzarella type or cheddar?)

    • says

      Do you have melting cheese in Canada? you can use that. Colby is available there but it did not work well consistently in my tests. it melted well one time, it separated another. I have mixed feelings about it

    • says

      yes, you can use block cheese but not the already shredded cheese. if you look at the ingredients they are different! -no, they don’t just “shred” it unfortunately…

  30. Emily says

    Oh my goodness! This is perfect! We are trying to cut out all the processed junk in our diets but my husband and so LOVE Kraft mac and cheese. I found a recipe that I think is a good substitute and it uses all real ingredients EXCEPT for Velveeta! Now I can make this Kraft substitute for my family. Thank you for doing all the hard work for us!! P.S. I saw this through a pin on Pinterest.

    • says

      Yay Emily!! it took months to get the right texture because I really REALLY wanted it to freeze, keep and store like the original. so glad you found us!

  31. Magoo says

    I’m excited to try this. I’m even more excited that you have a print option for the recipe. Hahahaha.

  32. Karen says

    Is it necessary to use the tomatoes/green chilies? My kids are not huge fans of “spicy” food, any way to make this less spicy or is that a mild choice?

  33. says

    I am kind of surprised you didn’t use vegan nacho “cheese”. Much healthier, keeps better in a lunch and is pretty much fool-proof? Have you tried any of the vegan nacho cheese recipes?

    • says

      I have not. I wanted to make a true substitute. While I am sure a vegan version is good, nearly all my audience isn’t vegan. If you have a good one to share, please email it to me at info @ momables dot com and I will be happy to test it out!

  34. Jellers says

    So glad I found this recipe!!! I have a recipe for gluten free homemade goldfish type crackers, but it uses velveeta and I have cut out processed foods. Can’t wait to make this!

  35. says

    SO glad I found this. I make a killer chorizo dip for a gathering of friends in July. Since going low carb and non-processed foods I was torn on what to make instead. Decided to make my own chili base, so I didn’t have to use canned. But what to use instead of Velveeta??? You’ve answered my prayers!

    • says

      So glad Mona! I know it can be hard to give up certain things when you eat healthier! let us know how everyone enjoyed it. :)

  36. olga says

    I am in England and there is no american cheese around here.
    Any idea which cheeses i can use around here?

    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Olga! Do you have colby cheese? I know in europe they sell “melting cheese” often used in fondue. That would work best.

  37. Michelle says

    I was just researching “natural American cheese” and found that its really white colby. But I think yellow would work…I am excited to try this, but with colby – because processed cheese product is just too disgusting.

  38. says

    I can’t wait to try this out! I typically use organic dairy products. Do you think this would work just as well with organic american cheese? I usually use Organic Valley. Thank you!

  39. Jill B says

    Is Boars cheese a “unprocessed brand”? I seen it in white American at the deli and wondered. Didn’t see Land O Lakes.

    • says

      Christine – I’ve tried this recipe 21 different ways. you can try using Fontina cheese or Emmental (or half and half) +2Tablespoons milk +2 teaspoons lemon juice. unfortunately, most cheeses are not meant to stay “melted”. there are a few brands out there of American cheese that aren’t processed cheese.

    • Vesta says

      Hi there. If buying anything from a store isle and a processing line really bothers you, try googling “make American Cheese,” or “Homemade American cheese recipe.” Hope it helps!

  40. jess says

    This turns out great! Last time I made it, I used the leftovers to top a naughty pan of chicken enchiladas. Thank you!

  41. Chelsea says

    About the butter. You say you used Land o Lakes but I don’t see it on your ingredients list? How much do we use?

  42. Caroline Debono says

    Um any idea what american cheese might be in the uk ? Is it creamy spready cheese? Is it soft and squishy- designed to melt? Maybe like edam or emmental?

  43. toney says

    Do you think this will keep in a lunch box? Or will it get too hard after a few hours?

    • says

      it will harden by lunch for sure. the reason i pictured it in a lunch box is because I served it for my kids as snack trays during the football game Sunday.

  44. says

    Sounds delish Laura ! Think am going to try this at home. Love that you added cumin to it :) Will let you know how it turns out !

    • says

      there are some that don’t have nasty ingredients. the most commonly found one is land o lakes brand. it’s better than the alternative.

      • says

        Thanks… I realized I hadn’t fully read the notes (although I thought I had) — sorry for the redundancy. I may have to try this some time :) Thanks!

        • says

          don’t worry! there is just no way around the fact that the yellow box sold on the shelves is only between 47-51% cheese “product” the rest is additives. Cheese product refers not to just milk but can be whey proteins, lactose and any milk derivative.

  45. Shautel says

    I am going to attempt to make it..We don’t drink Milk, so I’ll have to let you know if it works with almond milk..

    • says

      please do. but i have to tell you that there is no substitute for those other cheeses. non dairy cheese will not melt. thus why we tried 21 different ways

    • says

      I’d try it with coconut milk before almond milk. Almond milk (though we LOVE it) tends to have a bitter aftertaste in some recipes. Plus, coconut milk has higher fat content, which may “gel” with the cheese better. OOH… or perhaps greek yogurt?? ;) I cannot drink regular milk, but when I drink raw milk… NO problems with gas, bloating, etc. Not sure why you don’t drink regular milk.. just thought I’d throw that out there in case you haven’t tried raw yet. It has all the enzymes to break down the proteins in the milk, thus… less gastric upset. Also… goat milk is more easily digestible. Just thinking out loud as a fellow-non-milk drinker. ;)

      • says

        Fabulous points Ruth! coconut milk will definitely make the recipe creamier -although I have not tested it. I know a lot of people try to make substitutes for some of our recipes and I always say that I cannot guarantee the results when that’s done. I’ve tried raw milk before and I love it but it’s not sold anywhere near me.

  46. Sarah says

    Awesome, but 2 questions! 1) What could a Canadian use as a substitute for “American” cheese? 2) If I omit the seasoning / chiles, will this firm up to be like the questionable cheese circle things in the real / gross Lunchables?
    Again, I love what you’re doing here. So great to have s site like this.

    • says

      I think you might have something called imperial cheese? not sure. If you omit the chilies add 1/2cup more milk as per directions. let me know what you find!

    • says

      I tried this recipe with Boars head white american cheese -amazing results. I also used land o lakes -great results too. I omitted using any of the american cheeses that say “processed cheese” in the packaging.