Velveeta, melted over a plate of tortilla chips or mixed with macaroni, a childhood favorite, is high on the list of comfort foods for many Americans. The easy-to-melt product works well in any dish calling for a gooey, cheesy component. Melt Velveeta in the microwave, on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
Melt Velveeta in the Microwave
Shred the cheese with a box grater or the shredding blade of a food processor. If you don’t have a box grater or food processor, cube the Velveeta – the smaller the cubes, the more quickly the Velveeta melts. Place the shredded cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for two minutes. Stir the Velveeta and repeat until the cheese is melted.
For thinner melted cheese, add about 1/4 cup of milk. Adding milk also slows down the hardening process as the cheese cools.
Melting Velveeta on the Stovetop
Shred or cube the Velveeta. Bring a couple of inches of water to a full boil in the bottom half of a double boiler. Add the cheese to the top half of the double boiler and set it over the hot water. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook and stir the cheese until it’s melted. Add a tablespoon of butter to the top of the double boiler to keep the cheese from sticking. Adding 1/4 cup of milk makes for a thinner melted cheese that won’t harden as quickly.
If you don’t own a double boiler you can make one with a sauce pan and a metal bowl that fits snugly in the pan’s opening. Make sure that the boiling water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.
Melting Velveeta in a Slow Cooker
Set your slow cooker on low and add shredded Velveeta cheese. Cover the cooker and heat the cheese for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. If the cheese is still lumpy, use a wire whisk to smooth it out. Once the cheese is melted, set the slow cooker to warm.
This method is the best way to make a large amount of melted cheese for a party. The heat from the slow cooker will prevent the cheese from solidifying. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk, depending on the quantity of cheese, for a thinner sauce.
Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese
Cook elbow or shell macaroni according to the package directions. While the macaroni is cooking, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add an equal amount of flour and cook and stir until the flour and butter are smooth.Whisk milk into the butter and flour roux, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick. Add cubed or shredded Velveeta cheese and cook until it melts, stirring frequently.
Drain the macaroni and combine it with the cheese sauce in a casserole. Top the casserole with seasoned bread crumbs and bake until the top is golden brown.
Add cooked ground beef for beefy mac and cheese.
Nacho cheese sauce: Add milk, diced chili peppers, finely diced onion, hot sauce, garlic powder and cayenne to melted Velveeta cheese. Taste the sauce as you go – you can make it hotter if it’s too mild for your taste, but if you make it too hot, the only way to cool it down is by adding more cheese.
Philly cheese steaks: Saute thinly sliced beef, onion and green peppers until the beef is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Pile onto a partially split submarine roll and top with melted Velveeta.
Cheesy hash browns: Saute bacon until it’s crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet and saute chopped onion in the bacon grease until it’s tender. Add frozen hash browns and stir in cubed Velveeta. Cook until smooth and transfer to a casserole, top with crumbled bacon and heat until warmed through.
Beef stroganoff: Boil egg noodles for eight to 10 minutes. Brown ground beef and sliced mushrooms. Transfer the drained noodles to a casserole, remove the beef and mushrooms from the saute pan with a slotted spoon and add to the noodles. Pour melted Velveeta over and mix well. Warm in the oven until heated through.
Native New Yorker Meg Jernigan stayed in Washington, D.C. after attending the George Washington University, and worked in the tourism industry with the National Park Service for many years. She’s a dedicated foodie with an extensive cookbook collection and years of experience in the kitchen. Jernigan’s recipes have been published online and in magazines like Southern Living.