Cheese Whiz Alternatives

Cheese Whiz holds a special place in many people's hearts. This tangy, velvety cheese spread is a guilty pleasure for kids and adults alike. Slathered on crackers, drizzled on veggies, or oozing out of a grilled cheese sandwich, Cheese Whiz is an iconic comfort food.

Cheese Whiz Alternatives

But what do you do when you open up your pantry to make your favorite Cheese Whiz recipe, only to find a sad, empty jar? Have no fear - there are plenty of delicious alternatives you can use in place of Cheese Whiz!

What Is Cheese Whiz?

Cheese Whiz is a shelf-stable, processed cheese spread introduced by Kraft in the 1950s. It has a smooth, creamy texture and comes packaged in a glass jar.

The original Cheese Whiz contained a blend of cheese, milk, and vegetable oil. However, today's formulation contains less real cheese. The first ingredient listed is now whey, followed by oil. Real cheese shows up farther down the ingredients list.

While Cheese Whiz may not contain huge amounts of real cheese anymore, it does deliver that nostalgic, tangy cheese flavor many of us crave. The spread is easy to use right out of the jar - perfect for squeezing and drizzling.

What Does Cheese Whiz Taste Like?

The flavor of Cheese Whiz is often described as tangy, creamy, and intensely cheesy. When you dig your chip into that iconic glass jar, you get hit with concentrated cheddar cheese flavor along with a subtle tang.

In addition to cheddar cheese, some of the savory flavor in Cheese Whiz comes from mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce. These extras give the spread a more complex, umami-rich flavor than plain cheddar cheese alone.

When heated, the flavors of Cheese Whiz transform. Warm Cheese Whiz develops a smooth, silky texture that highlights the creaminess. The tangy notes shine through even more. Cheese Whiz was originally designed to be served warm as a substitute for Welsh rarebit, and heating brings out its best qualities.

Why Use a Cheese Whiz Substitute?

There are a few reasons you may want to use a substitute for Cheese Whiz:

  • You've run out - Cheese Whiz is a pantry staple, but once that jar is empty, you're out of luck. Substitutes let you still enjoy your favorite recipes.
  • Seeking healthier options - Cheese Whiz is highly processed and high in fat and preservatives. Substitutes made from real cheese provide more nutrition.
  • Food preferences - If you avoid artificial ingredients or follow a vegetarian diet, substitutes allow you to recreate the Cheese Whiz experience without compromising your diet.
  • Flavor variations - Alternatives like spicy queso or melty provolone put a fresh spin on the traditional Cheese Whiz flavor.
  • Lower cost - Substitutes made from everyday ingredients can cost less than stocking up on jars of the name-brand spread.

9 Delicious Substitutes for Cheese Whiz

When your Cheese Whiz runs out, don't stress! You can recreate the velvety texture and tangy cheddar flavor with items you likely have on hand.

Here are 9 tasty substitutes to satisfy your Cheese Whiz craving:

1. Melted Cheddar Cheese

For the simplest substitution, look no further than good old cheddar cheese. Shred or finely grate sharp cheddar cheese, then melt it down with a bit of milk or cream to achieve that smooth, creamy texture.

Add a dash of Worcestershire and mustard powder as you heat the cheese to infuse it with that Cheese Whiz tang. Adjust the consistency as needed by adding more milk or cheese.

Melted cheddar makes a quick and easy Cheese Whiz stand-in for dishes like sandwiches, vegetables, and crackers.

2. Velveeta Cheese

Velveeta is another popular and readily available processed cheese product. While it's not exactly the same as Cheese Whiz, Velveeta will melt smooth with a hint of tanginess.

To transform Velveeta into a dip or sauce, dice it into cubes and melt with milk or evaporated milk. You can add seasonings like paprika, garlic, or cayenne pepper to jazz it up. The smooth, creamy melted Velveeta makes an effortless Cheese Whiz substitute.

3. Queso Dip

For a cheesier, richer substitute, try using queso dip, also known as queso cheese sauce. This Tex-Mex staple combines melty cheese with spices like chilies, cumin, and paprika for a spicy cheesy dip.

Opt for a version made with real cheese instead of a packaged powdered mix. Or make your own queso at home by combining Monterey jack, cheddar, milk, and spices. The velvety texture and tang make queso a satisfying replacement for Cheese Whiz.

4. Nacho Cheese Sauce

Similar to queso, nacho cheese sauce makes an indulgent substitute for Cheese Whiz. You can find ready-made nacho sauce sold in jars, or whip up your own sauce at home.

Melt down a cheese like cheddar, pepper jack, or Colby jack with milk and spices like chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Adjust the texture as needed to create that rich, dippable sauce. Nacho cheese sauce delivers creamy cheese flavor without the artificial ingredients.

5. Provolone Cheese

For chilled Cheese Whiz applications like spreading onto a sandwich, try swapping in provolone cheese slices. Provolone has a tangy, sharp flavor similar to cheddar but with a smoother, creamier texture when melted.

Use sliced provolone as you would Cheese Whiz on a cold sandwich or toast. You can also melt provolone into a hot cheese dip by shredding and heating until gooey and smooth. The mild tang and creamy melt make it a great substitution.

6. American Cheese Slices

American cheese gets a bad rap, but it can make a convenient replacement thanks to its creamy texture and orange color similar to Cheese Whiz. For cold sandwiches, sliced American cheese stacks up favorably.

To make a Cheese Whiz-style sauce or spread, use a slicer or food processor to shred American cheese into fine pieces. Melt the shredded cheese over low heat, thinning out the texture with milk or cream. The mild, creamy melted American cheese fills in nicely in Cheese Whiz's absence.

7. Easy Cheese Spray

Easy Cheese - the squeezable, shelf-stable cheese in a can - delivers a similar convenience and texture to Cheese Whiz. While it's not exactly natural, Easy Cheese provides that nostalgic squirtability missing from a jar and knife.

Easy Cheese makes an obvious substitute when you want to squirt the cheese directly into your mouth or onto a cracker! It also fills the role of Cheese Whiz nicely in cooking applications like grilled cheese sandwiches or cheese dips.

8. Cheese Powder

Dehydrated cheese powders conveniently let you add cheesy flavor anywhere. Look for cheese powder or cheese sauce powder on the spice aisle or online. Many brands offer cheddar and nacho cheese flavors.

To replace Cheese Whiz, mix the cheese powder with milk or cream to form a smooth, pourable cheese sauce. Start with 2 tablespoons powder per 1/4 cup of milk and adjust to your desired consistency. Cheese powder mixes easily recreate the bright orange color and tang.

9. Vegan Cheese Sauce

Vegans rejoice - you can still enjoy that cheesy Cheese Whiz experience. Opt for a store-bought vegan cheese sauce made from vegetables, nuts, and nutritional yeast. Or make your own sauce by blending soaked raw cashews with vegetable broth and seasoning.

The possibilities are endless for plant-based substitutions. Just look for that rich, creamy texture and tangy cheddar flavor profile. With the right seasoning, vegan cheese sauces can fool even the most devoted Cheese Whiz fan.

Key Takeaway: Velveeta, queso dip, and real cheeses like cheddar and provolone all make excellent substitutes for Cheese Whiz, offering similar texture and flavor.

Tips for Using Cheese Whiz Substitutes

When working with Cheese Whiz alternatives, keep these tips in mind:

  • Melt cheese gently over low heat to prevent separation and clumping.
  • Thin thick melted cheese with a splash of milk, cream, or half-and-half as needed.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard to infuse cheddar or cheese sauces with that Cheese Whiz tang.
  • Mix in spices like paprika, cumin, chili powder, or hot sauce to amp up the flavor.
  • Cool completely before using substitutes as a spread. Warm, melted cheese will ooze all over!
  • Store leftover cheese sauces in the fridge for up to one week. Reheat gently before serving.
  • When in doubt, taste as you go! Sample cheese sauces and tweak seasonings until you've nailed the Cheese Whiz flavor.

With the right techniques and a little seasoning, you can craft next-level Cheese Whiz alternatives at home using ingredients you likely have on hand already.


Is it possible to make homemade Cheese Whiz?

Yes! You can recreate the iconic Cheese Whiz flavor at home with simple ingredients like shredded cheddar cheese, milk, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and cream cheese or evaporated milk for a smooth, creamy texture.

What is the best Cheese Whiz substitute for mac and cheese?

For mac and cheese, look for substitutes that will create a smooth, creamy cheese sauce. Melted cheddar or Velveeta thinned with milk are excellent options. Queso dip and nacho cheese sauce also work well for extra cheesy and indulgent mac and cheese.

Can I use cottage cheese as a Cheese Whiz substitute?

Cottage cheese on its own is too lumpy and thin to properly stand in for Cheese Whiz. However, you can blend cottage cheese in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Then combine it with shredded cheddar and seasonings for a homemade Cheese Whiz-style dip or sauce.

Is it possible to make a vegan version of Cheese Whiz?

Yes, you can make plant-based cheese sauces that mimic the texture and tangy flavor of Cheese Whiz. Try blending soaked raw cashews with miso paste, nutritional yeast, spices, and vegetable broth for a creamy vegan cheese sauce. Store-bought vegan cheese sauces also work well.

Can I freeze homemade Cheese Whiz or cheese sauce substitutes?

It's best not to freeze substitutes made with real cheese, as the texture tends to break down. However, you can freeze vegan cheese sauces made from nuts and vegetables successfully. Allow the sauce to cool completely before freezing in airtight containers for up to 3 months.


Cheese Whiz is an iconic comfort food for many people. Its unique, tangy cheese flavor is hard to duplicate precisely. However, with a few basic ingredients and techniques, you can create tasty homemade substitutions when you run out of the name-brand spread.

Real cheeses like cheddar and Velveeta offer quick, familiar options for melting into creamy dips and sauces. Tex-Mex queso and nacho cheese dips provide indulgent, spicy twists. And DIY cheese powders let you add that nostalgic orange cheese color and flavor anywhere.

Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀
Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀

I'm a total cheese fanatic! When I'm not busy studying to be a cheesemaker, you can find me scouring local farmers markets and specialty shops for new and exciting cheeses to try. Brie is my all-time fave, but I also love exploring aged goudas, funky blues, and rich creamy camemberts. Looking forward to sharing lots of melty, gooey cheese pics and reviews!