Homemade Cheez Whiz

Guess what? An improved, updated version of this recipe can be found in my new cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats. Preorder it now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local indie bookstore!

Since I come from the western side of Pennsylvania and not the eastern, my iconic sandwich familiarity has always centered around chipped chopped ham or kolbassi instead of cheesesteaks. And whether for better or worse (I’m not trying to start another PA culture war) we don’t put Cheez Whiz on our pork products out there in the “Burgh.

In fact, apart from a college-era flirtation with Tostitos-brand “queso” in a jar, I stayed away from gelatinous cheese spreads of all kinds, preferring to melt shredded cheddar over my nachos or throwing a few hunks of Velveeta into my mac and cheese sauce if necessary. I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted true Cheez Whiz in my life, to be completely frank.

But when Danielle requested a homemade Cheez Whiz recipe after reading my nostalgic ode to broiler nachos, how could I say no? Plus, I had an ace up my sleeve in the form of Grant Achatz.

Yes, that Grant Achatz, modern chef extraordinaire, the one whose recipes encourage me to buy things like huge tubs of soy lecithin for caramel popcorn in foam form, and to dehydrate bacon in my oven for hours at a time.

The following recipe is based on the cheese filling in Alinea’s Cheese, in Cracker dish. See, my little experiments are adaptable for everyday cooking, folks. And just to be sure the taste was on point, I enlisted my husband for a few rounds of testing. He of the ballpark tastebuds concurs: this is good stuff.

FTC Disclosure: Good. Food. Stories. is an Amazon.com affiliate and receives a minuscule commission on all purchases made through Amazon links in our posts. If you'd like to support the site further, please use this link or click the Amazon links in the sidebar to make your purchases.

Get it While it’s Hot!

Sign up to receive the latest Good. Food. Stories. while they are still piping hot, directly to your inbox.


  1. Joan says

    mmmmmm…this looks and sounds great…and easy!… we’ll try it! Loved that description of Dan’s taste buds! :)

  2. says

    I grew up eating Cheez Wiz (from the jar) on white bread as a snack. Delicious. I’m looking forward to seeing if this is really a match. And that reminds me…I need to check for Cheez Wiz at the store. It’s been at least 25 years since I last tasted the delicious cheesy gold.

  3. Dwayne says

    dont really have anything like this in australia, which is probably good as processed food is bad for you. so seeing this recipe makes me happy to find a non-processed cheese for my verision of cheese steak sangas

    • Casey BarberCasey Barber says

      Dwayne, so glad you’ve got an option for your cheesesteaks – happy to help out any fan of good, salty food, no matter where in the world they are! A better (if I dare say so) version of the Cheez Whiz will be in my cookbook, Classic Snacks Made from Scratch. It’s available on Amazon for pre-order now.

    • Casey BarberCasey Barber says

      Since it’s made with dairy products, it should most definitely be refrigerated if you don’t eat it immediately. I’ve always eaten my portion within a day or two, but it will keep for at least a week if stored in an airtight container.

  4. Patty says

    Hi Casey! I am so pleased to see this and will be sure to try a batch. And surely it will have less processing than the pre-jarred Kraft product – there’s a plus!
    I have a recipe I’ve had for 40 years this year from a friend of over 50 years that calls for CW. It has become increasingly difficult to find in-store (by the Velveeta in a box) now, so this homemade is really appreciated. I don’t make it but once in a blue moon, as it’s criminally good but made from processed stuff (mushroom soup in a can, sour cream) – thank you again!
    Appreciate this site :)

  5. DaveK says

    Oh, heck! Just use heavy cream for the liquid. It’s the magic ingredient to making so very many cheese sauces where you don’t have to cheat and use flour for a thickener.

    But can you get this to the consistency of the stuff that comes out of a pressurized can? That you can put into some kind of piping bag or giant syringe to squeeze onto crackers, celery, etc?