Homemade Cheez Whiz

Casey Barber

by Casey Barber on July 19, 2010

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.

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