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Homemade Cheez Whiz

Love homemade Cheez Whiz and want even more recipes for homemade junk food treats? Pick up a copy of my cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats 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.

homemade Cheez Whiz
Photo: Casey Barber

Instead, I preferred to melt shredded cheddar over my nachos or throw a few hunks of Velveeta into my mac and cheese sauce if necessary.

I’m not sure I had ever tasted true Cheez Whiz in my young life, to be completely frank.

But when I received a reader request for a homemade Cheez Whiz recipe after posting 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 encouraged 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.

homemade cheez whiz
Photo: Casey Barber

The following recipe was originally inspired by the cheese filling in Alinea’s Cheese, in Cracker dish, but… it’s much, much easier.

Making homemade Cheez Whiz doesn’t require any overly complicated techniques, esoteric ingredients, or professional-grade knowledge.

I am living proof that you can successfully accomplish this in a regular old kitchen. (With a barely-working stove, even.)

It’s so easy, in fact, that while I’m hard at work making the soft pretzels for our TV binge-watch nights, my non-cook husband takes the lead on making the Cheez Whiz and doesn’t sweat it at all.

homemade soft pretzels and cheese sauce
Photo: Casey Barber

The recipe has been tweaked and adjusted again and again over the years, and this is the point where I’m really happy with it.

If you’ve ever broken a chip in a jar of gelatinous queso, this smooth, velvety version will be a revelation.

No fillers, no binders, just creamy dairy and spices.

Watch the video and get the recipe below to make your own homemade Cheez Whiz for (almost) instant gratification.

homemade cheez whiz
homemade Cheez Whiz

Homemade Cheez Whiz

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Homemade Cheez Whiz for nachos, cheese fries or dipping can be made in 15 minutes without adding scary chemicals or preservatives. You're welcome.


  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole or reduced-fat milk
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, sliced
  • 1 cup (4 ounces; 113 grams) shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Whisk the cornstarch, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, turmeric, and granulated sugar together in a small bowl.
  2. Add the milk and cream cheese to a small (1 quart or smaller) saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking frequently, until the cream cheese has dissolved into the milk.
  3. Whisk the spice blend into the simmering liquid and continue to cook for a minute more until it thickens.
  4. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the shredded cheese, folding it into the liquid until completely melted and incorporated.
  5. Serve immediately.


Extra Cheez Whiz (whatever that is) can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan before serving.

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

  2. 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. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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. 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. 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?

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