The Queso Showdown: Velveeta vs. Real Cheddar

Which will win the tastiest taste test on your party table? Queso made with real cheddar cheese or queso made with Velveeta? Place your bets.

Which will win the tastiest taste test on your party table? Queso made with real cheddar cheese or queso made with Velveeta? Place your bets.

During our Slow Cooker Dips Series, we’ve shared slow cooker queso recipes using two different types of cheeses: one with Velveeta  and the other with real shredded cheddar cheese. After some serious queso taste-testing (it’s difficult work, people), we’ve compiled the data and compared the two recipes. (In the picture above, the Velveeta version is on the left and the real cheddar version is on the right).

Which queso will reign supreme in this showdown? Let’s find out.

 Appearance & Texture

It was pretty easy to tell these two quesos apart based on appearance. The queso made with Velveeta cheese is smoother and creamier than the real cheddar queso. That’s why people have come to love this easy-melting pasteurized cheese product. The queso made with shredded cheese appeared a bit grainy and had a thinner consistency than the Velveeta queso. The color difference in the two queso dips is also noticeable, with the shredded cheese version appearing more orange.


If you’ve had Velveeta before, you know it has a distinct “cheesy” flavor. One of my taste-testers knew immediately which dip was made with Velveeta, although the appearance may have tipped them off, but the other tester thought the shredded cheddar version was actually the Velveeta-based queso. Both recipes have a bit of heat, as any good queso should, which comes from the cayenne pepper and chipotle chili pepper.

In the end, both of my taste-testers preferred the Velveeta version of queso, while I preferred the taste of the shredded cheddar queso.


All of the ingredients are the same for each recipe, except for the type of cheese used and they’re both very easy to prepare. Throw all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, stir it a few times and you have queso. Since both Velveeta and shredded cheese are readily available at most supermarkets, we consider these recipes equal when it comes to convenience.


A box of Velveeta mini blocks cost $5.99 at my grocery store, while the two, 8-ounce bags of shredded cheddar cheese required for the recipe cost $5.76. If you’re at all like me, there may already be a couple bags of shredded cheddar in the cheese drawer so it may be more cost-effective to use what you already have on hand.


While I preferred the taste of the queso made with shredded cheddar, my two taste-testers perferred the Velveeta. And I do agree with them that the Velveeta queso had a better mouth-feel and appearance. The two quesos are equally convenient to make and comparable in price. The ultimate deciding factor therefore probably comes down to whether you are someone who uses and enjoys processed cheese products or prefers real cheese. Whichever way you go, you’re in for a goopy cheesy treat!

Karman Meyer

Karman blogs at The Nutrition Adventure where she shares her cooking & travel adventures. Food has always been Karman’s passion, which is why she turned it into her career! As a nutritionist, she enjoys teaching others how to prepare healthier foods that tastes great---because there’s no sense in making it if no one wants to eat it! She also believes that there’s always room for the more decadent things in life.