Velveeta Cheese Sauce

Velveeta Cheese Sauce | Pinky's PantryI know, I know…. you can say it….. Velveeta is NOT cheese. Even the box says it’s “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product.” (When I was a kid I remember it used to say, “Pasteurized Process Cheese Food.”) But don’t dis Velveeta. Whatever it is, it’s delicious. Smooth, creamy, and meltable (is that a word?), it made the best grilled cheese sandwiches ever….. the grilled cheese sandwiches of my youth that spelled comfort food. It’s what we grew up with in the Philippines. It was introduced by the Americans during World War II and stayed a big part of Filipino cuisine ever since. It’s all I knew of cheese until I moved to the United States.

Velveeta makes the easiest and creamiest of cheese sauces as far as I’m concerned. You can cook it in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove, or if you’re pressed for time, you can make it in the microwave. If you use a microwave, be sure to stop and stir in 30-second intervals so you don’t get hot spots that turn into burned spots. The sauce will thicken and firm up as it cools. Just reheat it a bit if you need to make it pourable again. If it’s too thick, whisk in some more milk until it reaches the consistency you want.

VELVEETA CHEESE SAUCE

  • 1 cup cubed Velveeta cheese
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk or fresh milk (add more if you want the sauce thinner)
  1. Microwave Velveeta and milk in a microwaveable bowl on high for 2-3 minutes, stopping to stir every 30-seconds or so, until completely melted and well-combined.
  2. Serve immediately as a dipping sauce; pour over cooked veggies like broccoli or cauliflower; or pour over nachos.

NOTE:  ¼ cup is just a starting point for the milk. If you feel it’s too thick, add as much milk as you need to get it to the consistency you’re looking for.

You can also add flavorings to your cheese sauce like a teaspoon or so of mustard powder, a splash of beer or white wine, a tablespoon or two of diced pimientos, a dash of Tabasco or Sriracha sauce, a half teaspoon of onion powder, or whatever else you think might taste good with cheese.

Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti | Pinky's Pantry
My Mom occasionally made Chicken Spaghetti for us when we were growing up in the Philippines. I don’t remember what she put in her Chicken Spaghetti, but this is my version created from the faded recollection of a much-enjoyed childhood dish. The ingredients don’t sound very “native” to the Philippines, but Filipinos love cream of mushroom soup and Velveeta cheese which were brought over by the Americans during World War II and which have remained Filipino favorites to this day (along with the ever-popular Spam, of course). LOL!

This recipe makes a really big casserole so it’s perfect for a party or a potluck. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you’re feeding a smaller group of people.

CHICKEN SPAGHETTI

  • 1 lb. spaghetti noodles, broken into thirds
  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken, deboned and shredded (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 lb. bacon, diced into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 small cans (4 oz. each) sliced mushrooms, undrained
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 lb. velveeta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  3. Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook just until al dente.
  4. Pour into a colander to drain.
  5. Put bacon in the same pot you used to cook the spaghetti and fry until crispy.
  6. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  7. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pot.
  8. Sauté onions in the bacon grease until they start to become translucent.
  9. Add red bell pepper and sauté until crisp-tender.
  10. Stir in the mushrooms with juice, mushroom soup, velveeta cheese, and water.
  11. Cook, stirring, until velveeta is completely melted.
  12. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
  13. Remove from heat, then stir in shredded chicken, cooked spaghetti, and bacon.
  14. Pour into an extra large casserole dish, or two medium size ones.
  15. Sprinkle top with shredded cheddar cheese, then grated parmesan cheese.
  16. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted on top.