Velveeta is smooth and delicious, but is this classic cheese alternative gluten-free? Read on to find out!

overhead shot of velveeta original and slices on white background

Velveeta is salty, creamy, cheesy and satisfying. It’s liquid nostalgia, a comfort food; in fact, some might say it tastes like childhood.

Unlike cheese, Velveeta “liquid gold” melts smooth, so it’s perfect for mac-and-cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and queso dips.

But is Velveeta gluten-free?

SHORT ANSWER: Yes! Velveeta is a gluten-free processed cheese product. It’s made from dairy milk and a list of other ingredients, but it does not include wheat or any other source of gluten. It is safe to consume as part of a gluten-free diet.

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For more articles on gluten-free products, check out are doritos gluten-free, are fritos gluten-free, are cornflakes gluten-free, are marshmallows gluten-free, is ketchup gluten-free and are potato chips gluten-free.

What Is Velveeta?

Way back in 1918, cheesemaker Emil Frey was experimenting with cheese scraps at the Monroe Cheese Company in Monroe, New York. Frey found that he could save these scraps from the trash heap by combining them with whey, a liquid byproduct normally discarded during cheese production. The result was a creamy, meltable cheese product: Velveeta was born!

Velveeta gained popularity and become a household staple throughout the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Today, the “pasteurized recipe cheese product” is owned by Kraft Heinz and sold throughout the U.S., along with a handful of other countries. The Velveeta product line has expanded from the original block/loaf to individual slices to a wide variety of mac-and-cheese products, skillets, and snacks.

Velveeta is shelf-stable, meaning that it doesn’t have to be refrigerated, so it’s typically found in the center of the grocery store with other prepared and packaged foods. Velveeta is easy to use and enjoy, making it a tasty flavor indulgence for busy families.

What is Velveeta made from? Here is the list of ingredients you’ll find on the back of a package of Original Velveeta:

  • Skim Milk
  • Milk
  • Canola Oil
  • Milk Protein Concentrate
  • Sodium Phosphate
  • Less than 2% of Modified Food Starch, Whey Protein Concentrate, Maltodextrin, Whey, Salt, Calcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Sorbic Acid (preservative), Milkfat, Sodium Alginate, Sodium Citrate, Enzymes, Apocarotenal and Annatto (color), Cheese Culture, and Vitamin A Palmitate

Is Velveeta Gluten-Free?

Yes, Velveeta is gluten-free! It is safe to consume if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Of course, we are talking about plain Velveeta here. There are many packaged Velveeta products that include pasta, which is made using wheat and does include gluten.

These are Velveeta products to avoid if you are gluten-free:

  • Velveeta Shells & Cheese (all varieties)
  • Velveeta Skillets Philly Cheesesteak
  • Velveeta Skillets Creamy Beef Stroganoff
  • Velveeta Skillets Chicken & Broccoli
  • Velveeta Skillets Nacho Supreme
  • Velveeta Skillets Chicken Bacon Ranch
  • Velveeta Skillets Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac
  • Velveeta Skillets Chicken Alfredo
  • Velveeta Skillets Classic Lasagna
  • Velveeta Cheesy Bowls Bacon Mac & Cheese
  • Velveeta Cheesy Bowls Ultimate Cheeseburger Mac
  • Velveeta Cheesy Bowls Chicken Alfredo
  • Velveeta Cheesy Bowls Lasagna with Meat Sauce
  • Velveeta Rotini & Cheese
  • Velveeta Cheesy Bites (all varieties)

Are Velveeta Cheese Sauce Packets Gluten-Free?

Yes, Velveeta cheese sauce packets are gluten-free. From the Kraft Heinz website, these are the ingredients used to make Velveeta Original Cheese Sauce:

  • Whey
  • Milk
  • Canola Oil
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Less than 2% of Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Phosphate, Modified Food Starch, Lactic Acid, Sodium Alginate, Sorbic Acid (preservative), Paprika and Annatto Extract (color), Milkfat, Cheese Culture, Natural Flavor, and Enzymes.

Velveeta cheese sauce does contain milk, but it does not contain any other common allergens.

shot of velveeta original and slices on white background

FAQs

what cheese isn’t gluten-free?

Cheese is typically a gluten-free food, but always check labels. To err on the side of caution, choose cheese that is FDA certified gluten-free, meaning that it has tested at below 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

Be extra cautious with blue cheese and dairy-free cheese, which occasionally contain gluten. Also double-check your labels when purchasing shredded cheese (wheat starch may be used to prevent clumping) and cottage cheese, which could contain wheat starch.

is velveeta mac n cheese gluten-free?

Velveeta Shells & Cheese (Velveeta’s take on classic macaroni and cheese) is not gluten-free. The pasta shells are made from wheat flour, so this is one you will want to avoid if you’re on a gluten-free diet.

To create a gluten-free version of Shells & Cheese, boil your favorite brand of gluten-free pasta at home, then drain and add Velveeta cheese sauce, which is gluten-free. Easy and delicious!

what is the difference between american cheese and velveeta?

American cheese and Velveeta are very similar. They are both processed dairy products with comparable cheese flavors. Velveeta melts into a liquid more easily than American cheese, so it’s especially popular as a sauce or dip. American cheese is a bit more solid and thus more likely to be found on a sandwich or burger. Often, one can be substituted for the other in recipes.

is velveeta queso blanco gluten-free?

Good news: Velveeta Queso Blanco is gluten-free! Velveeta Queso Blanco is made primarily from skim milk, milk, canola oil, milk protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, and whey. It also contains small amounts of other ingredients, including modified food starch, but the Kraft Heinz website explains that this starch comes from corn.

are velveeta slices gluten-free?

Yes, like other forms of Velveeta, Velveeta Slices are gluten-free. They are not certified gluten-free by the FDA, but Velveeta Slices do not include any ingredients that contain gluten. They are safe to eat as part of a gluten-free diet.

The Bottom Line

Velveeta cheese product is free from gluten-containing ingredients, although it is not certified gluten-free. It is safe to incorporate into a gluten-free diet if you are a celiac patient or sensitive to gluten.

Just steer clear of Velveeta meal and snack products that include noodles made from wheat. Velveeta Skillets, Cheesy Bowls, Shells & Cheese, Rotini & Cheese, and Cheesy Bites do include wheat and should be avoided on a gluten-free diet.

How to Use Velveeta

There are so many ways to enjoy Velveeta! Melt and mix with Ro-Tel for an easy fiesta dip, or drizzle melted Velveeta over your eggs, potatoes or gluten-free tacos. (Check these articles on gluten-free taco seasoning and are potatoes gluten-free?)

Velveeta is great in grilled cheese, too, especially when sandwiched between slices of homemade gluten-free sandwich bread.

My gluten-free soft pretzels would be heavenly dipped in warm Velveeta. Or spread some Velveeta on our gluten-free flour tortillas before filling with your choice of protein and veggies. Enjoy!

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Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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