Velveeta’s Cheesy Skillets – Liquid Gold?

Have you seen the ads for Kraft’s Velveeta brand? The cheese-like product has been around for decades, and is now expanding to the dinner table. A series of humorous TV ads has been making the rounds promoting the “liquid gold”.

From Velveeta’s facebook page:

In 1928, the light of VELVEETA was cast upon the world bathing it in the creamy, melty, cheesy, delicious taste of VELVEETA. But it was not until 2011 that the world could feast upon the crafted dinner of seasonings, pasta and liquid gold of VELVEETA in VELVEETA CHEESY SKILLETS. Be glad you were not born−unlike Blacksmith’s before you−during the more lean cheese years.

We decided to take a closer look at one of the four available flavors: VELVEETA CHEESY SKILLETS DINNER KIT – ULTIMATE CHEESEBURGER MAC.

What you need to know:

Liquid gold? More like artery clogging trans-fat to be precise. Take a look at the ingredient list:

cheese sauce (milk, whey, water, whey protein concentrate, canola oil, milk protein concentrate, sodium phosphate, salt, contains less than 2% of milk fat, lactic acid, sodium alginate, sorbic acid, paprika, annatto, natural flavor, cheese culture, enzymes), enriched macaroni product (wheat flour, niacin, iron, vitamin b1, vitamin b2, folic acid), seasoning mix: (whey from milk, dried onions, cheddar cheese (milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), maltodextrin, partially hydrogenated soybean, whey protein concentrate, hydrolyzed soy protein, milk, lactose, dried tomatoes, salt, sugar, contains less than 2% of sodium phosphate, black pepper, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor, citric acid, dried garlic, spices, sunflower oil, cheese culture, milkfat, mustard seed, yellow 5, yellow 6, lactic acid, enzymes, sodium citrate.)

Notice a few things: Partially hydrogenated oils appears twice. This is what contributes to the 0.5 grams of trans-fat per serving in the product. We should not be consuming trans-fat at all in our diet.

The seasoning mix contributes 850mg of sodium to a single serving. That’s a of of salt, more than one third of the daily max.

The liquid gold color is achieved through artificial coloring with Yellow #5 and Yellow #6. Artificial colors are potential carcinogens. Then again, maybe real gold will kill you too if swallowed…

What to do at the supermarket:

Similar products by Annie’s have much less crap in them. How about preparing your own cheesy skillet at home? IF anyone wants to share a good and simple recipe, we’ll post it as an update here in the blog. Thanks!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511171567 Austin Danger Wiegand

    I first had Velveeta cheese as a kid and I never had it, or any other creamy fake cheese product, ever again. Just the thought of fake creamy cheese makes me gag a little, and the smell is even worse. Lucky for me, my mom cooked meals more or less from scratch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=511171567 Austin Danger Wiegand

    I first had Velveeta cheese as a kid and I never had it, or any other creamy fake cheese product, ever again. Just the thought of fake creamy cheese makes me gag a little, and the smell is even worse. Lucky for me, my mom cooked meals more or less from scratch.

  • Carmen

    You know,I had just downloaded a velveetas Spicy Queso recipe because of it’s convinience in preparing but I already had a heart attack and I watch what I eat & take Zetia sooooooo thank you for the heads up,I will just follow the regular Queso recipe with real cheddar & monterey jack cheeses!!!

  • Cheryllia

    My base cheese sauce starts with a flour/butter roux (2T ea), then 2 cups (1 pint) half-and-half, then about 4 oz (1/2 a block) shredded sharp cheddar.  I shred my cheese from the block, the anti-caking agent they put on factory-shredded cheese is not worth the convenience! It ruins recipes and tastes chalky. Blech. And for the magic yellow color, I use mustard powder (2t) and paprika (1/2t). Certainly not a diet food, but it is a REAL food, and just an occasional splurge. Sometimes for extra thickness, 1/2 block of cream cheese is nice, or a tiny slurry of milk/cornstarch. Also, instead of cheddar, other cheeses transform this into a really versatile sauce. [as you can tell, i'm a clean-out-the-fridge kind of cook, haha]. So, for a skillet cheeseburger mac, like the one above: Boil water and cook some noodles (egg noodles work really well, and they cook super fast, but any will do! Undercook slightly, if possible, al-dente is better when there’s more cooking to be done after the boil), drain them, set them aside for a minute. Meanwhile, in a huge skillet, brown 1lb of ground beef. In this particular application, I leave the chunks sort of bigger, to mimic tiny burgers, rather than chop finely as it cooks, like for tacos. As it’s browning, to the beef, add 1/2 chopped onion, and the kinds of seasoning you’d use on grilling a hamburger (salt, pepper, garlic, etc.). If you’re feeling fancy, my favorite secret ingredient ever is about 1/4 cup pickle juice, minced up pickle, or relish, depending on what you have – I think it’s the Polish girl in me, I sneak pickles into almost everything. Stir in the drained noodles, then pour the cheese sauce over and stir. Be sure to taste it, and adjust it – some people might add a squirt of ketchup, if that’s your thing. I like to serve cheeseburger mac scooped onto a bed of lettuce, with  diced tomato, a little extra grated cheese, a bit of chopped raw onion on top, and of course, pickle slices – dressed like a cheeseburger!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    I can’t believe that I actually used to eat that stuff. The frustrating part is what they can do and get away with marketing wise.

  • http://twitter.com/OffHerCork Andrea (OffHerCork)

    Admittedly the commercials do crack me up because they are so bizarre! But yeah, no way would I eat that stuff.  I posted my version of homemade “hamburger helper” to help people learn that this stuff can be made at home with real ingredients. :)  http://foodembrace.com/2011/02/skillet-burger-mac/

  • Cartoonguy_99

    Velveeta+RoTel+(completely corn fed)hamburger+Tostitos Scoops= Heaven in a bowl of liquid gold.

  • http://bakerymanis.wordpress.com/ andrea devon

    My grandma made the most amazing mac & cheese, with heaps of velveeta. It was my favorite food as a kid, but then I made it as a grown up and was freaked out with how fake, gooey, and paste-like it tasted. Now, when the mac & cheese mood strikes (which is often!) I make a soymilk-based creme sauce (1 cup soymilk + 2 tbsp arrowroot/cornstarch), add mix ins (kale, pumpkin, pesto, etc), add pasta, and then shred some fresh cheese on top. Healthy, hearty vegetarian fare for the mac & cheese kid in all of us! The recipe for the pesto creme pasta can be found here: http://bakerymanis.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/quick-meals-pesto-creme-pasta

  • http://twitter.com/sanurajamila MyLifeRunsOnFood.com

    Since Dad made food from scratch, I never liked velveeta, because it’s flavor is noticeably processed. In addition, he never brought packaged mac and cheese. His version starts with a bechamel sauce. My recipe for Mac and Cheese is at http://blog.sanuraweathers.com/2011/01/50-dollar-macaroni-cheese/.

  • Jim Cooper

    You didn’t say whether it tastes good or not. It sounds disgusting.

  • Speccer01

    My college had a tradition of study breaks on Wednesday nights in the the different residences. One or two students got a small stipend of money from a fund just for this, and prepared a snack usually from a family, regional or ethnic recipe. Great thing, right? Until the girl from Velveeta, USA decided to make cheese fondue! Tastes like chemicals! I had never had Velveeta before and haven’t again willingly.There are soooo many delicious cheeses available. 

  • Mark Hohmann

    Point of fact: Metallic gold is inert to all body chemistry, it has no taste, it provides no nutrition, and it leaves the body unaltered.  So unless you eat a really big piece of gold and choke on it, real gold is much less likely to kill you than this stuff.

  • Dixie-peach

    Huge block of velveeta and a big can of chili in a crock pot. Melt, stir, and dip chips!! SO SO good. If you do not sit around on your butt all day some good old velveeta is not going to kill you JEEZE!!

  • weslen1

    Those of you over 30 need to remember that today we are not even able to get the same foods our parents used to buy. The more the politicians get away with deregulating and skipping testing and blocking accountability to the producers, the worse it’s going to get. Now the fight is back on to eliminate labeling so producers can add anything they want to “save pennies” and neither they nor the politicians care one bit what it might do to future generations because their only concern are the short term profits of their bank accounts today.
    It makes me feel really sad to know my grandchildren will never know the difference.

  • Fosjord666

    velveeta cheesy skillets taste like crap, the mac & cheese is very good, but this stuff is shit. From now on I only buy kraft.

  • Terry C9118

    Actually real gold is edible in very small amounts. I have had chocolate with food grade 18 carat gold leaf on it. I bet it is better for you than the Liquid Goooooooooooldd in these commercials. I must say that they are the funniest advertisements I have seen in a long time. Too bad they are not promoting something healthier.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MEAOWR3HWVPK2LUIIVVGZ247AE Fog

    One word: moderation

    EVERYTHING will kill you if you eat too much of it. Nobody gets out of here alive, and some people need to stop picking every food apart with a microscope, sucking all of the enjoyment out of life.

  • Leslie Settles

    In 45 years, I’ve only had boxed macaroni twice – as a teen. Even back then I knew something was wrong and have simply refused to eat this “food.” I have sworn off boxed foods altogether and especially cheese from any box or can. I never needed a nutritional breakdown to know. My body told me by swelling and  bloating once the meal was over.

  • Leslie Settles

    Plus….the mac and cheese my granmother made was 100000% better.

  • tara

    the cheesy skillets meals (I tried the chicken with broccoli) is one of the worst products ever! Ugh! Horrid! I would recommend you not waste your hard earned money on this mess of a meal, if you want to call it that!

  • Ponydude

     Hamburger helper, it ain’t !!

  • desertrat

    velveeta makes great mac’n cheese, but this skillet meal mess is a joke. Totally nasty, and guess Krafts  never heard of if it aint broke, well, don’t fix it. Should have just stuck with mac’n cheese, and let it be

  • passin’ thru

    america’s full of too many fatties, and people who don’t take care of themselves, and now this? This product is terrible, and if eaten, should be eaten in moderation, if at all.

  • Guest

    I actually tried this. Never again! I knew it was bad for me but the convenience won out. There is an underlying flavor that’s almost like dill pickle. Very disgusting taste. I asked a friend if they ever tried it and they said they found it to have an underlying flavor they found gross. Cheese I should have made it from scratch like normal.