For better or worse, snacks are an integral part of football watching at my house. And usually, those snacks have involved “football cheese”, or Velveeta mixed with salsa. So this year, after I started feeding my family less processed foods, one of my husband’s first questions for football season was what he was going to be able to snack on during games.
Obviously, Velveeta does not make the less processed cut. I mean, a “cheese” that can last years without being refrigerated… you don’t even need to look at the ingredients to know there’s very little natural about that. (And don’t even get me started on the so-called “Velveeta shortage:…)
I tried a few different recipes over the course of the season looking for a reasonable substitute. Some used a cream sauce base, others were just melted cheese. And this is what I decided is the best less processed queso or “football cheese”. It uses cream cheese (which still isn’t perfect – but is far better than velveeta – and if you can afford it, there are organic versions that only contain milk and cream).
Less Processed Football Cheese
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup hot salsa (Look for a brand that contains only ingredients you could actually use in your own kitchen without added chemicals or sugar. Or you could make your own by pulsing together 2 small tomatoes, 1 jalepeno pepper, one clove garlic and one small onion with a teaspoon of salt in your food processor)
Mix all ingredients together and microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each 30 seconds until bubbly and hot. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or carrots and celery sticks. YUM!