Velveeta is a surprisingly great item to keep in your pantry. You can add it to so many dishes.
While Velveeta is a brand name, the name originally was meant to describe the velvety smooth texture of this cheese product.
It has such a unique texture and flavor. It’s totally meltable and smooth, making it perfect for creamy additions and recipes. There are really so many things you can do with it.
Whether you like to make your own cheese dip or you like to toss some Velveeta into your homemade gravy, you can get pretty creative with it and a block of Velveeta can last quite some time.
How long does Velveeta last? Because Velveeta cheese is a processed cheese that has multiple preservatives in it, it can last up to 6 months if unopened and approximately 8 weeks if opened. There are some varying factors that contribute to this lengthy period and checking the “use-by” date is still a good idea.
In this guide, we will walk you through just how long Velveeta lasts, covering all of the factors that could make a difference in how long the cheese lasts overall. You can know the difference between unopened and opened and different storage methods as well.
Stick with us to learn how long Velveeta lasts and more.
How Long Does Velveeta Last? The Ultimate Guide
We can certainly give you a date, like 6 months, of how long your Velveeta lasts. However, the truth is that while it could last 6 months or maybe even more at times, there are factors that can contribute to it lasting longer and getting the longest shelf-life out of it.
Lucky for you, this guide is designed to cover all of these different aspects and scenarios so that you know every little detail about how long Velveeta will last in any form: unopened in the pantry, opened in the fridge, frozen, and so much more!
We hope we cover every possible scenario that you may find yourself facing when it comes to storing your Velveeta cheese.
One thing you will notice first is that when you buy Velveeta, it isn’t in the refrigerator or cheese section at your grocery store.
Because of the preservative and processing, Velveeta doesn’t need to be refrigerated until after it has been opened. This is just something to keep in mind as we dig further into this guide.
Unopened Velveeta Shelf-Life
Let’s talk first about just simple unopened Velveeta.
Maybe you found a sale and stocked up or you prefer to buy in bulk so you ended up with several blocks of Velveeta in your pantry. You just realized that block has been on the shelf for probably 4 months. Is it still good?
It’s not fail-proof but the general rule of thumb is that unopened Velveeta will most likely be good for at least 6 months.
It does not need to be refrigerated, just store it in your pantry or cabinet. You do want to be sure that it is not stored anywhere warm, however, but in a typical cool, dark cabinet.
While we mentioned that a good rule of thumb is 6 months, we do recommend checking that best-by date on the packaging as well.
Even if your Velveeta has not gone bad, this date lets you know when your cheese is at its best quality. You can try it after this date, but just know that you might be risking some subpar cheese.
If you are past the use-by date and want to know if you can still cook with your Velveeta, we do have some tips later in the guide for determining if it is still safe or good to use.
Just so you are aware, the label actually mentions this and even mentions a time frame for when Velveeta is opened.
Opened Velveeta Storage and Shelf-Life
Once you have opened your Velveeta, everything changes. While it should still have a pretty lengthy shelf-life, it does change things a bit. After your Velveeta package has been opened, you will need to plan to store it in the fridge.
Many people store it in the packaging from the store still and that is quite alright.
As an added measure, you could also put the container into a plastic bag and seal it up so that it is airtight. This might just help it last a little bit longer overall and keep the flavor more fresh.
Typically, once Velveeta cheese has been opened, it’s recommended that you try to use it within about 8 weeks. This is the recommendation from Velveeta on the packaging.
The key is to make sure the cheese is wrapped up and won’t get air from the fridge. That air will cause it to harden and you will have to toss it out or cut parts off.
If you don’t get the cheese used in exactly 8 weeks after opening it, it probably will still be safe to use.
The flavor and texture might start to degrade over time but as long as there are no signs that the cheese is unsafe to eat, you can go ahead and use it as long as you are comfortable using it.
Can You Freeze Velveeta Cheese?
If you really want to extend the shelf-life even more, you can freeze Velveeta cheese for a short time. This is a great way to save opened cheese that you just don’t think you will get used in a timely manner.
In actuality, the freezer can be used for long-term storage but the noted timeframe for Velveeta is to freeze it for up to 6 months.
Let’s get something straight, first: Never freeze Velveeta in its original packaging.
This packaging will not protect Velveeta in the freezer and is not sufficient for freezer storage.
To properly freeze Velveeta, you should wrap the cheese in plastic wrap that is freezer safe and then place it in an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag.
Again, one of the most important elements is to be sure that the cheese is airtight so the freezer air doesn’t get to it and cause it to become a hardened mess.
Once you freeze Velveeta and then let it thaw out to room temperature, you shouldn’t freeze it again. It simply doesn’t work well when you do this.
How Long Does Velveeta Cheese Dip Last in the Fridge?
One of the best uses for Velveeta is to make cheese dip. People love this option because Velveeta melts easily and it is creamy and smooth when it melts.
It makes it perfect for dipping your chip and enjoying some cheese. You can do a lot of things with Velveeta but making your own cheese dip is perhaps one of the most popular uses for this processed block of cheese.
If you ever melt Velveeta cheese, you notice that it gets thick and hardens as it comes to room temperature. Does this mean you have to toss it out? No more enjoying that leftover cheese dip? No, it sure doesn’t.
Once you turn your Velveeta into cheese dip, it is changed. Most people add Rotel or a similar product to cheese dip and sometimes meat is added as well. How long your Velveeta cheese dip lasts in the fridge might depend on what you put in the dip.
If you just add Rotel or a similar product to your Velveeta cheese dip, you should be able to store it in the fridge for about 5-7 days. Just be sure to store it using an airtight method.
If you added meat or other quickly expiring foods to your Velveeta cheese dip, it may only be good for about 3-4 days in the fridge.
How to Tell If Velveeta Has Gone Bad
Here’s the thing, Velveeta doesn’t necessarily “go bad”. It simply continues to deteriorate in quality until it’s no longer good to you. Every one might have a different parameter for deciding it’s no longer good to them.
There are some things you can watch for to determine if Velveeta needs to be tossed out.
Velveeta doesn’t mold easily – although it’s possible – and you may not even notice much of a difference in overall looks over time. You probably notice some changes in textures and flavor, though.
You know your Velveeta cheese is fresh when it is soft to the touch and pale yellow in color. This is how it looks when you purchase it and open a fresh package.
If you notice any type of discolorations or mold on the surface of the cheese, you should toss it out.
Again, mold is not likely to grow on your Velveeta, but it is possible.
But if you notice a change in the texture that is unsightly or unappetizing to you, we recommend throwing it out. It might still be safe to use but it won’t be great and has more potential to give you a stomachache as well.
Hardened Velveeta cheese doesn’t mean it is bad. It will still melt. However, we recommend slicing off the hardened portions and just tossing them as the quality won’t be consistent.
Up Next: Can You Freeze Cheese Sauce?