Velveeta’s Shells & Cheese has been an old standby for decades — it’s one of those foods that definitely doesn’t require much in the way of fixing, because it definitely ain’t broken. But we’re living in an era of bold flavors that attempt to appeal to millennials (see Lance’s new Bold cheese crackers for an especially egregious example), and Shells & Cheese has just jumped on the bandwagon. They’re in the process of rolling out two new “Bold” varieties: chipotle and jalapeño. We were recently sent samples and gave them a try.
Both new varieties come with two packets inside instead of just one: the standard one filled with cheese and a smaller one with the flavoring. This is a good thing, because you’re going to want to adjust the amount of seasoning mix you add to taste.
The chipotle packet packs in plenty of smoky chipotle flavor, along with cumin and other Mexican-style seasonings. In fact, it probably should have just been called “Taco.” That said, it’s a winner when mixed with the cheese sauce. It’s quite potent, though, so start by adding half of the packet and then go from there.
As for jalapeño, they’re not lying when they put this in the “spice-o-meter” red zone. This isn’t a jalapeño-flavored spice blend; it’s actual chunks of dehydrated diced jalapeño, and it’s spicy. The dehydration concentrates the spiciness level, so once again, start by adding a little bit and going from there.
So if you’re looking for a twist on the same-old Velveeta shells and cheese, consider their new Bold varieties. Just don’t dump in the whole flavoring packet at once!