Buffalo blue cheese dip

Buffalo blue cheese dip for Super Bowl Sunday. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune / January 20, 2014)

It was never really a threat to game-day parties, but the reported Velveeta shortage a few weeks ago certainly garnered attention.

After all, Velveeta sells a lot of prepared cheese product for queso, that popular dip made with melted blocks of the orange stuff. It's served often during the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl, so imagine a viewing party without queso? That would be serving up a big bowl of bummer.

Whether the report was true (Kraft Foods confirmed the shortage on its Tumblr page) or a stunt, Kraft predicted the shortage would be temporary, and there certainly seems to be plenty of Velveeta to go around.

But maybe the scare is a culinary sign encouraging you to try a different cheese dip. Even if you're a fan of the brand-linked queso dip (basically, melted Velveeta mixed with a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies), consider the melted goodness of these three dips. One brings together the flavors of Buffalo wings. The others are favorites from our archives.

Each is almost as easy as the queso dip. Try one for Super Bowl and watch them disappear before halftime.

Buffalo blue cheese dip

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 5-10 minutes

Makes: About 8 cups

The flavors of Buffalo chicken wings and the attendant tangy, rich blue cheese dip come together in one pot in this couldn't-be-simpler, dump-and-stir dip. The slow cooker does the work and keeps it warm throughout the game. Buffalo blue cheese dip is an Internet-driven recipe, with more complex versions published on many sites. This version comes from my friend Ginna Haravon, who in turn got it from her cousin. At some point, it probably came directly from the Frank's hot sauce website, as the ingredients match. The recipe makes a very spicy dip, so start with less hot sauce if you prefer a milder dip.

1 rotisserie chicken, deboned, shredded (discard skin and bones)

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature

2 cups shredded cheddar

1 bottle (12 ounces) hot sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce

1 bottle (12 ounces) chunky blue cheese dressing

Dump all the ingredients into a slower cooker; stir together. Cook on high, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese and cheddar cheese melt. Stir until the ingredients are well blended. Serve from the slow cooker, keeping the temperature on low or warm, with celery and carrot sticks and/or a sturdy chip, such as pita chips.

Nutrition information per tablespoon: 37 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 0 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 128 mg sodium, 0 g fiber

Caramelized-onion dip

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes