Homemade Cheez-Its in Multiple Flavors

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

When it comes to iconic savory snacks, you can't go wrong with Cheez-Its. They're crunchy, delicious and ... well, cheesy! But did you know it's possible to make Cheez-Its at home with one (yes, one) ingredient? All you need is thinly sliced cheese, an oven and 10 minutes of prep time to make a wonderfully crispy snack.

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Orange cheddar cheese is a classic choice, but it's possible to use other varieties, like white cheddar or provolone. What's more, you can further customize your crackers by using different seasonings. Sea salt and ground black pepper are popular options, of course, but don't hesitate to get creative. We recommend mixing and matching ingredients like garlic powder, onion powder or dried herbs, such as dill, parsley, basil and rosemary. If you're a fan of spicier flavors, toss your homemade cheese crackers with chili powder, paprika or even taco seasoning for a bit of heat.

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Whether you're craving something crunchy or making appetizers for guests, you'll want to give this cracker recipe a spin. These copycat Cheez-Its also contain no all-purpose flour, so they're gluten-free and low carb, making them ideal for various diets and lifestyles. Read on to learn how to make two flavors of Cheez-Its plus ways to use it in a snack mix.

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Homemade Cheddar Cheez-Its

Things You'll Need

  • 5 slices thinly sliced cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more as needed

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

It’s essential to use thinly sliced cheese, as standard cheese slices will spread too much and will melt together. However, it’s most common to find thinly sliced cheddar cheese and provolone in grocery stores. If you want to use different varieties, consider going to the deli section of your supermarket and requesting thin slices of a specific cheese.

1. Preheat the oven and slice the cheese

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

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Stack the slices of cheese on top of each other. Using a knife, pastry wheel or pizza cutter, cut the stack in half lengthwise. Cut in half again widthwise. This will create four equal-size squares.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Cold cheese slices are easier to cut. If you leave them out at room temperature, they will soften, especially if it’s a hot day. If you’d like, you can also trim the cheese into smaller 1-inch squares, which is closer to the size of original Cheez-Its.

2. Place the cheese on a baking sheet

Carefully separate the cheese squares and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. The cheese might spread slightly, so keep the squares at least 1/2 inch apart.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

3. Pole holes in the center

Using a metal straw, cut out a hole from the center of each square.

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This step will help recreate the look of original Cheez-Its, but it's not necessary. Feel free to skip it if you don't have a straw on hand.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

4. Bake until crispy and crunchy

Bake the cheddar cheese squares for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and crispy. Keep in mind that every oven is different, so you might need more or less time to achieve the right texture.

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Let your crackers cool for about 10 minutes. They'll harden as they cool.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

5. Season your homemade crackers

Now, it's time for the fun part! Transfer your cooled crackers to a bowl and sprinkle them with sea salt. Gently toss to combine and dig in!

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Alternatively, you can sprinkle the sea salt directly on the crackers as they're cooling on the baking sheet.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

For even more cheese flavor, toss your crackers with powdered cheese or shredded Parmesan. You can also recreate a classic snack by sandwiching peanut butter between two crackers.

Seasoned Provolone Cheez-Its

Things You'll Need

  • 5 slices thinly sliced provolone cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more as needed

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Remember to use thinly sliced cheese. Also, since provolone is lighter than cheddar, the crispy browned edges will be more obvious. This is normal but keep this in mind if you want the Cheez-Its to look a certain way.

1. Preheat the oven and slice the cheese

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Since provolone is usually sold in round slices, you'll need to take a few extra steps to prepare the cheese.

Stack the provolone cheese slices on top of each other. Using a knife, pastry wheel or pizza cutter, trim all four round edges to create a square.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Cut the square in half lengthwise. Cut it in half again widthwise. This will create four smaller equal-size squares. They'll be smaller than the cheddar cheese version, but they taste just as great.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Save the scraps of cheese for other recipes, like omelets, quiche or wraps. If you don’t care to have perfectly square crackers, you can slice the provolone slices into four and bake them as is.

2. Place the cheese on a baking sheet

Carefully separate the cheese squares and place them on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Again, the cheese might spread slightly, so position the squares at least 1/2 inch apart.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

3. Poke holes in the center

Using a metal straw, cut out a hole from the center of each square. You can skip this step if you don't have a straw.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

4. Bake until crispy and crunchy

Bake the provolone squares for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and crispy. Remember that every oven is different, so the total time needed might vary.

Let the crackers cool for about 10 minutes. They'll harden as they cool.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

5. Season your provolone crackers

Once the crackers have cooled, transfer them to a bowl and sprinkle them with sea salt, dried dill and dried parsley. Carefully toss to combine.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

To help dried herbs stick to your crackers, run them through a coffee grinder or food processor for a minute or two. This will turn the herbs into a fine powder, which will stick better to the crackers.

How to Store Leftover Homemade Cheez-Its

These copycat Cheez-Its are best eaten fresh, but if you must store leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy them the next day. The crackers will soften a bit in the refrigerator, but they'll still be just as delicious.

No-Bake Snack Mix With Homemade Cheez-Its

For a quick and tasty snack mix, try tossing your homemade Cheez-Its with other crunchy ingredients. Keep in mind that these ingredients (and amounts) are just suggestions. You can use more or less of certain ingredients or omit them completely depending on your taste buds or what you have on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 batches homemade Cheez-It crackers (40 crackers made from 10 slices)

  • 2 cups wheat Chex cereal

  • 2 cups rice Chex cereal

  • 2 cups mini pretzels

  • 1 cup cashews, peanuts or nuts of your choice

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

One batch of Cheez-Its equals 20 crackers made from five slices of cheese. When making this snack mix, you can use all cheddar or provolone crackers or a mixture of both.

1. Mix the snacks and olive oil together

In a large bowl, combine the copycat Cheez-Its, wheat Chex cereal, rice Chex cereal, mini pretzels and nuts. Gently toss until the ingredients are evenly dispersed.

To help the seasonings stick, add a light drizzle of olive oil and toss again. You can use more if needed but avoid adding too much, which might make the snack mix soggy.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Another option is to use melted, unsalted butter instead of olive oil.

2. Add your favorite seasonings and enjoy!

Sprinkle garlic powder and salt on the mixture and gently toss to coat the ingredients.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Just before serving your snack mix, try adding shredded cheese, like sharp cheddar cheese or Parmesan cheese, for even more flavor.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

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