Homemade Cheez Its

Cheez Its have always been one of my favorite snack foods.  The cheesy salty combo is just what I need when I’m transferring from sweet to salty as I usually do when I’m in the mood to snack.  I try not to buy Cheez Its.. mostly because I’ll eat them all (way too quickly), and there are a lot of things in them that I’d rather not put into my body.  Of course, I’ve seen lots of homemade versions all over the place, and I’ve finally decided to try it out.

While these still aren’t what you would consider healthy (all they are is butter, cheese, some flour, and salt), I definitely feel a lot better about eating them than their chemical-filled counterparts.  And talk about easy to make!

I made them with white whole wheat flour so at least they can be considered a little bit healthy.  This batch is not going to last more than a day or so – they are no less dangerous than their store-bought counterparts.. so maybe I’ll just have to make this an every once in a while kind of treat.
I used a pastry wheel to cut them, so they have slightly crinkled edges.  I just thought they were cute this way.  Feel free to cut them into whatever shapes you’d like!
Even the kitty liked these (although, really, that’s not surprising; he thinks he likes most things we eat).  He was going crazy the entire time I had the cheese out.  He tried to be sneaky to get some straggling cheddar shreds, but it didn’t quite work out.  First of all, he jumped right in front of me so I could clearly see him, and second..
He left a bit of a mark.  Silly kitty.  When I took the finished product outside to take photos, the cheddar smell wafted into the screen door, and Tesla wouldn’t let me in before he got one.  Sneaky.  He was very stern about it, too.
Homemade Cheez Its

yields about 100 crackers (varies depending on size)

Homemade Cheez Its

  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar (about 6 oz.)
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sea salt, for sprinkling

In a food processor, pulse all of the ingredients together until it forms a ball (about 2 minutes).

Place the ball between two pieces of wax paper, and roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick.

Using a pastry wheel or small cookie cutters, cut the dough into squares (or other shapes). Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart from each other – they puff up a bit. Poke each cracker with a fork or skewer so that they don’t puff too much. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired (I like the extra salty flavor it gives).

Bake at 350ºF for 8-12 minutes (depending on the size/shape of your crackers), until lightly browned on the edges. Cool on the baking sheet, and store in an airtight container (if they last that long).

Gluten free version can be found here.

  • http://www.relativetaste.net/ Kelli Boitnott

    My husband would love this.

  • http://culinarilycourtney.blogspot.com/ CulinarilyCourtney

    I love how these puff up–and the kitty paw prints in the dough is just too adorable haha.

  • Koe

    I love this!  How cute your cheezits are!  And your kitty too!
    …and I don’t mean to be preachey, but I hope you didn’t give the sweet little monster any cheese!  I used to feed my boy cheese all the time and then he nearly died.   Cats are lactose intolerant and too much dairy can kill them!
    I know its hard, but just say no!  

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      I know they’re lactose intolerant – I actually am, too, haha – but he only ever has a tiny bite (not even a quarter of a cracker), so that’s not going to hurt him.  If anything, it’ll just make him a little stinky.  Any people food really isn’t good for them, so it’s pretty rare he gets these kinds of treats, anyway. I appreciate the concern! :)

  • Jenmeltondance

    Do you have to use a food processor? I don’t have one.

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      You don’t have to – it just makes the process quicker.  You’ll just need to put a bit of muscle into it to get the dough to come together, but it definitely can be done! :)

    • jillamina

      That is what I was wondering too! I don’t have a food processor and I imagine a blender wouldn’t do the trick.

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      A few readers have had success without anything – just their arm muscles and a spoon. It can definitely be done! If it’s a high powered blender, it’ll work, too.

  • miriam

     can you use other  cheeses

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      Of course!  Pepper jack would be especially good.. I should make that!

  • Stargirl18

    I can’t wait to try these! Does it matter how you prepare the cheese? Do you just grate it?

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      I used shredded cheese, but since you’re processing it, it shouldn’t really matter if you use grated or blocked cheese.  It may just take more time depending on what you use.

  • Lee

    Hi, these look delicious, I would love to try them but just want to make sure I get the recipe right first lol, by 4 Tof butter is this Tablespoons & t of salt is teaspoon, also is your flour SR I don’t meant to sound vague but am used to different abreviations in Aust, thanks so much Lee :)

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      T = tablespoons and t = teaspoons.  The flour isn’t self rising.  You can use regular all-purpose or any whole wheat flour here.  Don’t worry about asking questions – I’d rather you ask and make sure the recipe turns out well for you! :)

      • Lee

        Thanks so much, I will give them a go :)

  • Tiffany

    wow! Those taste JUST LIKE real Cheez-its! I was so amazed. I’m going to make them with different types of cheeses. I don’t have a food processor and it wasn’t hard at all to get the dough formed into a ball. You just have to use your hands.

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      Yay!! I’m so glad they worked for you without a food processor!  Thanks for letting me know – I’ll have to make note of that in the recipe!  I’m excited to try it with other cheeses, too – let me know which ones you try and like the best!

  • Jamie

    Uh-Mazing!!!!!!!! TY so much for this recipe!!

  • Celina Murphy

    All time favorite snack. One problem is how awful the ingredients are on the box. Thank you so much for posting! I can’t wait to make these for my whole family. 

  • Susancorpman

    i just made these, they are awesome. I used Mexica blend cheese and chipotle powder in them. I would up the oven temp maybe a bit. But they are so good anyway.

  • Whitney Porter

    where did you find those awesome jars. (they look like the weck canning jar…which I love). 

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      I actually found it just floating around my parents’ basement, haha!  I’ve never seen that kind before from Ball; I’ve been on the lookout for more but haven’t found any yet!  I don’t have a lid to fit it, though, so I’ve just been using it for drinks and as a little serving dish.  
      I have one Weck canning jar, and that one is probably my favorite!

  • lbdinosaur

    I’d like to post this to my pinterest board, but don’t want to violate any copyrights you may have on your photos. Could I have your permission to post to pinterest?

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      Absolutely!  As long as you don’t copy/paste the recipe into the description, you aren’t violating any copyright, since it links right to the blog when you pin it to pinterest.  I appreciate you asking!

  • Sonya56

    Did you use salted or unsalted butter.  I can’t wait to try these.

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      When I first made these originally, I used salted butter because it’s what I had on hand.  Generally, in baking recipes, you want to use unsalted butter so that you can control the salt content yourself.  I haven’t had any problems with either, though, so whatever you have on hand works!

      • Sonya56

        Thank You for answering my question.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=57104430 Sherina Miller

    hahahah so cute! He looks like he had been stalking the tray alllll day long! lol

  • ~Zoe~

    I made them and they tasted delicious! Except mine didn’t look as crunchy, did I do something wrong? Maybe I just have to cook them a bit more? Your cat is s cute! I made sure mine weren’t in the kitchen so they didn’t step on mine! 

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      You probably just need to cook them a bit longer if they weren’t crunchy enough – I don’t think you did anything wrong!  Haha, you’re lucky you were able to keep your cats out of your kitchen.. mine cannot be controlled when food is involved!

  • JeniSue

    I just made these and they are delicious! Thank you for posting this recipe.

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      So glad you enjoyed them! :)

  • http://atasteofmadness.blogspot.com/ ATasteOfMadness

    This looks absolutely delicious! I found this via pinterest, and I NEEDED to see how to make it. YUM!

  • Brian

    Okay, I must admit I am a Cheez it fan, but these are so good!  If you love different flavors that are not available in Cheez its, try using smoked gouda instead of cheddar.  INCREDIBLE!  Next I am going to try some Mozzarella…  

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      Oh, man.  Smoked gouda.. that could be extremely dangerous.  Gouda is one of my favorite cheeses! Thanks for sharing that, haha!  And really, I don’t know a single person that doesn’t secretly love cheez its.  😉  Let me know how the mozzarella turns out for you!

    • http://twitter.com/ashareem Ash McSidhe

      I was just reading this wondering how it would be with different cheeses.

  • Lp_mckinney

    How many trays did you get? Boyfriend’s going on a stag fishing trip and I thought these would be good to send along. How many batches would it take to fill a big freezer Ziploc bag?

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      It made about 1 1/2 baking sheets full – I stored them in a 26-oz jar, and that was filled up.  I’d say you would need at least three batches to fill a gallon freezer bag, maybe more!

  • freefreedom

    a second batch of these is in the oven as i type because i snarfled the first batch by myself and have to make more for my chap to try.  these are a-MAZ-ing and so easy!  thanks for sharing!

  • Heather

    Thanks for the recipe. My family loves it. Now, the trick is keeping enough for later. *Laughs*

    • http://twitter.com/ashareem Ash McSidhe

      Later? What’s that?

  • Kaitlin

    has anyone tried these gluten free?

    • Melissa Meek-Shields

      I’m going to work on that this week. If it works I’ll share the link here.

      • Beth

        I tried them gluten free today and they are amazing! I used my own GF All purpose flour mix, though. 2 cups cornstarch, 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup sorghum flour, 1 cup almond flour. DELISH! Thank you @cookingalamel:disqus for the original recipe!!

        • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

          So glad it worked out gluten free!! I’ll have to try my hand at doing a gluten free version, too!

  • Deb

    I’m trying these today….they look Delish!

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      Hope you enjoy them!!

  • Belen – Cocinar para 2

    Hello! I’m from Spain and knew about you from Pinterest. I’m just making them and they are delicious!! I made them with a mix of cheeses I use also to use in the pizzas I make :)
    Thank you very much :)

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      So glad you enjoyed them! I love that I can share recipes across the ocean! I have some really close family friends that live in Spain – I’ve always wanted to visit – such a beautiful country!

  • B

    Do you think the reason mine did not puff up was because my whole wheat flour may not have been white? I am going to try again and will let you know. Many thanks

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      You don’t really want them to puff up too much – that’s why you poke holes in them, so that they stay flat! White whole wheat and whole wheat should bake the same – whole wheat will just have a nuttier flavor. Hope it turns out well for your next batch! :)

  • Angela

    I made mozzarella/ parmesan cheese cheez its and oh my they were soooo good!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenniferclark08 Jennifer Clark

    I’m trying to determine nutrition facts on these, but I’m wondering… approx how may crackers does it make? (if you make them approx the same size as store-bought) Thanks! :)

    • http://cookingalamel.com/ melinda @cookingalamel

      I would say about 100 crackers if they’re the same size as store-bought.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jenniferclark08 Jennifer Clark


    • delores_in_wa_state

      To calculate nutrition, run the ingredients through a nutrition calculator, then divide the total output with your numbers ( halve it, halve it again for 1/4, halve it again for 1/8, then 1/16, and so on of the the total nutrition amount. In other words section it al, then divide for THAT total.

  • http://www.facebook.com/SweetJ1055 Jess Chapman

    I’m always on the lookout for good ways to eliminate processed foods from our diets, thanks so much for this recipe! About how long do you think these will keep for? I’ll be making a big batch so I can freeze some too. Thanks!!

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  • Leaz

    I found a real timesaver when preparing these. If you roll the dough between a part of wax paper on top and parchment paper on the bottom and then cut them you can just slide the parchment paper onto the pan and bake them in one big chunk. They break apart easily once baked.

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  • Heather

    I added 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to the dough. I found it easier to handle after chilled, but that part of my dough also puffed up more. For those of you who are considering making these – go for a double batch! :) Thanks for the recipe!

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