Cheez-Its Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Jestei



3 Ratings

  • Makes approximately 120 one-inch crackers

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Author Notes

I directly associate this snack with tomato soup, the perfect pairing throughout junior high, when consumed post-soccer practice in front of reruns of "The Rockford Files."
The dough for our recipe is prepared in a food processor because, as gail the baker explains, "the sharp blade and its fast rotation cuts the cheese into tiny bits quickly, dispersing them through the dough to promote a flakier texture." If you spooned these out into little balls, people would think they were a high-end co*cktail snack. Cut into squares, with a neatness level that will depend on how compulsive you are, they are a bagged lunch treat completely loyal to the original. The paprika is responsible for the tang; the better the cheese you use, the sharper and more elegant the taste, yet they will still remain distinctly Cheez-It-esque.

Recipe excerpted from Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today) (Clarkson Potter, 2014). —Jestei

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 2 1/2 cupsall-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1/4 teaspoonbaking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoonssalt
  • 1 teaspoonpaprika
  • 3 cupsshredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cupvegetable oil
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, salt, and paprika together 3 to 5 times, until just combined. Add the cheddar cheese and pulse 15 to 20 times, or until the cheese is finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour in the vegetable oil and continue to process just until all the oil is incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, shaping it into a disk. Freeze for 2 hours, or until the dough just gives when pressed but holds its shape when picked up.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Unwrap the dough and divide in two equal pieces. Place half of the dough on a piece of parchment paper and shape into a rectangle with your hands. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll out, keeping the rectangle shape, to a thickness of just under 1/4 inch. Using a pizza cutter or metal bench scraper, cut the dough into 1-inch squares. Transfer the squares on the parchment to the prepared baking sheet and carefully separate them, spacing them evenly, about 1 inch apart. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
  4. Bake the squares for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the crackers are golden and the edges are beginning to brown. Cool completely on wire racks. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • borntobeworn

  • Leandra

  • Marian Bull

  • cucina di mammina

  • Jestei

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14 Reviews

borntobeworn April 7, 2016

Do you think these could be made in advance and then frozen and served a few weeks later (after warming in the oven)? I've got to make some snacks well in advance of a party next month and am looking for things I can make several weeks in advance.

judy November 22, 2015

I think some of the flakiness can be counteracted with a hole poked into each of the crackers. I used a bamboo skewer. I also baked them a couple minutes longer. But perhaps that was my oven. so good. thanks.

Leandra July 17, 2015

I accidentally combined everything together in the food processor AND forgot to add the paprika until the end and probably cut them unevenly and yet...they still turned out INCREDIBLE. Could not believe how cheezit like these taste!!!! Love this recipe

KEN March 21, 2015

can this be made with reg white flour substitute?

Jestei March 22, 2015

i would try it yes

Ula November 25, 2019

I realize this is over 4 years later, but I did make these with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour, so I submit this review for anyone else who wants to try a flour substitute. Bob’s is slightly bean-y tasting, but that actually works fine with the cheese. They were awesome. These cheez-its are a little more on the crumbly side than the flaky side, but they taste terrific. I used spicy paprika, topped them with a little Aleppo pepper flakes for some added zip, and to separate them from the wheat flour version for my gluten-intolerant guests. Both types were gobbled up.

Summer June 11, 2014

When I printed the recipe there was no information about how thick to roll the dough etc. What you've written above is much clearer and I believe will be much easier moving forward. I think the texture did catch me off guard as they were flakier than I'd anticipated but that might just be one of the qualities of these crackers!

Marian B. June 11, 2014

I'm so sorry! We had a small glitch in uploading the recipe; I hope that if you try it again, you like it even better. Keep us posted!

Summer June 10, 2014

I tried this recipe last night and it didn't turn out exceptionally well for me. I got a little confused due to the missing step regarding the rolling process. I rolled the dough out cold but initially rolled it far too thin. I was thinking thinner = crispier but in this case it was just harder to work with and burnt easily. The dough spreads just a little in the oven so keeping them separated is important. I also felt the oven was a little hot and turned it down after a while and baked them longer. In the end, I found them to be easier to work with when I rolled them to about 1/4 inch thickness.
The other element that I was a little disappointed by was how flaky they were. It was almost like pie dough, which in some cases would be great but as I was looking for a cracker it missed the mark for me. (I wonder if this could be used as a pie dough...for an apple pie...interesting.) I was afraid to put them into a box or bag as I thought they'd just turn into dust. I'm sure there's more experimenting to be done on this for me but I don't know that I'll choose to make them again. If I did, I'd consider a dash of cayenne for the dough and a sprinkle of salt on top to pump up the flavor more.

Marian B. June 11, 2014

So sorry to hear this! What was unclear about the rolling out process?

Marian B. June 3, 2014

The recipe has been updated! So sorry about that -- but now everyone can have cheez its.

Megann S. June 3, 2014

There is a step that's missing from this recipe.....

MelissaH June 3, 2014

I, too, think an instruction is missing between lining baking sheets and baking the squares. How thick to roll? Any chance a pasta machine could do the rolling for me?

cucina D. May 29, 2014

I love these and want to try them at home, but can you tell me... do you roll out the chilled dough and then cut into the square shapes? I assume this is true so please confirm for me. Thanks for this great recipe idea :)

Cheez-Its Recipe on Food52 (2024)


What are the ingredients in snapped Cheez-Its? ›

Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin B1 [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin B2 [riboflavin], folic acid), soybean oil (with TBHQ for freshness), modified corn starch, dried potatoes, white cheddar cheese (milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes).

What are the three main ingredients in Cheez-Its? ›

From the Package


What did the first box of Cheez-Its look like? ›

“The original Cheez-It packaging was green and white. In the 1930s, red was introduced into the brand logo, and by the 1940s, the box included the iconic red and yellow-orange colors that remain today.

What was the old name for Cheez-Its? ›

The company marketed the cracker as a "baked rarebit", a reference to a dish of melted cheese over toast.

Why is there a hole in the middle of a Cheez-It? ›

Why do Cheez-It® crackers have holes? The center “docker hole” is one of the key design features that makes it instantly recognizable as a Cheez-It® cracker. It also helps release air and moisture as the crackers bake.

What are the white balls in Cheez-It Mix? ›

A perfectly seasoned snack mix of Cheez-It® crackers made with real cheese, salty pretzels, mini toasted bread slices, savory wheat squares, and cheese-flavored rice balls!

Is Cheez-It a junk food? ›

“Kellogg's Whole Grain Cheez-Its have more white flour than whole grain. It's effectively a junk food, and Kellogg is taking financial advantage of consumers who are trying to make better decisions for their health.”

Is there a healthy version of Cheez-Its? ›

Cheez-It® Whole Grain crackers are packed with whole grain goodness and 100% real cheese, so you know they're tasty. It's your favorite cheesy, crunchy flavor, now baked with eight grams of whole grains.

What is the new name for Cheez-It? ›

Kellogg explained the reasoning behind the more peculiar name, “Kellanova,” saying that the “Kell” part “overtly recognizes” its name to the former company, and “anova” combines the letter 'a' and the Latin word for new, “nova.” The logo features the recognizable “K” and a sassy, forward-pointing 'v' that signifies its ...

Does Cheez-It have red 40? ›


Are Cheez-It baked or fried? ›

A: Cheez-It crackers are actually baked, not fried. Q: What are Cheez-It crackers made of? A: Cheez-It crackers are made from wheat flour, vegetable oil, cheese made with skim milk, salt, and paprika.

Is it OK to eat a whole box of Cheez-Its? ›

The box is made from food packaging cardboard that is neither fattening nor toxic. However, you may have some gastric disturbances for a while. If you don't crap for a couple days, you may have a blockage and might want to visit your doc.

Is there a drag queen on a Cheez-It box? ›

The two limited-cheddition boxes each showcase an iconic 100% Real Original star of reality TV – Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and RuPaul – who've made their unmissable mark in the reality TV space with their often absurd, sometimes salty, always satisfying personas on camera.

What is the Nabisco version of Cheez-Its? ›

Cheese Nips (originally stylized as "Cheese-Nips") were a small cheese-flavored cracker manufactured by Mondelez International under its brand, Nabisco, they were originally used to compete against Sunshine Biscuit's (now Kellogg's) Cheez-It crackers.

What are the food additives in Cheez-Its? ›

This product has 4 ingredients with concerns:
  • TBHQ. This additive is of higher concern in food. Learn why.
  • Enzyme. This additive is of lower concern in food.
  • RIBOFLAVIN. This additive is of lower concern in food.
  • Paprika. This additive is of lower concern in food.

What are the puff balls in Cheez-It snack mix? ›

A perfectly seasoned snack mix of Cheez-It® crackers made with real cheese, salty pretzels, mini toasted bread slices, savory wheat squares, and cheese-flavored rice balls!

What are the elements of Cheez-It? ›

Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, vitamin B1 [thiamin mononitrate], vitamin B2 [riboflavin], folic acid), vegetable oil (high oleic soybean, soybean, palm, and/or canola oil with TBHQ for freshness), cheese made with skim milk (skim milk, whey protein, salt, cheese cultures, enzymes, ...

Why do Cheez-Its give me heartburn? ›

The confusing thing though, is that many highly nutritious foods including nuts, cheese and avocados are also high in fat and can similarly trigger symptoms5. Heartburn is triggered because high-fat foods relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle, which acts as a barrier between your food pipe and your stomach.


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