Chef John’s Cheesy Crackers


These crunchy, crispy crackers have a big, bold cheese flavor. They’re vastly superior to anything you can get at the store. You can change up the cheeses and the spices. It’s really a fun thing to play around with.

Original recipe makes 3 dozen crackers


1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup lightly packed shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup lightly packed freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cold water, or as needed

  • PREP

    20 mins

  • COOK

    15 mins


    1 hr 20 mins


  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with vegetable oil.
  2. Place butter into a mixing bowl; add Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix together with the back of a spatula until thoroughly combined.
  3. Mix flour into cheese mixture with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 or 2 drops at a time, and mix with spatula until it comes together in a dough that holds its shape when squeezed.
  4. Transfer dough to a work surface and press into a thick, flattened disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  6. Roll dough out on a floured work surface to about 1/8-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut 1-inch wide strips from the dough. Cut strips crosswise into rectangles about 1 1/2-inches long. Use the back of a bamboo skewer to punch 5 small holes into each cracker. Arrange crackers onto prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until crackers are browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Let stand about 3 minutes for crackers to cool and release from the foil. Let cool completely before serving.


Calories: 25 kcal
Carbohydrates: 1.4 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Fat: 1.7 g
Fiber: 0.1 g
Protein: 1.1 g
Sodium: 43 mg