A simple recipe for air fried cheese bread that will remind you of your local pizza shop’s cheese sticks, cheesy garlic breadsticks, or whatever name they go by. Though unlike those versions, this cheese bread has 53 grams of protein with just 100 grams of carbs and 29 grams of fat in the entire recipe! It would be perfect for serving as an appetizer at your next hootenanny or as side with your next family pasta night.
I’ll walk you through the recipe below and cover a few ingredients you may have questions about. If you’re an OG when it comes to Kinda Healthy Recipes, you can probably skip right down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Step 1 of 2: Making the Cheese Bread Dough
The dough for this cheese bread is essentially the same dough I used in my air fryer pizza with one minor addition—cheddar cheese powder. If you’re unfamiliar with cheddar powder, it’s dehydrated cheese in powder form. You can use it as a dry seasoning, reconstitute into liquids for dips or sauces, or work it into dough like with this recipe.
Your best bet on finding cheddar powder is to order online. If you don’t have any on hand, you could try using some grated parmesan (omit the additional salt if you go with parm), nutritional yeast, or leave it out altogether. It works perfectly fine without it. The addition just makes every flavor burst with cheesy flavor.
When it comes to making the dough, it’s pretty straightforward. Mix all your dry ingredients together before mixing in some fat free Greek yogurt. When it starts to come together, use your hand to work everything into one ball of dough. Then press that into an 8″ circle and toss in the air fryer.
Unlike my air fryer pizza recipe, this cheese bread calls for brushing with some olive oil. It’s only half a tablespoon in total, so use the oil if you have it on hand! It’s only 60 extra calories in the entire recipe. Also, using a quality olive oil can make a big impact on flavor. You can find the olive oil and other ingredients I use in recipes on my Amazon ingredients list.
One final troubleshooting note on making the dough: I mention in the recipe card that you can use a food processor or stand mixer to mix the dough. But like with my Greek yogurt biscuits, it can be easy to over mix this dough and end up with flat/chewy bread. Mix the dough to a point where some dry flour remains and use a hand to bring it together. There’s almost no way you’ll be over mixing in that scenario.
Step 2 of 2: Air Frying the Dough
I used my 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi for air frying. Different air fryers may require minor adjustments to cook time. I’ll point out that if you have a larger/smaller air fryer basket, you can scale the recipe up or down to make the dough fit your basket.
You can get an idea of what the dough should look like at different stages in the air frying process. You’ll want to check on yours periodically on your first run just to ensure it’s not browning too quickly or olive oil isn’t pooling in one spot in the dough.
As for the cheese after flipping, you can use any blend of cheese you want. I had trouble finding quality cheese on my last grocery run so I went with a pre-shredded Tillamook Italian Blend. (I also added a pinch of Tillamook colby jack blend in the photo above.) The Tillamook shredded blends seem to melt really well but as a rule of thumb, I like to use freshly shredded cheese when available.
What if I don’t have an air fryer?
No worries! You can bake the crust all the same. My low calorie pepperoni pizza is very similar with brushed olive oil but uses a slightly lower temp and longer time. You can play around with the temp and time. Just try to match the look of your bread to the photos above to know when to flip and add the cheese.
Serving Your Cheese Bread
During all my recipe testing for this cheese bread, our most common serving method was straight out of the air fryer like barbarians. If we had a bit more class, however, we might’ve chosen something like this:
- with marinara or your choice of dipping sauce
- as a side for soups and salads (like my spicy tomato beef soup)
- with my fettuccine bolognese or low carb lasagna with Palmini
- or if you need some veggies, my sausage and mushroom cauliflower gnocchi or Italian veggie pasta bake
And don’t be afraid to throw some toppings on. I recently paired this air fryer bread with my Instant Pot buffalo chicken dip to make a high protein pizza.
Now, allow us to get this bread!
- 1 C (120g) All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp (7g) Cheddar Cheese Powder* (optional)
- 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2/3 C (150g) Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 Tbsp (8g) Olive Oil
- 3/4 C (84g) Tillamook Shredded Italian Cheese Blend, or your choice of cheese
- Mix the dry dough ingredients together before adding the Greek yogurt. Stir everything together until the yogurt is no longer visible and a crumbly dough begins to form. Empty the crumbly dough onto a flat surface and use your hand to form a ball of dough. (You can also use a food processor or stand mixer. Just be careful not to over mix or your cheese bread will be flat.)
- Use your knuckles to press the dough into a circle. (You can also use a rolling pin.) The dough should be about 8" in diameter.**
- Transfer the dough to an air fryer basket and brush the top with half the olive oil. Air fry at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Use a fork or tongs to carefully flip the bread in the air fryer basket. Brush with the remaining olive oil and top with cheese. (Optional: Add some dried oregano, crushed red pepper, or other toppings.) Air fry at 400ºF for an additional 3-5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Transfer the cheese bread to a flat surface and cut into strips, wedges, or however you'd like to serve. Enjoy!
*I used King Arthur Flour cheddar cheese powder. If you have Anthony's Goods or Hoosier Hill Farms cheddar powder, that should work perfectly fine. The recipe also works without any cheddar powder at all.
**I used a 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi (301) for air frying. Different air fryers may require cooking time modifications. If you don't have an air fryer, you can bake directly on a baking sheet with the same time/temp recommendations. Match the look of your crust to the reference photos in the post above.
Each serving of cheese bread has 6 WW SmartPoints (blue plan).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Servings Serving Size: 1 Serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 7gCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 13g