If you’ve stumbled across this recipe and are unfamiliar with my blog, you should know my recipes are geared towards calorie-conscious eating. I’m on the record about my issues with many low carb recipes and their extremely high calorie and fat content just to be low carb. So, with my low carb Cheez-It cheese crackers, my goal was to keep both carbs and calories on the lower side while keeping the flavor and the crispy Cheez-It-ness high.
The end result? A perfectly cheesy, crispy Cheez-It copycat with roughly 225 calories, 13 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, and only 8 grams of carbs per serving.
I can dig it.
Low Carb Cheez-It Ingredients
You’ll only need five ingredients so I don’t have many notes for this recipe. I’ll briefly touch on the two primary ingredients, almond flour and cheddar powder, below.
Almond Flour vs Almond Meal
This recipe calls for blanched almond flour, not to be confused with almond meal. The biggest difference between the two is that almond meal is essentially ground almonds with the skin and everything intact. This creates a more granular texture, where the almond flour is more like, well, flour.
I buy my almond flour in bulk (only 2 pounds at a time) on Amazon here.
As you’d expect with any flour, the more processed they become, the more concentrated the calorie source they become. Meaning, almond flour is more calorically dense than almond meal. I tell you this to say that using almond meal in this recipe could be a way to reduce the calories, but your crackers will be a bit denser (still delicious, though).
If you try using almond meal instead of almond flour, you may need to add an egg or a modify the dry ingredients slightly to get the dough consistency right.
What’s the Deal with Cheddar Powder?
If you’ve never cooked with cheddar powder, I’m about to rock your world. Not only can you make a ton of recipes with cheddar powder, it’s a quick and easy way to spruce up vegetables, popcorn, egg whites, and even adding to Greek yogurt for a cheddar cheese dip.
What is cheddar powder? It’s essentially dehydrated cheddar cheese. Which means once it’s incorporated into recipes with moisture, you get the creamy texture and cheddar flavor with fewer calories.
In the case of these low carb Cheez-It cheese crackers, the cheddar powder gives them an authentic Cheez-It taste that would’ve normally required an entire cup or more of real cheddar cheese. Those calories add up fast!
As for my cheddar powder of choice, I buy from Hoosier Hill Farms on Amazon. A giant tub costs $12 and will make at least 1,000 recipes. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it lasts a long time.
In case you need a final push to make the move to cheddar powder, I have an article with 5 recipes to make with cheddar powder.
As you can see in the graphic above, there are other alternatives if you don’t want to purchase cheddar powder or need a non-dairy alternative. Substituting nutritional yeast for cheddar powder in this recipe would lose the cheddar flavor, but you’d still have a deliciously parmesan-flavored cracker.
- 3/4 C (84g) Almond Flour, blanched (not almond meal)
- 3 Tbsp (24g) Cheddar Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 oz Fat Free Cream Cheese, room temp or softened
- 1/2 C (56g) Shredded Parmesan
- 1/8 tsp Sea Salt, optional
- Preheat an oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the almond flour, cheddar powder, and baking powder in a large bowl.
- If the cream cheese is not fully softened, you can microwave for 5-10 seconds so that you can fully incorporate it into the flour mixture. Stir the cream cheese and shredded parmesan into the flour mixture (a rubber spatula is my tool of choice for this) until you have a ball of dough.
- Use your hand to flatten the dough as much as possible (spray your hands with cooking spray if the dough is sticking) and place it on the baking sheet. I used a small rolling pin to flatten the dough completely, but you could use the backside of a rubber spatula or place a second sheet of parchment paper on top and use your hands to flatten. You want the dough to be as thin as possible. Otherwise, the crackers won't get very crispy.
- You can see in the photo where I cut the dough into squares before going in the oven. (I used a pizza cutter for this.) I've tried pre-cutting and going straight in the oven, and I don't think it makes much difference. I will say that if you want perfect squares like true Cheez-It crackers, you should trim the edges of the dough to make them even.
- Optional: sprinkle with sea salt before going in the oven.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. At that point, remove and cut into squares if you haven't already. If you have pre-cut them, break the squares apart (or re-cut them) and gently shake the crackers around on the baking sheet. Bake for another 2 minutes. (You could bake for 8-10 minutes straight but breaking them up helps the crackers get a bit more crispy.)
- After the crackers have cooled, transfer them to resealable bags or airtight containers and store leftovers at room temp.
- 1 serving has 6 Smart Points.
- If you can't find fat-free cream cheese, 1/3 fat cream cheese will work fine.
- This is the mini rolling pin I mention in the recipe. It’s like $5 on Amazon and worth every penny!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 serving (about 10 crackers)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 16gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 7.5gProtein: 12.5g