Homemade “Cheez-Its” – grain and dairy free with vegan option

Love CHEEZ IT CRACKERS, but need a healthier option? These Homemade CHEEZ IT® CRACKERS are gluten, grain, and dairy free and oh so yummy! Your favorite cracker from your childhood is healthy enough that you can eat the whole batch without guilt.
I just love it when I can remake a processed food into a healthier version, like my “Almond Joy®” Bars, homemade protein bars, powdered sugar substitute, sugar-free lemonade, homemade ketchup, and 5 ingredient salad dressing.

If you’re like me, Cheez-Its® were one of the most addictive snacks of your childhood.  I can’t think of a time that I sat down with a box of those without almost polishing off the entire box.

Or at least more than I should have (ahem).

Anyone else with me?

Well, my CHEEZ-IT® days are over since I am gluten-free (and presently dairy-free due to an apparent food allergy), but thanks to Kate from Kate’s Healthy Cupboard, I can have CHEEZ-IT®s again!

Well, sort of.

Homemade “Cheez-Its®” that are gluten-free, grain-free and even dairy-free, with a vegan option.

Now that’s something to get excited about!

What is Nutritional Yeast

Have you heard about nutritional yeast?

It’s a mystery to some but a staple for many — particularly for those who are vegans or are allergic to dairy.

It gives a really nice cheesy-nutty flavor to dishes, sans the milk.

We’ve used it in our home for years, since my son was born with a life-threatening milk allergy.  Until we found nutritional yeast, our son had never had cheese sauce, grilled cheese, pizza with cheese — anything like that.

Imagine how thrilled he was to have his first Dairy-free Grilled Cheese and “Cheeze” Sauce that he could dip things into.

He was the happiest Dairy-free camper that you can imagine.

And nutritional yeast doesn’t feed candida, so if that is a concern (which it is for us), you should be fine eating it. However, there are some people with who seem to react to it due to the fact that their systems are so sensitized to yeast from the proliferation of yeast in their system.

We have several favorite recipes using nutritional yeast:

Other Recipes Using Nutritional Yeast

5 Ingredient Salad Dressing – Our New Favorite  and
“Dorito®” Popcorn

and Kate (the author of this recipe) has a few tempting ones as well:

“Cheesy” Kale Chips and
Cashew Alfredo Sauce

Oh, and this post has affiliate links in it so if you click on it and make a purchase a commission might be made. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.

Healthy Snacks

When you are on a special diet, having healthy snacks around is one of the biggest challenges I have found.  It’s fairly easy to pull off meals, but when the kids (or adults) are clamoring for something to eat, and the typical cheese sticks, crackers, cereal, cookies, and such aren’t an option, you need to have easy to grab replacements.

These healthy crackers are a great solution to that problem.

These crackers are so good – they’ll satisfy your craving for crunchy cheesy goodness without the refined flours, grains, and even without dairy!

 

Love CHEEZ IT CRACKERS, but need a healthier option? These Homemade CHEEZ IT® CRACKERS are gluten, grain, and dairy free and oh so yummy! Your favorite cracker from your childhood is healthy enough that you can eat the whole batch without guilt.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade "Cheez-Its" - grain and dairy free with vegan option
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Grain-Free & Dairy-Free
 
"Cheez-It" Crackers Made Healthier! With this grain & dairy-free version of your favorite childhood cracker, you can eat a bunch guilt-free!
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt and yeast in a bowl
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg with the melted butter/oil and lemon juice
  3. Combine the wets with the dries and stir until dough forms
  4. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to about ⅛ inch thickness
  5. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into desired cracker size (I use a ruler with a pizza slicer to get them straight and even) and sprinkle the top with more sea salt
  6. Slide the bottom piece of parchment and crackers onto a cookie sheet
  7. Bake at 350 from 12-15 minutes until golden
  8. The outer crackers will brown the fastest, remove those and continue to cook the remaining crackers
Notes
*Honeyville or Bob's Red Mill almond flour will work just fine for these crackers.

Variations

I used melted butter to make these a bit "creamier" tasting, but expeller pressed coconut oil will work for dairy-free option.
What childhood snacks were your favorite?

Kate's Healthy Cupboard - a healthy cooking blog Kate Criswell is a Fitness Trainer and Nutrition Coach who loves spending time in the kitchen tweaking recipes to make them healthier yet still satisfying and delicious.  For more of her grain-free recipes and tips, visit Kate’s Healthy Cupboard at www.kateshealthycupboard.com.

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

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  1. Hi, I tried these today with the chia egg (no allergy, just had no eggs in the house). They came out very dry and crumbly. The taste is good, just wondering if there is something I can do to make the dough bind better?

  2. These are terrific! I can’t believe how much they taste like Cheez its! The tang of lemon juice works so well with the nutritional yeast. The texture is different from actual Cheez its, of course, but the flavor is right on! I used a flax egg and olive oil, and I added extra water because the dough is a little dry and tough to pull together. Next time I may use a tad less flour. I also sprinkled a little course sea salt on top, which is a must — this really makes it!!!! Thank you for an easy, delicious recipe.

  3. is there anything besides nutritional yeast i can use? im out and our local health store will be out for the next 2 weeks

  4. I know I’m coming in late to this post, so I don’t know if anyone will respond. However, I didn’t see anything in the post or the comments about shelf life or expiration dates. Because there’s egg, do they have to be refrigerated? Supposing I don’t have a family to help me eat them right away, how long before they go bad?

  5. I’m not sure how long these will last. We eat them pretty fast around here! I know they’re fine for at least a week. You could try freezing half the dough and only make half at a time.

  6. My favorite snack when I was younger was cheesy popcorn with hot sauce on it! Now I make it with nutritional yeast and coconut oil. But my favorite treat was hundred grand candy bar. Tried one for the first one in 10 plus years and it was not that great :(. It was plasticity and bland. So sad but then super cool because I now have changed my palate for good food, not evil food looking poison! Love your cheek it’s recipe. My friend shared them with me and now I found another place to get good easy recipes! Thank you :).

  7. I just made these. The flavor is good, but the feel in the mouth was chalky….dry clay like..very dry….I had to drink water after every bite :(. When I formed the dough it was not at all dry, but was very moist and a bit sticky. I used Bob’s Red Mill’s almond meal. I made sure I measured the ingredients correctly. The only difference was that I used only 2 tbsp nutritional yeast instead of 3 tbsp. Baked only for 12-15 mins. As noted in the recipe, I removed the outer ones because they were browning. What must have I done wrong here?

  8. Lori Hannah says:

    This recipe was followed exactly. These “crackers” taste nothing like cheez its. Waste of ingredients…

    • I am so sorry you had that experience. I have had so many people (particularly on Facebook) tell me that they loved the recipe. Do they taste so bad that they are inedible? Just b/c they don’t taste like Cheez Its to you, perhaps they can still be eaten :). Thanks.

    • Tamyra Conley says:

      I agree. While they make a great cracker alternative, they don’t taste anything like ” cheez it’s”.

  9. I made these with cashew flour and a chia egg and they turned out great! The cashews and nutritional yeast really compliment each other to create that “cheese” flavor! Really crispy and flaky, the perfect crunchy snack that I’m always craving! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 Will definitely be making these again.

  10. Just made these – they taste good but I really don’t taste cheesy to either me or my kids. I made some simple paleo crackers the other day and I think these taste almost the same.
    Not sure if anyone is watching this, but could you add more nutritional yeast for more “cheese” flavor? What brand did you use for the nutritional yeast? I also wanted dairy free so used coconut oil, maybe the butter helped bring out the cheese? What about ghee being used instead of the coconut oil? An last, what other gluten free flours could be used that maybe wouldn’t compete with the “cheesy” flavor?

    Again, they taste good – just can’t taste any different between these and the regular almond paleo crackers.

    • Hi there. Sorry they didn’t turn out as expected. I am sure you could add more of the nutritional yeast. I do think that the yeast tastes cheesy but I guess if you’re going for real cheese taste you might be disappointed. I would think that the butter would help too. Ghee is a great idea. As for GF flours, if you’re thinking grains, you could do rice and maybe a small amount of millet or buckwheat or sorghum. The proportions will be different but I think it would work.

  11. Penney Nile says:

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I am a Cheez-It addict, and like you, I can demolish an entire box in one sitting; however, in the time since I was diagnosed as a hypertensive and diabetic, I have searched for recipes for old favorites like Cheez-Its, potato chips and the many kinds of sweets that I can no longer eat due to the amount of sugar they contain that would be healthier and contain less of the things that are not good for me to eat. I will be trying out this recipe very soon!

  12. Does yeast really feed candida? Once it is baked it killed isn’t it? I have heard that it bothers candida but it doesn’t seem like it should when its dead.

    • Some people are sensitive to it b/c it is similar to the yeast that is proliferating in the gut, etc. Kind of an allergic reaction, so to speak. Hope that helps.

  13. Where’s the Cheese in the ‘Cheez It’ crackers

  14. Sorry, but I tried these last night and followed the recipe exactly, and they are not even close in taste to cheeze its. I loved cheeze its. They are not even a good tasting cracker. I kept trying them every 5-7 minutes, and they didn’t even turn out crispy or crunchy like a cracker, even after leaving them in twice as long. I don’t get how people loved these crackers. I don’t have much money, so it was hard to part with expensive ingredients.

    • I’m so sorry! So many people have said that they love them. Perhaps there was a mistake you aren’t aware of? Is there a way to salvage what you ended up with (I’ve been pretty creative in the past :). Like using a messed up cake or cookie batch for cereal….)

  15. Followed the recipe exactly. Not good at all. When I made the dough it was not dough like at all but just fell apart added water and olive oil and a little coconut oil but still did not turn out good at all. The texture was chalky and bland. I’m so disappointed and feel like it was a waste of good ingredients.

  16. I am new to this type of cooking since my daughter recently had to drastically change her diet. My question is how can they be considered vegan if butter is used?
    She has to remove dairy, wheat, rice, potatoes, garlic, vanilla, strawberries, black pepper, and egg yolks from her diet. Cooking has definitely become an adventure!
    Any ideas or resources would be greatly welcomed.

  17. VillainousSpoons says:

    These are so good! I made mine a little too thick this first batch so I’m excited about the second. These srsly taste like cheese!!!! Ty