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Cheddar & Herb Cheese Straws

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Crisp, flaky cheese straws dotted with herbs and pepper flakes make a perfect party starter, or enjoy them as a delicious nibble alongside a comforting bowl of soup.

cheese straws in jar on table.

These crisp and flaky cheese straws, speckled with fresh herbs and crushed red chili flakes, make a fantastic hors d’oeuvre for wine and cocktails. They also pair wonderfully with a comforting bowl of tomato soup. While they may resemble breadsticks, their texture is closer to that of a savory pie crust or pastry. They are wildly addictive and simply fun to serve. Special thanks to my dear friend Kelly Santoro for sharing the recipe!

“These are easy to make and addictive! A definite hit for our group that went wine tasting!”


What You’ll Need To Make Cheese Straws

ingredients to make cheese straws
  • Extra-sharp cheddar cheese: Provides the primary flavor base and creates the rich, cheesy taste that is essential to the straws. No need to spend a lot on a fancy cheese; a good supermarket brand like Cabot or Tillamook works well here.
  • All-purpose flour: Serves as the structural base of the straws, giving them form and texture.
  • Crushed red pepper flakes: Add a spicy kick to balance the richness of the cheese and butter.
  • Fresh herbs: Make the straws taste even better and giving them a lovely, herby aroma. I like a combination of rosemary and thyme, but any fresh herbs will work.
  • Cold unsalted butter: Contributes to the flaky, tender texture of the pastry by creating layers in the dough.
  • Heavy cream: Adds moisture and richness to the dough, helping to bind the ingredients together and contribute to the flakiness of the baked straws.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by combining the grated cheese, flour, salt, red chili flakes and herbs in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

dry ingredients, herbs, pepper flakes, and cheese in food processor.

Process until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

blended dry ingredients in food processor.

Add the cold butter.

butter cubes added to food processor.

Process until the mixture is crumbly with pea-size bits of butter within. Then add the cream.

cream added to cheese straw mixture.

Pulse until the dough clumps together in a mass.

blended cheese straw dough in food processor.

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and dust the dough with flour. Knead the dough until it comes together and shape into a rectangle about an inch high; then, cut in half.

dough divided in half on floured surface.

Roll each block of dough into an 8×10-inch rectangle.

rolling the cheese straw dough.

Trim the edges, then use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Try to be fairly accurate: if they are too thick, they won’t crisp up; if they are too thin, they’ll break.

cutting the dough into strips.

Transfer the dough strips to a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about a 1/4-inch between them.

dough strips on baking sheet ready to bake.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and a rich golden color on the bottom.

baked cheese straws on baking sheet.

Let cool on a rack, then transfer to a plate or jar to serve.

cheese straws in pretty glass jar.

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Cheddar & Herb Cheese Straws

Crisp, flaky cheese straws dotted with herbs and pepper flakes make a perfect party starter, or enjoy them as a delicious nibble alongside a comforting bowl of soup.

Servings: About 55 Cheese Straws


  • 8 ounces (2 packed cups) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with knife, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Scant teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1½ tablespoons roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary and/or thyme
  • 1 stick (½ cup) cold unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set two oven racks in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cheese, flour, salt, red pepper flakes and herbs. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Cut the butter into ½-inch chunks and add to the flour/cheese mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with some pea-size clumps of butter within. Add the heavy cream and pulse until the mixture starts to clump together into a mass.
  4. Lightly flour a work surface and dump the dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with flour and use your hands to shape into a rectangle about 1-inch high. Cut the rectangle in half.
  5. Dust the work surface with more flour and roll each block of dough into a 8 x 10-inch rectangle about ⅛-inch thick (turn the dough as you go and add more flour as necessary so it doesn't stick). Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, trim the edges straight without sacrificing too much dough, then cut the dough into thin strips about ¼-inch wide. Transfer the strips to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about a ¼-inch of space between them. Bake the straws for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and a rich golden color on the bottom, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back midway through. Remove from the pans from the oven and set on a rack to cool. Carefully transfer the cheese straws to a plate and serve.
  6. Note: The cheese straws will keep well in a covered container for a few days.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: To freeze the dough: Shape the dough into 2 rectangles, about 1 inch thick, wrap each securely in plastic wrap, place them in a sealable bag, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove the dough from the freezer, thaw it until pliable, and then proceed with recipe. To freeze after baking: let the cheese straws cool completely and store in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Before serving, remove them from the container and let them come to room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 cheese straw
  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Sodium: 69mg
  • Cholesterol: 11mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Hi- Your photo appears to show white cheddar. Is this preferable to yellow cheddar?


    • — Cecile Gousseau on April 24, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Cecile, I don’t have a preference for white cheddar; that’s just what I had on hand. Just make sure you get extra-sharp. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 24, 2024
      • Reply
  • Wow! I made these to go with our soup course….they didn’t last that long! We all sampled them and before we knew it, they were gone! Just delicious!!

    • — Maryanne Donahoe on April 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hello. Can the dough be passed through a press at all vs cutting? Sounds delicious! Thank you!

    • — Michelle Narayanan on January 5, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Michelle, I haven’t tried it myself, so I can’t say for sure. This kind of dough can be finicky with a press, so I’d proceed with caution.

      • — Jenn on January 10, 2024
      • Reply
  • I wanted something different to add to our Christmas Eve appetizers so I made these yesterday and froze them. I had to shoo my husband out of the kitchen because he wanted to keep sampling. He loves cheese straws and we usually just buy store bought because the ones I made before never came out right . These are phenomenal. Love that I can count on your recipes to be delicious. Six of your recipes will make it to our table this year so we’re obviously big fans. Thanks again!

    • — Annie on December 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Delicious and easy to make.

    • — Ella on October 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • These are wonderful. Light as air but so flavorful. I used smoked paprika instead of red pepper flakes but otherwise followed the recipe exactly and they came out perfectly. Everyone at the party kept circling back for more!

    • — Ellen N. on July 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • A wonderful delicious recipe. A sophisticated cocktail accompaniment.
    I made these early afternoon to take to a party.
    As I wondered ‘do they have to cool off and then reheat before serving’, I tried one that was cooled off, delicious! Don’t think it matters if they are warm out of the oven or room temperature. Both yummy. Thank you, I love your recipes .

    • — Ruthie on July 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. Have you tried making these with a gluten free flour, such as almond flour?

    • — Bar on June 29, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Bar, I haven’t made these with gluten-free flour, but I suspect it should work. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on June 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • Wowzer! I swear there’s nothing you put on your website that I don’t LOVE! I made these today to serve with your salmon cakes . I made the tartar sauce recipe as well. Made a sour cream dill dip for the bread straws and fresh baby carrots. Made a Turkish Garbanzo salad and for dessert…your lemon pound cake. Girls night. Of course lots of champagne. Everyone raved and begged for recipes! Thank you once again Jenn!!

    • — Sandra Pickering on April 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • Thank you for this recipe. I made these for a Christmas party and they turned out brilliantly. They were crunchy, savory, and looked fancy. The ingredients come together quickly and the dough is easy to handle. Cutting dough into strips and placing them onto the sheet takes a bit of time but it wasn’t difficult. I used a shredded three-cheese mix because that’s what I had and it turned out fine. I added about a half teaspoon each of dried thyme, oregano, and garlic powder.

    I will definitely make these again, next time maybe reducing the butter by a tablespoon (~13 grams) and/or replacing 2 tablespoons of heavy cream with milk, since the straws were just a little more greasy than I like. And I don’t think these reductions will diminish the end result.

    • — Amy on December 10, 2022
    • Reply
  • What a recipe…absolutely brilliant..added 1/2 tsp of English mustard and boom 🙂

    • — AP on December 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn, what type of flour would you suggest to make these gluten free?

    • — Jen on December 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jen, A number of readers have commented that they have good luck with King Arthur gluten-free flour and Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on December 5, 2022
      • Reply
      • Jenn, I just made these for the Super Bowl tomorrow. I used the Bob’s Red Mill gluten free 1to1 baking flour and they turned out fabulous!

        • — Jen on February 11, 2023
        • Reply
  • These look like a delicious addition to my antipasto platter for Thanksgiving, but I think a cracker shape will be easier to plate and transport. If I make a log and slice, what size should it be? How thick would you make each slice and would I need to change the cooking temp or time? Sorry for so many questions, but I don’t have time for a test run 🙃 Thanks so much- my family has enjoyed so many of your recipes!

    • — Kathy on November 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathy, I would make a log with a 2-inch diameter and slice about 1/4-inch thick. I’d love to know how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2022
      • Reply
      • They turned out great! Just took a bit longer to cook-thanks so much 😊

        • — Kathy on December 8, 2022
        • Reply
        • So glad they turned out nicely — thanks for taking the time to report back!

          • — Jenn on December 9, 2022
          • Reply
  • I have looked at this recipe for a while now, and finally got around to making it. These straws are wonderful! Kind of like crispy breadsticks, but with a more interesting flavor. I am planning a mid-summer get together for some people that helped us in the process of getting into a new home (after some renovations are concluded) and am looking for light finger food to go with beer and wine. I like your spiced nuts, and might adapt some aspects of your feta dip for a baked feta with some olives and tomatoes. We all love your little ham & cheese mini sandwiches. Have you ever considered a cocktail menu? We’re not fancy people, just looking for some flavorful, seasonal foods that are easy to pick up and eat.

    • — PaulainVA on June 4, 2022
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked these! I haven’t considered developing a cocktail menu but I will definitely keep it in mind. 🙂

      • — Jenn on June 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made these as gifts for co workers. They were a hit! I shared the website and emailed them recipes. Thank you Jenn! Was nice to do something that wasn’t sweet! I loved them!

  • I like the addition of fresh herbs. Also, I inherited a Mirror cookie press; it works great for cheese straws if you use the star disc. This is a great recipe!

    • — Jeanne O Harris
    • Reply
  • Is it 1 stick or half a cup of butter? 8 tablespoons = 1/4 cup=1 stick in every brand of butter I’ve seen.

    • Hi Doug, 1 stick is actually the equivalent of 1/2 cup of butter. See this chart for more information. Hope that helps!

  • I made these today for Thanksgiving appetiser. They weren’t as pretty as yours, Jennifer, but oh so wonderfully tasty. I will make them again and again

  • I made these up, and then froze one of the halves and baked the other half. I am wondering if I thaw it as recommended, but then am unable to make it that same day, would it be OK thawed and put into the refrigerator to bake the next day or even the day after?

    • Sure, Jane, that’s fine. Enjoy!

  • these were SOOO good! so many compliments!

  • These look and sound great! Could I make them a couple days before a party and kept in an airtight container?

    • Sure, they keep nicely for a few days. Enjoy!

  • These were amazing. So light and such wonderful flavor. I can’t wait to try different herbs and different cheese. Thanks for such an easy and flavorful recipe.

  • These are delicious! I love them with thyme, but you can use any fresh herb you like. I have also made them with pepper jack cheese to give it some zing. Fun appetiser, but also good to serve with homemade soup.

  • Hi Jen, Happy New Year. I so wanted these to turn out. What did I do wrong? The dough was so dry – I even added more cream to try to get it to come together. If I had worked it more with my hands would the dough have softened and come together? I ended up throwing it all away and then the dreaded cleaning of the food processor 😜. I will try again because of the glowing reviews and they look so good.

    • Hi Lori, I’m sorry you had a problem with the dough! Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely.

  • I’ve only used half the salt and baked it for christmas presents! It was a huge success and everyone loved it and wants the recipe. Thank you very much!

  • Question

    Hi Jenn:

    do you think these would bake off ok being made into different shapes?
    I do not have a pizza cutter, and I’m not sure how uniform I can cut these into straws so I thought about using a cookie cutter ( I’m taking these to a party tonight along w/ the maple bacon & would like the platter to look nice).

    Thanks !

    Giving 5 Star because it sounds so good & your recipes consistently come out nicely!

    • Sure, Lisa – any shape will work. Enjoy!

      • Thank you for always responding so quickly!!!

        I really appreciate it!


  • Do you think these could be made with almond flour? Your recipes are my go-to. Thank you!

    • I do think it’d work, Lyssa. Enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn, can I use smoked cheddar instead of sharp cheddar?

  • Hello – Can you make these with gruyere instead of cheddar? – Thanks!

    • Sure – enjoy!

    • These straws are amazing. I used chives for the herbs because I had some growing outside. LOVE these. Such a great recipe that you can change up with different herbs, spices and cheeses. Thank you!

  • I think I over processed my dough. The dough is more like a brownie batter. Do I start over, or can I fix it? I have made them before without a problem, they are fabulous.

    • Hi Laura, Is it liquid like brownie batter? If so, I’d try refrigerating it to see if it firms up. I think it’s worth trying to save!

      • Genius! It totally worked refrigerating. Thank you.

        • — Laura Spangler
        • Reply

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