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Easy Southern Cheese Straws Recipe

This easy Southern cheese straws recipe is just meant to be served with cocktails. Or even a Diet Coke. Move over goldfish. These are way better!

Cheese straws, anyone? These addicting Southern cheese straws are perfect with cocktails.

And if for some reason they don’t get gobbled up, cheese straws are easily frozen. And taste great directly from the cold recesses of the freezer!

Cheese straws were often made in the South to preserve cheese.

In my case I was sent a beautiful wedge of Cheddar cheese from Wisconsin cheese and didn’t want it to go bad.

Making this traditional Southern food with such an awesome wedge of cheese was a real treat!

Eating is as is was even better!

Food historians note that a recipe for cheese straws was found in an old White House cookbook from the 1800’s.

No one knows whether they came from Britain, but honestly, who cares?

I did look at several British cheese straws recipes and they often contain an egg.

cheese straws cheese knife, wood board/wedge of cheddar

This simple flaky, but firm pastry, goes perfect with cocktails, which I anticipate having on New Year’s Eve!

I don’t do the puff pastry version, as I prefer to sink my teeth into these cheese crackers.

Made with just a few ingredients, primarily lots of extra sharp Cheddar cheese, all-purpose flour and usually cayenne pepper, this cheese straw recipe is easy to make.

The biggest choice is how you want to roll them or not!

Many use a cookie press and press them out directly onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

The star tip or the cracker press are often what I see used.

The cheese mixture can be seasoned with black pepper or garlic powder.

I roll mine out and cut them into long strips and use a pizza cutter to make wavy shapes.

I just kind of roll that way!

Southern cheese straws recipe/cheese knife/cheeseboard

How to Make this Southern Cheese Straws Recipe:

This will be quick!

Grate your choice of cheese. Sharp cheddar is traditional, but a smoked gouda is good.

A combination of gruyere and cheddar is good, as is adding some good Parmesan.

Whatever you do, please do not use pre-shredded cheese.

In the bowl of a food processor combine the shredded cheese, unsalted butter at room temperature, all purpose flour, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper.

Combine until it forms a large ball in the processor. You may need to add up to 2 Tablespoons butter to create a buttery dough.

Let cheese dough rest in plastic wrap for about 20 minutes and then you may roll this out and cut with a pastry cutter or use a cookie press to shape.

southern cheese straws recipe on cheese board with cheese knife

I just use a rolling pin and roll the dough into rectangles and then using a sharp knife, a pastry or pizza cutter cut the cheese straw dough into thin strips and place on a parchment lined prepared baking sheet.

Bake cheese straws for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

Store in the freezer in a wax paper lined airtight container or they may be kept at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.

When to Serve Cheese Straws:

Homemade cheese straws make great gifts and are a perfect addition at a baby shower or bridal shower.

This cheesy dough is great party food.

Delicious cheese straws make great snacks. Better than goldfish any day!

Next time I make this cheese straws recipe I may try adding some chili powder to this savory shortbread.

Herbs such as thyme or sage or even za’atar would work well, too.

Give this Southern cheese straws recipe a try.

They are great to pull out of the freezer when guests pop in.

And I have no doubt I will enjoy them with my cocktail Saturday night!

Happy New Year!

southern cheese straws recipe on cheese board

Need Some More?

Garlic Parmesan Potato Chips (semi-homemade)

garlic parmesan potato chips

Brie and Blue No-Bake Savory Cheesecake

Brie and Blue Cheesecake

Olive Biscuits Scourtins

olive scourtins

This post contains affiliate links from which I may or may not make a small commission.

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southern cheese straws recipe on cheese board

Cheese Straws

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 33 minutes
  • Yield: 5 to 6 dozen 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Cuisine: American


This classic cheese straw recipe is wonderful with cocktails. Or just as a snack. This, better than goldfish snack, is easy to make on your own.


Units Scale

2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 c room temperatire butter

1 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 t paprika or 1/2 t smoked

1 t fine sea salt

1/4 to 1/2 t cayenne pepper


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grate cheese. (Please do not use pre-shredded cheese.)

In a food processor, pulse dry ingredients until combined, then add cheese and butter. Process until dough becomes smooth and has the texture of Play-Doh. It may be necessary to add up to 2 T more of room temperature butter.

Shape the dough into a cylinder, or ball and wrap with plastic wrap or parchment and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Or store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Method 1: Bring dough to room temperature and pack it into a cookie press fitted with a star disk. Pipe long ribbons of dough close together, across the baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, about an inch apart. Then cut into six-inch lengths. Repeat with remaining dough.

Method 2: Dough may also be hand-rolled into long ropes and cut to size, or shaped into a cylinder and sliced into rounds and baked.

Method 3: Divide dough into 4ths. On wax or parchment paper, roll dough into a rectangle 1/3″ thick. Use a pastry wheel or a pizza cutter to cut dough into 2″ by 1/2″ strips.

Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 10 – 12  minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.

Store between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container. Will keep for up to three weeks.


Smoked gouda, Parmesan or gruyere cheese is also good but use your favorite combination.

These can be stored in wax paper layers for up to 3 weeks on the counter or longer in the freezer.

Keywords: southern cheese straws, cheddar pennies, southern cheese straws recipe, cheese straw recipe, how to make cheese straws

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Wednesday 4th of January 2023

Love these every time of the year! All the best!

Jeff the Chef @ Make It Like a Man!

Saturday 31st of December 2022

I don't know how this happens, but I find myself thinking that I need to make some crackers, and then I stumble onto a cracker-type recipe on your blog! Perfect! Happy New Year!


Friday 30th of December 2022

i love cheese straws. so deliciously - cheesy:=) Happy new year!