Vegan Cheez Its

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Bowl and scattering of homemade Vegan Cheez Its

Either you love Cheez Its or you don’t. If you’re in the camp of total fan girls, this is the recipe for you!

Food processor filled with Vegan Cheez It dough

If you’ve ever tried Cheez Its you know how salty and cheesy they are. It’s kind of addictive if you favor savory foods.

Well, the thing is, a little sea salt and nutritional yeast (nutrition diva and flavor bomb) can totally mock that flavor of the real thing without going into dairy land! It’s kind of like magic.

Using a pizza cutter to cut homemade Vegan Cheez Itz on a floured surface

The awesome thing about this recipe – besides the fact that it requires just 8 ingredients – is that it’s quick and considerably healthy!

A mix of flours give a bit more nutritional value (oat and cornmeal + unbleached all-purpose) and instead of going for all vegan butter, I mixed in some olive oil for added nutrition. The nutritional yeast and cornmeal are what give it that vibrant yellow “cheesy” color.

Baking sheet filled with freshly baked Vegan Cheez-Its

About 15 minutes in the oven and you’re good to go! These taste very close to the original, I’m telling you! John even agreed and he’s a harsher critic than I. I think you’re going to love these; they’re

Salty
Tender
Slightly crisp
Ridiculously cheezy
Kind of addictive
& Highly shareable

Bowl of Vegan Cheez Its

I hope you enjoy this vegan knock-off recipe! And if you do try it, be sure to take a photo and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #minimalistbaker. I’d love to see! Enjoy!

Close up shot of healthy Vegan Cheez-Its on a white background

Vegan Cheez Its

30-minute cheesy vegan crackers that taste just like Cheez Its! Simple, fast, and surprisingly close to the original. So cheezy!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Top down shot of a bowl filled with homemade Vegan Cheez Its
4.56 from 72 votes
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 10 (7-cracker servings)
Course Snack
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (add more for a more intense “cheese” flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4-1 tsp sea salt (use lesser end of range, if desired, as they’re pretty cheesy/savory)
  • 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour*
  • 1/4 cup oat flour (or just sub more all-purpose)
  • 3 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (optional // for fluffiness)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance // I did a 1/2-1/2 mix of both)
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add dry ingredients to a food processor and process to thoroughly combine.
  • Then add olive oil and/or butter and pulse again until crumbly.
  • Add cold water 1 Tbsp at a time until it forms a loose dough (see photo). You don’t want too much water, so go easy on it and add a little at a time. It shouldn’t need more than 3 Tbsp (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Remove from processor and form into a loose ball with your hands. It’s actually good for this dough to be worked and warmed by the heat of your hands, so don’t worry about touching it too much. However, you are not kneading it, just forming it into a disc.
  • Lay on a lightly floured surface – I found parchment worked great as my flat surface – dust the top with flour, and roll to 1/8th inch thick with a lightly floured rolling pin. Use a knife, pizza cutter or small cut cookie cutter shape to cut the dough into square crackers. Optional: dot the centers with a fork prong or chopstick for more character/resemblance to a Cheez-It.
  • Bake for 12-17 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. These are pretty tender. For a crispier cracker, bake until golden brown. Makes about 70 crackers (as original recipe is written).

Notes

*Though I didn’t try making these gluten-free, it’s worth a shot if you’d like with my favorite gluten-free flour blend in place of the unbleached all-purpose.
*Lightly adapted from Chef Chloe and Oh She Glows
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amounts of nutritional yeast and salt and with enriched flour.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 7 crackers Calories: 86 Carbohydrates: 9.9 g Protein: 1.8 g Fat: 4.4 g Saturated Fat: 0.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 177 mg Potassium: 41 mg Fiber: 0.8 g Sugar: 0 g Vitamin A: 5 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 3.5 mg Iron: 0.6 mg

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  1. Erin B says

    These are fun to make and delicious. My batch was really dry so I needed an extra Tbsp of EVOO and 1-2 extra Tbsp of water. Maybe because I’m at altitude and the air is dry here??? I have no idea. I will definitely be making these again. Since all the ingredients are healthy and filling, I only eat 5-6 at a time before I the snack urge leaves me (vs. eating half of box of its namesake). Thank you for this recipe!

  2. Pike says

    Question – after you cut the dough into the pieces, do you slide the whole piece or parchment paper onto a baking sheet and bake it that way? Do the pieces need to be separated?

    I am excited about making these!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Pike, you can separate them before or after baking. Let us know what you think if you give them a try!

  3. Sabrina says

    I made these and followed the recipe exactly except used 3tbsp of nutritional yeast. They turned out really good and crispy. Very easy to make as well.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Annie, if you’re referring to the nutrition, 11 grams is an error – thanks for asking about it! The nutrition information is for about 6-7 crackers. Hope that helps!

  4. Deb Z says

    I was just looking at Cheez It’s at Costco and thinking boy do I miss these. I used to love them. Then, from the sky, you drop this recipe. CANNOT wait to make these. Will come back with a rating as soon as I make them. THANK YOU for sharing as always.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shanda, we haven’t tested that, but don’t think they would crisp up as well. Let us know if you try it!

  5. Flyingmartini says

    I made this tonight without the oat flour. Though it didn’t turn out bad I did need to add a lot more water than listed. I’m wondering if it’s because of my crappy food processor not blending it well enough. I sprinkled Turmeric Powder and more Nutritional Yeast flakes on before baking. I’ll try it again. I’m wondering if adding a little bit of almond milk would make this a little bit more moist? Then again my new place has an electric stove. 🤮

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, Sorry to hear it didn’t turn out right! Almond milk could help with this batch, if needed! We’d suggest trying with a little less flour next time to see if that helps.

  6. Sal says

    Hi there. I understand that you need this to generate money, but the amount of ads on your site greatly outweighs the content. Unfortunately, i will not be using your site because of the distracting moving ads, videos, and flashing images.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sal, Thank you for the feedback and sorry for any inconvenience. We always try to optimize for user experience, while also having ads to keep the content free and high quality.

  7. Matt says

    These are awesome, I’ve just made them for the fourth time! We make them Gluten Free with GF flour and GF oat flour, tends to need a little more flour to get the right consistency. Another great recipe ☺️

  8. Magy says

    NO WAY!! these are absolutely SPOT ON! I made them way to thick and put too much nooch, so that flavor was kinds obvious, but other than that they were absolutely sensational, and a quick and easy party snack. Thank you for putting this recipe out there!

  9. Stacey says

    These were delicious, quick and easy. I made this gluten and oat free by using 1 cup of chickpea flour instead of the flour/oat flour, I also left out the cornmeal and salt and only needed 1 TB of olive oil. Looking forward to trying these with other spices, like the cayenne suggested below!

  10. Clarie says

    Just made these last night and they turned out great! A few notes: I got the dough about as thin as my rolling skills would allow and they were probably a bit thicker than 1/8″, so I only got ~55 crackers out of them but the texture is still good. I used 2 tbs of nutritional yeast and actually wish I had used a bit more! Also added some cayenne for extra flavor which I would HIGHLY recommend!

  11. Katelynn says

    THESE ARE AMAZING. I used all flour and no oat flour. My dough was super crumbly so I doubled the olive oil and did 3 extra tablespoons of water. Not sure if it was the flour swap or maybe it was my corn meal? But once I got it to stick together enough to roll it was golden. I can’t stop eating them. This will become a staple in our house for sure!

  12. Lynn Thompson says

    I don’t know why, but my cheese-its were much, much darker in color, so I couldn’t tell at all when they became golden brown and just had to guess based on the texture.

    I also think these don’t really taste at all like cheese-its. I’ll definitely take the advice of the folks in the comments and double the nutritional yeast next time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      So sorry to hear that, Lynn! Did you make any modifications, perhaps to the flour? Is it possible you used whole wheat flour and not whole wheat pastry flour?

  13. George says

    This is a great recipe! I followed the recipe pretty closely, going a little heavier on the nutritional yeast as suggested. I don’t think I quite got it thin enough, so it took a little longer to cook. I am not a great cook, but this recipe seems very forgiving and was easy to follow. I did make one minor modification: just like when making pie crust I substituted 1 tbs of water with vodka from the freezer. They were really delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, George. We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  14. Yuko says

    Hi!

    I was really excited to try this recipe but i had a really hard time getting the dough smooth enough to roll out. I copied the recipe, used wheat pastry flour. I tried not adding more water, but I’m not sure how else I would have made it rollable. Maybe I didn’t mix it in the food processor long enough? Any tips would be much appreciated. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Yuko, sorry to hear that! It sounds like maybe there was too much flour and not enough liquid or oil/vegan butter.

  15. Emily says

    I made these and they were so good! I did a few modifications, I added 4 tbsp of nutritional yeast and just took 2 tbsp of flour out. I also added some paprika and about a tsp of hot sauce, also some turmeric purely for color. These crackers were really good and flavorful, I need to make a double batch next time!

  16. Emily says

    Every time I make these I make a double batch. I have no idea how you get yours so thin though! Mine are twice as thick at least LOL.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy them, Emily! We assume you are using a rolling pin the roll them out?

  17. Marin says

    I’ve been craving cheez it’s for years.. and this recipe really got the flavor just right! Very yummy!
    I did make a little accidental change though. I checked to make sure I had all of the ingredients.. but halfway into making them I realized my cornmeal was actually chickpea flour! There was no turning back so I went ahead and used it (despite its very different texture). The crackers are crispy and tasty… but definitely planning on trying the cornmeal next time! Thebchickpea flour may have given them a smoother texture when they could have been a little more airy/crisp.
    Also, this recipe was much easier than I thought!

    • Maria says

      Hi, these are incredibly delicious! The only problem I’m having is when rolling the dough, several cracks appear (I’m using a silpat and doing them GF), therefore it’s really difficult to cut them into shapes.

  18. Johanna Appel says

    Oh I used half all purpose white flour and half whole wheat pastry flour. Have to double the recipe because they get eaten so fast in my house

  19. Johanna Appel says

    We love these crackers. I have been a vegetarian since 1974 and am so happy to have come this recipe. I used 1/4 cup chickpea flour instead of the oat flour and sprinkled on some everything bagel topping. Yum.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tamar, it won’t turn out yellow, but you could replace with more oat/all-purpose flour. Hope that helps!

  20. Tina says

    I made these this morning. I used whole wheat flour, and I did add about 25 g of almond flour simply because that’s the amount of almond flour I had left and this seemed like a recipe that would be robust to flour alteration. I used 9 g of nutritional yeast (for people using US customary, recipe calls for 3-6 g). I used all vegan butter (Melt buttery sticks). And, inspired by Vtopia Vegan Cheese Shop & Deli’s vegan mac and cheese which is kind of mustardy, I added a few teaspoons of ground mustard. I also used a little less than 1/2 teaspoon of salt, which I thought was plenty. The dough was super flavorful and I was really excited about it, but all the flavor notes of the masa, the mustard, the nooch kind of baked out of the crackers. I was surprised how little the mustard especially (I added like a teaspoon or more) impacted the final flavor. They’re still good! Their texture has a pleasant, buttery bite (I went for about 21 minutes, not 17). But they’re not crackers I’d eat by themselves, in cheez-it fashion. They’re a great vessel for dips.

  21. Molly says

    These turned out great! I used 1/3 whole wheat flour (regular) with the oat and white. I didn’t have any cornmeal so I added some wheat germ and ground flax seed which seemed to work well. Like others, I added more nutritional yeast and needed a little more water when mixing. I used a clove of garlic rather than powder and had no problems. (I also added onion powder and paprika : )

      • kate says

        can they be made without dairy, oil, or coconut? Would I be able to sub in apple sauce? If yes, how much? Been looking for a WFPBNoOil cracker recipe for months. …..I think I’m getting “warm” haha

    • VeggieTater says

      I can’t use oil or added fats either, so I plan on adding maybe about 1/4 cup of mixed nuts and seeds to my little blender to make a “flour” for a healthier fat replacement. I’ve done it in other recipes and works well.

  22. Becky says

    So good! Do they taste like Cheez It brand crackers? Maybe not, but that’s likely just as well as I remember those crackers being full of weird ingredients and not so tasty. I made the crackers according to the recipe and went for the higher end of the range on nutritional yeast and salt (I used Himalayan pink salt) as I like savory/salty snacks. The first time I made them, I used the median amount of salt and found the crackers a bit bland for my taste, but upping the salt the second time around suited my taste quite well. I used all-purpose flour, oat flour, the optional baking soda, and a mix of vegan butter and olive oil. I was definitely on the high end of the the range for water added to make a cohesive dough. I found the crackers to be almost overcooked at the low end of the cooking range in my toaster oven (which is usually pretty good for baking), but at the upper end of the cooking range in the conventional oven.

  23. Deonna Jeffries says

    MY daughter has a dairy allergy. Her school serves goldfish as snacks and I always have to provide an alternative for my daughters snack. I found a cheese-it cracker alternative by “Natural Balance” and they are very tasty but expensive! I can usually only find them at Whole Foods. But now I will try this recipe to save in cost! Thank You!

  24. Neile says

    Do I keep the dough/crackers on the parchment paper when I put it in the oven or remove them to something else? I’ve made chickpea crackers before like this and transferring them to a pan to bake was a huge mess!! Hoping to avoid that with these. Thanks!

  25. Joanne says

    these taste like flour. needs a lot more nuch and seasoning. good base recipe just probably double the seasoning and add paprika.

  26. Gaea says

    was happy to find your recipe blog when I googled making cheese crackers with vegan cheese. I am curious what you mean by them being tender? then you say to cook longer for crispier. I am wondering if the comparative Cheese-Its are to you tender so as to get an idea? I will probably take them out at the minutes mentioned and if I want them crispier, will put em back in a little longer?
    And also did you ever have the wonderful Hahn Carrot chips and would you consider taking on that recipe? They quit making them some years ago and there is a big fan club missing them including me !
    best blessings,
    g

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gaea! They are tender (soft) when cooked for 12-17 minutes but for a crispier cracker, cook longer until golden brown! We haven’t had Hahn Carrot chips but I’ll be sure to add them to the recipe request list!

  27. Terri Sacco says

    I was so excited to find this recipe in hopes that Eli, my 3year old grandson would like them instead of prepackaged goldfish and cheez its. He does! I have made these 3 times so far and each time I add more nutritional yeast and he likes them better. However, the dough becomes tremendously difficult to roll out. I added more water with the second batch and the texture was way off. I was hurrying that time and really didn’t pay attention to how much water I was adding. With that being said, does any one have ideas about revising other ingredients to accommodate for 1/4 cup nutritional yeast? Should I just add more water in small increments or reduce the amount of one of the flours? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Eli loves them and I will continue to make them but hope to reduce the amount of time it takes because the dough is so crumbly with all the nutritional yeast.

    • Melissa says

      Hey Terri! If you’re using 1/4 C of nutritional yeast I would say maybe leave out all of the cornmeal as well as a few tablespoons of flour and see how that works. Keeping track of how much you take out will help you in the future too in case it doesn’t turn out how you like it and you need to make changes for your next batch. Personally, I would continue to reduce the amount of flour until I got the texture I was happy with. Good luck!

    • Lily says

      Why not try dusting/pouring ( to your liking) with nutritional yeast on top of the crackers as prepared with original recipe, that way the crackers will have their original texture and you will have intense cheezy flavor on top

  28. Alyssa says

    I’ve made these a few times now and they are great! But I do always end up adjusting the recipes I try to better suit my tastes. With this one, I found that running most of the dry ingredients through a coffee/spice grinder (even the salt) helped remove some of the gritty texture from the crackers in the end. I didn’t use a food processor and it all worked out fine. Just used a wooden spoon or my hands.

    I can see how some people might think it’s too salty, but I think it depends on whether you use the oil or butter. And if using the butter, probably the brand matters as well. I used all earth balance and full amount of salt and I liked them. I’m thinking this might add to the addictive quality. Perhaps I’ll dial it down a little next time.

    I also added a few dashes of chili powder, turmeric, and smoked paprika to the mixture, as well as extra nooch. So good! They actually had a kind of Dorito thing going on. Haven’t had those in YEARS so… YUM!!!

    Definitely gotta roll them thin enough. I thought I got them pretty thin and they still came out a little too chewy for my preference. But I have hope for these! Maybe a little extra baking time, too.

    Thank you for a great DIY cracker recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your changes and recipe tips, Alyssa! We’re glad you enjoyed them!

  29. Heidi says

    Hello. Can I sub Gluten free flour for the wheat flour?
    Thanks from a fellow Vegan and Cheez Its affectionate,
    Heidi

  30. Cinthia says

    I can’t believe that I just made crackers! These turned out so well, though I think that next time I’ll add more nutritional yeast–didn’t taste quite cheesy enough. Still, nice and crunchy. I used half olive oil and half vegan margarine and hand mixed the dough (I don’t like using machines when I bake) and it was SO easy, people. Took me like no time at all. I’m totally making another batch tomorrow. P.S. The dog loved them, also.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks for sharing your recipe changes, Cinthia! We are glad you and your dog enjoyed them :D

  31. VEE says

    this is one of my ALL TIME favorite recipes. my family and friends who are not vegan love these crackers as well! they are super delicious, and my family often helps me make a double batch since we all eat them. thank you so much for sharing this. it is really the best. we always add extra nutritional yeast! :^)

  32. Carol says

    Cheezits are one of my fave snack, but so Not Healthy. I just tried the recipe , and these crackers are awesomely delish, savory and salty. I think I rolled them a bit too thick, so I will make them thinner next time, and I like the idea of a little turmeric for color. Thanks for the terrific recipe!

  33. Mary Beth says

    I know it’s been a long time since this recipe was originally posted, but I just saw it last night on Pinterest. I recently bought The Minimalist Baker cookbook and knew it had to be good. (So many good recipes.) I used your gf flour mix and even my husband — who thinks he can always pick out gf — thought they were good. Only complaint is that even the 3/4 tsp of salt is a bit too much. I will cut down to 1/2 tsp next time. With the gf flour you definitely have to add extra water until dough forms, but has easy enough. Excellent crackers!

  34. Sheila says

    made these last night with just wholemeal flour so they were a bit more rustic and added some garam masala for a spice hit. Dipped them in homemade vegan pesto, they were gorgeous. making some more today for a healthier work snack and will do smaller batches with different spices like paprika or coriander. thanks

  35. Mariana says

    These taste like flat biscuits. They’re good in a weird way, but Cheez-it knockoffs, they are not. I put some strawberry jelly on mine and it was quite good. Don’t judge.

    Maybe it was because my oat flour wasn’t ground enough. I also used 1/4 tsp salt which was plenty with salty vegan margarine. The dough was dry with 3 tbps of water and there wasn’t enough fat, which I understand the point was for them to be healthier, but just an observation. Thanks for the recipe and nice photos.

  36. Alisha says

    Made this yesterday and the flavour was lovely but they were extremely dry – we used olive oil instead of vegan butter but I can’t think of anything else that would have helped fix this? What do you think?

  37. Suzy says

    Does the math indicate 66 crackers should come from a batch? (11 per serving size x 6 servings?) I didn’t get anywhere near that. I think I may not have rolled them thin enough because they also took longer than 17 minutes to get a bit golden. I found the flavor to be VERY salty. Also, after cutting the first batch, I found that putting the scraps back together to re-roll and cut again very difficult. I’m disappointed in these, sorry. :(

  38. Judy says

    These are wonderfully addictive! I’ve made 20? times – two times last week and I’m making a double batch ATM to share with friends. Sorry, I just kept forgetting to comment, so I’m doing it now. My hubby & I love how our house smells when they’re done! I make them GF and they turn out fantastic, though I’ve not made them with regular APF so I can’t compare. Thanks Dana for all your recipes. I actually make your granola bars, chocolate & truffles all the time too. They’re all staples in my home.
    Back to baking! :)

  39. Kaitlan says

    Hi there!

    My sister is sensitive to gluten so I made these using Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 GF flour in the place of the all-purpose (since that’s what I had) for which you call. They turned out really well! I did, though, have to use more water than what you specified. I didn’t keep track but it was probably about double. I can’t wait to take them to our Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow! Thank you again for another fab recipe.

  40. Michelle Huffman says

    Hi Dana! What is the shelf life on these crackers? I’m trying to determine how much I should make in a big batch. I’m pregnant with my second child and preparing for the dreaded morning/all-day/forever sickness and I want to make these. Cheez-Its were my lifeblood last time but I’d like to upgrade to something a little healthier if possible!

  41. Judy says

    I am making this right now for the 5th(?) time? Very good ‘Cheez-it’ cracker. My sweetie hates when we run out! I make them GF for him & they turn out great in my opinion. Thanks Dana for another superior recipe!

  42. julie says

    Thanks for this recipe! I have a little girl with a ton of food allergies and was able to make these safely for her. Garlic is one of her allergies so I used onion powder instead no problem.

  43. Michelle says

    Omg just made these but GF using almond flour instead of all purpose. So much better than cheezits. I’m going to eat the whole batch!

  44. Cary says

    I just made these with a friend and we both agreed they were good but WAY too salty. I will try half the salt next time because everything else was great (flavor and texture)! I couldn’t eat them because of the salt issue but she could, so I guess you have to know your preference for salty.

  45. Elizabeth says

    Just made these — yummy! Not exactly like a cheeze it, but pretty darn good. My daughter and partner couldn’t stop eating them.

    One issue: I added three TBSP of cold water and tried to roll it out, but it was a crumbly mess. I put it back in the food processor, added another TBSP of water, pulsed it, and it softened right up and was able to roll. So, you may need to add more than 3 TBSP of cold water.

    Next time I’m doubling the recipe and adding some turmeric for color. Awesome recipe, as always!

  46. David says

    Kinda taste like cardboard, maybe my nutritional yeast is old or something, I’d recommend doubling the nutritional yeast to get the cheese flavor.