Cheddar cheese powder is a beloved ingredient that adds a rich, cheesy flavor to many dishes.
But what if you need a substitute, due to dietary restrictions, availability, or cost?
Why Substitute Cheddar Powder?
There are a few reasons you may need a substitute for cheddar cheese powder:
- Dietary restrictions - Vegan, dairy-free, or low-sodium diets.
- Difficult to find - Cheddar powder can be hard to locate in some grocery stores.
- Cost - Buying large bags of cheddar powder can be expensive compared to other options.
- Change up flavor - Try different cheese flavors like nacho, parmesan, romano.
Luckily there are many ways to mimic cheddar powder for those who can't use the real thing. Keep reading for substitutes that you likely have on hand!
Vegan Cheddar Powder Substitutes
For those avoiding dairy, vegan versions of cheddar powder provide cheesy flavor without the animal products. Here are two excellent vegan substitutes.
Nutritional yeast flakes can be sprinkled on popped corn, roasted veggies, pasta, etc. Their soft texture melts into the food.
For a fine powder, simply grind flakes in a spice grinder or food processor. Nutritional yeast powder clings and coats foods evenly.
Besides mimicking cheese, nutritional yeast offers bonus health benefits. It's packed with B vitamins, protein, and minerals. Nutritional yeast is an essential way for vegans to get vitamin B12.
Cashew cheese is a creamy, dairy-free cheese made from blended soaked cashews. It makes an excellent powder with a mild, slightly sweet cheddar-like flavor.
To make cashew cheddar powder:
- Soak raw cashews overnight
- Drain and blend with water until smooth
- Spread on a tray and dehydrate 6-8 hours
- Process in a food processor or blender into a fine powder
Cashew powder can then be used wherever you'd use cheddar powder. Its smooth, fatty texture melts beautifully into sauces, dairy-free mac and cheese, etc.
You can also find ready-made vegan cheddar cheese powders made from nuts like cashews. They provide convenience without the work of making your own.
Dairy-Free Cheddar Powder Alternatives
Those with milk allergies or lactose intolerance can turn to these dairy-free cheddar substitutes.
Almond Cheese Powder
Almond cheese powder provides creamy texture and subtle nutty notes reminiscent of aged cheddar. It works well in place of cheddar powder for sandwiches, eggs, sauces, soups and more.
Make your own by blending almonds with almond milk, lemon juice, and spices. Dehydrate and grind into powder.
You can also find ready-made almond cheese powders. They offer convenience without the DIY process.
Soy Cheese Powder
Powders made from soy mimic cheddar's rich flavor and smooth meltability. Soy cheese powders work well melted into dips, baked dishes, sandwiches, and beyond.
Check ingredients to ensure soy powders are dairy-free. Some contain casein and other milk derivatives.
Purchase ready-made soy cheese powder or make your own by blending soy milk with vinegar, spices, and starch.
Cheese Alternatives to Cheddar Powder
Switch up the flavor profile by using powders with flavors similar to cheddar. These provide a tasty twist.
Gouda Cheese Powder
Gouda cheese has a mild, creamy flavor that substitutes well for cheddar powder. It melts beautifully in mac and cheese, omelets, grilled cheese, and other cheesy dishes.
For powders labeled "gouda cheese", check the ingredients contain actual gouda cheese rather than "gouda flavor" from artificial flavors.
Parmesan Cheese Powder
Grated parmesan cheese can be turned into a fine powder by pulsing in a food processor. Its sharp umami punch pairs nicely with the tang of cheddar.
Use parmesan powder alone or mix with other cheese powders. It may overpower some delicate flavors.
Colby Cheese Powder
Colby cheese has a similar texture and mild flavor compared to cheddar. Look for cheese powders specifically labeled "colby" rather than "colby-jack" which contains other cheeses.
Colby melts smoothly and substitutes well in baked mac and cheese, casseroles, cheese sauces, and snacks.
Purchasing Substitute Cheese Powders
Many cheese powders can be found online or in some grocery stores:
|Powder||Where to Buy|
|Nutritional Yeast||Health food stores, online|
|Vegan nut cheeses||Health food stores, online|
|Soy powder||Health food stores, online|
|Almond powder||Health food stores, online|
|Parmesan powder||Grocery stores, online|
When purchasing pre-made powders:
- Check the ingredient list to ensure it fits your diet.
- Look for powders made from real cheeses, not "flavors".
- Start with a small amount to test the flavor before buying bulk.
Key Takeaway: Purchase pre-made cheese powders online or in health food stores. Check ingredients fit your dietary needs.
Making Homemade Substitute Powders
For freshness and control over ingredients, make cheese powders at home. Here are tips for DIY cheese powder:
Choose cheese varieties that mimic cheddar like gouda, colby, parmesan, swiss. Avoid soft fresh cheeses.
Grate or crumble cheese then spread on a baking sheet. Use a box grater or food processor to save time.
Dehydrate 8-12 hours at 115°F until completely dried out. Time varies based on cheese moisture.
Process into a powder using a food processor, blender, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle.
Store cheese powder in an airtight container in the fridge up to 6 months. Freeze for longer storage.
Almost any hard cheese can be turned into powder with dehydrating and grinding. Get creative with your favorite cheeses!
Key Takeaway: DIY your own cheese powders by dehydrating grated hard cheeses then grinding into powder.
How to Use Cheddar Substitutes
Cheddar substitutes can be used in place of cheddar powder in any recipe. Here are some tasty ways to use cheese powders:
- Coat popcorn, pretzels, nuts, crackers for a cheesy snack
- Sprinkle on eggs, pasta, potatoes, rice, vegetables
- Mix into ground meat for burgers, meatballs, meatloaf
- Add to batter for extra cheesy baked goods like muffins, biscuits, scones
- Fold into casseroles, mac and cheese, soups, sauces for flavor
- Combine with spices as a seasoning rub for meats and vegetables
- Add to bread or pizza dough for cheesy baked goods
- Use in place of cheddar powder in any recipe
Get creative and use substitute powders in unexpected ways too! Their convenience and portability make cheese powders a handy way to add big flavor anywhere.
Is pre-shredded cheese good for making powders?
Pre-shredded cheese contains extra ingredients to prevent clumping that can add undesirable flavors. For best flavor, use block cheese and shred it yourself.
What is the best cheese for powder?
Hard, low-moisture cheeses like parmesan, romano, asiago, and cheddar dehydrate well into powders. Softer cheeses become gluey and don't powderize evenly.
Is store-bought cheese powder real cheese?
Some brands use real dehydrated cheese. But many contain cheese flavors rather than actual cheese. Check the ingredients list for the real deal.
Does cheese powder need refrigeration?
Once dehydrated, cheese powder is shelf-stable. For best quality and longevity, refrigerate or freeze powder. But it can be kept in the pantry.
Can you make cheese powder without dehydrating?
Cheese powders require removing all moisture through dehydrating or freeze drying. Grinding fresh cheese won't create a true powder.
Cheddar cheese powder provides convenient, concentrated cheddar flavor perfect for elevating snacks, meals, and recipes. Luckily, there are many suitable options to substitute cheddar powder.
Nutritional yeast and cashew cheese make excellent vegan substitutes with cheesy umami flavor. Those avoiding dairy can use almond or soy cheese powders. Switching to similar cheeses like gouda or colby also works nicely.
Purchase pre-made powders or create your own unique flavors by dehydrating and grinding favorite cheeses. Getting creative with substitutes opens up new possibilities to enjoy cheddar cheese flavor.