Parmesan cheese powder is an incredible pantry staple that can elevate easy dishes and transform plain meals into extraordinary culinary experiences.
But what exactly is it, and what can you do with it?
Let's explore everything you need to know about parmesan powder.
What is Parmesan Cheese Powder?
Parmesan cheese powder is made from actual Parmesan cheese that has been dehydrated into a fine powder. It contains all the rich, nutty, salty, umami flavor of grated Parmesan cheese in an easy-to-use powdered form.
Some key things to know about Parmesan powder:
- It is made by drying and powdering Parmesan cheese. The process concentrates the flavor into an intensely savory powder.
- It has the texture of flour or corn starch.
- The powder dissolves easily into liquids and batters.
- It keeps extremely well in the pantry for months.
So while it is not a perfect substitute for freshly grated cheese, Parmesan powder can add that unmistakable Parmesan flavor punch to a wide variety of dishes. Now let's look at some of the best ways to use it!
Parmesan Powder for Pasta, Pizza, and More Italian Classics
One of the most obvious uses for Parmesan powder is to sprinkle it on classic Italian dishes that traditionally use grated Parm, like:
- Pasta - Toss your favorite pasta with some Parmesan powder instead of using grated cheese. It will add salty, savory richness wherever you'd normally use Parmesan.
- Pizza - Parmesan powder is commonly used in pizza joints or on frozen pizzas. Simply shake it on when your pizza comes out of the oven for instant flavor.
- Bruschetta - Sprinkle a bit on the bread before toasting or pile on top of toppings. It adds the essence of Parmesan without wet cheese.
Italian cuisine is an ideal match for Parmesan powder since it is designed to replace freshly grated Parmesan. Any dish that already calls for Parmesan will welcome it!
Key Takeaway: Parmesan powder replaces grated cheese in classic Italian dishes like pasta, pizza, and bruschetta.
Shake It Onto Vegetables and More
One of the handiest uses for Parmesan powder is as an instant seasoning for vegetables and other simple foods.
Its fine texture allows the powder to evenly coat foods. A light shake adds a delicious hit of salty savoriness that enhances the flavor of many savory dishes or snacks. Try shaking it onto:
- Steamed or roasted vegetables - Broccoli is a classic pairing but it’s equally good on cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans...you name it!
- Salads - Toss your favorite salad greens with some Parmesan powder instead of grated cheese.
- Popcorn - Melt some butter over freshly popped popcorn then shake on some Parmesan powder for an incredibly tasty snack.
- Baked potatoes - Skip the typical butter and sour cream for a Parmesan dusted spud.
- French fries or tater tots - Shake on some Parmesan powder after oven baking for next-level fries and tots.
This simple trick works wonders to make boring vegetables or snacks exciting again. Plus a little shake adds a tasty dose of umami, no utensils required!
Boost Flavor in Meatballs and Meatloaf
Using Parmesan powder in meatloaf, meatballs, or other ground meat mixtures is a savory secret trick. It adds an extra punch of flavor and helps bind the ingredients together.
To add Parmesan powder:
- Mix about 2-3 tablespoons per pound of ground meat.
- You can replace up to one third of any breadcrumbs or crackers in the recipe with Parmesan powder.
- Decrease any salt or sodium in the recipe slightly to account for the saltiness of the cheese powder.
The powder absorbs moisture just like breadcrumbs but also contributes a delicious cheesy note. This helps keep meatballs and meatloaf wonderfully moist and packed with flavor.
Key Takeaway: Mix Parmesan powder into meatballs and meatloaf for extra flavor and moisture retention.
Fold It Into Savory Baking Recipes
When used in baking, Parmesan powder adds the umami punch of Parmesan without added moisture from cheese. This makes it perfect for savory baked goods like:
- Pizza dough
- Savory scones - Like cheddar chive or Parmesan garlic
- Savory muffins - Such as cheddar corn or bacon Parmesan muffins
For best results:
- Mix the Parmesan powder in with the dry ingredients before adding wet ingredients. This helps evenly distribute the powder.
- Use 2-3 tablespoons per recipe. Add more or less to taste.
- Reduce any salt or sodium to allow for the saltiness of the cheese powder.
The Parmesan powder dissolving into the batter gives baked goods an incredible depth of cheese flavor. It’s especially useful for adding cheesy richness without extra fat or moisture from cheese cubes or shreds.
Whip Up Fast and Easy Alfredo Sauce
Cheesy, creamy alfredo sauce comes together in minutes with Parmesan powder.
- Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a skillet or saucepan.
- Whisk in heavy cream and garlic, simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the hot cream mixture to a blender, add Parmesan powder, and blend until smooth.
That’s it! The powder melts beautifully into hot liquids for an instant, smoother alfredo sauce.
Serve it right away over hot pasta or keep warm until ready to use. The sauce may thicken up when cooled but a splash of cream whisked in will loosen it up.
For bonus flavor, stir in extra garlic, lemon zest, basil, or other herbs. It takes this easy sauce to restaurant quality levels.
Key Takeaway: Blend Parmesan powder with hot cream and butter for an almost-instant alfredo sauce.
Make Cheesy Sprinkle Blends
One entertaining way to use Parmesan powder is to create custom cheesy sprinkle blends!
These blends add tons of flavor when shaken over vegetables, eggs, pasta, popcorn, avocado toast...the possibilities are endless.
Some tasty combinations to try whipping up:
- Lemon garlic Parmesan - With dried lemon zest and garlic powder
- Pizza sprinkle - Parmesan, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes
- Ranch Parmesan - With dried parsley, dill, onion powder, garlic powder
- Chili lime Parmesan - With chili powder, lime zest, cumin, and cayenne
Simply mix equal parts Parmesan powder with the additional seasonings. Store the blends in a jar to keep on hand for quick flavor shaking whenever you need it!
Fold Into Stuffing and Savory Casseroles
In place of cheese cubes or shreds, Parmesan powder is a handy addition to classic comfort food dishes like casseroles and stuffing.
The powder seamlessly blends into the other ingredients while pumping up the overall cheesiness.
Whip up instant flavor by folding Parmesan powder into:
- Stuffing, dressing, or bread cubes for roasted turkey or chicken
- Breakfast casseroles like strata or egg bakes
- Zucchini bake, mac and cheese casserole, cheesy potato casserole
- Enchiladas, lasagna, manicotti, or similar baked pasta dishes
Use about 1⁄4 - 1⁄2 cup Parmesan powder per recipe. You may want to reduce salt slightly to balance the saltiness.
Coat Chicken Wings for Cheesy Garlic Baked Wings
Crispy Parmesan chicken wings are irresistible. The powder forms a delicious, cheesy coating on the outside while keeping the wings beautifully moist inside.
Making crispy baked Parmesan wings is simple:
- Melt butter and mix with minced garlic.
- Pat chicken wings dry so the coating sticks.
- Toss wings in the garlic butter then coat evenly in Parmesan powder.
- Bake at 425°F for 25-30 minutes, flipping once.
These savory wings satisfy cravings with a flavor reminiscent of bar wings or Buffalo wings. Except they’re home cooked, meaning you can control the quality ingredients!
Serve hot Parmesan wings with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping. They also pair well with stout beer or bold red wine.
Shake Into Soup for Added Depth
Soups and stews receive an instant infusion of savory flavor from Parmesan powder’s richness. The fine powder blends seamlessly into broth for a smooth consistency.
Simply whisk a few tablespoons into the pot towards the end of cooking. Taste and add more Parmesan powder to reach your desired cheesiness level.
The powder works well in:
- Creamy potato soup
- Broccoli cheddar soup
- Tomato basil soup
- Chicken noodle or vegetable soup
- Hearty bean and vegetable stews
Stir Into Hot Dips and Sauces
The smooth, melty texture of Parmesan powder makes it a handy addition to dips, sauces, and condiments. It dissolves beautifully into hot liquids to provide instant cheesy richness.
Try whisking some Parmesan powder into:
- Queso dip or other creamy cheese dips
- Ranch dressing or dip
- Nacho cheese sauce
- Beer cheese sauce
- Spinach and artichoke dip
- Hummus or other bean dips
- Gravy, especially sausage or mushroom gravy
- Pasta sauce for extra cheesy flavor
- Sour cream for topping baked potatoes or tacos
When adding to dips and sauces:
- Whisk the powder into hot dips after removing from heat. This allows it to smoothly melt.
- Start with 2-3 tablespoons per cup of dip or sauce. Adjust to taste.
- Reduce any salt or sodium to balance the saltiness from the Parmesan.
The possibilities are endless for stirring this flavor powerhouse into condiments, dips, and sauces!
How is Parmesan powder used?
Parmesan powder can be used in place of freshly grated Parmesan to add flavor to pastas, pizzas, vegetables, meats, bakes goods, casseroles, soups, sauces, dips, and more. It dissolves easily so you can shake it on or blend it smoothly into foods.
What are some recipe ideas with Parmesan powder?
Some recipe ideas include:
- Baked Parmesan chicken wings
- Cheesy garlic breadsticks
- Parmesan ranch popcorn
- Creamy Parmesan Alfredo sauce
- Zucchini and Parmesan casserole
- Parmesan crusted fish fillets
- Parmesan spinach dip
How should you store Parmesan powder?
Like Parmesan cheese, the powder keeps very well in the pantry for months. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from moisture and light.
Can you make Parmesan powder at home?
Yes, you can make homemade Parmesan powder by grating Parmesan cheese then dehydrating it in the oven on very low heat until completely dried out and powdery. Store the homemade powder in an airtight container.
Parmesan powder is an extraordinarily versatile pantry staple.
Its concentrated flavor and fine texture make it easy to shake, sprinkle, or blend into both savory cooking and baking recipes.