Gluten Free Parmesan Crackers

Gluten Free Parmesan Crackers

These super crisp gluten free parmesan crackers, made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cornmeal, are perfect for snacking, packing in lunches, or serving as an appetizer.

These super crisp gluten free parmesan crackers, made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cornmeal, are perfect for snacking, packing in lunches, or serving as an appetizer.

Of all the crackers I’ve made, the most requested are the buttery Ritz-style gluten free crackers since they are truly perfect. These Parmesan crackers are much crunchier and have a deeper, richer flavor, though.

I made them rather small, but you can make them bigger and serve them with wine and cheese. Or even use a pastry cutter, pizza wheel, or even a bench scraper to cut the dough into squares or rectangles, which would be a much faster way to go. 

The Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese helps give them a true depth of flavor, and the cornmeal gives them that bite. They have a surprisingly small amount of butter, but the extra butter brushed on top before sprinkling plenty of coarse salt really helps them taste buttery.

Don’t forget to poke some holes on top of the crackers before baking, since that helps them to crisp as they bake. Get those nice, round holes in the dough by poking a toothpick in straight and then moving it around in tiny circles to widen the hole. 

These super crisp gluten free parmesan crackers, made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cornmeal, are perfect for snacking, packing in lunches, or serving as an appetizer.

What are your favorite packaged gluten free crackers?

There are so many brands of packaged gluten free crackers available today. Even Nabisco makes a gluten free variety called “Good Thins,” so you know we’ve really gone mainstream. 

(If you’re missing the taste of Wheat Thins, by the way, we’ve got a recipe for homemade gluten free “Wheat Thins.”)

I’d like to do a round-up product review post of the very best packaged gluten free crackers since I don’t make my own crackers from scratch every time we feel like having a cracker. (I’m a normal person, after all, even though I do spend all day every day in the kitchen!). 

So far, I really like the Nabisco Good Thins, but also Lance brand crackers (my kids love the peanut butter sandwich crackers), and we love nearly everything that Schar makes. I really don’t care for Mary’s Gone Crackers brand, but that’s just personal preference. 

What’s your favorite brand of packaged gluten free cracker? I’d love to know what else I should try. I also have about 10 different brands of packaged gluten free pretzels to share with you soon. As always, I will purchase the products with my own cash money, as I don’t accept any free product from anyone (much to my children’s confusion). 

These super crisp gluten free parmesan crackers, made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cornmeal, are perfect for snacking, packing in lunches, or serving as an appetizer.

Buttermilk powder

In this recipe, I use a brand of buttermilk powder called Saco. In my experience, it’s readily available in most larger grocery stores. It’s the canister with the jolly chef on it. I bet you’ve seen it before.

Buttermilk powder really adds richness to these crackers without adding any moisture which can keep them from crisping up in the oven. Despite the instructions on the canister of buttermilk powder, though, I don’t find that it makes a good substitute for liquid buttermilk when that’s called for in a recipe like our gluten free birthday cake.

I use buttermilk powder exclusively in its powder form as an addition to the dry ingredients in a recipe like this one, where I’m trying to add complexity to the flavor. In place of buttermilk powder, you can use an equal amount (by weight) nonfat dry milk powder.

These super crisp gluten free parmesan crackers, made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cornmeal, are perfect for snacking, packing in lunches, or serving as an appetizer.

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy-free: These crackers have a few different forms of dairy, and some are harder to replace than others. In place of butter, you can try using Earth Balance buttery sticks (for the butter in the crackers, and the brushed butter on top).

For a dairy-free replacement for buttermilk or dry milk powder, try using coconut milk powder. I really like Native Forest brand, although I haven’t tried it in this particular recipe. The liquid cow’s milk can be replaced with your favorite brand of unsweetened nondairy milk. The hardest form of dairy to replace is Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. These are Parmesan Crackers, after all.

I have a sneaking suspicion that you could replace the finely grated cheese with nutritional yeast which does tend to have a cheesy flavor. Pay careful attention to the moisture content of the mixture, though, if you do use nutritional yeast. You may have to add more milk. 

Corn-free: There is almost exactly as much yellow cornmeal here as there is all purpose gluten free flour, so it’s a major component of the recipe. I like coarsely ground cornmeal here the best since it really adds great texture and chew.

If you’d like to replace the cornmeal, you can try using millet flour, which has a similar texture. I’m afraid I haven’t tried anything like that, though, so I can’t be sure. 


These super crisp gluten free parmesan crackers, made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cornmeal, are perfect for snacking, packing in lunches, or serving as an appetizer. #glutenfree #gf #crackers

These super crisp gluten free parmesan crackers, made with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and cornmeal, are perfect for snacking, packing in lunches, or serving as an appetizer.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: About 8 dozen crackers


1 1/4 cups (175g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1 cup (132 g) coarsely ground gluten free cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling

4 tablespoons (23 g) cultured buttermilk blend (or 4 tablespoons (24 g) nonfat dry milk)

1 cup (80 g) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted (still warm)


  • Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornmeal, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, buttermilk blend, and grated cheese, and whisk to combine well. Add the 4 tablespoons butter and the milk, and mix until combined and the dough begins to come together. Divide the dough into two parts, and press each into a small ball. Place the first ball of dough between two sheets of unbleached parchment paper, and roll into a rectangle a bit less than 1/4-inch thick. If you’d like to roll out the dough without parchment paper, wrap it tightly and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes first. Then, sprinkle the dough lightly with extra flour as you roll it out. With a fluted (or simple round) 1-inch cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and place them on a prepared baking sheet about 1/2-inch apart (they will actually shrink, rather than spread, a bit during baking). Gather and reroll scraps. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

  • Using a toothpick, poke 4 evenly spaced holes toward the center of each of the rounds of dough. Poke the holes in a tight circular motion to create well-rounded holes. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of all of the rounds of dough lightly with the 2 tablespoons of melted, warm butter. Sprinkle the tops of the rounds liberally with more coarse salt.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once during baking, for about 12 minutes, or until the crackers are dark golden brown on the edges and lightly golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in a tightly sealed glass container at room temperature. They should stay crisp for a few days that way. If you place them in plastic or refrigerate the crackers, they will become stale rather quickly.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2012. Most images, video, most text new; recipe very lightly edited for clarity.


Comments are closed.

  • JoAnn
    May 13, 2019 at 1:33 PM

    This recipe is fabulous. I used a different GF flour than you did and ended up adding a couple of tbsp of extra milk to the dough. I found that when I rolled the dough cracked so I added a bit more milk. Jan rolled out no problem. I made 1 3/4” circles and got 96 crackers. They taste wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 13, 2019 at 3:08 PM

      I’m glad you were able to compensate for the dry nature of your flour blend, JoAnn. If you are willing to consider one of my recommended blends I think you’d be very pleased with the results!

  • Sandy
    May 12, 2019 at 12:40 PM

    These look delicious. My favorite packaged crackers are Simple Mills’ almond flour crackers, which I can even sometimes find at Costco. Delicious! even for breakfast 😊, and dairy-free too, which is a plus.

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 12, 2019 at 2:17 PM

      I haven’t tried those yet, Sandy. I’ll have to give them a shot. Bonus points for finding them at a wholesale club for sure!

  • Janet Paula
    May 12, 2019 at 12:17 PM

    Can I use psyllium husk instead of the xanthan gum and how much of it? Also, can cultured buttermilk blend be replaced by nutritional yeast and in what amount or can it just be left out?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 12, 2019 at 2:17 PM

      Hi, Janet, I’m afraid my recipes cannot be made using psyllium husk, no. The buttermilk cannot be replaced by nutritional yeast. For a buttermilk powder replacement, please see the ingredients and substitutions section.

  • Ella
    May 12, 2019 at 9:18 AM

    I love the idea of these crackers but I’m allergic to cheese. Can they be made without cheese?

    • Nicole Hunn
      May 12, 2019 at 2:16 PM

      Please see the ingredients and substitutions section, Ella! It’s right above the recipe card itself.

  • September 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    I love these!

  • September 10, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    These look incredible! I’ll definitely try them out soon… :)

  • Sandra E
    September 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I just made these tonight. My prep time was more in the hour range but I haven’t figured out how to roll everything consistently yet. I was very pleased the way the crackers came out but next time will definetly use the reggiano cheese. Next time I think I might try making and cutting the dough and freezing the uncooked disks so that I can bake only the amount I need, without thinking I ate have a sheet tray. Thanks, and keep up the good work. I stalk the blog checking out the recipes and pictures until I get the courage to try something new.

  • September 9, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    High Five Nicole :)
    These look delicious!

  • Kristi
    September 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    I made these today and they were delicious and unbelievably easy to make. Almost too easy! I cut them in squares with a bench cutter. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Cynthia
    September 8, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    My youngest also just went GF a couple weeks ago. I have been GF for 1.5 yrs. He was sad about missing his ritz crackers which he loved. I am sooo excited to make these while he is at school this week and surprise him! Nicole you never cease to amaze me. I am so excited for you new book. Your name is spoken often in our house…with great thankfulness and awe of your recipes! Thanks again!

    • September 8, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      Thank you so much, Cynthia, for the nice note! I’m honored to have a metaphorical place at the table in your home. That is not something I take lightly. I’m sure your son is going to love the crackers. I also have a recipe for mock Ritz crackers, if you’d rather give him nearly the “real thing.” These Parmesan crackers are great, too. You can’t go wrong. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Cynthia
        September 8, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        Nicole- With the other mock Ritz, can I poke holes in them like these have? Yes…everyone in my home GF or not…knows who Nicole is! :-)

        • September 8, 2012 at 4:16 PM

          You absolutely can, Cynthia! And thanks for the love. :)
          xoxo Nicole

  • September 7, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I LOVE ritz crackers but I almost never eat them because they’re from a box and filled with stuff I don’t want to consume. But these look like the perfect substitute. They’re so crispy! I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thank you so much for keeping me inspired with such delicious creations…

  • Gaylyn
    September 7, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    I see that you say to eat crackers within 2 days. I would like to make a big batch of crackers that would either keep well over a longer period or able to freeze. Any suggestions on a cracker recipe that would work?

    • September 7, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      Gaylyn, no recipe for fresh crackers, without the preservatives of store-bought crackers, will stay crispy for much longer. There isn’t anything in particular about my cracker recipes that makes them more perishable. It’s the lack of preservatives. You can try making a bigger batch and freezing them, and then crisping them in a 200 degree F oven before serving, if you like.

      • Gaylyn
        September 7, 2012 at 8:09 AM

        Thanks! I will try freezing and crisping up and let you know how it goes.

  • Corinne
    September 6, 2012 at 2:46 AM

    Recently diagnosed, obsessed with baking all of a sudden. But I am in Canada, not sure I can find the Saco product. Does it have to be buttermilk powder? I assume real buttermilk won’t work.

    • September 6, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      Hi, Corinne,
      I haven’t tested the recipe with any substitutions, but you could try substituting an equal amount of sweet dairy whey powder in its place. And your assumption is right – real buttermilk won’t work as a sub! And you say you’re obsessed with baking like it’s a bad thing. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • September 5, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Ok, crunchy, salty, cheesy sounds like a winning combo to me! These look delicious and addictive. I feel like packaged GF crackers are even sadder than packaged GF cookies, so I’m extra excited to make these and your Ritz recipe. My daughter loves cheese so this should be a hit, and if not, no big loss because I know I’ll love them :)

    Hope you’re kiddos had a good first couple days of school!

  • September 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Nicole my friend (yeah I said friend- I consider you as such since I check your blog daily- and I know you don’t know my from Adam… but I don’t care- you have SAVED me numerous times with your awesome recipes- so, “friend” you have become)! These looked so good I went and made them this morning… but unfortunately, I’m going to have to make another batch to put in my son’s lunch sack tomorrow- because we ate them already. ALL of them. My waist line may not thank-you, but the rest of my family does! Yummy!

    • September 5, 2012 at 7:14 PM

      Oh we’re totally friends, Jess. How else could we get together this often? ;) I love that you made these crackers right away this morning! They are of the betcha-can’t-eat-just-one variety, aren’t they. We don’t have even one lonely cracker left in my house – and I made multiple testing batches! So glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for the nice note, Friend. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jennifer S.
    September 5, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    High five, sista’!

    I’m saving this recipe to my files….

  • Patty Starmer
    September 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Love the crackers! I think I will cut them into squares when I try them.

    • September 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Squares are a great choice, Patty! Less time-consuming, for sure. :) My kids ate all of mine. Wish I had just one right about now.
      xoxo Nicole

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