Yes, we all enjoy quick mac and cheese now and then and the easiest way to make this (without a blue box to hand) is with powdered cheese. Not only does this mean you can make it as cheesy flavored or as mild as you want but it means you always have enough cheese in to whip up a mac and cheese.In this review, we look in detail at powdered cheese, including how versatile it is and just how it is made. To help you find the right powdered cheese for your requirements, we also offer reviews of some of the best powdered cheeses available.
The Hoosier Hill Farm Cheddar Cheese Powder is our best pick of the powdered cheeses with its popular taste and family friendly and shelf stable 1 lbs. resealable jar.
The Kraft 100% Grated Parmesan is our budget pick of the powdered cheeses; simply perfect for adding a taste of Italy to a wide range of foods.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Powdered Cheese
1. Cheddar Cheese Powder by Hoosier Hill Farm
The Hoosier Hill Farm cheddar cheese powder provides the popular taste of Hoosier Hill Farm cheese in a powdered form.
Available in two sizes, including a 1 lbs. plastic jar, this powdered cheese is ideal for using in a wide variety of dishes or even just sprinkling on popcorn or fries. To make 1 lbs. of this powdered cheese, it takes 1.5 lbs. of regular cheese, which helps give it a rich flavor.
This is a shelf stable powdered cheese and does not need to be refrigerated after opening. Some buyers have been a little disappointed when using this for mac and cheese and would have expected more flavor from a Hoosier cheese. Some are also not as keen on the ‘artificial’ color of this powdered cheese.
2. Kraft 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese Shaker
Coming as a ready to use shaker jar, the 8 oz jar of Kraft 100% Grated parmesan cheese is an Italian style parmesan. Made with premium milk, this cheese gives a tangy, nutty and salt flavor to a range of recipes and very versatile, ideal for finishing salads, pastas and many other dishes.
Along with the cheese, this also contains potassium sorbate as a preservative and cellulose which stops the parmesan from clumping. Unlike most powdered cheeses, this needs to be refrigerated once opened.
3. Anthony’s Cheddar Cheese Powder
Free from any GMO ingredients, Anthony’s cheddar cheese powder is also batch tested and certified as being gluten free. Suitable for vegetarians, the orange color of this powdered cheese comes from the use of natural annatto rather than artificial colors
This powdered cheese comes as a 1 lbs. or 1.5 lbs. resealable pack and does not need refrigerating once opened, although the pack recommend it to be refrigerated. Like most powdered cheeses, it is versatile for using in many dishes, or can just be sprinkled on pretzels, nuts or popcorn.
This can be difficult to mix in with liquids and is prone to clumping. Some buyers have also found this to be too mild tasting compared with other powdered cheeses. Although this does come in a resealable pack, there is more risk of the packaging being damaged and it can sometime be awkward to seal the pack up once opened.
4. King Arthur Better Cheddar Cheese Powder
Available in 8 oz reusable plastic jars, the King Arthur Better Cheddar cheese powder is a white powdered cheese made from Vermont sharp cheddar cheese. Suitable for using in baking and favorites such as mac and cheese, it is also great for finishing dishes with or adding to snacks although some cooks have been a little disappointed with the lighter flavor of this.Although this appears to be gluten free, it is processed in a facility that handles wheat and other allergens so may not be suitable for those with dietary intolerances or allergies. The rennet in this powdered cheese is microbial, making it suitable for vegetarians although this information is not actually printed on the label of the jar.
This is a shelf stable powdered cheese that does not need refrigerating once open. Unfortunately this only comes in the one size of 8 oz jars so after using it for baking with or for making mac and cheese, it will not last as long – which can make it more expensive – compared to other powdered cheeses available in larger packs.
5. Medley Hills Farm Gourmet Cheddar Cheese Powder
Made with a blend of granular and blue cheeses the Medley Hills Farm cheddar cheese powder is an orange colored cheese that can be used in recipes, for making sauces with or just for sprinkling.
Available as a 1.5 lbs. resealable ziplock bag, this does not need to be refrigerated once open. It also comes with a recipe for a basic cheese sauce printed on the packaging.
Although gluten free, this is not currently certified as being gluten free and it does contain artificial rather than natural colors. This powdered cheese has recently changed some of its ingredients and some consider it to have lost some of its cheese flavor. The bold orange color of this may not suit all foods and it can also be difficult to mix into liquids.
6. Barry Farm Cheddar Cheese Powder
The Barry Farm cheddar powder is made with a blend of cheddar and granular cheese. This is a versatile powder that can be used for cooking or as a sprinkling powder for popcorn, pretzels and more.
This is a larger 1.5 lbs. shelf stable powdered cheese that will not need putting in the refrigerator once open although you may need to transfer it to a resealable bag or container as it comes packaged in a sealed plastic bag rather than a resealable one.
It is colored with artificial colors and can be prone to clumping once opened. You may also have to visit the Barry Farm website to find out more about the nutritional information as the packaging does not include this.
7. Hoosier Hill Farm Cheddar Cheez Powder
Coming as a 1 lbs. plastic jar, the Hoosier Hill Farm Cheddar Cheez powder is ideal as a finishing powder on snacks as well as pasta, salads and more. It can also be used in mac and cheese or cheese sauces.
This is made from a blend of granular and blue cheeses and does not need to be refrigerated once open.
This is colored with artificial rather than natural colors and can be prone to clumping. Some buyers consider that this does lack cheese flavor and can taste a little on the saltier side.
8. Amish Country Popcorn Cheddar Cheese
The Amish Country cheddar and white cheddar seasoning kit contains two 3.8 oz shaker jars of cheddar cheese seasoning and white cheddar seasoning. Suitable for using as popcorn seasoning these powders are GMO and gluten free.
The cheddar cheese seasoning is made with cheddar cheese and Romano cheese along with various additives including turmeric and paprika while the white cheddar seasoning is made with white cheddar cheese and extract of turmeric. These are free from artificial colors though.
9. Wincrest Bulk Foods Cheddar Cheese Powder
Suitable for use as a Kraft cheddar cheese powder, the Wincrest Bulk Foods cheddar cheese powder can be used for cooking with or as a finishing powder. Made from a blend of granular and blue cheeses, this powdered cheese comes in a larger 1 lbs. resealable plastic jar.
This can be prone to clumping and so will need a little extra work if you want to mix it up for mac and cheese. It is also a bright orange powder which may work well in all dishes. The colors are also artificial rather than natural.
10. Judee’s White Cheddar Cheese Powder
The Judee’s white cheddar cheese powder is available as a 11.25 oz or 2 lbs. resealable foil lined pack. This powdered cheese is gluten free and processed in a gluten free facility. It is also free from any GMO ingredients, rBST hormones, soy, starch and colorings.
Suitable for sprinkling or cooking with this is a shelf stable powdered cheese with a medium aged cheddar flavor that does not need refrigerating once open.
Some consider this to be on the saltier side and have found that it can clump if not mixed well in a liquid before adding to a dish.
11. Seed Ranch Flavor Co. Cheddar Craving Vegan Cheese
The Seed Ranch Flavor Co. Cheddar Craving vegan cheese is a non-GMO powdered alternative which is made with nutritional yeast, almond flour and natural flavorings.
This can be used for sprinkling on top of foods or snacks, with or even to cook with and make sauces from if you are vegan or have a dairy allergy or intolerance.
Coming as a 4 oz shaker jar this is shelf stable and does not need to be refrigerated once opened. Some buyers consider this to be quite salty so you may not want to add as much seasoning if you are using this in place of cheese and as an alternative to cheese, it does cost more than a regular powdered cheese.
Things to Consider Before Buying Powdered Cheese
Why Use Cheese Powder?
Powdered cheese can be used for baking with – why not try breads, focaccias, or even muffins – and can be added to casseroles, soups, pasta dishes and more. It makes a great topping for pizzas, salads and even baked potatoes. You can also use it to make easy cheese sauces that you can use for cauliflower cheese, other oven dishes or even whip up a quick hollandaise sauce for Eggs Benedict. Powdered cheese can be added to scrambled eggs and even used in coatings for chicken and other meats, fish and seafoods.
Of course, powdered cheese is always great for sprinkling on snacks such as hot popcorn, nachos, pretzels and fries. With powdered cheese you can use as much or as little as you like which when cooking, makes it more versatile than fresh cheese.
Using powdered cheese is also the quickest way to whip up family favorites such as mac and cheese. It can be mixed in with milk or other dairy liquids and then added straight to the cooked macaroni along with basic seasonings.
If you use powdered cheese along with other ingredients at home to make up recipes such as mac and cheese, you also have full control over what you are cooking with, rather than using readymade versions which may contain additives and preservatives that you want to avoid.
Perhaps one of the main advantages of powdered cheese is that it is shelf stable and unlike fresh cheese does not go bad any time soon. Some powdered cheeses may require refrigerating after opening but most can just be stored in an airtight container in the pantry.
If you live a distance from the grocery store, then keeping powdered cheese along with other powdered essentials means you can easily whip up a cheese sauce or some cheese bread without needing to drive to the store.
Powdered cheese is also handy for taking on your camping trips or even for adding to your emergency preparedness kit to add extra flavor to pasta, noodles, canned chili and other savory foods that you may keep in your kit.
How Much Cheese Does Powdered Cheese Actually Contain?
Powdered cheese does not actually have to meet any federal laws about how much cheese it should contain, so the easiest way to see how much cheese a powdered cheese contains is actually by reading the ingredients label. Likewise, how much cheese a powdered cheese contains will also determine how much beneficial calcium and vitamin D it will contain.
A typical powdered cheese will contain around 15% cheese along with whey, oil, natural and/or artificial flavors and colors, preservatives and anti-clumping agents. A powdered cheese may also contain autolyzed yeast extract or other flavor enhancers. The calorie, fat, protein and sodium content of powdered cheese will vary across manufacturers as well.
Commercially, cheese powder is a dehydrated form of cheese which is usually made by a spray drying process. To do this, the cheese is melted into a liquid, the necessary additives are added, and the liquid is sprayed through a nozzle which turns it to droplets. The droplets are then surrounded with hot air which vaporizes them and creates a powder. The powder can then be packaged ready for distribution and sale.
What to Look for When Buying Powdered Cheese
As well as the cheese content and nutritional profile, other things to consider include the flavor profile and even the color. Powdered cheeses often contain artificial or synthetic yellow/orange colors. Although these brightly colored powders look great when making up a quick mac and cheese, the color may be too obvious when sprinkled on some dishes. In this case, a white or non-colored powdered cheese may be more suitable.
Although most powdered cheeses are cheddar flavored, they can also be made with hard cheese such as Italian style cheeses or even blue cheeses and these bring different flavors to a dish. Powdered cheese can vary in flavor, from being a stronger flavor to much milder. Which one you prefer will also depend on how you want to use it in the kitchen.
Some powdered cheeses are certified as being free from GMO ingredients and may also be gluten free.
Although many cheeses are made with animal-based rennet, some are made with microbial rennet which means they are suitable for vegetarian diets. Powders that are made with nutritional yeast and/or nuts are a suitable alternative for those who are vegan or have a dairy allergy or intolerance.
Powdered cheese is not always easy to find in grocery stores, so it is something that many people choose to buy online.
In this review we have looked in some detail at powdered cheese, including how you can use it, how it is made, how much cheese a powdered cheese actually contains and what you should look for when choosing a powdered cheese.We have also reviewed some of the best powdered cheese available including a number of products suitable for those with specific dietary needs. So, if you want to throw out the mac and cheese kits and make your own or just want extra flavor on your popcorn for the next movie night, we trust that we have given you the information that you need to choose the best powdered cheese for you and your family.