Low carb cheese straws on a white snack plate with mint green dots - title image

Keto Cheese Straws: Easy Low Carb Appetizer

Cheese straws are one of those Southern recipes that are traditional at almost any kind of gathering. There are hundreds of ways to make them but this keto cheese straws recipe is adapted to be super quick and easy. Since this keto friendly, gluten free version of a vintage cheese straws recipe has just 1 net carbs you can enjoy these cheesy, crumbly, satisfying snacks anytime.

For this recipe you’ll need: sharp Cheddar cheese, butter, light cream, almond flour, hemp seed, and Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning

I found this recipe in a mid-1940s cookbook and decided that it was perfect for adapting to low carb. It isn’t puff pastry or a paste that you have to force through a cookie press. This keto cheese straw recipe is straight forward and simple. I like simple, don’t you?

Since it was so very basic I knew it would be a good candidate for adapting to a low carb diet.

Low carb cheese straws on a white snack plate with mint green dots - title image
Low carb cheese straws, so tasty !

How many carbs in cheese straws?

Most cheese straws recipe are made with regular flour. Each straw can have anywhere between 2 and 4 carbs each depending on the recipe. That doesn’t sound like a lot but a “serving” to me is at least 10 sticks if not double or triple that number. So a serving of 10 regular cheese straw would be 20-40 carbs. That doesn’t sound very keto to me. That’s why I developed this keto cheese straws version.

The original recipe called for breadcrumbs and you know that my favorite substitution for bread crumbs is hemp seeds. With all of that fiber, hemp seeds are keto approved as they add 0 net carbs Best of all, they give foods a nice texture. I haven’t tried any substitutions for the hemp seeds but I suspect that if you don’t want to use them, coarsely ground pork rinds would work well. If you do try the pork rinds please come back and leave a comment to let me know how it worked for you!

Featured Image Keto Cheese Straws on a Plate
Keto cheese straws, so delicious !

What are Southern Cheese Straws?

If you aren’t familiar with Southern cheese straws you’ve been missing out! They are something like crackers, something like cheese wafers, and something like nothing you’ve ever tasted. The sharper the Cheddar cheese the more flavor they have. I tried parmesan cheese but the cheddar cheese tastes so much better.

Traditionally they are served with cocktails as an appetizer or the soup or salad course at a meal. They’re just perfect little bites for afternoon nibbling. I like to add a little chipotle powder or cayenne pepper to mine but with this recipe I used Creole seasoning. If you use cayenne instead of the seasoning be sure to add a little salt and a bit of garlic powder for flavor.

A close up image of low carb cheese straws on a white plate

Tips for Making Keto Cheese Straws

These keto appetizers are so easy to make that you probably won’t have any trouble. Here are some tips:

  • Make sure the dough is well chilled before rolling out. It tends to be very sticky if it’s not cold enough.
  • Roll out right on the silpat mat that you’re planning to bake it on.
  • Follow the instructions for cutting exactly or they will crumble.
  • Shredded cheese from the grocery store isn’t as good as freshly grated. The reason is that the shredded cheese doesn’t stick together in the bag because they add anti caking chemicals like cellulose. Worse, it doesn’t have near the flavor either.
  • Let the cheese straws cool completely because they are very very delicate when warm.
  • You can brush the dough before baking with a little egg white and sprinkle with salt crystals, sesame seeds, Parmesan cheese, or coarsely cracked black pepper.
  • With classic cheese straws the flavor is better the second day. Like many low carb baked goods, these cheese straws absorb moisture from the air. You can crisp them up in the oven before serving if you want to.
  • The dough freezes well and thaws quickly you can have it on hand to make fresh keto cheese straws any time you want some.

Step By Step Instructions for Making Keto Cheese Straws

Five step by step images for making cheese straws from mixing to baking.
Step by step instructions for keto cheese straws.

Here’s how to make keto cheese straws step by step.

Here are the instructions, step by step

  1. Pulse the cheese mixture in a food processor.
  2. Gather together in a ball it will feel a little like Play-doh or modeling clay.
  3. Roll out the mixture gently on a Silpat baking sheet.
  4. Cut with a pizza cutter but don’t separate.
  5. Bake and let cool.
  6. Separate and enjoy!
Closeup of low carb cheese straws for recipe template
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Low Carb Cheese Straws

These low carb cheese straws are an adaption of the classic Southern favorite! Delicately crumbly pastry has a sharp Cheddar flavor and a spicy kick. Cheese straws are traditionally served with cocktails, soups, or salads but they’re yummy anytime! Just 1 carb each. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American Classic
Keyword cheese straws, low carb, snacks
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill time 30 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 84kcal
Author Katherine Peters

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sharp Cheddar cheese , grated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons light cream , 1/2 and 1/2
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup hemp seed , you may be able to substitute ground pork rinds but I have not tried it
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning , or cayenne + salt to taste –

Instructions

  • In a food processor cream the cheese and butter together with quick pulses.
  • Add milk and pulse a couple of times.
  • Mix the remaining ingredients.
  • Add to the cheese mixture and pulse until it all comes together.
  • Chill for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Roll the cheese mixture  into an 1/8 inch thick rectangle on a Silpat sheet.
  • Use a pizza cutter to cut the mixture into 12 “straws” but don’t separate.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and run the pizza cutter gently between the “straws” but don’t separate.
  • Let cool and then gently separate. These cheese straws are very delicate and will break easily if you are not careful.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

try Pepper Jack or smoked Gouda – any hard cheese will work. 

Nutrition

Calories: 84kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1.3mg

More Keto Friendly Snacks

When I first began eating low carb I felt like I’d never have anything good to eat again. That’s SO not true! Here are some other low carb, keto friendly snack recipes you’ll find here on Lowcarb-ology.

You may need

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A Silpat sheet is essential for the success of these low carb crackers. I’ve used parchment and waxed paper but the Silpat works the best.

Keto Cocktails to Go With Keto Cheese Straws

I think the mid 20th century defined cocktail culture. Drinks with little nibbles like these cheese straws were served all over the South in the late afternoon. If you want to give that tradition a try here are some low carb cocktails to get you started.

Click on the image to see the recipe. From left to right (all low carb): Low Carb Bourbon Milk Punch, Low Carb Vanilla Old Fashioned, Low Carb Dirty Shirley.

Low Carb Blood and Sand Cocktail
Low Carb Blood and Sand Cocktail
Low Carb Vanilla Old Fashioned
Low Carb Vanilla Old Fashioned
Low Carb Dirty Shirley
Low Carb Dirty Shirley

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