Easy Minute Microwave Cheese Straws

Crunchy, delicious cheese straws.

  • Crumble them on your salad for toppings
  • Sneak a baggy of them into a movie for munching
  • Take these to your favorite restaurant for dipping
  • Crumble them over your favorite soup
  • Season with popcorn seasoning and enjoy like Cheetos
  • Pack these along in your backpack for a quick pick-me-up
  • Perfect for kids’ lunches, make up a week’s worth in advance and pre-bag for grab-and-go
  • Top your holiday green bean casseroles with these instead of french-fried onions after baking-especially if you season these with a titch of sour cream and onion popcorn seasoning, or the tiniest bit of onion powder

Easy Minute Microwave Cheese Straws

1 slice of American cheese

Cut in half. Cut in half again. Cut each half in halves. Cut each of those halves in half. Keep going until you have 32 slim slices of cheese.

Carefully arrange on a sheet of parchment paper. Microwave for 45 seconds. Let cool. Slide into a bowl or a bag. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information: Calories: 86, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 6.8 g

Cheese straws cooling. Can you believe one slice of cheese made all of those?

Just a matter of girth. Cheese straws below, cheese puffs above.

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  1. Does anyone know if these can be made with Daiya dairy free cheese?

    • I used Rice Vegan Cheddar Flavor(rice “cheeze”) and Vegan Mozzarella Flavor (soy “cheeze”). Both contain 5grams carbs per slice. Both worked done as recipe directs but remember the increase in carbs. (both casein free) I might toast them in microwave a little longer or run them in oven since I am baking anyway. It is a nice addition to allowable snacks on gfcf low carb diet.

  2. Do you find that one type of cheese works better than others? For instance, cheese product slices vs. 2% milk slices (like kraft). Also, have you tried this with the white cheddar slices from Kraft?

  3. Ok, how much easier can it get?! Thanks! Let’s not talk about girth, though, ok? πŸ˜‰

  4. Dear Jamie,
    Please elaborate as to what American cheese is please!
    Is it the individual cheese slices that Kraft produces for sandwiches? They have 3 carbs.
    I have no idea as to what product you are using! Sorry!

    Thanks, sorry for the cultural differences!


  5. Amazing!! Thank you!

  6. Can I just check – by American cheese you mean the orange processed square of cheese used for burgers – right? You don’t mean Velvetta? (It’s not called American cheese in the UK)
    As I didn’t have any of these in the house (we call them plastic cheese and usually only et them for BBQs) I used a slice of Monterey Jack. Looked the part but didn’t come off the paper, so forced to eat them like those multicoloured candy buttons you used to get on paper strips!!
    I just throw grated cheese into a hot frying pan for a similar effect – nice sprinkled with sesame seeds. x

    • Hi, Linda! It’s definitely the pre-sliced, processed cheese (although that’s a bit of a misnomer since all cheeses are technically processed). If you don’t have that, look for an aged cheddar cheese and see if that works.

  7. Must try these!!!

  8. I don’t like American cheese. Can you use any other cheese?

  9. Yum soup and chili!

  10. When I try this they burn, however if I nuke them for less time they are too gooey…any suggestions?

  11. Going to try this. No American cheese in the house right now, only have chedder. Do you think that would work?

  12. Great simple idea! I like it. It IS hard to believe you got all those from one slice of cheese. I’m not sure just how small they are because there is nothing to compare it to for reference, but with some additional seasoning I think they would be a great crunchy snack. Or add to my favorite salad. I have missed croutons, but no longer!

    • Hi there! If you cut th slice in half, then each half in half, then each half in half, and so on, you get to 32 pretty fast. I had a really sharp steak knife and just kept going to see how many I could make! Of course, you can stick to 16 or 14, too! There’s no problem with that, either…

  13. Does it have to be American cheese slices? Just curious if it would work with real cheese.

    • Hi, Kristen! Surprisingly, all cheeses are processed; they’re just processed differently. I would say you could use an aged cheddar for a decent result, too. It’s lower moisture.

  14. I’m not getting how you got 32 cheese straws from one slice of cheese. I usually get 16 small squares when I make them that way, but I can’t imagine getting 32 slices. They do make awesome munchies anyway you slice them though!!

  15. frank weir says

    Jamie….this is a brilliant idea. Just made ’em and my wife and I love them. I’m a type 2 diabetic so these ideas are very helpful! I’m enjoying your site which I just discovered and find your lists of what YOU are eating extremely helpful since you have all sorts of eating and menu ideas I had not thought of. Helps with menu boredom! Thanks for taking the time to help all of us on here!

    • Frank, you are so sweet! I do this for Diabetics and friends. I, too am fighting pre-diabetes, and I know how important it is to keep the system regulated. It can be so scary! Here is to your health. Thanks so much for your kind words!

  16. Is this American Cheese like Kraft that comes individually wrapped or did you have American cheese sliced out of the deli????

    • Hi, Charlotte! I have had good luck with both types of cheese. I know friends who say the wrapped cheeses don’t work, but they do for me. I think it’s one of those YMMV situations.

  17. YAY JAMIE!!! Something more with crunchiness to it and so easy too! I am thinking with bacon crumbles on it! Bacon forever…

    • I tried bacon in it and pepperoni in it and it wasn’t what I hoped for. In fact, it was sort of grody… And salty and burned… But I love that we think alike.

  18. Mine melted together..will have to put more distance between them.

  19. Jeanette Norman says

    Aren’t these the cutest of ALL the cheese crisps? Great food, great blog, great Jamie! Woo hoo!

  20. these look really good. I like something with crunch. I make crispies out of shredded parmesan cheese on parchment paper in my toaster oven. they are so good when you need something crunchy. I am going to try these cheese sticks tomorrow.

  21. These are awesome Jamie, I make them all the time. They are great for dipping in salsa – I especially like them dipped in Salsa Verde, yum!

    • They are so much fun. I only just tried these for the first time successfully a couple of weeks ago, if you can believe that. I have to get my hands fully dirty in something before it makes sense to me and I can explain it to others.

  22. Great idea! I don’t have any parchment paper on me, but I do have wax paper. Can I use that as a substitution instead?

    • Ermagerd! I love your little avatar.

      If you don’t have parchment, try baking in the oven on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees instead. I am not sure of the time, though, so set the timer and keep checking back.

  23. Nancy Kaplan says

    I was able to cut out 16 thin slices, but when I microwaved them, I guess I did not spread them out far enough as they all became a connected glob…..Any hints?
    I also have done this by taking one slice of cheese,placing it on parchment paper and microwaving it for 2 minutes….The end result is like a cheese cracker. Also delicious……BTW, I love your site!

    • Hi, Nancy! I try to give each little strip about 3 times the width for the spread. I reuse my parchment a few times, so for one slice of cheese, I might use the same sheet 3 times. If yours take longer, it means I have a more powerful microwave. My friend Scott said I need to mention my wattage…

  24. How am I the first to comment on these microwave marvels? I don’t think I have ever eaten a slice of american cheese and now I have 16 slices to work with. These are super delicious thank you.

    • Hi, Turbo! I have been sick this week and horribly horrible and wretchedly wretched at posting comments. I am doing my best today to get them all up.

      And I am so so happy you like these! Aren’t they fun?

  25. awesome, as usual. do you think other cheese’s work? pepperjack would be fantastic!

    • Hi, Kelly. I think pepperjack might be too soft a cheese. You could always try a portion of a slice and see. I was thinking maybe more along the lines of an aged cheddar.

  26. You can also sprinkle cayenne pepper, or some sesame or flax seeds on them before microwaving. I usually do mine for about 90 seconds. I guess it depends on your microwave…..

  27. Sounds good and only 1 ingredient BUT cutting a slice of American cheese into 32 pieces….sounds impossible…this I have to try

  28. the American cheese that is not individually wrapped is real but the ones with the paper on it are cheese food and that just sounds icky. I like real cheese. don’t care if it’s processed as long as it is cheese. πŸ™‚

  29. Michelle N says

    I have made these with aged white cheddar with success BUT Jamie is right it has to be American or a very dry cheese or it doesn’t work! I’m off to buy American to try the sticks though. The one thing with the aged cheeses is they get very lacey. Great for eating but not for dipping or using as topping etc I think you’re right on with the American for that Jamie. Yours look so puffy and solid compared to the ones I make with aged cheddar I think the fat bubbling spreads the cheese solid out to much with the cheddar… Ok. Enough blabbering in for me!! Thanks for another great idea and a quick microwave one too. Love that!!

  30. OMG! I have to say, this is RIDICULOUS! How did I not know about your site until now?! Thanks for this recipe. I’m trying it out NOW!

  31. Just tried this with 2% cheese slices. Not good. It just all melted together on the parchment paper. Maybe needs to be regular cheese?

    • Hi there! I am thinking the lower the fat content the less spread…

      • compared to the pictures, it was MORE spread. I think there is a higher water content in LF cheese. Will continue to try; they look fantastic!

        • Yeah, that’s not cool! Let me know what you try next! It could also just be that the cheese will spread; it just might need more time to cook and harden and become crunchy. I can handle cheese spread better than my fat spreading and multiplying. Ha ha!

  32. Jenn Morandi says

    Love these – sprinkled a bit of garlic, pepper spice blend on the slice before cutting (I never get 32 slices, but I get enough) and they’re even more delish! Tried just putting the parchment paper directly on the turntable instead of on a dish and that didn’t work as well as being on a dish – heat transfer, I’m guessing. I’ve got a fairly low powered micro so have had to up the cooking time to 1:10 otherwise I just get mushy cheese.
    Also, I too, tried other types of cheese with less than stellar visual results. But, cheese’s main property is it’s yumminess and that doesn’t change… πŸ™‚
    Thanks again for all the wonderful recipes – gonna do the bacon, jalapeno cream cheese chicken breasts tonight! Can’t wait πŸ™‚

  33. I made them and they’re great! I bet they’d be awesome on a burger for some extra cheesy crunch!

  34. This is a great idea. Can’t wait to try these and the idea of adding some favorite spice on top first may be the trick for my husband, who doesn’t like american cheese. But he loves anything with a little kick to it. πŸ˜‰ I wonder how they do stored in a baggie in the frig for lunches. Hope they stay crunchy…we’ll see.

    • Tammy– I doubt they’ll make it long enough to refrigerate. If they do, I still say countertop in a loosely-sealed bag until use is probably fine.

  35. Ok, just tried these with a little seasoning. Yum! Although mine fused together. I just used a pizza cutter to make them into strips again. Now I’ll experiment with storing them in a baggie in the frig.

  36. I am not at all sure what I did wrong, but it felt like one of those Pinterest experiments gone bad. LOL! I didn’t get anywhere near 32 slices. And I used an incredibly sharp knife, If they had become any skinnier, I would have “fatter cheese” using 32 pieces of shredded. LOL! I put them in for 45 seconds on wax paper, I don’t have parchment paper. Is that the difference? They came out looking like one giant fried cheese slice. Nothing wrong with that, other than being “unattractive”. However, I couldn’t get them off of the wax paper. From the crumbles I did get off, they are heavenly. Kind of like the parm crisps I make in a frying pan. (WHY did I never think to microwave those???) So, is there a real difference between wax and parchment paper?
    Side note: I am so happy I found your blog. I started my low carb diet 8 days ago and am down 9 lbs! I’ve used a lot of your recipes. THANK YOU!

    • Way to go on being 9 pounds down! I have had those experiences before, too, where things went horribly wrong. I have this one cake as an example… lol

      But back to the cheese, the parchment really does make all of the difference because it keeps the cheese from sticking to the surface. Without it, the cheese really likes to stick and make a mess.

  37. Megan Knakiewicz says

    I just made these and they satisfied the crunch that is missed when on one of these low carb diets. So good and really get alot out of one slice

  38. Megan Knakiewicz says

    how can i store these? just in a ziploc bag?

  39. Is the carborhydrate count for the whole slice?

  40. Love….love…love your creativity!!! Thanks so much for sharing

  41. so Im very late to the party.. but working from home today and needed a quick snack (missed breakfast) and right now my husband and I are fighting over them — YUMM ! jAMIE not sure what made you try this – but THANK YOU. i think the most intriguing part is the gooeyness of them while you chew… Brilliant. Thankks for hipping us to this

  42. My daughter and I just spent an hour experimenting. Had several failures but – finally – success! The key for me is to use MUCH longer cooking times. You’re basically trying to cook all the moisture out of the cheese.

    I used Kraft American processed cheese slices, individually wrapped. The thin strips were a bit too fussy for me, so I cut each cheese slice 3 times across and 3 times up and down, resulting in 9 square pieces (each about the size of a Cheez-it cracker). OK, now lay them out on the parchment paper with some space. My microwave is big enough for 18 pieces (2 slices of cheese).

    Cook them on high for 1 minute. They will bubble up greatly.

    Turn the entire parchment paper 90 degrees. Cook on high for 30 seconds.

    Turn the parchment paper again. Cook on high while watching them. Cook until the cheese starts to brown slightly – usually another 15-30 seconds. Done!

    The result is round cracker-like snacks about 2-inches in diameter. Excellent by themselves, for dipping, or with a dab of hot sauce.

  43. oh man, my first thought was “these look like hot fries!” Can’t wait to see if I can match the flavor. But if I can’t I can always…you know…”destroy the evidence” πŸ˜‰

  44. Just tried these and they were wonderful! Used Kraft American cheese slices for 45 seconds. I was only able to get 16 ‘halves’ from the one slice though. I also tried a moz and cheddar cheese stick sliced into tiny discs. They browned a bit more in the 45 seconds but were very delicious also. Will definitely be doing this frequently!! Thanks for the great ideas!! I’m new to low carbing but have enjoyed several of your recipes already!

    • Your Lighter Side says

      Hi, Leslie! It’s nice to meet you. I am so glad you have tried them and like them. It’s just fun trying some new things, especially when it seems like a way of eating may, at first, be restrictive.

  45. I tried these with kraft shredded sharp cheddar and it was awesome! Tasted just like cheez-its! Put little piles on parchment paper and zapped them for 40 seconds! Gonna be great with salsa

  46. Genius!! I love them. I gobbled them up in about 45 seconds but have you had any luck storing them for any mount of time?


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