15 Best Shredded Cheddar Cheeses 2023 [Perfect for Recipes]
There's no denying it – cheese makes everything tastier. Whether you're making a sandwich, whipping up a pot of mac 'n' cheese, or baking a pizza, nothing adds that perfect touch of creamy goodness like a hearty sprinkle of shredded cheddar. Yet, not all shredded cheddar cheeses are created equal.
The market is brimming with options, making the task of finding the best shredded cheddar cheese a daunting one. Let's dive into my personal taste journey through boiled, baked, and grilled, discovering the ultimate shredded cheddar cheese to grace your dishes.
Also Read: Best Shredded Mozzarella Cheeses
15 Best Shredded Cheddar Cheeses in 2023
In the symphony of flavors, nothing hits the high note quite like finely shredded cheddar cheese. From the mild to the bold, from the dairy-rich to the vegan-friendly, I've put together a list of the best shredded cheddar cheese offerings that have transformed my culinary creations into joyous, mouth-watering experiences. Let's embark on this cheesy journey together!
1. Good & Gather Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
When it comes to that flavorful punch that cheddar is famous for, few out there perform quite as impressively as Good & Gather’s Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I remember the first time I came across this brand - the vibrant packaging immediately drew my eye. However, it was the flavor profile and texture that clinched a top spot in my heart.
Upon opening the pack, what struck me was how fresh it looked and the pleasant cheesy aroma rising from it. There was something delightfully rustic about the coarse, uneven shreds - a nod to its artisanal nature. But it is the moment those bite-sized shreds hit your tongue that the magic truly begins.
One thing that often disappoints me with commercially-packed shredded cheese is that it can seem excessively dry. That was far from the case here. There was an initial hit of moisture that tantalizingly hinted at creaminess yet to come.
The flavor was intense, distinctly sharp, and tangy, but there was a subtlety there that stopped it from being overwhelming. I loved the complexity of the sharpness. It wasn't a one-note flavor bomb; as the cheese started to melt in your mouth, it released a gentle wave of creaminess that beautifully balanced the sharpness.
I've been using Good & Gather's Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese in a variety of ways - sprinkled onto hot pasta that resulted in a delicious ensemble of creamy, cheesy delight. Also mixed into my pancake batter gifting a subtle cheesy goodness to every bite. How about over a bowl of steaming chili, or my favorite - an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich, the shreds melting and bubbling, turning into golden droplets of pure pleasure? It has never once disappointed me, turning each meal into a celebration of the love affair between food and cheese.
Using this cheese in cooking has been a real joy. In a sauce, it melted smoothly and quickly, adding a glossy, creamy richness. In a gratin, flavored so beautifully that it was almost a side dish on its own. As a topping, it melted evenly, creating the golden, cheesy crust we all aspire for in a baked dish.
It also held up impressively when used as a simple topping for pasta or a salad. Used generously, it brought taste, texture, and a certain 'excitement' to humble everyday dishes. A mere handful of these shreds has the ability to elevate the dish, adding just the right hint of sharpness, beautifully counterbalanced by a pleasing creaminess.
This is the kind of cheese that you will find yourself sneaking into more and more dishes, from salads to desserts to gratins to sauces because Good & Gather's Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese consistently delivers a burst of delicious flavor, regardless of the culinary situation.
2. Sargento Mild Cheddar Fine Cut
There are days when you want a tornado of flavors, and there are others when you wish for something comforting, something mild, and reassuring. On such days, you can always rely on Sargento Mild Cheddar Fine Cut.
Again, the packaging is alluring, with its vivid and rustic imagery. That said, with Sargento, you instinctively know the main event is within the packaging. The first time I bought this cheese, it was out of sheer curiosity. Could a commercially packed cheese deliver the comforting, gentle flavor so endearing in mild cheddar? The answer, I'm thrilled to report, is yes.
Opening the pack, I was met with the familiar and comforting scent of cheddar. The shreds looked inviting, evenly cut, and utterly delicious. The fine-cut shreds were decidedly moist to the touch, an obvious indication that this cheese would melt well and create a creamy, homogeneous blend in any dish it was used in.
Taking a bite, the first thing to hit you is the creaminess. It has a palate-coating quality that is innately comforting. The flavor, as promised, is mild and delightfully so. It's like the comforting warmth of a soft blanket – simple, but incredibly pleasurable.
Yet make no mistake, there are plenty of flavors here. The lush, mild cheddar flavor is charmingly prominent, ensuring this cheese won't be a wallflower when mixed with other ingredients.
Sargento's Mild Cheddar has seamlessly fit into my cooking and baking repertoire, balancing out bold flavors and tempering the spicy heat. Whether melted on a home-baked pizza or added to a Mexican casserole, this accommodating cheese persuasively lends itself to a multitude of dishes.
One of my favorite ways of using it has been in a classic cauliflower cheese. The gentle flavor of the mild cheddar complements the inherent sweetness of the cauliflower beautifully. And in a mac n cheese, it results in a bowl of pure comfort - creamy, gooey, and downright addictive.
The fine-cut shreds work particularly well on flatbreads or tortillas where you want even melting but not an overpowering taste. Baked into muffins and savory scones, it adds a subtle cheesy backdrop that makes the baked goods even more appealing.
Sargento Mild Cheddar Fine Cut is precisely what you need for kids and adults alike - a mild, comforting flavor bomb that lends itself beautifully to just about anything, especially when a milder, creamier palette is desirable. This cheese has slowly but surely become a staple part of my pantry.
3. Kraft Finely Shredded Triple Cheddar
Triple the cheddar, triple the fun, right? That's precisely what you get with Kraft Finely Shredded Triple Cheddar. Now, as a self-proclaimed cheese enthusiast, this blend piqued my interest due to its uniqueness. A blend of mild, sharp, and white cheddar all in one package? Definitely count me in!
The first thing I noticed was the distinct color gradient within the package - from pale to bright yellow, an aesthetically pleasing sight indicating the blend of different types of cheddar. The scent was enticing, offering a little tempting whiff of what was to come.
The tasting experience of this shredded cheese is indeed a journey through the wide-ranging flavors of cheddar. The mild cheddar is soft and comforting, the sharp cheddar introduces a nice kick, and then, just when you think things can't get any better, the white cheddar ties it all together with a smooth, creamy finish.
One of my favorite ways to use Kraft Finely Shredded Triple Cheddar is in a hearty, cheese-laden quiche. The triple-cheddar blend brings a diversity of flavors that make a simple quiche into a gourmet treat. Also, try it on a pizza - the blend transforms into a beautifully melted, gooey, delectably golden delight over a crispy crust.
4. Cracker Barrel Double Cheddar Bold Cut Shredded Cheese
With Cracker Barrel Double Cheddar Bold Cut Shredded Cheese, you are in for a bold, creamy, and fulfilling cheese experience. Cracker Barrel is well known for its cheese and for a good reason. This double cheddar is honestly a game-changer!
What I love about Cracker Barrel's double cheddar is the richness of flavor. Each shred of cheese is packed full of taste, with a bold, creamy cheddar flavor that is complex and satisfying.
One of my favorite uses for this shredded cheese is to whip up a classic grilled cheese sandwich. The bold flavor and satisfyingly stretchy melt make the simple sandwich taste truly extraordinary. I also regularly use it in my pasta sauces - its seamless melting quality adds a silky smooth texture to the whole dish.
5. Kroger Sharp Cheddar
Kroger Sharp Cheddar is deliciously sharp and creamy. The taste is robust and distinct - exactly what I look for in a sharp cheddar cheese. I found it to be an excellent choice for an extravagant mac n cheese or as a delightful sprinkling over enchiladas.
Building a moderately priced yet tasty cheese like this into my everyday cuisine has been creative and beneficial in countless ways. A bowl of hot tomato soup is transformed with a handful of this sharp cheddar melted on top.
The winning feature of the Kroger Sharp Cheddar, in my opinion, is its tangy bite. The bright, bold flavor sets it apart from other shredded cheeses on the shelf. It's startlingly good when sprinkled on a freshly baked jacket potato too. Prepare to be delighted!
6. Trader Joe’s Unexpected Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Trader Joe's has always held a special place in my heart, and their Unexpected Shredded Cheddar Cheese definitely lives up to its name. What I love about this cheese is its distinct flavor. It's intense and robust but incredibly creamy at the same time, truly delivering an "unexpected" taste experience.
I usually add it to my morning omelet. The rich flavor elevates the dish, transforming it from a simple egg-based breakfast into a gourmet treat. One bite and you'll find it hard not to love it. The taste, texture, and hints of creaminess make it stand out in any dish!
My unexpected pairing? Try sprinkling this cheese onto baked beans. The flavors work so well together!
7. Land O Lakes Sharp Cheddar Cheese Farmstyle Shreds
Land O Lakes Sharp Cheddar Cheese Farmstyle Shreds are the epitome of classic cheddar flavor. Full-bodied and satisfying, it’s perfect for cheese lovers seeking that traditional sharp cheddar taste.
What truly sets Land O Lakes apart is its perfect balance of flavor and texture. The shreds are just the right size for effortless cooking and each bite delivers an explosion of tangy cheddar. Cook it into a homemade potato gratin or layer it onto lasagna for an ooey-gooey mouthwatering finish.
8. Sargento Creamery Cheddar
With its beautiful creamy profile, Sargento Creamery Cheddar is a sublime blend of creaminess and the classic tang of cheddar. This shredded cheese gets my vote not just for taste but also for its perfect reliability. Sargento has truly outdone itself here. The rich, buttery notes, combined with the sharp, tangy essence of the cheddar, make it a must-have in your cheese collection.
Try it in a classic grilled cheese or sprinkle it generously on a French onion soup. The way it melts provides a visually stunning blanket of creamy, golden goodness. It's this mesmerizing melt that honestly makes it my go-to choice for any baked dish. You can throw it onto casseroles, pasta bakes, and even homemade bread for that mouthwatering cheesy crust - the opportunities are endless.
9. Organic Valley 3 Cheese Mexican, Thick Cut Off the Block
While not technically a cheddar cheese, Organic Valley's 3 Cheese Mexican blend has rightfully earned a spot on this list. The thick cut brings a hearty, satisfying texture to every bite. The mix of Monterrey Jack, cheddar, and queso quesadilla brings a delightfully complex flavor profile to the table, boasting creamy, milky, and slightly zesty notes.
Even though it's not pure cheddar cheese, it pairs beautifully with recipes calling for cheddar. I love to sprinkle it generously in my enchiladas or even a classic cheese omelet. The flavors meld perfectly, adding an interesting twist to your classic dishes.
For a touch of authenticity and a pleasant burst of flavor, Organic Valley's thick-cut blend should be on your list of cheeses to try.
10. Kraft Sharp Cheddar
Sharp, intense, and unmistakably Kraft, their shredded sharp cheddar is iconic in its own right. Known for its rich taste and creamy texture, Kraft sharp cheddar delivers a consistent cheese experience that has earned it a loyal fan base.
One of the beautiful things about Kraft’s Sharp Cheddar is that it never overpowers the dish but sits comfortably adding its creamy charm. My personal favorite is mixing it into my pasta sauces. It provides just the right amount of creaminess without being overwhelming, which is perfect for enhancing the natural flavors of my ingredients.
Tried and true, this cheese is a universal crowd-pleaser and a great staple to have in your kitchen.
11. Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Farmstyle Shreds
The list of shreddable Sharp Cheddar would never be complete without a nod to Tillamook's well-loved Sharp Cheddar Farmstyle Shreds. Bold and bursting with flavor, yet impeccably balanced, their sharp cheddar shreds never disappoint.
Chunks of sharp cheddar naturally aged for months give this cheese a deliciously strong taste—more tangy and robust than your average cheddar. The resealable bag packs ten full ounces of thick, farm style-cut shreds that sprinkle evenly and melt beautifully. Generously sprinkle over homemade pizza or stir into a hearty chicken pot pie, and you'll know what I am talking about.
The best part about Tillamook cheddar, in my opinion, is the beautiful mouthfeel. This cheese lends a velvety creaminess to your meals without being too heavy, adding a touch of luxury to even the simplest of dishes. From omelets, quiches, and grilled cheese sandwiches to casseroles, chowders, and beyond, Tillamook's Sharp Cheddar Farmstyle Shreds is an absolute win.
12. Good Planet Plant Based Mozzarella
This list wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging those who forgo dairy for health or ethical reasons. Don't fret if you're dairy-free or vegan; cheese can still feature prominently in your meals. Good Planet's plant-based mozzarella offers a splendid alternative that most certainly holds its own against traditional cheddar.
This cheese has a great taste, boasting a fantastic flavor profile despite its non-dairy origins. When it comes to mouthfeel, you won't be disappointed. It gets beautifully gooey and stretchy when melted, much like its dairy-based counterparts, making it perfect for your pizza nights or grilled sandwiches. I’ve used this to make vegan cheese toasties that could give a cheddar toastie a real run for its money, with all the melt, stretch, and flavor.
13. Violife Cheddar Shreds
Here's another excellent vegan option - Violife Cheddar Shreds. This cheese is a masterstroke, capturing many of the essential flavor cues of authentic cheddar and bringing that classic tang to your dishes while remaining entirely plant-based.
Violife's cheddar shreds melt exceptionally well for dairy-free cheese, making them ideal for throwing into homemade enchiladas, nachos, or anywhere a gooey cheese pull is required. You could also use it straight from the bag in salads or sandwich fillings for that hint of cheddar flavor. Honestly, you will not be disappointed; it's a fantastic vegan cheese that shines when used as a topping.
14. Happy Belly Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Believe me when I say that Happy Belly Sharp Cheddar Cheese brings true happiness to your belly! This brand indeed delivers on its promise by offering cheese with a vibrant, sharp flavor that remains well-balanced, underpinned by a creamy, satisfying finish.
Overnight pasta bakes, sandwiches, soups, salads – Happy Belly Sharp Cheddar Cheese is a match made in culinary heaven for them all. This cheddar is not shy about expressing its character, becoming the gastronomical highlight whatever the dish. And yet, it does so without overwhelming, making this an excellent option for those wanting to venture into the world of sharper cheddar.
15. 365 by Whole Foods Market Sharp Cheddar Cheese
By rounding off the list with another superbly flavorful option, I bring you the 365 by Whole Foods Market Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Seeking a reliable cheese that won't disappoint? Then look no further. This decadently creamy sharp cheddar will sprinkle beautifully and melt into a delightful mess of cheesy goodness.
I've found that this cheddar adds a burst of flavor to my morning scrambled eggs. It also does an amazing job of livening up a bowl of steaming spaghetti Bolognese, wrapping the rich, warm folds of pasta with an added layer of indulgent creaminess.
From the dairy-loving to the dairy-free, from the classic to the unexpected, I hope this guided tour of the best-shredded cheddar cheese has sparked your appetite and inspired you to embrace the cheesy goodness in all its glorious varieties.
How to Choose the Best Shredded Cheddar?
When choosing shredded cheddar cheese, taste and texture are vital. Some people prefer a stronger, tangier flavor – for them, sharper cheddar varieties can be ideal. Meanwhile, others might lean towards a milder, creamier texture and taste, making mild or white cheddar a fitting option.
A prime factor to consider is what you will use the cheese for. For instance, if you're making tacos or enchiladas, a milder, more meltable type of cheddar cheese might suit your needs best. Or, if you're making a cheese-focused dish such as a fondue or a mac 'n' cheese, then a sharper, more flavorful variety of cheese can enhance your dish beautifully.
Price can also be a factor. Don't be afraid of going for store brands or less expensive options. Many times, these cheeses can be just as flavorful and satisfying as pricier options.
Finally, don't overlook the health properties of the cheese. Although cheese, in general, is rich in calcium and protein, some varieties can be lower in fat and higher in other nutritional factors. For instance, if you are trying to eat fewer animal products or follow a vegan diet, plant-based versions of shredded cheddar cheese can be an excellent alternative to keep in your fridge.
When to Use Sharp Versus Mild Shredded Cheddar?
Sharp and mild cheddar cheese have distinct tastes, and while they are both delicious, they can serve different purposes in cooking.
As the name suggests, sharp cheddar has a pungent and strong flavor that can stand out in your dishes, even when paired with other strong ingredients. Think about heavy, hearty dishes such as shepherd's pie or a roast beef sandwich. The biting taste of sharp cheddar can balance the rich flavors to perfection.
Sharp cheddar is typically aged longer, which results in deeper flavor profiles. It typically has a crumbly texture and a fuller flavor that can enhance the taste profile of your cooking. If you're into powerful flavors, this is the cheese to go for.
On the other hand, mild cheddar has a softer, more delicate taste, which makes it great for dishes where cheese isn't the star, but acts as a complement to other ingredients.
Think about dishes like breakfast tacos or a simple cheese and tomato sandwich. You want the cheese to add that creamy goodness without overpowering other ingredients. Mild cheddar, with its subtle, creamy, and soft taste, is perfect for such applications.
When it comes to shredding, both sharp and mild cheddar are equally good candidates. They shred well and melt beautifully, making them a versatile addition to your meal preparations.
In essence, the choice between sharp versus mild shredded cheddar comes down to your personal preference and the specific requirements of your dishes. Test, experiment, and let your taste buds guide your way!
Cheddar Versus Other Cheeses: Why Choose Shredded Cheddar?
Cheddar cheese, known for its robust tang and creamy texture, holds a special place in the world of cheese. Compared to other types of cheese such as mozzarella, gouda, or brie, cheddar provides a unique depth of flavor. It can range from mellow and mild when aged for a shorter period to sharp and punchy with longer aging.
The beauty of cheddar lies in its versatility. No matter if you shred it, slice it, or melt it, cheddar maintains its lively flavor profile, thereby elevating the taste of any dish it graces. Whether it's a mild variant sprinkled atop a comforting bowl of tomato soup or sharp cheddar melted into a grilled cheese sandwich, cheddar cheese often serves as the highlight, taking the taste experience up a notch.
Moreover, cheddar cheese is generally more accessible and affordable compared to many specialty cheeses without compromising on quality. Not to forget, it's available in various forms - blocks, slices, and, my absolute favorite, shreds, making it oh-so-convenient to use across recipes. And, when we talk about shredded cheddar cheese, there's an added benefit - the increased surface area means it melts quicker and more evenly.
Why Cheddar Cheese Shreds Melts So Well: The Science Behind
Few things are as heartwarming as the sight of shredded cheddar cheese melting into a gooey, golden puddle. The reason why cheddar cheese shreds melt so gloriously lies in the science of cheese-making.
Cheese, of any kind, is essentially a matrix of protein and fat, surrounded by a small amount of water. Different cheeses have different balances of these elements, which affects their melting qualities. Cheddar cheese is usually a semi-hard cheese with a good balance of fat and protein. When you apply heat, the fat in the cheese starts to melt and the protein structure breaks down, causing the cheese to flow.
When cheddar cheese is shredded, its increased surface area comes into play. More surface area means that heat can penetrate the cheese more quickly and evenly, which helps the cheese to melt faster. The result? A delightful, even melt that lends itself beautifully to a host of dishes, from pasta and pizza to grilled cheese sandwiches and casseroles.
To take full advantage of this quality, be sure to spread your shredded cheddar evenly over the portion of your dish where you want that lovely melt. That way, you can ensure a uniform, creamy layer of cheesy goodness. It's yet another reason to love shredded cheddar cheese – not just for its flavor, but for the science-backed magic it brings to your table.
Also Read: Best Cheeses for Charcuterie Board
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I opt for shredded cheddar cheese for my recipes?
Shredded cheddar cheese offers a unique blend of taste and convenience. It melts quickly and evenly and adds a smoky, creamy, and tangy taste to a wide range of dishes. Plus, the resealable bag options make it a breeze to store.
Does the region where cheddar cheese is produced make a difference in taste?
Absolutely! Geographic origin can heavily influence the taste, texture, and blend of a cheddar cheese. For instance, the famous Wisconsin cheddar is known for its sharpness while English cheddar from Somerset has a slightly crumbly texture.
How can I store shredded cheddar cheese for a long time?
Cool, dry, and dark places are ideal for storing shredded cheddar cheese. Make sure to use a tight sealable bag or container to prevent any air exposure, which can negatively affect the cheese's taste and texture.
Is shredded cheddar cheese beneficial for health?
When consumed in reasonable quantities, shredded cheddar cheese can be a great source of protein and calcium. However, like other cheese types, it is high in fat and calorie content, so moderation is key!
Where can I find the best shredded cheddar cheese brands mentioned in your review?
Most of the shredded cheddar cheese brands mentioned in the review are available at major supermarkets like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Walmart. You can also order them online from stores like Amazon and Branch out for more exotic or artisanal options.
How is shredded cheddar cheese made?
Cheddar cheese is first made by heating and curdling milk, then adding bacteria to give the cheese its distinctive flavor. The curds are cut, heated again, and pressed into molds. After maturing, the cheese is shredded mechanically to create the shredded cheddar cheese we know and love.
Can lactose-intolerant people consume shredded cheddar cheese?
Interestingly, most people with lactose intolerance can consume hard, mature cheeses like cheddar without experiencing discomfort since most of the lactose is removed during the cheese-making process!
What are some good vegan alternatives to shredded cheddar cheese?
Yes, there are several plant-based alternatives available for those following a vegan or dairy-free diet. Some of the recommended ones are Good Planet Plant Based Mozzarella and Violife Cheddar Shreds.
What are some of your favorite recipes that involve shredded cheddar cheese?
Shredded cheddar cheese is incredibly versatile. Some standouts are mac and cheese, a classic grilled cheese sandwich, cheesy potato gratin, cheese-stuffed burgers, and cheesy bread.
Can shredded cheddar cheese be frozen for later use?
Yes, you can freeze shredded cheddar cheese! It is a convenient way to bulk purchase and store cheese. Once thawed, the cheese may be slightly crumbly, but it is still perfect for cooking or baking.
So, whether it's the unexpected creamy tang of Trader Joe's shredded cheddar or the vegan-friendly stretchiness of Good Planet Plant Based Mozzarella, we see that the world of shredded cheddar is as diverse and multi-faceted as it is delicious. Balancing price, performance, and flavor profile, each of these options brings a unique twist to your culinary creations, enhancing them beyond the ordinary.
So here's to continued exploration and opening up our palettes to an array of tastes, textures, and aromas - in the form of these wonderful brands of the best shredded cheddar cheese. Let the cheese sprinkle on!