5 Ingenious Methods for Grating Cheese Without a Grater

How to grate cheese without a grater: 5 Best Methods

Cheese is a versatile ingredient that adds flavor to many dishes. Grated cheese is especially useful in the kitchen because it melts evenly and incorporates well into recipes. But what if you don’t have a cheese grater? Fear not! There are several alternative methods you can use to grate cheese. In this article, we will explore five of the best ways to grate cheese without a grater.

Method 1: A knife and cutting board

One of the simplest and most readily available tools in any kitchen is a sharp knife and a cutting board. Using these tools, you can achieve a similar effect to grating cheese. Here’s how:

  1. Start by taking a block of cheese and cutting a thin slice from one end. The thinner the slice, the better the result.
  2. Place the slice on the cutting board and cut it into thin strips resembling matchsticks.
  3. If you’re working with a large block of cheese, you may end up with long sticks of cheese. In this case, you can cut or break it into smaller pieces.
  4. For a creative twist, try using a serrated knife to cut the first slice of cheese. This will give you a scalloped slice that can add visual appeal to your dish.
  5. You can also cut the matchsticks with the edge of the knife running across the ridges, creating wavy shreds of cheese that are great for garnishing salads.

Using a knife and cutting board is a simple and effective method, although it can be time consuming when grating large amounts of cheese.

Method 2: In a food processor

If you have access to a food processor, this method is a quick and efficient way to grate cheese. However, not all food processors come with a cheese grating attachment. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make sure your food processor has a shredding attachment, sometimes called a grating disc or blade. It is usually located at the top of the food processor bowl.
  2. Cut your cheese into small pieces that will fit easily into the food processor’s feed chute. Long rectangles work well for most food processors.
  3. Attach the grating disc to the food processor bowl and secure the lid and feed chute.
  4. Turn the food processor on medium speed and feed the cheese into the feed chute. The rotating blade does the shredding for you.
  5. If necessary, use the feed tool to gently push the cheese down the feed chute.

Grating cheese in a food processor is a time-saving method, especially for larger amounts of cheese. However, cleaning the food processor afterwards may require some effort.

Method 3: Using a vegetable peeler

A cheese slicer or vegetable peeler can be used to create delicate strands of shredded cheese. Here are two ways to use a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler to grate cheese:

  1. Use a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler to remove wide, thin strips of cheese from the end of the block. Cut these strips into matchstick-like pieces, similar to the knife method.
  2. Alternatively, you can use the sharp edge of a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler to remove very thin, narrow strips of cheese directly from the block. This method requires using the corner of the cheese block.

Both methods using a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler produce shredded cheese suitable for a variety of dishes. However, the second method may require more precision and practice to achieve the desired results.

Method 4: Using a zester

If you have a zester in your kitchen drawer, you can use it to grate cheese, especially hard cheeses like Parmesan. Here’s how:

  1. Use the zester the same way you would a cheese grater, being careful not to scrape your fingers on the sharp ridges.
  2. The Zester gives you very finely shredded cheese, perfect for adding flavor and texture to your dishes.

A zester is a handy tool for finely grating hard cheeses and can be a great alternative to a traditional cheese grater.

Method 5: With a Mandolin

Often overlooked in the kitchen, a mandolin can be a versatile tool for grating cheese. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Make sure your mandolin comes with a blade designed for shredding vegetables.
  2. Attach the shredding blade to the mandolin.
  3. Take a block of cheese and run it over the blade as you would a vegetable.

Using a mandolin with a shredding blade is especially effective for harder cheeses such as cheddar and parmesan. It provides fast and consistent shredding results.

Top tips for grating cheese

Grating cheese can sometimes be a chore. Here are a few tips to make the process easier and more enjoyable:

  1. Chill the cheese: Cheese is easier to grate when it’s cold and firm. Consider placing the cheese in the refrigerator for a short time before grating.
  2. Use a light touch: When grating cheese with a knife or vegetable peeler, use gentle pressure to avoid breaking the cheese or injuring yourself.
  3. Experiment with different techniques: Each of the above methods offers a unique texture and appearance. Feel free to try different methods to see which works best for you.
  4. Clean and maintain your tools: After grating cheese, be sure to thoroughly clean your knife, vegetable peeler, food processor, zester, or mandolin to prevent any remaining cheese residue.
  5. Consider cheese alternatives: If you don’t have a grater and need grated cheese on a regular basis, consider investing in a handheld rotating cheese grater or electric grater for convenience.

Grating cheese without a grater is a skill that can be learned with practice. By using alternative methods such as a knife, food processor, vegetable peeler, zester, or mandolin, you can still achieve the desired texture and functionality of grated cheese in your dishes.
Remember, freshly grated cheese often has a superior texture and flavor compared to packaged grated cheese. So don’t let the lack of a grater keep you from enjoying the deliciousness of grated cheese in your culinary creations.


Can I use any type of cheese for these grating methods?

Yes, you can use any type of cheese for these methods. However, harder cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan or romano work best with most techniques. Softer cheeses may be more difficult to grate without a grater.

Will the texture of the grated cheese be the same as if I used a grater?

The texture may vary slightly depending on the method you use. Using a knife, vegetable peeler, or mandolin will produce longer, thicker strands, while a grater or food processor will produce finer shreds. However, the overall result will still be suitable for most recipes.

Can I use these alternative methods to grate cheese in large quantities?

While these methods are effective for grating smaller amounts of cheese, they can be time consuming for larger amounts. If you frequently need grated cheese in large quantities, investing in a grater or using a food processor with a grating attachment may be more efficient.

Are these methods safe to use?

Yes, these methods are generally safe if you use the tools carefully. Be careful when using knives, vegetable peelers, mandolins, or zesters to avoid accidental cuts or injuries. Always keep your fingers away from sharp edges and blades.

Will these methods give me the same results as using a grater?

While the results may not be identical to using a grater, these alternative methods can still produce grated cheese that serves the same purpose in recipes. The texture and appearance may be slightly different, but the flavor and functionality remain the same.

Are there other tools I can use to grate cheese without a grater?

In addition to the methods mentioned in this article, some other tools you may want to try include a box grater, if available, a microplane grater, a coarse grater attachment for a stand mixer, or a rotating cheese grater. These tools may provide additional options for grating cheese without a traditional grater.