Can I Use Grated Parmesan Cheese Instead of Shredded?


Parmesan Cheese on a Counter

Cheese often acts as one of these bold ingredients that can either make or break a dish. A common issue that people face when gathering ingredients for a recipe is not having the shredded parmesan cheese that a recipe calls for and only having the grated version instead.

You can use grated parmesan cheese as a substitute for shredded parmesan cheese in many recipes. However, depending on the dish, you may need to change the cooking method and the amount of cheese. This is because grated parmesan has a powder-like texture and it melts faster when heated.

Please read on to learn more about how to substitute grated parmesan cheese in place of shredded.

How to Substitute Grated Parmesan for Shredded?

If your dish requires sprinkling the parmesan cheese on top of it after being cooked, then grated cheese might work even better than shredded. For example, your pasta will look even better if you put grated cheese on top of it due to it evenly melting, while the shredded cheese might end up looking like sloppy strips.

However, if you’re cooking a dish that requires the cheese to be placed in it before it is heated, such as a parmesan cheese pizza, you might end up with no cheese at all.

This is because grated cheese has much smaller fragments, so it will melt away by the time your pizza is ready. The best solution would be to add the grated cheese closer to the end of the cooking time. It will have enough time to melt but not enough time for water in it to evaporate.

Grated parmesan cheese will add flavor and look delightful on dishes like pasta and salad. You can pretty much sprinkle parmesan on top of any recipe that has cheese in it. It’s slightly salty taste will remarkably complement bread and other baked goodies.

How Much Grated Parmesan Equals Shredded?

With hard cheese like parmesan, the volume used depends on the grate size. Grate size can dramatically influence the outcome as coarsely grated cheese is much heavier than finely grated cheese. A cup of coarsely grated parmesan will have much less cheese than a cup of finely grated one.

Substitute finely grated parmesan cheese for shredded on a .5 to 1 ratio. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of shredded parmesan for your dish, you will use only 1/2 cup of finely grated cheese. However, for coarsely grated parmesan cheese, increase it to 3/4 cup to replace 1 cup of shredded.

Also, keep in mind that one pound of parmesan contains 4.5 cups of finely grated cheese.

Can I Use Grated Parmesan Instead of Shredded for Alfredo Sauce?

Grated parmesan can be used instead of shredded in Alfredo sauce. The good thing is that you can expect the sauce will be creamier and more even in texture. You also won’t have to worry about the cheese turning chunky if you substitute grated parmesan.

Pro Tip: When substituting grated parmesan for shredded, make sure you add grated cheese to the pot closer to an end, and only once you turned you reduced the heat to low. Also, once you placed grated parmesan into your sauce mixture, keep the heat turned on for no longer than two minutes. Otherwise, your cheese will start evaporating due to the small powder-like particles.

What Else Can I Substitute for Shredded Parmesan Cheese?

Shredded parmesan cheese, also known as Parmigiano Reggiano, has several substitute options. These substitutes have similar tastes and textures and usually are less expensive.

  1. Pecorino Romano Cheese This is probably the best substitute. It has a slightly saltier and sharper taste than shredded parmesan, but the texture is very similar. If you want to use it in a dish instead of parmesan, make sure to lay back on the salt as you might end up overdoing it with saltiness.
  2. Grana Padano This is also an Italian cheese, but even cheaper than parmesan. The good thing is that it has the same texture and tastes good when shredded.
  3. Nooch It! Vegan Cheese This non-dairy cheese substitute can be shredded and grated like parmesan, and it is low-fat cheese. Use it if you are on a diet or trying to lose bodyweight.
  4. Cotija Shredded Cheese This option only really works in cold dishes because it doesn’t melt well.
  5. Manchego Cheese This is a Spanish cheese with a similar taste and texture to parmesan. Make sure to purchase the aged shredded cheese instead of a fresh one.

Final Bite

While grated parmesan should be used, make sure that you are careful how and when it is introduced into the recipe. Often you will need to add it a bit later in order to avoid it being scorched.

Also, I recommend that you use freshly grated parmesan, if possible, to keep the vibrant and fancy taste of the cheese intact. That’s not to say that the pre-grated types won’t work. They will. But for the best result, always use the freshest ingredients possible.

I hope this article has been helpful. Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Jelly Grandma

Anne James

Hi, I'm Anne but my grandchildren call me Jelly Grandma. I have over 50 years of experience as a Southern cook and am a retired librarian. I love sharing what I have learned. You can find me on YouTube as well! Just click the link at the bottom of your page. I hope your visit here has been a sweet one.

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