Cheese is the low carb dieter’s manna from heaven. Not only are low carb cheese snacks extremely easy to find, they are jam-packed with protein to help keep blood sugar levels even. Cheese makes an excellent protein to eat with a dose of carbs, or it can be a filling treat all by itself. Cheese is also one of those foodie-foods, so there is incredible variety, from super expensive and rare sheep cheese to the everyday staple, cheddar. We literally go through pounds of the stuff every month at our house, especially since my gestational diabetes diagnosis. Low carb cheese snacks are my go-to when I’m not feeling very creative – I can just hack off a chunk and be satisfied until dinner.
The snacks on this page all require little or no preparation time. I hate cooking and expect half of the world to agree with me, if not more of you. So these snacks fit right in line with my no-fuss philosophy. In my world, if food preparation takes more than about five minutes, my husband has to do it or I go hungry.
Low Carb Cheese Snacks
1. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is such a versatile, yummy snack. It also doubles as an easy breakfast if you pair it with a piece of peanut butter toast, which happens to be one of the best foods in the world. Cottage cheese alone doesn’t taste all that great, however, so you’ll need to add something to it. My favorite way to eat it is with a generous sprinkling of lemon pepper, but you can add any type of seasoning or a small amount of fruit. Think of cottage cheese as a blank canvas just waiting for you to add some color. Total carbs: A mere 6 grams for 1 whole cup.
2. String Cheese
I could be wrong, but I think string cheese is one of those household staples you really can’t live without…right up there with toilet paper and Internet. This is especially true if you have kids – or are one yourself. I mean, how much more fun could food be than to pick off strings with your teeth and hold them like walrus tusks? Purely to amuse the kids of course… If you aren’t a big fan of plain string cheese, dress it up with some spaghetti sauce (what do you think mozzarella sticks are) or salsa, both of which have very few carbs, especially when used as a dip. I bet they might even taste good dipped in a little seasoning salt or other spice concoction. Total carbs: Less than 1 carb per 1 ounce stick.
3. Parmesan Cheese Crisps
For you chip eaters out there, Parmesan cheese crisps may be the answer to your cravings. Made with nothing but cheese and salt, they pack a satisfying crunch and a dollop of protein without any of the guilt of regular chips. They also come in their own packaging, so they’re the perfect solution for low carb travel snacks or for packing in your work lunch. Total carbs: Less than 1 carb per 3 chips.
4. Cheddar Cheese with Summer Sausage
Cheddar cheese with summer sausage is like a present upon a present. That’s right, folks, act now and you’ll get not just one, but two helpings of protein with your snack! They can be eaten stacked together, or savored individually. Growing up, we always ate Grey Poupon with our summer sausage. Is it just me, or does hearing “Grey Poupon” bring to mind Aerosmith’s Eat the Rich song? It’s been stuck in my head all day as I was thinking up this post. Rich food or not, it goes excellently with summer sausage and is much better not shoved in inappropriate places, but thanks for the visual, Mr. Tyler. Total carbs: 1 gram per 3 slices of cheddar; about 1 gram for 3 slices of summer sausage, depending on variety.
5. Cheese and Crackers
This is one of the classic low carb cheese snacks, dating back to when man was inventing the wheel. Not many things go hand in hand like cheese and crackers. Just ask Handi-Snacks. My personal favorite is cheddar with Ritz crackers, and since Ritz only have 2 carbs per cracker, you can fill up pretty well without going over your carb limit. Total carbs: 1 gram per 3 slices of cheddar; 10 carbs per 5 Ritz crackers.
6. Cheese and Apples
Green apples go particularly well with cheddar cheese, but since we usually have Gala or Fuji on hand, that’s what we use. One apple amounts to about 15 grams of carbs and has a generous helping of fiber, so this is a very nutritious snack. Between the protein and fiber, you can be sure to last until dinnertime. Total carbs: 1 gram per 3 slices of cheddar; 15 grams per 1 cup sliced apples.
7. Cheese Curds
You know you’re thinking it. And if you’re not, it is my moral obligation to get it stuck in your head: “Little miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey…” Cheese curds are a great squeaky snack all wrapped up in a slick little package. Since they taste better when they’re not cold, such as at room temperature, they’re about as perfect as it gets for a snack on the go. Pair them with little pepperoni slices or crunchy crackers and you’ve almost found heaven. Total carbs: 1 gram per ounce.
8. Cheese Nachos
While they sound high carb, you can have cheese nachos with light tortilla chips and get a very satisfying snack. Eat them plain, ie cheese and chips, or sprinkle some salsa and veggies on them. Nachos can be tossed in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is completely melted, so they take very little prep time too. Total carbs: 1.45 grams for 1 cup shredded cheddar; 18 grams for 15 light tortilla chips.
9. Steamed Vegetables with Cheddar Cheese
This has been a mainstay for me for the past few weeks. I take 2 cups raw broccoli and cauliflower, throw a dollop of real butter and a smattering of salt on top and microwave for 2 minutes. Then I add shredded cheese, heat for another minute and voila! Healthy, filling and low carb. Lots of veggies go well with cheddar, so even if you aren’t a broccoli and cauliflower type, you can enjoy this low carb cheese snack. If it can be used for dipping, like carrots, squash or bell peppers, it will taste good with cheese. Total carbs: 1.45 grams for 1 cup shredded cheddar; 4 grams for 1/2 cup cooked and salted broccoli; 3 grams for 1/2 cup cooked and salted cauliflower.
10. Popcorn with Parmesan Cheese
You know, I never knew how great popcorn was until I was researching ideas for this post. We love popcorn here, and buy bulk popping corn so we can always have lots on hand, but I never knew how incredibly low carb it was! One cup of air popped popcorn is only 6 grams of carbs, and it is absolutely delicious with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Add some salt, Nature’s Seasons seasoning or our personal favorite, garlic salt with parsley, and you’ve got a winner the whole family will love. Total carbs: 0 grams for 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese; 6 grams for 1 cup popcorn.
The underlying theme of all of these low carb cheese snacks is quick and easy. I really meant it when I said I hate cooking! I hope you can find some use out of these snack ideas, and hopefully contribute your own in the Comments section.