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How To Grate Cheese Without a Grater

Grating cheese is easy when you have the right tool, but how do you grate cheese without a grater?

Not to worry, there are many other excellent ways to grate fresh cheese quickly. Use other standard kitchen tools to grate cheese easily with little effort. 

Grated cheese on a cutting board.

How to grate cheese without a grater? 

Do you not have a grater, or did the handle break off? 

Don’t worry! You can use many other options to grate cheese for your meals. 

These kitchen tools will make grating faster, give you different designs, and even be more efficient. 

Food processor 

The most efficient way to grate cheese is with a food processor, and it’s much faster than using a regular hand grater. 

To use this method, use the grater attachment, put the tall tube lid on the machine, turn on the processor, and use the black masher to push the cheese all the way down. 

Be sure to cut the cheese into cubes to fit in the tube easily.  

If you only have the standard blade at the bottom of the bowl, you can still grate hard cheese. Cut the cheese into small pieces before putting them in the bowl, and use the pulse function to grate the cheese. 


If you have a mandoline in your kitchen, grating cheese with this works well. Keep in mind that you’ll most likely get very thin slices of cheese with this method rather than lots of grated pieces of cheese. 

It’s best to use firm cheese for this method since you’re slicing it along a very sharp knife. 

With that said, watch your fingers! Always use the cover attachment when you use the mandoline to protect your fingers, and it’s easier to cut them with this tool than you may expect.   


A zester or Microplane is normally used to zest citrus, and it can also be used to finely grate hard cheese. You can also use it with soft cheese, but it’s a little harder because the cheese bends easier. 

Use a Vegetable peeler to grate cheese without a grater 

Try using your vegetable peeler to grate your block of cheese. This is a fun method that results in long, thin strips or curls of cheese, and it works best with hard cheese. 


You can also use a blender to grate cheese but make sure the cheese is cut into small pieces before you start. 

You may need to do several batches and use a long spoon or spatula to move the cheese closer to the blades every so often. 

Kitchenaid Mixer 

The Kitchenaid brand sells a grater attachment perfect for just this task. If you have the attachment already, just hook it up to the mixer and grate away!  


While a knife doesn’t technically grate cheese, it is possible to cut tiny slices that resemble grating. This will take a long time but will result in very even cheese pieces. 

Soft cheese vs. hard cheese: grate cheese without a grater 

Many of these methods work best with hard cheese rather than soft cheese, and this is because soft cheese tends to bend or stick to your tool. 

One pro tip is to put soft cheese in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes before grating to make it harder. In turn, this will make it easier to grate. 

Hard cheese: parmesan, manchego, gouda  

Soft cheese: mozzarella, fontina, cotija, Velveeta, gruyere 

How to grate cheese without cutting yourself 

You need to watch out for one little thing when grating cheese with any tool—cutting your fingers. 

Most grating tools have sharp edges (to grate the cheese with), which aren’t great for your hands. 

Some tips to stay safe are to keep your fingers as far away from the blade as possible, use kitchen gloves, use any protective attachments that come with the tool, and pay attention to what you’re doing.   

How to use grated cheese 

You can add grated cheese to many different dishes, and it’s perfect in soups, casseroles, cheese sauce, grilled cheese sandwiches, meatball subs, chicken florentine, or on top of spaghetti, nachos, or eggs.  

Should I grate my own cheese or buy pre-shredded cheese? 

You may be wondering about all this grating business when you can buy pre-shredded cheese at the store. 

There are a few reasons why you might not want to do this. 

Blocks of cheese stay fresh longer than grated cheese. You can keep it in the refrigerator or even freeze cheese. 

Pre-shredded cheese has extra preservatives added by the manufacturer to keep it fresh longer, making the cheese taste waxy. 

For the freshest cheese, buy the block and shred it yourself. 

How to store grated cheese 

Store freshly grated cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for two weeks. If you see any mold on the cheese or it smells sour, it’s time to throw it out. 

You can also freeze shredded cheese, and it will keep for up to six months if kept in an airtight container. 

Be sure the cheese is dry and not moist before freezing it; otherwise, you’ll end up with a clump of cheese. The best way to do this is to refrigerate it first.  


There are many different types of kitchen tools you can use to grate cheese without a grater. You likely have most of them in your kitchen right now. 

Hard cheese grates easier than soft cheese. If you are trying to grate soft cheese, stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes before grating. This will help the process along. 

Buying blocks of cheese to shred at home is fresher, and you’ll be able to tell in your dishes. Store the grated cheese in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to use it.

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