If you are a foodie, you must have come across the hard and savory Parmesan cheese. This cheese is a staple in many Italian dishes and adds a unique flavor to your food. However, it can be quite challenging to work with hard Parmesan cheese, especially if you need it to be grated or shaved.

But fret not! There are ways to soften hard Parmesan cheese, making it easier to use in your recipes. Here is everything you need to know about softening this delicious cheese.

Why is Parmesan Cheese Hard?

Parmesan cheese is a hard cheese because of its low moisture content and long aging process. It is made from cow’s milk and aged for at least one year, but some varieties can be aged for up to 36 months. During the aging process, the moisture evaporates from the cheese, leaving behind a dense texture that can be difficult to cut or grate.

How to Soften Hard Parmesan Cheese?

There are various methods you can use to soften hard Parmesan cheese:

1. Room Temperature

One of the easiest ways to soften Parmesan cheese is by taking it out of the fridge and letting it sit at room temperature for about an hour before using it. This will allow the cheese to warm up and become more pliable.

2. Microwave

Another way to soften hard Parmesan cheese is by microwaving it for a few seconds. Place the block of cheese on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high for 10-15 seconds until soft enough to grate or shave.

3. Grate It

If you find that your Parmesan cheese is too hard to cut or shave, try grating it instead. Grating will break down the dense texture of the cheese, making it easier to use in your recipes.

4. Shave It

If you need to shave Parmesan cheese, try using a vegetable peeler instead of a knife. This will allow you to create thin slices of the cheese without applying too much pressure, which can cause it to break.

How to Store Softened Parmesan Cheese?

Once you have softened your Parmesan cheese, it is essential to store it correctly to prevent it from hardening again. Wrap the cheese in a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and place it in an airtight container or plastic bag. You can also add a small piece of bread or apple to the container to help maintain the moisture level inside.


Parmesan cheese is an excellent addition to any dish, but its hard texture can make it challenging to work with at times. By following these simple tips, you can easily soften hard Parmesan cheese and make it easier to use in your recipes. Whether you choose to let it sit at room temperature or microwave it for a few seconds, softened Parmesan cheese will add that extra touch of flavor and texture to your food that you have been missing out on!