When it comes to cooking, sometimes you have to make do with what you have on hand. So, what happens if a recipe calls for grated Parmesan cheese, but all you have is shredded Parmesan?

The Difference Between Grated and Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Before we delve into whether or not you can use shredded Parmesan cheese instead of grated, let’s first understand the difference between the two.

Grated Parmesan cheese is typically finely grated and has a powdery texture. It is made by grating a solid block of Parmesan cheese using a fine grater or zester. This type of cheese is commonly used as a topping for pasta dishes, salads, and soups.

On the other hand, shredded Parmesan cheese consists of thin strips of cheese. It is made by using a shredder or grater with larger holes. Shredded Parmesan cheese is often used in dishes like casseroles and as an ingredient in baked goods.

Can You Substitute Shredded Parmesan Cheese for Grated?

Yes, you can use shredded Parmesan cheese as a substitute for grated Parmesan in some situations. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be slight differences in texture and melting properties.

Tip: If using shredded Parmesan as a substitute for grated, try pulsing it in a food processor or blender to achieve a finer texture closer to that of grated Parmesan.

Cooking Applications

  • If the recipe calls for sprinkling grated Parmesan on top of pasta or salad, using shredded will work just fine. The difference in texture will hardly be noticeable once melted or mixed with other ingredients.
  • When it comes to recipes that require incorporating Parmesan into a dough or batter, shredded Parmesan can be used. However, keep in mind that the larger shreds might affect the overall texture of the finished dish.

Melting Properties

One factor to consider when substituting shredded Parmesan for grated is the melting properties. Grated Parmesan tends to melt more evenly and quickly due to its fine texture. Shredded Parmesan, with its larger pieces, may take slightly longer to melt and may not distribute as evenly.

Tip: To ensure proper melting, you can try grating or finely chopping the shredded Parmesan before using it.


In most cases, substituting shredded Parmesan cheese for grated will work just fine. The key is to consider the specific cooking application and make adjustments if necessary. While there may be differences in texture and melting properties, they are generally minimal and won’t significantly affect the outcome of your dish.

So go ahead and use that shredded Parmesan cheese in place of grated! You’ll still get that deliciously savory flavor that Parmesan is known for.