Grated Parmesan cheese is a versatile ingredient that can add a delicious burst of flavor to a variety of dishes. However, if you’ve ever tried to sprinkle it over your meal only to find that it’s hardened into a solid mass, you may be wondering how to soften it and make it easier to use. Fortunately, there are several methods you can try to bring your grated Parmesan cheese back to its original soft and fluffy texture.

Method 1: Room Temperature

One of the simplest ways to soften grated Parmesan cheese is to let it sit at room temperature. This method works best if your cheese has only slightly hardened.

Simply transfer the cheese from the refrigerator to a plate or bowl and leave it out for about 30 minutes. As the cheese warms up, it will become softer and easier to sprinkle over your favorite dishes.

Method 2: Microwave

If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to wait for the cheese to soften naturally, you can use your microwave. Place the desired amount of grated Parmesan cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on low power for 10-second intervals.

After each interval, check the consistency of the cheese. Be careful not to overheat it as this can cause the cheese to melt instead of simply softening.

Method 3: Steam Bath

If your grated Parmesan cheese has hardened into a solid block, creating a steam bath can help soften it. Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring it to a simmer.

Place the hardened cheese in a heatproof bowl or colander and suspend it over the steaming water, making sure that the water does not touch the cheese directly. Cover the pot with a lid or aluminum foil and let the steam work its magic for about 5-10 minutes. The steam will help to soften the cheese, making it easier to crumble or sprinkle.

Method 4: Grate It Fresh

If all else fails and your grated Parmesan cheese remains stubbornly hardened, you can always resort to grating it fresh from a block of Parmesan. Purchase a chunk of Parmesan cheese and use a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment to grate the desired amount of cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese has a softer texture and stronger flavor compared to pre-packaged grated versions.


Grated Parmesan cheese is a wonderful ingredient that adds depth and richness to various dishes. However, if it becomes hardened, there’s no need to worry.

By following these simple methods, you can easily soften your grated Parmesan cheese and bring it back to its original fluffy texture. Whether you choose to let it sit at room temperature, use the microwave, create a steam bath, or grate it fresh from a block of Parmesan, you’ll have soft and flavorful cheese ready to enhance your favorite meals in no time.