Shredded Parmesan Cheese vs. Grated Parmesan Cheese: What’s the Difference?

Are you a fan of Italian cuisine? If so, you might have come across recipes that call for either shredded or grated Parmesan cheese. While these two types of cheese may seem similar, there are actually some key differences between them.

What is Shredded Parmesan Cheese?

Shredded Parmesan cheese, also known as shaved or flaked Parmesan, is made by cutting the cheese into thin strips using a grater or a special tool called a peeler. The resulting pieces are irregular in shape and texture, with some parts being thicker and others thinner.

What is Grated Parmesan Cheese?

Grated Parmesan cheese, on the other hand, is made by finely grating the cheese using a grater or food processor. The resulting texture is much finer and more uniform than shredded Parmesan.

So, what’s the difference?

The main difference between shredded and grated Parmesan cheese lies in their texture and how they are used in cooking.

Shredded Parmesan works well as a topping for salads, pasta dishes, and pizzas. Its irregular texture adds an interesting visual element to these dishes and its flavor is more intense than grated parmesan.

Grated parmesan, on the other hand, is used more commonly as an ingredient rather than a topping. Its fine texture makes it easy to incorporate into recipes such as sauces, soups, and marinades.

  • When to use Shredded Parmesan: Use shredded parmesan when you want to add a bold flavor and visual interest to your dish.
  • When to use Grated Parmesan: Use grated parmesan when you want to incorporate it evenly into your dish.

Can I Substitute Shredded Parmesan for Grated Parmesan?

In most cases, shredded parmesan can be substituted for grated parmesan in recipes. However, the resulting texture of the dish may be different due to the irregular pieces of cheese.

If you need grated parmesan for a recipe and all you have is shredded, simply pulse it in a food processor or blender until it resembles the texture of grated parmesan.


While shredded and grated Parmesan cheese may seem interchangeable at first glance, they actually have different textures and uses in cooking. Whether you use shredded or grated Parmesan comes down to personal preference and the needs of the recipe.

So next time you’re at the grocery store picking up some Parmesan cheese, consider which type will work best for your dish.