These Savory Herb and Parmesan Shortbread Crackers are so incredibly good on their own they really don’t need any toppings or dips. They truly are one of the best savory crackers that are perfect to serve when entertaining during the holiday season or any season, for that matter! They’re rich and buttery with just a little fresh herb flavor combined with the delicious nutty taste of Parmesan cheese. How good is that? Really good!

A sprig of thyme decorating the top of a cracker

We all know that shortbread is synonymous with the holiday season (hello Walkers Christmas collection) and a classic combination of rosemary, sage and thyme herbs makes these little nibbles oh so festive.

This shortbread recipe is made the same way as sweet shortbread cookies with just the added Parmesan and herbs.

Rows of shortbread crackers viewed from overhead with fresh rosemary, sage and thyme.

There are 2 ways to make shape shortbread cookies. The first way is to make a log out of the dough, then cut into rounds. The second method, and my personal favorite, is to roll the dough out and use a fluted cookie cutter, which results in a perfectly round shape.

Shortbread history

It’s a very simple biscuit with only 2 ingredients that is traditionally Scottish (but very popular in England too) originating in the medieval times and Mary Queen of Scots. These little biscuits were traditionally reserved for special occasions like weddings and Christmas. While we don’t see them too often any longer at weddings, they definitely make a splash this time of year and are very popular for the Christmas holiday.

Savory shortbread serving idea

A sage leaf on top of a cracker

You would definitely want to serve these with charcuterie (meats, cheeses, etc.) Rosemary Sun-Dried Tomato Olives and maybe some English Pickled Onions and Mushroom Pâté.

Making Shortbread Crackers

These are very delicate little fellas so remember to handle with care! Made with only 6 ingredients, they start out by rubbing butter in with flour, then adding the herbs and Parmesan. It is best to refrigerate the dough when done to give the butter time to firm up to prevent them spreading in the oven. You can also make the dough a day ahead, then bake the day you need them, or bake the day before. The choice is yours.

When it comes to the butter for sweet shortbread I like to use salted butter. But since this recipe has salty Parmesan cheese, I use choose to use unsalted butter.

How to store shortbread

They will keep for up to a week in a sealed container at room temperature, or refrigerated for 10 days.


I like to add a little sprig of thyme, a leave of rosemary and a small sage leaf to the tops of the crackers before baking hinting at their flavors, but this is entirely your choice.

Optional additions: Chopped nuts, a little lemon zest or dried fruit.

Yield: 14

Savory Herb and Parmesan Shortbread Crackers

Herb and parmesan shortbread crackers displayed on a board with fresh herbs

Delicious savory shortbread crackers made with Parmesan and fresh herbs.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes


  • 1 ⅓ cups (175 grams) all-purpose/plain flour, sifted
  • 9 tablespoons (120 g) unsalted butter, softened * see note
  • ¾ cup (60 grams) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To a mixing bowl, add the flour and butter. Rub between fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.
    Stir in the Parmesan and herbs. Use your hand to press and knead the dough until it starts to stick together and there are no more crumbs, you can see how I do this in the video. (you can also do this in a stand mixer using paddle attachment). If it will not stick together and is dry, add a very small amount of water until it does but don’t over do it. Press into a flat round shape, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn out the dough onto parchment paper. Roll out to (1/8-inch) 3mm thick. Use a 2 1/2 inch (6cm) fluted cookie cutter to cut out rounds. If the cracker does not come out with the cutter (because the dough is delicate) remove the excess dough from around the cracker, then lift them using a thin spatula onto the baking sheet to retain their shape.
  4. An optional decoration is to add a little of the herbs on the tops before baking.
  5. Bake in the center of the oven for 12-14 minutes - they should be just begin to turn a pale gold at the edges. They will be soft but firm up when cooled.


I prefer unsalted butter because the Parmesan add enough salt, so just keep this in mind if you choose to use salted.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 131Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 24mgSodium 156mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 3g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.