Zero Waste Crackers are almost impossible to get, but I still REALLY like to eat them. Here are some zero waste alternatives to crackers with cheese and dips, for when you don't want to make them yourself AND want to skip plastic.
I adore crackers with dip or cheese, but we are trying to reduce our waste and there are several alternatives that taste great and many are healthier and easy to obtain locally without plastic or packaging.
I've had mixed success making my own crackers and honestly quite often just don't have the time to make them for a constant supply in the pantry.
(If you do have a no-fail recipe, I'd love to try it out by the way)
In addition to the suggestions below, you can try making your own potato crisps or polenta chips at home - BUT this post is all about a low effort option.
Some of these cracker alternatives may not sound as amazing as the real deal, but I really do think they are worth a go, I love them.
I'm not a super healthy eater lately and admit I'm not generally excited by loads of veggies. However, if you are eating some gourmet cheese, delicious dip or nut butter - they are the things you really want to be tasting - crackers are plain and boring for a reason!
1. Stale Bread
Well, I did just warn you some options may sound unappealing, but stick with me here. Stale bread is pretty much a big cracker that is probably going to be thrown in the bin. The more stale it is, the better as an alternative to ryvitas or jatz.
Stale or fresh pita bread is absolutely delicious warmed up in the oven and cut into triangles.
If your kids are too precious to eat crusts (like mine), just chop them off before preparing sandwiches and leave them on the kitchen counter to dry. This works great with the ends of the bread too. Keep it a secret from the kids and call them 'dippers'- you may not get any for yourself.
Did You Know you could be literally throwing out $200 worth of bread a year just on bread ends and crust? Here's how to stop wasting bread
Toast is just like stale bread but usually fresher and can be used without butter and eaten cold when replacing crackers.
Ever had paté served with those cute mini toasts?
Well, ordinary toast is just a super sized version without being wrapped in small plastic packaging AND you can cut them into smaller pieces.
If you haven't already, make a point to find a local bakery that is happy to provide you with loaves of bread in your own bag. Most bakeries are happy to do this.
3. Celery Sticks
Celery is NOT my favourite snack, but teamed with the right dip it is pretty enjoyable. It is a super healthy option containing Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, fibre and more.
Cut them into thin strips and pair with cheese sticks or creamy dip and you might be surprised at how tasty it is.
If you want to prepare them ahead, store in the fridge in a dish or glass of water to keep them crisp for several days.
4. Carrot Sticks
These are a classic cracker alternative, and go with pretty much any dip as well as cheese.
Sticks are best for dip but you can cut carrot rounds if you want the shape of a typical cracker and then top with cheese or create a fancy topping (like cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill).
5. Cauliflower or Broccoli florets
Go raw, you might not be a fan of these but I guarantee if you pair cauliflower with a creamy dip like French Onion, you are going to love it and your kids might too. Broccolini is pretty tasty with homemade salsa dip and either of these veggies are yum with hommus.
By the way - Lots of kids WILL eat broccoli and cauliflower raw but not cooked!
6. Zucchini Slices
Yep, you can eat zucchini raw and it tastes pretty good. Slice it up and use as a base for items you would normally eat with crackers.
Because it has such a mild flavour it goes well with pretty much anything.
I'm also told these are an easy item to grow at home, although I'm yet to do this myself.
Just like zucchini, cucumber can be sliced or cut into sticks and paired with all kinds of flavoured dip.
Try it with Tzatziki for a big flavour hit, and here's an authentic greek recipe for homemade tzatziki.
8. Tomato Wedges and Slices
Not the most obvious choice, but sliced tomato and cheese (think Bocconcini) are delicious and you won't miss the cracker too much. It's not really a going to work with dips but you can cut small wedges for dipping into basil pesto or creamy garlic dips. Sundried tomatoes are perfect for mini hors d'oeuvres.
As you can see, there are plenty of zero waste alternatives to crackers that can be eaten with dips, cheese and little snacks with very little effort to prepare.
Your cracker substitute will of course depend on what you plant to eat it with. I hope this has given you some great ideas to try out for yourself.
Plant based foods are so much better for the environment than processed foods. Plus the more natural they are, the better for your health.
I'd love to hear if this has inspired you to swap out at least some of your crackers and replace them with a zero waste option - let me know below how it goes.