Homemade Saltine Crackers

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Golden, freshly-baked saltine crackers are presented on a baking sheet lined with parchement paper.


When it comes to entertaining, I like to surprise family and friends with unexpected little treats. I think it’s fun to serve something a little out of the ordinary on special occasions. I typically mix the menu surprises in with the usual suspects, like veggie and fruit trays, so as not to stir up too much trouble. It’s a guarantee I will include homemade dips, homemade bread and butter pickles, homemade potato chips, fancy (and sometimes stinky) cheeses as well as homemade jam on my snack table menu. However, one of my all-time favorite ways to spoil my guests is by whipping up a batch or two of these simple, homemade, saltine crackers!


Crisp saltine crackers are cooling on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. The golden tops of the crackers are slightly puffed and each cracker is pierced with rows of holes from a fork.


Only four pantry-staple ingredients are needed to make these crispy saltine crackers and the method is super duper simple too. I’m not kidding, making a batch of these crackers is crazy easy and your guests will think you’ve just outdone yourself when you serve them at your next party!


The fresh-baked crackers are presented on a white plate in two neat rows. They are ready to serve and enjoy!


Saltines are not the only variety of homemade cracker I like to make, but this is my base-recipe for most other variations. I simply change-up the ingredient mixture by adding different types of salts, peppers, herbs, spices and oils in to make a more gourmet-style cracker. It’s a joy for me to get creative with the flavors in these homemade saltines, especially if a theme is in mind for a meal.

In fact, my plan is to share one of my favorite flavor variations of this recipe with you all next week!

But, if you are ready to get crackin’ on a batch of these saltine crackers, you can check out my latest YouTube Video below for guidance. In this video, I make a batch of these rustic yet impressive goodies as you watch!

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Homemade Saltine Crackers

Recipe by Marcelle at A Little Fish in the Kitchen Course: SnacksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy

6 – 8

Prep time


Cooking time



Impress your guests by serving homemade saltine crackers at your next gathering! It’s easier than you may think.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

  • 1/2 cup +1 to 2 tablespoons water, room temperature

  • Extra salt for tops, if desired


  • Pre-heat oven to 400°. In a large mixing bowl add salt to flour. Add in the shortening and use a pastry cutter (or some call it a pastry blender) to cut the shortening into the flour until it becomes grainy like sand.
  • One half at a time, add in the water. Stir with a wooden spoon and eventually your hands until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the shaggy dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 1 minute until it come together. Shape the dough into a disk.
  • Roll the dough out until it is reasonably thin (like pie crust). Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Transfer the rolled cracker dough to a baking sheet. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into long strips or squares.
  • Use a fork to poke a couple of rows of holes into the top of each cracker. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops of the crackers are puffed and the edges are a light, golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Serve with your favorite, dips, cheeses, soups, stew or chili. Enjoy!


  • Recipe as published on A Little Fish in the Kitchen at www.alittlefishinthekitchen.com. All content is owned by Marcelle G. Bolton. Please contact the author for permission to republish.


  1. Georgianne

    Do these go stale fast? I haven’t found a ziplock bag that really keeps all the air out. Also do you recommend freezing them?

    • Hello Georgianne, thank you so much for reading and for checking out this recipe for Homemade Saltine Crackers! As these crackers are made from scratch with no added preservatives, yes they can go stale much faster than store-bought crackers. Keep them in an air tight container away from direct sunlight (in a cool, dry place) in your kitchen for up to 4 -5 days, if they last that long. Every time I’ve made these they are eaten up very quickly, I honestly haven’t had to store them for extended periods of time. However, I DO NOT recommend freezing them, I think the moisture would make soggy crackers once they are thawed out. I hope that helps, and I hope you enjoy the crackers!

  2. Mignone Claudia

    What can I use instead of vegetable shortening? Thanks.

    • Hello there, thank you so much for visiting my blog and for the comment! I have only made these crackers using shortening as listed in the recipe. However, some of my followers have commented through the years that they have subbed lard, coconut oil or butter for the shortening with success! I hope that helps and I hope you enjoy the recipe!!

  3. Can you use coconut oil (in solid form) for these saltiness?

    • Hi Terri, I have not personally used coconut oil to make these saltines, but other readers and YouTube subscribers have commented that’ve subbed in other fats such as coconut oil and lard with success in this recipe! I hope that helps and I hope you enjoy the saltines!! 🙂

  4. Made these today and they turned out pretty good! I wanted to make that Christmas Cracker Toffee but I needed to make it gluten free – my daughter in law is gluten intolerant – and I have searched high and low and there doesn’t appear to be gluten free saltines anywhere! I took a leap of faith and made this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour and I have to say I’m impressed! They don’t look exactly like the traditional saltines but they taste so much better than a lot of the gf crackers on the market. Looking at the picture above it didn’t look like a single batch would fill the pan so I made 1 1/2 the recipe and it was actually too much. Next time I’ll just do a single batch lol. I’m so glad I found this recipe and took a chance!

  5. Elizabeth G

    I love anything homemade but I only ever eat wheat saltines. How would I adjust the flour to make it a wheat saltine? Thank you in advance for your time and attention.

  6. These homemade crackers look absolutely perfect. I’m so thankful that you shared the recipe.

  7. Mine came out perfect. Made them for the first time and double the recipe. I will not buy Crackers for a long time. Thanks

    • Hello there! Thank you very much for letting me know how the recipe worked for you! Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Your guests must feel very pampered when they dine at your home. Your homemade crackers must be terrific.

  9. I love homemade crackers and Saltines are such a classic. Can't wait to try these!

  10. Fun recipe! I haven't had Saltines for years — decades! — until this summer. Then we made some for a recipe. I should make these instead — they look much better than the packaged ones. Thanks!

  11. Wow! One bite of these and I know I would never eat a Saltine from a package again.

  12. I need to try these! I'll bet they taste so much better than store bought! Nice work 🙂

  13. What a fun idea! I love the slightly rustic look and they would look amazing on a cheese board!!

  14. never in my life have i considered making saltines from scratch! how ambitious and delicious. 🙂

  15. I will definitely try these with butter. Like you, I was brought up using Crisco or lard for piecrusts and pastries. However, as butter is one of the five major food groups, I’ve turned over to it for just about everything. I’ll let you know how they come out! Happy weekend.

  16. Hi David, you absolutely could substitute butter for shortening to make these. I use butter for most everything else I bake, but I always use shortening to make pie crust and crackers! It's just how I learned those recipes 🙂 I've even seen saltine cracker recipes where they add baking soda, hence "soda crackers", but I've never used that ingredient to make them. As far as using lard I'm sure it would work in crackers too. Although in my mind, lard is a pretty specialized ingredient and I use it only for tortillas because it's a traditional ingredient in that recipe. I hope you all enjoy them if you make some. Thank you!!

  17. I would hate to put anything on one of these crackers! It’s as if the cheese would ruin it… I do have a question, Marcelle, can you use butter instead of vegetable shortening? Have you ever tried that? I generally don’t have Crisco or the like in the house… What about lard?

    • Cocoa and Lavender:
      I don’t either use vegetable shortening due to my strict dietary regime. I can have grass fed/finished butter and lard. I know it has been over a year and half since your post, but did you try to make these Soda Crackers with one of those ingredients? How did it turn out? Best Regards.

  18. We do enjoy them a bunch with soups and chili! Thank you, Vicki! 🙂

  19. Hi Pam, thank you!!

  20. Thank you, Angie!

  21. Wow such a great idea and especially to share this in the fall when the cooler weather is coming..I'd love to have homemade crackers with my homemade soup!

  22. What a great idea! They look delicious.

  23. Cool! They look crispy and evenly thin. Good job, Marcelle!

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