Appetizer Brunch Crafts Entertaining Herbs Printables Shortbread Spring

Savory Herb Shortbread (and Party Printables!)

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Savory Herb Shortbread dough rolled out, with cookie cutter.

Set out these buttery savory herb shortbread crackers at the cocktail hour for an elegant alternative to chips.  I’ve included a pretty customizable menu and place cards to help you set the theme for a brunch or afternoon tea.

Savory herb shortbread crackers on a cooling rack

We’re trying something new and fun today, so in addition to my recipe, I’m including downloadable printables for your next spring brunch or gathering.   The menu is customizable so you can print them out with your own fabulous line up.  Place cards, too!  You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader (it’s free) to fill in your menu and print.  Instructions below.

These herby shortbread crackers are based on my Asiago Lemon Thyme Shortbread which was published way back in 2011 ~ wow, has it been that long??  That was based on an Ina Garten recipe, and I’ve always loved the concept.  Shortbread is one of my favorite things to eat, and granted I mostly go the sweet route, but every now and then I crave these cheesy biscuits, they go great with a chilled glass of wine.

Savory Herb Shortbread dough rolled out, with biscuit cutter

I used rosemary from the overgrown bush just outside my front door, it thrives in the California heat and provides me with an endless supply.  The stalks are long and sturdy enough to use as skewers for my Rosemary Chicken Skewers, but for this savory shortbread recipe I snip the tender tips.  I process them right into the dough which gets infused with that wonderful piney flavor.

Savory Herb Shortbread dough being rolled out

You can have endless fun with this concept.  Use thyme or sage instead of rosemary (be sure it’s fresh!) and roll more fresh herbs right onto the top of your dough before cutting.  The laminated herbs will cook right into the crackers.

Savory Herb Shortbread dough being cut out on waxed paper.

Savory Herb Shortbread ready to bake

These savory shortbread crackers are substantial enough to be served on their own so they make a super easy starter

Rosemary Parmesan Savory Shortbread with white wine

Tips for making savory herb shortbread ~

  • Butter should be at room temperature, I leave it out overnight.
  • Measure your flour using the fluff, scoop, and level method for accuracy.
  • Use fresh rosemary, dried won’t be nearly as fragrant.  Remove the leaves from the stems and give them an initial chop before adding to the processor.
  • Process the dough in your food processor just until it comes together in a lump.  This should happen in 30 seconds to a minute.  You can do this by hand, just be sure to get the dough thoroughly mixed and all the flour hydrated by the butter so it isn’t crumbly.
  • Depending on the moisture content of your butter and cheese, you may need to add a tiny bit of water to your dough to bring it together.  Start with 1/2 tsp and go from there.
  • If you are going to laminate fresh herbs on your crackers I found that some worked better than others.  Parsley, sage, lavender, and thyme worked well for me.  Parsley kept its green color the best of all.
  • I bake my shortbread so that it has a soft texture, like a shortbread cookie.  If you’d prefer a crisper texture, cut them a little thinner and bake a little longer.

Savory Herb Shortbread ready to bake
Add to Your Recipe Box
3.21 from 528 votes

Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread

Set out these buttery savory herb shortbread crackers at the cocktail hour for an elegant alternative to chips.  I've included a pretty customizable menu and place cards to help you set the theme for a brunch or afternoon tea.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield 18 shortbread crackers


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced rosemary leaves plus extra whole leaves for the tops of the crackers (If you like you can mince the rosemary right in the food processor first)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 stick 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • extra whole leaf herbs for laminating onto the dough


  • Put the flour, cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Add the chunks of soft butter and pulse about 30 times to combine into a crumbly mixture. The process until the dough comes together, this should not take longer than 30 seconds to a minute. If the dough does not come together, add a tiny bit of water to the bowl, start with 1/2 tsp, and process again.
  • Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and bring together into a smooth flat disk, just like you do with pie crust dough. The dough should be smooth and uniform, without dry floury parts. Knead it with your hands if necessary. Wrap the disk in the plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Roll out the dough to about 1/4 to 1/8 thickness. I do this between two sheets of waxed paper and it works like a charm, no sticking. If you want to laminate herbs onto the surface of the dough, lay them out onto the dough, leaving space between. Put the waxed paper back over the top and lightly roll with your rolling pin to press the herbs right into the dough. Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out your circles. Remove the dough to a baking sheet. Reform the leftover dough, roll and repeat until all the dough is used.
  • Bake the shortbread for 10-15 minutes, until they are just starting to turn pale golden around the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the pan, then remove to a rack. The shortbread will firm up as it cools.




  • Make it ahead ~ you can make the crackers up to a couple of days ahead of time, or freeze the dough.
  • Make it easy ~ if you don't care about the herbs laminated on top of the crackers you can roll the dough into a log and slice and bake.
  • Make it pretty ~  use edible flowers in place of the herbs ~ try spicy marigold petals.
  • Make it with different herbs ~  I think thyme or sage would be fabulous.
  • Make it with different cheese ~ other hard aged Italian cheeses like Asiago, Romano, or Grana Padano would work too.

Spring party printable menu and place card

The menu pdf file is fillable with your own text if you open it using Adobe Reader (see instructions below), while the place-cards simply have a blank space for you to fill in your guest’s names by hand. Of course you could also print out a blank menu and fill it in by hand, as well, if you were just going to display one copy on a counter or a buffet, for example.

Simply click on the links below to download your free copy of either the printable menus or place-cards!

To use the fillable option on the menus, follow these steps:

  1. Download Adobe Reader if you don’t already have it (it’s free.)
  2. Open the menu file in Adobe Reader, and fill in the text boxes with your menu items.
  3. To print either file, make sure your print settings are set to “scale” at 100%.
  4. Cut out your menus or place-cards along the lines indicated at the corners using scissors or a paper-cutter.

screen shot showing adding text to printable menu

Happy spring entertaining!


savory herb shortbread pin


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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    December 29, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Can you freeze the actual cracker?

    • Reply
      December 29, 2019 at 11:14 am

      Yes, shortbread freezes really well, and I had no trouble with the herbs on top.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2019 at 11:01 am

    These savory shortbread biscuits are delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe ?.
    I could eat them all in one sitting..they almost melt in your mouth! They will be a great accompaniment to potato and leek soup!

    • Reply
      November 3, 2019 at 7:34 pm

      Thanks Cindy!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2019 at 10:00 am

    These crackers are so delicious and easy to make. My guests were impressed.

  • Reply
    Barbara Rosenblum
    October 17, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    I froze the cut out cracker dough. Do you bake them frozen or defrost them first?

    • Reply
      October 17, 2019 at 7:37 pm

      You can leave them out for a bit to soften, but they don’t have to be completely thawed.

  • Reply
    Connie Moczygemba
    August 7, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    These look beautiful and sound delicious. I will be baking these soon.
    I was wondering if they can be kept at room temperature after baking or does the cheese content require refrigeration.

    • Reply
      August 7, 2019 at 1:14 pm

      I keep my shortbread cookies at room temperature for several days, Connie.

  • Reply
    Claudia Clarke
    August 1, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    What a fantastic and savory recipe. As soon as I get some unsalted butter and take clippings from my rosemary plant I’ll be in business! Thank you so much ?

    • Reply
      Claudia Clarke
      August 1, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Thank you so much!!! Not with a question mark. Duh!

  • Reply
    June 23, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    I am so excited to try these savory herb shortbread that i asked my hubby to get me mixed herbs from the grocery store today! I love savory shortbread! In the city of Bangalore in India, there is a well-known bakery that makes “khara biscuits”, which uses finely chopped seeded green chili and finely chopped cilantro mixed right into the dough. The chili gives almost no heat, but does give a lovely aroma. In Bangladesh, they make a salty shortbread with only nigella mixed with the dough. This biscuit (cookies are called biscuits abroad) is ubiquitous in every person’s home, even in the backwater villages, and served with tea for sudden drop-in guests. The nigella shortbread are unforgettable.

  • Reply
    March 21, 2019 at 6:43 am

    Hi. Can these cookies be frozen?

    • Reply
      March 21, 2019 at 7:48 am

      Shortbread freezes well Eloisa, but I’m not sure the pressed herbs would do so well. If you’re making them with the herbs chopped, like the rosemary, they would freeze better.

  • Reply
    Hanna Sigmon
    March 20, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Safe to assume all purpose flour is used in this recipe?

    • Reply
      March 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Yes, that’s right!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    you recipes look so good.iam in australia and i love Ina Garten,s recipes

  • Reply
    December 27, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Do you suggest a dip to go with it ?

    • Reply
      December 27, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      I don’t really recommend serving these with a dip Preet, they do better on their own.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Is it possible to replace butter for olive oil?

    • Reply
      December 18, 2018 at 8:00 am

      No, sorry Sarah, shortbread needs to be made with butter.

  • Reply
    Vaidehi Patel
    December 1, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Very easy and beautiful. However mine puffed up in the oven and can’t figure out why. Any advise?

    • Reply
      December 1, 2018 at 9:48 am

      Some of mine puffed slightly. Try chilling the crackers before baking, that should help with the puffing.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Any suggestions on how to mailing these if we’re making them as a gift for the holidays?

    • Reply
      November 8, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Shortbread is delicate, so I would definitely make sure they don’t have any opportunity to shift or move in their packaging, Christine.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Can you use gluten free flour?

    • Reply
      November 5, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      I have made shortbread with gluten free flour before, and it works, but the texture is definitely different.

  • Reply
    November 1, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Can this recipe work without cheese?

    • Reply
      November 1, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      I haven’t tried it without the cheese Sabiha, so not sure.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    These look wonderful! Can they be baked in a 8×8 or 9×13 and scored before baking so they come apart into crackers easily? Also for the person who asked about GF, I regularly use almond flour (1:1 ratio with white flour) or combo almond/coconut flour and my shortbread comes out beautifully each time. I also incorporate coconut palm sugar to make it lower glycemic for those with blood sugar isssues. The color is a little darker at times but people have a hard time telling that it’s anything but my traditional shortbread. Love your recipes!

    • Reply
      October 27, 2018 at 8:41 am

      Thanks for the input Amy, and as for the pan, I haven’t baked these flat like that, but I have baked shortbread in my 8×8 pan and like the result.

  • Reply
    August 23, 2018 at 4:12 am

    Hi! Can I leave out the cheese entirely or will that skew the ratios of the other ingredients? Will substituting lemon zest work? Thanks!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2018 at 6:52 am


  • Reply
    Pat Tarlton
    August 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Do you grease the cookie sheet or is there enough butter in the dough ?

    • Reply
      August 18, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      I like to use parchment paper with shortbread so it doesn’t get too dark on the bottom, but you won’t need to grease your pans.

  • Reply
    Jonathan Stiers
    August 16, 2018 at 7:50 am

    I love this! So cute! :)

  • Reply
    August 15, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Thanks for sharing! Do they keep long?

    • Reply
      August 15, 2018 at 11:43 am

      They’ll keep about a week, Vanessa.

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    June 8, 2018 at 8:01 am

    I love your answer to Jemma about using the template to print the recipe if giving as a gift. :)

    • Reply
      June 8, 2018 at 8:11 am

      We’re going to be offering that very thing for our next printable, Karen, stay tuned!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2018 at 5:09 am

    These look amazing!! I can’t wait to try! Can these also be made using the log-chill-slice method, or is there a reason (other than the herb-laminating) you roll it out flat and use cutters?

    • Reply
      June 4, 2018 at 6:56 am

      No, you can roll the dough into a log and slice and bake, I do that with many of my shortbread cookies, and it works great with savory shortbread too.

      • Reply
        June 4, 2018 at 3:20 pm

        Excellent! Thanks :) I’ve seen you do it with others so thought that would be the case!

        • Reply
          June 4, 2018 at 4:52 pm

          Just be sure to slice them on the thinner side, I think the savory ones taste better that way.

  • Reply
    June 2, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Is there any way to convert to gluten-free? These look so good, but I have to eat gluten free.

    • Reply
      June 2, 2018 at 3:53 pm

      I haven’t tried a gluten free version with these Barbara, maybe another reader will chime in on this.

      • Reply
        December 15, 2018 at 12:45 pm

        I have had excellent results with the King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour. Everything I’ve tried has worked, including cut-out sugar cookies, the one thing I had given up because it was such a disaster with other GF flours. That’s what I’ll be using when I try this recipe.

        • Reply
          December 15, 2018 at 12:49 pm

          I agree, I’ve had good results with that and also the Costco gf blend. I think Bob’s Red Mill makes a good one too.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    These are gorgeous! Can they be made without a food processor?

    • Reply
      May 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      Sure, you can make shortbread by hand, just cut in the butter really well, and blend and blend! The rosemary can be finely mined by hand, too.

  • Reply
    May 16, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Overgrown rosemary bush by the back door – sigh! I’m always floored by the abundance of herbs just growing wild and crazy when I visit the west coast. I’ll have to make do with my little container herb garden to make these beautiful crackers. Great work!

    • Reply
      May 16, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Oh sorry to make you jealous, Karen, I’m super jealous of people who get actual ‘weather’, like rain and snow, so it evens out!

      • Reply
        November 14, 2019 at 11:33 am

        To avoid breaking a large branch and possibly lose half or all of the shrub, we gave ours a big haircut and obtained many fresh new shoots.

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    May 15, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    I love savory shortbread and these are the prettiest with all the lovely herbs!

  • Reply
    Martha in KS
    May 14, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    My cousin Glenda is on the Herb Committee of the Master Gardeners in Las Vegas. I’m sending this recipe to her – I’m sure she’ll be excited to try it. Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 14, 2018 at 5:50 pm

      Wow, what fun, I hope she likes it :)

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    May 13, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    These crackers are just beautiful Sue! And I bet they taste amazing! I love the printable too! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Sue, this is wonderful ! I have all the herbs on my balcony ……. just looking at them ……. will do definitely !

    • Reply
      May 12, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Isn’t it wonderful to have fresh herbs so handy?

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    May 11, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    So pretty and no doubt delicious! Love the printable, too :) Happy Mother’s Day!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    This is a champion idea and can be made so pretty or not as desired. Would be lovely with just the right cheese or pate. Must away to the kitchen and I can enjoy them tomorrow for Mother’s Day!!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Sure would appreciate being able to print recipes without the photo, which uses a lot of ink. Other blogs allow an option to uncheck photo and/or nutritional info prior to printing. Yet others simply print recipe without ink guzzling photos included. Thanks for your consideration!

    • Reply
      May 11, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Oh sorry RMB, I don’t think my recipe plugin has that option but I’ll check into it today for you.

    • Reply
      Marlene Bellamy
      May 11, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Maybe print in black and white? Or copy recipe text into a Word document.

    • Reply
      Nancy May
      May 12, 2018 at 1:05 pm

      Copy and paste into a Word document or pdf and then you can do whatever you want to them. I keep one photo but reduce it down to postage stamp size. Then I can print with or without the photo! Easy peasy!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 10:46 am

    I adore savory shortbreads using herbs! I haven’t made them in years, and now after seeing your photos, that’s all I want to make right now. Perfect dessert after a spring brunch, or for gifts!

  • Reply
    Lynn A
    May 11, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Oh, these look wonderful!! I want to make them and serve them with roasted red pepper bisque for a light, but elegant girls lunch!!

    • Reply
      May 11, 2018 at 10:10 am

      Perfect for a girls lunch :)

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

    What a pretty dish with so many flavors in it.

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 9:44 am

    These are so beautiful and would make fantastic gifts to take around to freinds and family.

    • Reply
      May 11, 2018 at 9:56 am

      You’re right, and you could even use the little place cards as labels, or write up the recipe on the menu template!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Oh my goodness!! These are absolutely gorgeous. I love sweet shortbread but I’ll make these even just to look at them, so so pretty! They’re so great for parties or party favors!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2018 at 8:32 am

    these are absolutely stunning!!! i love how you pressed the herbs in, they look so fancy!!! this is such a cool idea!

  • Reply
    Kavita Favelle
    May 11, 2018 at 8:19 am

    These are gorgeous and since we have lots of herbs growing in our back garden, would be a lovely way to incorporate them into our baking. They look super pretty and bet they taste great.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    May 11, 2018 at 8:16 am

    So fun, so pretty, so unique! I can’t wait to try these. I already love everything about them!

  • Reply
    Kate Crawley
    May 11, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Love these shortbreads, Sue! I’ve been meaning to say how great your new photo is too!

    • Reply
      May 11, 2018 at 8:12 am

      Thanks Kate <3

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    May 11, 2018 at 4:00 am

    Well now … aren’t these absolutely brilliant!? Another amazing and beautiful way to entertain – and no doubt delicious! Sharing and pinning Sue – and happy Mother’s Day!

  • Reply
    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    May 11, 2018 at 3:37 am

    How pretty! Shortbread cookies are my absolute favourite, Sue.