Parmesan Crisps

Parmesan Crisps
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parmesan crisp

What if we could show you how to make any meal more elegant with only 15 minutes of easy work? Would you do it? Of course you would. Us, too; that’s why today we’re going to show you how to make Parmesan Crisps that will add a bit of class to almost any meal. Float on a bowl of soup, or use one under a small custard (both of which we plan to try using these crisps).

Perhaps you have another idea, such as placing one rakishly on a salad, or using as a cracker for a savory mousse, or maybe even just for snacking. Why not? These only take about 15 minutes from start to finish.

Now, we’ve seen this technique in several places before, but, more recently, we found it in The French Laundry Cookbook, by Thomas Keller, and we figure that if they make these at The French Laundry Restaurant, they’re probably really good.

Parmesan Crisps

Yield: about 12 crisps

Parmesan Crisps


  • 1-2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Abbreviated Instructions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.

Using your fingers, scoop up about 1-2 teaspoons of cheese and place on the prepared baking sheet. Shape into a circle about 2 inches across. Repeat until you have 11-12 circles of cheese.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, let sit 30-60 seconds to firm, then transfer to paper towels to cool completely.

Ingredient discussion:

One ingredient. The cheese stands alone. Everything is riding on the cheese. If it isn’t a good-tasting Parmesan to begin with, your oven will not magically transform it during baking, so use a good authentic Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese. The kind that comes in a chunk and needs grating before using. According to the original recipe, the cheese needs to be freshly grated, and it should come from a piece of Parmesan that’s moist (not dried and crumbly), which is our SOP here at Scratchin’ Central.

Procedure in detail:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.

cheese circles
You can make these crisps any size you need. Well, maybe not a yard across.

Make cheese circles. You can make these crisps in any size you need, so, if you want to float one across an entire bowl of soup, make ’em big enough. We wanted cheese crisps about 2 inches across, so we picked up about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cheese and shaped it into a small circle. Continuing on, we were able to fit 11 crisps on the sheet.

parmesan crisps
The crisps take on a nice lacy texture while baking. We just wanted to take a bite.

Bake. Slide into the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Watch closely right at the end so the cheese doesn’t burn.

parmesan crisps
Let the crisps cool completely on a paper towel. They get crisp while cooling.

Cool. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and since the crisps are very soft when they’re hot, let them cool for 30 to 60 seconds to firm up. Once firm, use a spatula to transfer them to paper towels to cool completely. They’ll crisp as they cool, and they should stay crisp for about 2 days in an airtight container.

parmesan crisp in soup
We floated some of the Parmesan crisps in our lentil soup.

Now that we’ve let you in on the secret, we’re sure that you’ll be using these Parmesan crisps to accent nearly every meal. And why not? It’s a small bit of cheese and a miniscule amount of effort to provide a whole lot of pleasure when you’re eating your meal. It looks fancy, and you get to bite into that crispy, crunchy piece of cheesy fun. An easy five stars for an easy recipe!

Worth the trouble?

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