Parmesan Crisps Backstory
What do you do when you are given a five pound bag of shredded Parmesan cheese? You make Frico! Frico is the European version of fried cheese made into a thin and crispy wafer.
A while back (meaning many years ago), one of our friends who works for a special event catering company gave me a huge five pound bag of shredded Parmesan cheese. I froze half of it but kept the other half in my refrigerator. I thought about what I could do with this lovely Parmesan cheese and I decided to make delicious Parmesan crisps. These are great on salads and soups. The only ingredient required is shredded cheese. I like to use Parmesan.
Parmesan crisps transfer ordinary Parmesan cheese into a yummy cheese wafer. They can be used as a garnish or shaped into little cups and filled with something like a dip or salad. It is perfect for an appetizer. My husband usually sneaks a few while I am making them and eats them plain.
My favorite way to eat these Parmesan crisps is in a simple salad tossed with a vinaigrette dressing then topped with the Frico. Actually, who am I kidding? My favorite way to eat these is right out of the bowl while watching a movie. And yes, I could probably eat this whole bowl!
How do you make Frico?
Frico are simple to make, however they must be watched closely while cooking so they do not burn. Basically, you add a little mound of Parmesan cheese to a hot pan and watch it turn into a delicious and cheesy wafer.
Another piece of cooking advice: use a non stick skillet so the cheese doesn't stick to the pan. I used a small omelet skillet and made three Parmesan crisps at a time. Use a plastic spatula to turn the crisps so both sides get melted.
This time I topped the frico with black pepper but they can be made with any type of herb or spice. Rosemary also pairs well with Parmesan cheese.
Parmesan Crisps Variations
- Try using a different kind of cheese! Mix the Parmesan with Asiago, Gouda or a hard cheddar. For this recipe, I would stick with a hard cheese as a soft cheese like American or Gorgonzola will not work well. The results and makeup of the crust may vary depending on the cheese, so give it a try before you fully commit.
- You may also want to vary the type of seasoning you add to your Parmesan crisps. Try some garlic salt or onion powder for an extra burst of flavor. Or, if serving with seafood, use some Old Bay or something similar.
- Have bacon bits lying around? Mix the bacon bits into the cheese while it's melting. Then, serve with roasted potato chunks and some sour cream for a new twist on the classic baked potato!
Serve Your Frico with These Recipes!
- Add on top of a delicious Avocado, Tomato, and Arugula Salad
- This Farmer's Market Tomato Salad would be delicious with an added crunch
- Dip them in my Super Easy Guacamole
- Sprinkle over this Classic Tomato Soup from Once Upon a Chef
- Top them on this Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup
Other Cheesy Recipes
- Philadelphia Cheesesteak Breakfast Sandwiches
- Pizza Grilled Cheese with Pepperoni
- Stovetop Mac and Cheese
- Pappardelle Pasta with Bacon, Egg, and Cheese
- Cheddar Bacon Puffs from The Spruce Eats
- Tortilla Chip Crusted Oven-Fried Ravioli from Half Baked Harvest
- Prosciutto and Blue Cheese pear Bites
First Published February 2012; Updated October 2020
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Black Pepper and Parmesan Frico
- 8 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
- fresh black pepper to taste
- Heat a small non-stick skillet on medium heat.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of grated cheese in a circular pattern (a 2 inch circle or larger if desired) over the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium heat until the cheese has melted and formed a light crust, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully lift and turn the layer of cheese with a spatula. Cook until lightly golden on the 2nd side, about 30 seconds.
- Remove the Frico from the pan and set it on a plate with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle black pepper on the Frico.
- You can make little cups by draping the Frico over a shot glass if desired.
- Cool slightly before serving.
- Continue with the remaining cheese.