I remember years ago being at a restaurant in Las Vegas and we had a bread basket delivered to our table. In this basket were the most delicious little crispy things. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what they were but I knew I wanted more. When I asked the server about them, he told me that they were called “Frico” which is Italian and basically means “heated cheese”. I will admit that I obsessed about them for a little bit and then went on with my life.
Fast forward about ten years to my husband doing a Ketogenic diet. We were looking for snacks that he could have and Parmesan crisps were on the suggested list of snackables. We first ordered some on Amazon then later found them in Costco and also in our grocery store bakery. They were the same little crispy things that I had fallen in love with in Las Vegas. My kids really liked them too. The only problem was that while they were delicious, they were really, really expensive. I mean REALLY expensive.
So I decided to try to make them. I did some research, found some recipes, some were pretty fancy. Some were pretty plain. I discovered that if you are feeling extra creative, you can make them and then while they are still warm and pliable you can shape them into little bowls and little taco shells and little fancy things. But for now, for this post, we are just going to make Parmesan crisps. That’s the way that my family likes them best.
This recipe uses shredded Parmesan cheese. Not the green shaker kind. The kind that you find with the shredded and the block cheeses in the grocery store. When it is on sale, it is not super expensive. That is why this recipe is something that is well worth trying. Each crisp is made using just one tablespoon of cheese. You can make as many or as few as you like and the seasonings that you use are completely up to you. (But the black pepper is such a delicious addition you should definitely keep that!). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and put the oven rack in the top third of the oven.
I find it easier to make these in small batches of 6-8 at a time. I use a silicon pad on my baking sheet but parchment paper can be used instead. The two important things to note are that the cheese needs to be spread out as flat as possible and there should be spaces between the piles. If you don’t spread out the cheese, the crisps will turn out chewy rather then crispy.
Once the cheese has been spread out into a thin layer, the seasonings are added. I have seen these made with literally everything but my top three are black pepper, garlic powder and crushed dried rosemary. (I just bought some everything bagel seasoning though… that could be interesting!)
Once seasoned, they go into the preheated oven and they stay there for 5-6 minutes. They will brown up and they will be bubbly when you remove them from the oven. They will look lacy in appearance. They need to cool on the baking sheet so that they can finish cooking and they can get firm. If you want to shape them, do it before they cool. You can put them onto upside down muffin tins to make little bowls, roll them up into little straws or fold them into taco shells… whatever makes you happy.
One thing is for sure though – these will get eaten. Experiment with different sizes and seasonings and everyone will be asking for them. Super simple, delicious and not breaking the bank. Enjoy!
Parmesan Crisps (Frico)
- Fresh shredded Parmesan cheese 1 tbsp for each crisp
- Black pepper to taste
- Rosemary to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Place oven rack in the top third of oven.
- Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking pad or parchment paper.
- Using a tablespoon measure, scoop one tablespoon for each crisp onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread in a flat circle, thin and even, leaving room between the crisps.
- Sprinkle with black pepper, garlic powder and or crushed rosemary to taste.
- Bake for 5-6 minutes until golden brown in color and lacy in appearance.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet.
- Store in a zip top bag for up to a week. Enjoy!