How to make Parmesan crisps

Asparagus spears with truffle, poached free-range duck egg and hollandaise sauce

How to make Parmesan crisps

by Great British Chefs28 April 2015

How to make Parmesan crisps

Parmesan crisps are really easy to make but they look really impressive on the plate. As a garnish, they add a salty, umami-rich element to soups, risottos, salads and starters; or a bowl of them can make a delicious snack or pre-dinner nibble.

Note that Parmesan (technically Parmigiano-Reggiano) isn’t suitable for vegetarians as it contains calf rennet, so look for a vegetarian, ‘Parmesan-style’ hard cheese instead.

Parmesan crisps can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for around 2–3 days – any longer and the crisps may become soft.

Pre-heat the grill to medium
Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper and grate a thin, even layer of Parmesan in the desired shape. To make neater, uniform crisps, use metal rings or draw circles on the baking paper to use as a template
Place the baking tray under the grill for approximately 3–5 minutes until very light golden brown – they can burn easily so check regularly
Leave to cool before carefully transferring on to a wire rack with a palette knife


If you would like to shape the Parmesan crisps into cylinders, leave to cool slightly then remove from the paper while still warm and pliable and wrap gently around a rolling pin. Leave to set before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Similarly to make ‘baskets’, remove from the paper while still warm and drape over an upturned shot glass or bowl depending on the size required.


Try flavouring the crisps with herbs such as rosemary or thyme; or adding spices like black pepper or paprika to the grated cheese.

Mark Jordan suggests using a microwave to melt the cheese on baking paper before shaping into cylinders and grilling to achieve a similar finish.

Serving Suggestions

Parmesan comes from the Parma region of Italy and the intense flavour pairs perfectly with many Italian ingredients such as wild mushrooms, garlic, truffles, pasta and tomatoes. Mark Jordan makes Parmesan crisps to accompany his dish of Asparagus spears with truffle, poached duck egg and hollandaise sauce – it’s a heavenly combination where the crisps add a touch more elegance and texture than regular Parmesan shavings.

Break the crisps into large pieces for a great gluten-free alternative to croutons for soups or salads.

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