Toasted Parmesan Rinds

Looking for a way to use up those Parmesan rinds collecting in your cheese drawer? Check this out. A friend of mine showed me this trick the other day that was so drop-dead easy, so obvious, so I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-think-of-this, and so good, I’ve been eating my way through Parm rinds every day since. All you do is shave them to about a 1/2-inch, no less than 1/4-inch, thickness, spear them with a fork and toast them like marshmallows over a gas flame. Or if you have a broiler, pop them in the broiler. Then slice them into cubes or strips and eat. Sprinkle over salads or soups like a crouton, a pure Parmesan crouton.

Toasted Parmesan Rinds Recipe

Ingredients

Parmesan rinds, 1/2-inch thick is perfect, no thinner than 1/4-inch thick

Method

toasted-parmesan-rind-1.jpgtoasted-parmesan-rind-2.jpg

Gas stove, stove-top method

Remove the grate from your gas stove. Using a fork, pierce a section of Parmesan rind from the softer, non-rind side first. Put the gas on to a medium flame. Holding the cheese rind side to the flame, gently toast it until nicely browned. Remove the fork from the cheese and spear the other side. Now toast the softer side. When nicely browned all over, remove to a cutting board and cut into cubes or strips. Add to soups, salads, or just eat like popcorn.

Broiler method

Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil. Place rinds rind-side down on aluminum foil. Broil the softer, non-rind side first for a few minutes until lightly browned. Then turn the rinds over and toast the rind side. (You toast the cheesy side first because that way when you flip over the rinds, they won't stick as much to the foil.)

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Links

Parmeigiano-Reggiano - the Wikipedia on Parmesan

44 Comments

  1. Barbara | Vino Luci Style

    Seriously? I feel like I’m at a confessional…I’ve never used the rinds for anything but I do cry a bit when I’ve pitched them in the trash. This will make my life have less guilt now.

  2. Kitten with a Whisk

    OMG that is fantastic!

  3. Nisrine@Dinners & Dreams

    What a great way to use cheese rinds and not let them go to waste. I will try this for sure!

  4. Matthew

    Good idea on the rinds. One thing I’ve done for years it so sprinkly parmesan cheese onto a greased cookie sheet in the oven. Wait until it all is bubbly, then remove and let cool. You’ll have wafer-thin, crispy cheese. Great for pretty much anything – if you can resist eating it straight from the pan!

  5. Jess

    Whoa, is it National Parmesan Rind Day, today? I had just finished reading this post by Melissa Clark on the NYT Diner’s Journal when I clicked over and saw those gorgeous toasted rinds of yours! I’ve been tossing Parmesan rinds into soups and sauces for a while now, but I’ve never tried toasting them. Thanks for the inspiration, Elise!

  6. rebecca h.

    I put my Parmesan and other hard cheese rinds into cooking soups. They don’t melt but they give great flavor, not cheesy, just very savory.

  7. vasudha

    Wow, what a neat technique, I am absolutely going to try it out! Can it be done with other cheeses too? Jarlsberg for instance? and if not Jarlsberg, then what kinds?

    Thanks v. much!

    Great question. I tried doing it with the rind of some Gruyere, but it got messy. The outer rind wasn’t edible, it charred off and was easy to peel off. But the cheese started to drip fat over my stove as I toasted it. Not good. So I gave up. Works great with Parmesan though. ~Elise

  8. Monzie

    I have a super-secret stockpile of Parmesan rinds in my freezer that I use to make minestrone.

  9. Lana

    How clever! And how easy! I collect the rinds for minestrone and similar soups, but this appeals to me much more. I LOVE parmigiano! Thanks, Elise!

  10. Shannon@Delectalicious

    Who’da thought you could toast up the rinds like croutons? Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  11. caitlindentino

    Genius!! What a great switch up from their normal hiding spot in the freezer waiting for stock. Can’t wait to try these out. Particularly perfect as croutons when serving gluten-free friends. Thanks Elise!

  12. Harris

    Is there a concern about the ink on the rind?

    From what I understand, Parmigiano-Reggiano uses heat branding on the rind. ~Elise

  13. Jackie

    Thank you for sharing this idea! My significant other and I were recently discussing the edibility of parmesan rinds as I mistakenly believed they were inedible. You’ve proven him correct and given me a great way to try my first one! :-)

  14. Julia

    When my piece of Parmesan gets down to the rind I will try broiling it so I can eat it.

  15. carolineadobo

    I usually just toss parm rinds into soups & stocks so I’d like to try this. (This reminded me of my MIL toasting feta over a stove flame, she eats them with crusty bread for breakfast.)

  16. Lisa@bakedinmaine.com

    Omg! I was just thinking about a way to make pure cheese crackers!!! Perfect timing! Can we can do this with cheddar cheese???
    Thanks for this one……….. Lisa ;-)

    I don’t think it will work with cheddar. This requires a hard, dry cheese. ~Elise

  17. Tabitha (From Single to Married)ba

    Very neat little trick!

  18. CJ McD

    I never collect enough cheese rinds to do this. I always use mine in soups. They impart an enormous amount of flavor.

    Now I’m going to have to sacrafice a soup and give this a try.

  19. Miss Meat and Potatoes

    Well first the Homesick Texan puts bacon grease in her chocolate chip cookies then you go and toast Parmesan rinds. What a day for foodies! This is a great tip! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Shannon

    You have just blown my mind. Seriously.

  21. Tina

    That sounds so fantastic. Brilliant!

  22. Cowgirl Chef

    Just yesterday, I used a couple of Parmesan rinds in a minestrone soup. I love the idea of roasting them and using them in lots of other things too.

  23. Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet

    I am seriously impressed. Almost any cheese toasted is fabulous, but Parmesan is amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe because I have quite a collection of rinds in my freezer. I hope they still work well.

  24. Dara

    Oh my, Elise – this is just evil! I have a bagful of rinds sitting in my cheese drawer, waiting to be included in a soup. The soup is going to have to wait. I have some serious toasting to do. I think this is a job for my handy little kitchen torch.

  25. Mejkin

    I’ve always used parmesan rinds to flavor my red sauce. This looks yummy, though!

  26. frances

    Someone had concerns about the ink on the rind. I think one should have a lot more concerns about the invisable stuff. A documentary about Parmesan cheese clearly mentioned never to use the rinds because it is heavily impregnated with chemicals to fight off the bugs during the aging process. I used to put my rinds into soups too but never did it again after seeing the doc.

    Hi Frances, for something like this, it would be best to cite your source. From everything I know, there are no additives other than salt in Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is the authentic form of Parmesan, made under the strictest of guidelines in a particular region of Italy. Even the “ink” is actually a heat branding. ~Elise

  27. Stacey H

    I am going to try this with my Manchengo rinds too!! Yummm!

  28. Lucy

    Oh my…as if I needed ANOTHER reason to munch on cheese. What a delightful idea, and you’re right, so simple it makes you wonder why you’ve never thought of it before! Definitely worth a try — great snack for the cook with a glass of wine while preparing dinner.

  29. Pat Matson

    Very innovative. I thought I was clever putting the rinds in my spaghetti sauce where it makes for a lovely twist, but this takes the cake! Huzzah for you, Elise…..and for all you contribute to my kitchen. Love your site.

  30. Rosie

    My husband is going to love you for this! He is always complaining about my always growing bag of parm rinds in the fridge (for some reason, these things never get moldy) as I use them less in the warmer, summer months since I am making less soups, stews and the like. This will be a fantastic way to make a dent in the bag. Thank you.

  31. myboyfriendcooksforme

    You have officially blown my mind! I am a huge rind fan in general, and this seems like a great way to get at those rinds that are “difficult to eat”. Amazing. And mind-blowing…

  32. Jenny

    In Brazil, on the Ipanema beach, you can find a lot of street vendors walking around with a little charcoal stove and they would grill cheese and sell it on a stick

    I’ve heard of that too. A friend of mine grills provolone. It’s a bit difficult though as the cheese is melty on the inside. You have to grill it on very high heat, turning it frequently so that the outside gets browned as the inside heats up and gets melty. ~Elise

  33. Janet

    Hey, hasn’t anyone heard of putting small amounts of cheese on parchment paper in the microwave? A sprinkle about the size of a quarter in the microwave for about 1.5-2 min. Yes, it will look pretty dark brown. Let them cool and you have a cheese cracker. I have used provolone, cheddar, and all kinds. Don’t repeat the process too many times or my microwave overheats and turns itself off for a while. We love these at my house. Janet

  34. Katrina

    This is amazing! I can’t believe I never thought of this.

  35. DSX

    This sounds great, we had no idea rinds could have life after cheese! I’ve always been under the impression sort of wax is used as a seal. Perhaps that is the ‘oil’ that melted off of some people’s cheese? Could it be brand dependent or perhaps I’m just ignorant!

    Many cheeses do use wax as a seal. But Parmigiano-Reggiano does not. ~Elise

  36. Emma (aka Fahara)

    Oooh what a fab thing to do with the olde ends! I bag and freeze my rinds to add to soups for extra umami oomph, but I love this idea too – shall give it a go :)

  37. michelle

    hahahaha. I always grate the rinds, because I’m ignorant, and I know they’re edible. It takes a lot of work, though, so I’m glad to have found out this trick!

  38. Nate @ House of Annie

    We usually toss the rinds in spaghetti sauce, but this sounds like more fun. “eat like popcorn”. I love it!

  39. Sharon

    Eating my Parmesan rind popcorn right now. Yum! Thank you!!

  40. Cuocere

    Genius!

  41. The Faithful Foodie

    I’m looking forward to trying this! I never throw the rind away but throw them in a pot of spaghetti sauce to add another layer of flavor.

  42. Nancy Singleton Hachisu

    I’m not sure how I missed this post, I guess I was in transit from Gloucester. And how had I already forgotten this incredibly tasty little throw away snack that we shared that night? I love the French/Italian idea of no waste. It just makes so much sense. My parmesan pieces are smaller than yours, but will be guarded well for this little delicacy. Thanks for the reminder.

  43. Margaret

    For several years now I have been putting my parmesan rinds in a jar with olive oil. I use it to brush thickly on hunks of bread, grill it then slice very ripe tomatoes with sea salt & white cracked pepper on top. Delicious – just top up the oil as it needs. Forgot – toast one side of the bread first.

  44. Mmm

    US Parmesan cheese is not processed the same way in which the certified Italian variety is made. Cheese labeled as just Parmesan in the US are treated with chemicals. It can not be healthy to consume rinds in this manner.

    Perhaps. I’ve only seen the true Parmesan sold in wedges off of a cheese wheel with a rind. The US parm is typically sold shredded. ~Elise

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