6 Clever (and Delicious) Ideas For Crumbled Chips

They add salt and crunch to soups, cookie dough, and whatever else you’re cooking.

4 minutos de lectura

Despite packaging companies’ best efforts, crushed chips at the bottom of the bag are inevitable. For years, I tossed the dredges begrudgingly. (I hate wasting food!) Now I know better. Chip crumbs — be they potato, tortilla, pita, or even pretzels — can be utilized in so many ways. Oh, how I wish I could reincarnate the crumbs of yesteryear! But, ever onward. Here are six clever uses for chip crumbs.

Scramble them.


Fold crushed tortilla chips into scrambled eggs right before pulling them from the stove, top with salsa or hot sauce, and call it a lazy migas (Tex-Mex scrambled eggs and pan-fried tortillas). Swap the tortilla chips with pita chips and you have a fast iteration of fatoot samneh, the Yemeni dish of scrambled eggs and toasted pita. Really, though, any chip provides loads of texture, salty crunch, and heft to your morning scramble.

Call them mini croutons.


Rather than sprinkle croutons on soups or salads, reach for crushed chips. They provide just as much crispy texture and are arguably a lot more fun. Blended vegetable soups love to be finished with potato chip crumbs, and while I don’t need to tell you this, tortilla chips are meant for chili and Southwestern-inspired salads. I use crushed pita chips in place of fried pita in the Middle Eastern bread and vegetable salad fattoush, though they feel at home in Greek or Caesar salads as well.

Use them as a binder.


Swap breadcrumbs in any veggie burger, meatball, or meatloaf recipe for chip crumbs. Blitz the chip crumbs in a food processor to ensure they’re finely crushed before using. And since all chips are fairly salty, you can reduce the amount of salt in the recipe, generally by about half.

Turn them into a crust for chicken or fish.


The traditional way to bread chicken or fish is to dip the protein in flour, then a beaten egg, and, finally, breadcrumbs. My weeknight approach streamlines the process. Rather than a fussy three-step method, I reach for Dijon mustard and chip crumbs. Pulse the chip crumbs in a food processor until they're evenly crushed (though they don’t need to be as fine as what you’d make for meatballs) and dump the crumbs into a shallow bowl. Rub Dijon mustard all over boneless skinless chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs, or skinless fish fillets like cod or tilapia, then press them into the crumbs to adhere. Pan-fry or bake at 400°F, flipping halfway through, until cooked through, which could take 10 to 30 minutes depending on the cut of chicken or fish. (Best to use a meat thermometer to check when done.)

Stir them into cookie dough.


Potato chips and pretzels are the best contenders here. Fold up to 1 cup of crushed potato chips or pretzels into your favorite chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie dough to lend a kick of salt. Alternatively, crushed pretzels are also super tasty sprinkled over a pan of brownie batter before baking.

Sprinkle them atop casseroles.


Add crunch to casseroles of all kinds by finishing them with chip crumbs before baking. Pita chips are nice on chicken casseroles; tortilla chips are, of course, welcome on any casserole that leans Mexican-ish; potato chips thrive on baked macaroni and cheese; and pretzels are quite nice on vegetable gratins or sweet potato casserole.


  • Photographer: Natassja Ebert

  • Food Styling: Mary Rupp

  • Art Direction: Sarah Ceniceros Gomez