Dishes To Make With Those Annoying AF Crumbs at the Bottom of the Chip Bag

In my household, my wife and I have what I refer to as the “snasket,” a snack basket. We actually have two: one for savory, and one for sweet. We both work from home, and I like to keep our kitchen stocked as if we’re an NYC media office at all times. (So this also means a lot of seltzer.) Though there are many subcategories of snacks within the snaskets, chips make up a main one. We’re not necessarily brand-loyal when it comes to chips (though if pressed to pick an all-time favorite, it’d be Lay’s salt and vinegar for me), but one things stays consistent across all brands of potato chips: THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY CRUMBS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG.

What are we supposed to do with those crumbs! They’re annoying to eat on their own, mostly just sticking to your fingers so that you have to lick them off, which perhaps could be sensual in some contexts, but not when needing to tippy-type away at our little laptops for our little jobs. And we’re certainly not throwing them away. First of all: in this economy? With the currently wild cost of groceries, those crumbs cost more than pennies! Second of all: I hate food waste! So I’ve come up with some ways to implement those pesky little chip crumbs in my cooking, and I’m sharing some of my findings and inspiration with you!


1. Chip crumb-topped deviled eggs

I genuinely believe we should all be consuming deviled eggs more casually. Why are they reserved merely for large gatherings, potlucks, and barbecues? They are so easy to make and stupidly delicious. We should be enjoying them in our own home on just, like, a regular Tuesday! And while I like a classic recipe deviled egg, I also like to mix it up, like mashing avocado in with the egg yolk and topping them with bacon for a little green eggs and ham moment. (God, I’d make such a good soccer mom.) And I definitely believe all deviled eggs should have a crunch factor! Chip crumbs make a perfect crunchy topping to deviled eggs! I recently tried it with dill pickle Utz ripples chips (one of the better pickle-flavored chips I’ve found btw), and it was 10/10 no notes.

2. Chip-crusted chicken strips

You can really bread chicken with so much more than just your basic flour/cornmeal/etc. I usually like panko seasoned with garlic powder, chili powder, and black pepper, but if you use flavored chip crumbs, you don’t even need to season your crunch. Baked chicken strips with a strong flavored chip (like salt and vinegar, a personal fav and one I often have crumbs of) are a low-effort, high-reward weekday dinner main.

3. Soup topping

The best soups have a crunchy topping added RIGHT before eating, and chip crumbs are easier than making bacon bits or croutons. Hell, throwing some bottom-of-the-bag chip crumbs on canned soup feels practically gourmet.

4. Lazy tuna mac with chip crumb topping

I have a go-to lazy/cheap dinner that also doubles as comfort food. I stole it from an ex’s mother’s repertoire. You make a package of Kraft mac and cheese according to the box directions, dump it in a casserole dish, and mix in one can of tuna (tinned fish hot girls, rise UP!) and one can of cream of mushroom soup. Throw it in the oven at 350 and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until it’s bubbling. Then for a final five-ish minutes of baking time, add a layer of crushed potato chips. I like to dump a bunch of hot sauce on it right before eating, too.

5. Sweet and salty potato chip pie crust

While I do not self-identify as a baker, I do like to dabble from time to time. My favorite desserts usually combine salty/savory flavors with sweetness, so when I learned you can make a pie crust with crushed potato chips, I was sold. You can really experiment with pie fillings here, too! Chocolate pairs well with the salty pie shell, but I also think salt and vanilla are a slept-on combo. A vanilla pudding pie would be great in this crust.

6. Potato chip cookies

On the topic of desserts, I’m a sucker for Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies and similar throw-everything-into-the-cookie creations. You’ll wanna stick to classic plain salted potato chip crumbs for these, but it’s super easy to make potato chip cookies. You can even add some crumbs to the top of store-bought cookie dough like Tollhouse, sprinkling them on during the last minute of baking time.

7. Use them as a sandwich or burger topping

I often put potato chips as the final topping on a smashburger or sandwich, but working with full-size chips is kind of pointless, because you’re just going to end up smushing the top bun/top slice of bread anyway, thus making crumbs. So just go ahead and start out with crumbs!

I’m realizing during the writing of this list that I apparently believe…everything…needs crunch. What can I say! I’m a crunch bitch!

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 844 articles for us.

6 Comments

  1. Where is the greatest chip fragment use of all time, the potato chip omelette? Which also works with tortilla chips, by the way – take your omelette full Tex-Mex once it’s made!

  2. These suggestions are so life-affirming, I too am a crunch bitch… crunch butch ? crunch buntch ?

    Gratitude for showing me there are better ways of crunching my way through life than emptying a bag of chips on my face to have most of it end up on the floor.

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