Parmigiano Reggiano

Crispy Parmigiano Reggiano Cups = Your New Fave Summer Snack

Easy, cheesy, and oh-so riffable.

June 29, 2021
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olsen. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna.

We’ve teamed up with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium to share a crispy, snack-ready way to use one of our all-time favorite staples: Parmigiano Reggiano. This cheese is made with only three ingredients, but the real magic comes after it's been aged for more than a year (in Italy, according to old-school methods). That aging gives it the singular taste, crumbly texture, and unique aroma we can't resist.

One of my go-to cheeses to use both on a cheese plate and in recipes is hands-down Parmigiano Reggiano. Depending on the cheese’s age, its tasting notes can vary from delicate flavors of milk and fresh fruit to pronounced notes of spices, nuts, and meat stock. That intense savoriness and fruity balance make for a great base to build all sorts of pairings and flavor combinations.

Another fascinating quality about Parmigiano Reggiano is its ability to melt and crisp in a hot pan—but only when it’s finely shredded. The process gives the cheese a malleable texture (so you can shape it any way you like) that firms up as it cools. These crispy Parmigiano Reggiano cheese cups make the most of this method, and are one of the simplest savory snack recipes you can make. Even better, they’re totally riffable.

You’ll need just one ingredient (you guessed it: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese) to make the base recipe; after that, you can fill the cups with all sorts of seasonal ingredients, crumble them over salads for textural crunch, or serve them with a cheese board as crackers of sorts. But my favorite way to enjoy them is definitely with different filling combinations, from a bruschetta-inspired mix to classic prosciutto e melone. Here’s how to make a couple of my summer go-tos:


  • 12 grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly chopped basil, to garnish
  1. While the Parmigiano Reggiano cups are cooling, prep the bruschetta: Combine the chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Let the mixture sit and marinate for about 10 minutes before serving.
  2. Fill each cup with the bruschetta mixture and top with freshly chopped basil.

Lemony Asparagus & Crème Fraîche

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 16 to 20 stalks young asparagus, stems trimmed about 3 inches from the bottom
  • 4 ounces crème fraîche, divided
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In the same pan you used to make the Parmigiano Reggiano cups, heat the olive oil over medium.
  2. Sauté the asparagus in oil until tender and lightly browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Arrange 4 to 6 asparagus stalks within each cup. Top each with 1 ounce of crème fraîche and a pinch of lemon zest.
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olsen. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna.

Prosciutto & Melon

  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
  • Freshly chopped basil, to garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. While the Parmigiano Reggiano cups are cooling, slice the cantaloupe into small rectangular chunks. Slice the prosciutto in half and fold into ribbons. Arrange in the cheese cups, alternating 2 slices of melon and 2 slices prosciutto per cup.
  2. Top each with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, fresh basil, salt, and pepper.

Caramelized Onion & Fig Jam

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced root to tip
  • 2 ounces fig jam, divided
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze, divided
  • Fresh thyme, to garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Before you make the Parmigiano Reggiano cups, heat a nonstick pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions in an even layer and let cook, stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt and keep cooking for about 40 minutes, or until browned and caramelized.
  2. Once the onions are caramelized, transfer to fill each cooled cheese crisp. Top each with 1/2 ounce fig jam and a pinch of fresh thyme.
  3. Drizzle each with 1/4 tablespoon balsamic glaze, and sprinkle with fresh basil, salt, and pepper.

Which filling combo is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!

In partnership with the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium, we’re sharing some of the ways this staple can be incorporated into cooking—beyond just being showered over a plate of pasta. Whether it’s adding a uniquely complex character to classic desserts or packing an umami punch in a broth, there’s much more to this Italian cheese than you might think. Any way you slice it—or grate it, or infuse it—Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is one ingredient your fridge should never be without.

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Marissa Mullen is a Brooklyn-based food stylist, recipe developer, photographer and cheese lover. She is the founder of That Cheese Plate and creator of the Cheese By Numbers method. She is also the author of the best-selling cookbook, That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life, a step-by-step styling guide for crafting beautiful and delicious cheese plates as a form of creative expression. Featured on The Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Business Insider, Vox among others, Marissa is dedicated to bringing people together through creativity, food and entertainment.