These crispy Parmigiano Reggiano cheese cups from our Resident Cheese Plater, Marissa Mullen, are the ultimate combination of easy, satisfying, and oh-so flavorful. They call for just one ingredient (can you guess?) and take about 15 minutes or so to whip up. When finely grated or shredded, the Parmigiano Reggiano melts to a golden-brown crisp and becomes malleable enough to shape into a sturdy cup. The nutty, umami-rich flavors of the cheese are made for all kinds of savory and sweet fillings, like: a bruschetta-inspired mix of onion, tomato, basil and balsamic; summery prosciutto and fresh melon; and dreamy caramelized onions with sweet fig jam. Consider these your new favorite snack, appetizer, happy hour nibble, cheese board plus-one—really, the possibilities are endless.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat until hot. Working with 1 ½ ounces of grated Parmigiano Reggiano at a time, arrange a mound of shredded cheese in an even layer on the pan; each layer should be about ¼-inch thick and 3 inches wide. Let the cheese melt on one side until lightly browned and congealed, about 2 minutes. Gently flip and lightly brown the opposite side, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to work in batches.
Once browned, immediately transfer onto an upside-down muffin tin. Mold the cheese crisp to one of the muffin molds by using the rim of a glass. Let cool and harden into a cup shape. Repeat, as needed, and fill with your toppings of choice.
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.