How To: 5 Delicious Ways to Reinvent Your Stale Potato Chips

5 Delicious Ways to Reinvent Your Stale Potato Chips

Now that the Super Bowl is over, you might find that you have an econo-sized bag or two of opened potato chips slowly going stale in your pantry. After all, there are only so many bowls of Buffalo Chicken Pizza Beer Dip you can eat with 'em—and you definitely don't want them to get so old that you have to throw them out.

Never fear. We know just what you should do with those stale potato chips, and all of the remedies are delicious!

Image by Horno Magico/Flickr

One quick note: if your chips have been around for a while, give them a sniff. If they smell rancid, sharp, or otherwise off, toss 'em—that means the oil in the chips is probably bad. Better safe than sorry, even if it does mean tossing food out.

Heat Them Up to Revive Them

If your chips smell okay and are just stale, distribute them evenly in a pan, pop 'em in an oven preheated to 375°F, and bake for 10 minutes. This works for most chips, according to 86 Geezer Tips, but feel free to check them every 3 or 4 minutes until they get to your desired crispness.

Make sure they're layered up evenly in your pan so no chip gets neglected. Image by Alfredo Tisi/Demand Media

You could even try this out in your microwave if you want (which can also cook fresh chips, by the way), sans the metal pan. A paper towel could help absorb moisture, increasing your chance at restoring chips to their normal crunchy state. Learn more about microwaving stale chips here.

Make Tortillas Española

For those of you who haven't experienced it, tortillas española is a potato-and-egg omelet that is hearty peasant food at its best. It's also easy to make, tasty, uses ingredients you probably already have, and is dirt cheap. It's divine with ketchup or Sriracha and, in my opinion, is the perfect thing to eat for a hangover.

J. Kenji López-Alt makes that classic dish using potato chips. The idea originated with chef José Andrés and is a brilliant use of stale or leftover chips.

A beautiful mixture of olive oil, onions, eggs, vinegar, and potato chips. Image by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt/Serious Eats

As López-Alt describes the process, "The concept is that by folding potato chips into beaten eggs, they soften sufficiently that when you subsequently transfer the mixture to a pan full of hot olive oil, it fries up into a thick omelet that remains moist and creamy in the center, while getting a bit of extra crispness around the edges from the chips."

The tasty final result! Image by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt/Serious Eats

We all need to go make this right now.

Potato Chip Cookies

Did you guys know this was a thing? I am obsessed with sweet-and-savory combinations, and yet I never knew about this classic cookie, which uses up crushed potato chips in the batter. It was way ahead of its time, considering that so many desserts have sea salt as a major component these days. Stale potato chips will also revive quite nicely once they're mixed into the batter and baked in the oven.

Crushed potato chips make a nice garnish, too. Image via Cooking with Char

There's a whole collection of potato chip cookies recipes here. One of my favorite contestants from Top Chef, Carla Hall, has a great potato chip/chocolate chip cookie recipe. Potato chips are also a fun addition to classic pecan sandies.

Potato Chip Migas & Chilaquiles

Mexican cuisine (okay, Tex-Mex cuisine) comes to the rescue when it comes to finding new ways to use up potato chips. Migas, a breakfast dish of scrambled eggs, salsa, tomatoes, avocado, and chorizo, usually features tortilla chips or regular tortillas as the base. However, potato chips are a great substitute if you have them handy.

These would also be great for a hangover. Image via Monteray County Weekly

If you have a hankering for something slightly different, again, Mexican food (again) is the answer. Chilaquiles are wonderful when you make them with a potato chip twist.

Chilaquiles with chips. Yum. Image via Big Girls Small Kitchen

You can get the recipe from Big Girls Small Kitchen here.

Breading/Casserole Topping

Using crushed-up potato chips on hot dishes is a classic move for home cooks. I still have fond memories of attending school meetings where parents would bring giant vats of tuna casserole out, all thickly crowned with a layer of crushed chips.

Chipper chicken, i.e., oven-fried chicken with crushed chips. Image via My Big, Fat Cuban Family

Crushed potato chips make a miraculous substitute for bread crumbs, too. Because they contain so much oil, I find that you only need to grease up your pan a smidge when you use them to coat chicken, fish, pork chops, or vegetables for frying. If you have seasoned potato chips on hand, it makes the dish extra tasty. (I like to get meta and use salt-and-vinegar chips to coat fish filets.)

However, if you don't have potato chips but are still in a potato-y mood, you can also use instant mashed potatoes to make a wonderfully crunchy coating for your fried foods.

More Chip Eating Hacks...

If you'd rather straight up eat your chips, then you need to know these 7 life changing hacks that will change how you eat bagged snacks.

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1 Comment

I made mashed potatoes. Boil water in a pan and then add a ton of chips.

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