Cacio e Pepe Potato Chips

These cacio e pepe potato chips are utterly ingenious. And they take no time to make. Unsalted kettle chips are topped with cheese and heated in the oven until they’re even crisper. A generous sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper, more cheese, and parsley are added just before serving. Sorry, Lays.

Blue tray filled with cacio e pepe potato chips--chips topped with cheese, black pepper, and parsley

Cacio e Pepe is Italian for “cheese and pepper.” (It’s pronounced “CAH-chee-oh ay pep-ay.”) And it typically refers to the classic pasta dish made with aged cheese, coarsely ground black pepper, and butter. It’s essentially a simple yet, we dare say, sophisticated rendition of mac and cheese. But it also translates magnificently to potato chips. What results is crunchy, cheesy, peppery awesomeness. Perfect with wine or cocktails at happy hour. Or all alone at any hour.–Renee Schettler Rossi

If You Can't Find Unsalted Kettle Chips

If you can’t find unsalted kettle chips, shake your salted chips in batches in a colander to get the surface salt off.

Cacio e Pepe Potato Chips

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • Serves 6
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Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Divvy the potato chips up between 2 baking sheets lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spread the chips in a single layer.

Sprinkle the cheese on the chips and bake until the cheese starts to melt, 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove the sheets from the oven and sprinkle with the pepper. Let cool. If you’d like, scatter with some parsley before serving. The cheesy chips are lovely either warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I love these cacio e pepe potato chips. Who knew something so good could be so quick to make. From measuring out the ingredients to taking that first bite of chips, it took only 14 minutes. My chips were lightly salted and I used Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I put parsley on a few but it really doesn't stick and I don't think it's needed. After cooking for 5 minutes the cheese was nice and melted over the chips. The only thing I didn't like is I think the cheese should all be cooked on the chips. The reserved cheese that was sprinkled on after cooking just sat there and most fell off when you tried to eat them. Also, these are better eaten right from the oven. I hid a few chips to try the next day and they were not as good. But that shouldn't be a problem because they’re gone in no time.

I really wanted to make these cacio e pepe potato chips although I made only a quarter of a recipe because we’re on a quest to eat better. It’s a good thing we only had a quarter of the recipe available to eat—these chips are addictive. The chips were perfect—salty and cheesy (and cheesy from the best cheese out there, Parmigiano-Reggiano), with a strong hit of black pepper in each bite. The chips got a tiny bit toasty in the oven and even a little crisper than out of the bag, if that’s possible. I used kettle chips that said they were lightly salted. I couldn’t find unsalted chips, but I think they would have been even better—the cacio e pepe chips were just a bit on the salty side. I was worried about the large amount of pepper, but it was perfect. Being human, I wasn’t able to evenly sprinkle the pepper, so some chips had more pepper than others. That allowed both the pepper lovers and the pepper likers in the family to each select chips to their own tastes. This recipe is a keeper, and then some.

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