How to Recycle Cheese Rinds: Original Ideas (2024)

As good Italians grating Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese is one of our favorite things to do but using cheese rinds isn’t as common. Although the rinds are inedible because of their harder texture, you can easily use them in various recipes and not only to flavor minestra and soups.

So, don't throw them away: Parmesan or Grana cheese rinds can have a second life, by turning them from waste to an ingredient you can't do without.

The first thing to do is to clean the cheese rinds: after rinsing and drying them, remove the outer layer with the help of a grater or scraping it off with a knife, until the engraving is removed. At this point, they are ready to be cooked how you like, following some of the ideas below.

Cheese rinds in… soup!

The most classic way to reuse parmesan rinds is to cut them into cubes and add them to soups, broths, and soups. With the heat, the cheese will start to soften and release its flavor, making the taste even more intense than if simply grated.

Cheese rinds in… pasta!

Another way to effortlessly and cleverly recycle cheese rinds is in first courses. Soften them, leaving them to soak in milk for a couple of hours, and add them in pieces to pasta and beans, pasta and potatoes or risottos, as if you were creaming them. You won't regret it.\

Cheese rinds in… dough!

Cheese rinds softened in milk and then blended also become an ideal ingredient for making meatballs! After softening them, they can additionally be used in focaccia and delicious sandwiches.\

Fried cheese rinds

When it comes to frying, making irresistible treats with leftovers is a child's play. All you need is a little extra virgin olive oil in a hot pan, the parmesan rind cut into cubes or strips and you're done. As soon as they start to expand a little, they’re ready to serve.

Essential: to be enjoyed freshly fried or they’ll quickly go hard again!

If you want to go crazy, coat them in breadcrumbs. First dust the rinds with flour, then dip them in beaten egg and breadcrumbs and plunge them in plenty of boiling oil. Fry them until golden brown, drain them on kitchen paper and dry the excess oil, and serve hot.

Grilled cheese rinds

The easiest way to use cheese rinds is to cook them on the grill, griddle or barbecue, hardest side face down. Alternatively, you can simply bake them in the oven until they soften. Serve immediately, perhaps with vegetables or cold cuts.

Microwave cheese rinds

Baking the parmesan or grana cheese rinds in the microwave may seem strange but in reality, it will have an unexpected crunchy result, similar to cheese chips. Cut the cheese rind into pieces, put them in the microwave at full power and let them cook until bubbles start forming (it will take about two minutes). If the crusts are a bit old, you may need to repeat the process a couple of times until they have expanded. You will then have prepared puffed parmesan crusts. The aperitif is served!

How to Recycle Cheese Rinds: Original Ideas (2024)


How to Recycle Cheese Rinds: Original Ideas? ›

The most classic way to reuse parmesan rinds is to cut them into cubes and add them to soups, broths, and soups. With the heat, the cheese will start to soften and release its flavor, making the taste even more intense than if simply grated.

What to do with old cheese rinds? ›

So, how can you use them?
  1. Flavor your sauces and soups. Plop the rinds into your next tomato sauce, ragù, or soup and let it simmer. ...
  2. Make a flavorful Parmigiano Reggiano broth. Save up four to five rinds in the fridge. ...
  3. Add to risotto. Make your risotto even richer with the addition of the rinds!

What to do with pecorino rinds? ›

Before you toss it, use it to enhance another recipe. The texture of a cheese rind is too hard to eat on its own, but it makes for a great flavoring in soups and pasta sauces. Upcycling rinds is a great way to create something new with excess food waste, leading to a more sustainable way to cook with cheese.

What can I do with parmesan cheese rinds? ›

Throw them in with a sauce, a soup, a stew, or stock and they'll melt (not disintegrate!) releasing just a little extra cheesy, salty flavor into your dish. After the rinds are soft and gooey, their work is done and you can simply toss in the trash knowing that you made the most of them!

Do cheese rinds go bad? ›

The rinds of soft-ripened cheeses (cheese made the style of Brie or Camembert) will start to look brownish the older that they get and they will also start to smell of ammonia if they are too old.

How do you recycle cheese rinds? ›

The most classic way to reuse parmesan rinds is to cut them into cubes and add them to soups, broths, and soups. With the heat, the cheese will start to soften and release its flavor, making the taste even more intense than if simply grated.

What are cheese rinds good for? ›

Other rinds made of wax or cloth can generally be removed and discarded—these rinds are there to protect the cheese along its aging journey. Finally, natural rinds on cheeses like parmesan are ideal for use in cooking or broths—just not eating on their own. (They're just a bit too hard.)

What can I do with leftover pecorino? ›

Pecorino Romano is so versatile that it can be used in dishes including pasta, pizza, meatballs and patties, salads, soups, and stews. Pecorino Romano is also popular in many pasta dishes such as Spaghe Alla Carbonara, Bucatini All'Amatriciana, Cacio e Pepe and Pasta alla Gricia.

What is the white stuff on Parmesan cheese rinds? ›

No need to worry - these tiny white specks are actually a good thing. They're most likely calcium lactate crystals, also known as “cheese crystals.” They are completely safe to eat, and usually signify that a cheese is flavorful and well-aged.

How to use cheese rinds in soup? ›

Whether you're making a broth or stock, or cooking up a big batch of pasta sauce, throw a couple rinds in while it's bubbling away. Anything you would enjoy with Parmesan is a good candidate for adding a rind, from risotto to a pot of brothy beans. The rind will soften and impart its flavor as the dish slowly cooks.

Can you freeze cheese rinds? ›

You can keep a stash of Parmesan rinds in a ziplock bag in your freezer for up to 1 year. The rinds can be used straight from the freezer, no need to thaw before dropping in a pot of simmering soup or tomato sauce.

When should you not eat cheese rind? ›

In fact, the question here shouldn't be “can” I eat the rind, more like “should” I eat the rind, because (unless the cheese is coated with an inedible substance like wax or cloth), rinds are totally safe to eat. At the end of the day, it really comes down to your personal preference.

Are cheese rinds compostable? ›

1. Can you compost wax from cheese? The wax that is often used to wrap cheese products is made from petroleum products and therefore is not compostable. Like most other petroleum-based products, cheese wax takes hundreds of years to fully break down and shouldn't be placed in either indoor or outdoor compost bins.

Is mold on a cheese rind bad? ›

Surface mold like the kind that grows on cheese or bread is unpalatable, but not harmful. Take a knife and cut a few millimeters off of each moldy surface.

What can you do with expired cheese? ›

Most of these past-prime cheeses are salvageable. Simply cut off the moldy part plus an extra 1/8- to 1/4- inch and continue to use the cheese. This guideline is for whole or cut cheeses, not grated cheese. Grated cheese should be examined undisturbed.

What to do with washed rind cheese? ›

Like bloomy rind cheeses, we enjoy washed rind cheeses best when ripened to room temperature or melted. On a board, their flavors pair beautifully with dark breads, cured meats, and fruits (fresh and dried). Feta, and Swiss, and Brie – oh my!

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