Did someone forget to put the chip clip on the bag again? Dang it! Well, not so fast. These ideas for using stale chips are so genius you'll kick yourself for not trying them sooner!

casserole topped with stale chips, from Shelf Cooking

Whether you bought way too many chips for that cookout, or you just have a mess of crumbs on your hand, don't toss that bag just yet. We've rounded up some pretty killer recipes for leftover stale chips, along with a tip or two that will keep you from wasting those old chips in the future.

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

So, the next time your toddler decides to use a bag of chips as a dance floor (not that that's happened around here…okay, maybe it has. #SendHelp), you'll know just what to do! Leftover chips are shelf cooking gold, you guys. Here we go!


bowl of leftover potato chips, from Shelf Cooking

If you thought clothespins and chip clips were the best way to keep your chips fresh, allow us to enlighten you. We, too, relied on clips for many years, but those dang suckers were constantly disappearing. And the freshness? Well, we took a few too many bites that weren't crunchy. Here's how to store leftover chips so they last longer:

  • Transfer to an Airtight Container – As soon as you dish out the chips you'll need, put the rest in an airtight container, pop on the lid, and tuck that container away. Chips last longer in a cool, dry environment. And if you can avoid leaving an open bag of chips out for too long, that's ideal.
  • Vacuum Seal – We're a little obsessed with vacuum sealers. If you have one, use that bad boy to reseal your bags of chips!
  • Freeze Them – Are you surprised by this one? Yep. You can freeze potato chips! Just seal the bag and toss it in the freezer for up to one year. They don't actually freeze, so you don't need to thaw. Eat them cold, or put them out on the counter and let them warm to room temp.

If you transfer those chips to an airtight container, you can enjoy them for up to two months! But let's say you've got a ton of crumbs you need to use like yesterday? Well, that's where our ideas come in! Are you ready for a few leftover potato chip recipes?


plate of potato chip latkes, from Shelf Cooking

If your mom ever told you you couldn't have chips for breakfast, it's probably because she didn't know about these recipes. Score major cool points with the fam and try one of these chip-filled dishes:

  • Potato Chip Frittata – Round up some fresh herbs and get to whisking! Mix 6 eggs with 3 tablespoons of heavy cream, and fold in shredded cheese, herbs, and the leftover veggies of your choice. Add a cup of crushed chips, then pour the mixture into an oven-safe dish, and bake at 400°F for around 12 minutes. Garnish with crushed chips and sour cream, and prepare to drool!
  • Trout & Eggs – If you haven't tried fish at breakfast, you should! Bread a little leftover fish in potato chip crumbs, pan-fry, and serve with eggs and some fruit or veggies. It's like an upscale brunch without all the hassle. Oh, and there are no reservations required, and you can eat in your favorite pair of sweats. Sign us up!
  • Potato Chip Pancakes – Need to use up some leftover potatoes, too? Shred about one pound of baked potatoes, then combine with 1/3 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, one egg, a pat of melted butter, salt pepper, and other seasonings to taste. Add 1/4 cup of crushed chips, mix, and form into mini-pancakes. Heat in a skillet over medium-high, and enjoy! We like to top ours with sour cream, but applesauce is great, too. Serve with an egg or the breakfast protein of your choice. Yum!!

Pretty dang clever, huh? Who knew potato chips could feel so fancy? We can't wait for the next excuse to whip up one of these breakfasts, but now, let's talk dinner!


meatloaf made with potato chips, from Shelf Cooking

You guys know how we feel about a one-pan dish, right? Casseroles are the ultimate convenient and cheap comfort food, and they are the perfect way to use up leftover chips. It turns out some of your other fave comfort foods are a great way to use stale chips, too. Try one of these main dishes:

  • Chicken & Broccoli Casserole – We usually use cracker crumbs on top of our favorite chicken casserole, but chip crumbs are just as tasty! Combine 1-2 pounds of shredded chicken with about 2 cups of cooked broccoli, 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and 1 can of cream of chicken soup. Top with crushed chips and shredded cheese, and bake in a casserole dish at 350°F for around 40 minutes.
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole – This is one of the world's cheapest meals! Grab your favorite pasta, a can of tuna, and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then place it in a glass casserole dish with the soup and tuna. Combine, and add a generous helping of cheese and crushed chips to the top. Bake at 350°F for around 30 minutes and enjoy! We serve ours with rustic bread.
  • Meatloaf – Here's a fun twist on grandma's classic meatloaf! Instead of using quick oats, try crushed chips.
  • Chicken Tenders – Chop a few boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small strips. Dredge in a bit of milk or pickle juice, then bread in a mixture of shredded cheese and crushed stale chips. Bake in the oven, fry on the stove or pop them in the air fryer. So good!

If you're looking for a healthy side to serve with any of these meals, you have to try our roasted Brussels sprouts recipe!


homemade ooey-gooey bars, from Shelf Cooking

Before you make a face, hear us out! Adding potato chips to dessert is a tasty little trick. Try adding your stale chips to one of these desserts:

  • Ooey Gooey Bars – Have you tried our ooey-gooey bars yet? Folks are raving about them on social media! The next time you make a batch, try adding some crushed stale chips to the batter.
  • Ice Cream Sundaes – Salty + sweet foods are our fave! Crush up those leftover chips and make them a topping on your next batch of ice cream sundaes. Add some chocolate or caramel, toss in some nuts, and finish with a little whipped cream. YUM!
  • Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies – Potato chip crumbs just might become the new secret ingredient in your favorite batch of chocolate cookies. Use your favorite recipe, and mix in some chip crumbs and a handful of crushed pretzels and M&Ms. So, SO good. Promise!

Excuse us while we go make like three batches of those ooey-gooey bars! We might even whip up a batch of homemade ice cream to serve on the side. Who's in?!

Pro Tip: When using chips in a dessert, plain chips are usually the safest best for sweets.


We hope these ideas inspire you to try a few new recipes! You can honestly add stale chips to just about anything, so have some fun with it. There's no wrong way to eat chips as far we're concerned. Just don't throw them away!

How do you use up leftover chips? Share your best tips in the comments!

Leftover stale chips in a bowl, from Shelf Cooking

Looking for more genius ways to use up your leftovers?

Chip, chip, hooray!