Does your pantry, like mine, mysteriously accumulate nearly-empty bags of stale chips? I hate when that happens, and it nearly kills me to throw them out. But what on earth can we do with chips gone stale or bags where all that remains are broken pieces and crumbs?


Well, my frugal friends, I have a solution—two in fact: Recipes that call for crushed chips (stale chips work just great). I have a feeling you’re going to love these chicken strips and cookies so much you’ll be begging your friends and neighbors to send their stale chips your way. (How cheap is that?)

Taco Chicken Strips

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning*

Preheat oven to 425 F. To crush the tortilla chips, place them in a resealable plastic bag. Whack them with a rolling pin and continue rolling until the chips are fine crumbs. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Cut each chicken breast unto half-inch strips.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk mayonnaise and milk until blended and smooth. Place crushed tortilla chips in another large shallow bowl, add taco seasoning and mix well. Dip chicken strips first in mayonnaise mixture making sure they are well coated, then into crushed tortilla chips mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet in a single layer  (do not overlap).

Bake until just browned and chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole. This recipe multiplies well. *The taco seasoning mix that comes in a packet works well. Yield: Four servings.

Potato Chip Cookies

If you’ve never tasted potato chip cookies, you are in for a real treat! These cookies are so good you’re going to hope and pray for a bag of chips to go stale or to get crushed beyond recognition so you’ll have an excuse to bake a batch.

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups crushed potato chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture and continue to mix until well incorporated. Finally, fold in the potato chips (and walnuts as desired).

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 5 dozen medium-sized cookies.

Tip: In the event you’re not keen on using chips for any purpose other than as a snack food, store them in the freezer to keep them fresh and crisp.

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