11 Ways You Never Thought To Use Ritz Crackers

Ritz is one of the most well-known snack companies. These delicious crackers are easily one of the most popular brands in the country. This snack staple is akin to items like Pringles, Cheez-Its, Ruffles, Doritos, Lays, and more. But unlike some of the best-selling snacks in the U.S., Ritz crackers come with the ability to be turned into something more than a crunchy bite.

Their solid, round form allows them to be easily stacked with other ingredients. The neutral-yet-buttery flavor makes them versatile enough to be combined with either sweet or savory components. Their size is small enough so that you can sometimes fit an entire decorated Ritz into your mouth in one bite. They can easily become so much more than a single cracker.

One common way to eat Ritz crackers is as the accompaniment to a dish. If you're serving soup, put Ritz out for crumbling on top. If you've made a dip, you can use the crackers as your scooping vessels. If you've made a charcuterie board filled with various cheeses, meats, jams, and spreads, Ritz crackers can be used to assemble your charcuterie-filled bites. 

But there are even more unique ways to use Ritz. Many involve using them as an ingredient, rather than a vessel. Others stick to the stacking method, but create unexpectedly filling meals from just a few crackers. You might be surprised by some of them. Here are 11 ways you never thought to use Ritz crackers.

1. Use the crumbs to make a breading

You can use Ritz crackers to make a breading. Breading is a technique that involves coating food with a layer of starch. This starch layer usually consists of breadcrumbs, but any crumbled starch that produces a crunchy final texture is up for grabs. That's where Ritz crackers come in.

Ritz can be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs in most of your typical breading recipes for fish, pork, and chicken. But you can also bread vegetables; in fact that's how onion rings and eggplant parmesan are made. The crackers work great because they already contain oil and salt, which is perfect for boosting flavor.

First, crumble your Ritz in a food processor. You could also put them into a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Keep in mind, you'll also need other components to complete this breading. Flour — as well as seasonings like salt and pepper — are often used. Then, there are eggs, which is the most important ingredient in making sure your breading adheres. After dipping your item of choice into flour, coat the food in eggs, before adding the Ritz breadcrumbs.

2. Sprinkle them on top of baked pasta

 Many baked pasta recipes utilize a breadcrumb topping for an extra layer of crunchy texture, and Ritz crackers work perfectly. The breadcrumbs are sprinkled onto dishes like baked macaroni and cheese or baked ziti before it goes into the oven. This allows them to dry out and become even crunchier, serving as a contrast to the soft, cheesy, and saucy pasta below.

Baked pastas are versatile dishes that can come in handy for large meal gatherings, like holidays or sporting events. The recipes are so large and filling that they are made for sharing with friends or family.

Substituting Ritz for breadcrumbs in your baked pasta will take your dish over the top. We recommend using the original crackers to make your cracker crumbs, which add a extra boost of buttery goodness. Putting these crumbs on baked pasta boosts the savory and indulgent aspects of these already decadent meals.

3. Add Ritz crackers to a casserole

Ritz crackers can also be used in preparing various casseroles. Casserole recipes usually contain a protein (like chicken, fish, beef, or pork), a sauce (usually involving canned soup, dairy, and additional liquid), vegetables (such as green beans, peas, carrots, or broccoli), a starch (like rice, potatoes, or pasta), and a topping (made of breadcrumbs, corn flakes, potato chips, or cracker crumbs). Ritz crackers come in handy in this last section — the topping.

Cracker crumbs are usually added to casseroles near the end of their preparation. Crush Ritz crackers and sprinkle them on top of the casserole to add a nice contrast in texture. In the recipe for this Buffalo Chicken Casserole, the Ritz are combined with melted butter for an especially savory topping.

Since Ritz are already made with oil, salt, and other flavoring agents, they don't just add texture, but they also add flavor. Ritz crackers are visually appealing as well; they have the golden-brown color that will make the top of your casserole look even more well-burnished.

4. Make a pie crust out of them

If you have a lot of Ritz around and need to use them up, but at the same time you are in the mood for dessert, you can use these crackers to create a pie crust. Like Ritz crackers themselves, pie crusts are meant to be buttery and flaky, so it only makes sense to use something that already has these qualities to create the desired final product.

Also, making a pie crust from Ritz crackers is much easier than making the dough for your pie crust. A typical pie crust recipe needs more ingredients (at least flour, salt, sugar, and butter), and requires several steps (like mixing those ingredients, forming a dough, rolling it into a pie crust, then forming the dough into your desired shape). Not to mention, there often necessary tools required when making pie dough from scratch.

To make a Ritz cracker pie crust, you'll need the crackers, butter, and sugar. That's all. Crush the crackers and mix them with sugar, then add the melted butter. Once combined, spread and push this mixture into your pan. It requires a few steps, but trust us when we say that pie dough is easier when made with Ritz. 

5. Use them to make stuffing

Stuffing is most often enjoyed during the holidays, and the difference between stuffing and dressing is a popular topic of debate. Technically, stuffing refers to what goes into a turkey and dressing refers to something baked separately. However, both recipes contain similar ingredients and are typically made from a combination of broth, vegetables, herbs, butter, spices, and dried bread cubes. The difference is where these ingredients end up.

Since Ritz crackers are a less substantial carbohydrate than bread cubes, they work best when cooked inside of something, rather than as a separate dish. This means they function best as a substitute in stuffing recipes, not dressing recipes. 

You are not limited to putting Ritz cracker stuffing into turkeys, either. The snacks work great in pescatarian dishes like stuffed flounder and can also be used as a stuffing in vegetarian dishes. Crumble the crackers and sprinkle them over the tops of stuffed mushrooms or tomatoes before putting your veggies into the oven. This creates both a beautiful and tasty appetizer.

6. Bake them with savory ingredients like butter and herbs

Ritz crackers don't always have to be used to amplify other recipes, rather, they can be amplified themselves. Mix your crackers with additional ingredients to make an even more flavorful version of this snack for your next party. 

To turn Ritz crackers into tasty appetizers or snacks, simply melt some butter and mix it with your favorite herbs or spices. You can get creative here and create pizza-flavored crackers with basil and pizza seasoning, or add Cajun seasonings for a spicy kick. You can even add parmesan cheese for a cheesy taste. Coat the crackers with the mixture and then bake them in the oven. When they're finished, your Ritz crackers will not only be more intensely flavored, but they will look great too. These golden brown, coated crackers look almost like you made them from scratch, rather than upgraded a store-bought snack.

7. Use them in dessert recipes

Ritz crackers can be used in so many more dessert recipes other than pies. They may be savory, but there are plenty of desserts that combine sweet and savory flavors, like salted caramel or candy-coated popcorn. Furthermore, Ritz crackers are crunchy, which creates a nice contrast in some desserts.

Use Ritz crackers to make an American dessert called Ritz Tort, which consists of a base layer (made from meringue, pecans, Ritz crackers, baking powder, and vanilla), frosting (made from cool whip), and a topping (made from melted chocolate). 

Ritz can also be used to make brickle, which essentially means brittle. This Bacon Brickle recipe combines crackers, sugar, butter, bacon, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips into the ultimate sweet, savory, and crunchy dessert. 

Then, there are Ritz toffee recipes, which involve lining a sheet pan with crackers, coating the crackers in sweet ingredients, then baking the entire thing. You can also make sweet Ritz sandwiches by putting Rolo candies in between two Ritz crackers. The possibilities are endless.

8. Turn them into mini pizzas

Next time your kids are hungry when they get home from school or you need to whip up a quick snack for a party, fear not. Simply grab some pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings, such as basil, sausage, mushrooms, and pepperoni and whip up a batch of Ritz mini pizzas. 

To make these tasty morsels, simply line a pan with Ritz crackers, then apply a thin layer of sauce — too much and it'll become soggy. Top the sauce with cheese and any toppings you desire, then pop them in the oven until the cheese is melted. If you really want to get tricky, you can even let each person create their own unique batch with their favorite toppings. In the end, you will have an appetizer that appears — and tastes — like more effort was used in creating it then there actually was. 

9. Wrap them in bacon

For another unique utilization of Ritz, wrap your crackers in bacon. The result is a deliciously savory combination of starch, meat, and any additional ingredients you may like. Additionally, the buttery (and slightly sweet) flavor of Ritz is not completely unlike pancakes, making their pairing with bacon all the more appealing.

To make them, gather any ingredients you'd like to combine. Take inspiration from other classic bacon appetizers for this step and include proteins like sausage or shrimp, cheeses, such as pimento, blue, or parmesan, or even things like eggs or potatoes. You can select these ingredients based on how much effort you'd like to put into the dish, as some items will require being pre-cooked. Stack the ingredients onto the cracker, then wrap the Ritz cracker and toppings in bacon. Finally, bake the whole thing in the oven for a unique spin on cracker-based appetizers.

10. Put them in your burger patty

If you want to use up some leftover Ritz crackers, grab them the next time you are making burgers. Proponents of this trick say the starchiness of Ritz helps the burger hold onto its juices when it's cooking. You'll need a somewhat small amount of Ritz crackers for recipes like these, as most require using less than one sleeve to make several burgers.

To use crackers in your burger, you'll first need to crush your Ritz in a food processor or a plastic bag. Once pulverized, combine them with other patty ingredients, such as ground beef, eggs (to bind the patty), salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. 

You can create something even more meta by making miniature Ritz cracker-laced patties to place in between two Ritz crackers, creating a mini cracker burger. People on Reddit were extremely inspired by these tiny burgers. "Extra mini sliders. I kind of love the creativity here, two thumbs up," said one Reddit poster.

11. Top them with smoked salmon and cream cheese

If you want to eat or serve Ritz crackers for breakfast, there is even a way to do that. You can turn these crackers into bagels by using one to create an open-faced bagel half or two to create a complete bagel sandwich.

By combining your Ritz crackers with classic bagel ingredients like smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, and red onion, you'll have a buttery, crunchy, and savory breakfast dish. And, just as there are plenty of ways to order a bagel, there are endless ways to stack your Ritz bagel sandwich. We won't stop you from stacking it with eggs and cheese, peanut butter and bananas, Nutella and blueberries or strawberries, or avocado and tomato. These Ritz cracker bagel sandwiches are a great addition to brunches and not only taste great, but also look incredibly enticing.