I was introduced to parchment paper a few years ago, and now it’s a staple in my pantry. Heat-resistant (unlike wax paper) and virtually non-stick (unlike aluminum foil), it is the kitchen wonder paper. I order it in huge rolls from Amazon so I never run out.
If you want to give it a try, here are 10 uses for parchment paper to make your life easier in the kitchen:
1. Line cookie sheets and baking pans: This one goes without saying, but it can really be a lifesaver. I make cookies at least a few times each week, and I often had trouble with very thin cookies sticking to my cookie sheets. But not anymore! Even the thinnest, most delicate cookies come right off of parchment paper.
Bonus: No need to toss the sheet after each batch – I use the same sheet many times over. Plus, this reduces wear and tear on your cookie sheets.
Also, line cake pans, lasagna dishes, and baked pasta pans with parchment paper for non-stick results and easy clean up. Be sure to spray pans with non-stick cooking spray prior to inserting parchment paper so the paper stays in place. It also comes in handy when roasting anything, including meatballs, meatloaf, and chicken. I am behind any product that cuts down on dishes!
2. Use in place of a bowl when sifting dry ingredients: When baking, sift ingredients like flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices over a piece of parchment, then lift and pour right into your bowl. Another dish eliminated and a potential mess easily contained.
3. Store your leftovers (and prevent sticking): Use parchment paper to divide leftovers like chicken breasts, pizza slices, and pancakes for non-stick food storage. The same method is also great for freezing foods like burgers, bacon, tortillas, and baked goods prior to placing them in a freezer bag.
4. Artfully wrap baked goods: Parchment paper makes the perfect wrapping paper for baked goods – and it looks chic and rustic. After wrapping, use tape to secure and finish with twine or ribbon.
Pro Tip: This method is perfect for wrapping the most appreciated holiday gifts ever: baked goods. Trust me, your kids’ teachers don’t want mugs. They want brownies.
5. Make dinner in a snap: One of the easiest and healthiest meals is parchment-wrapped fish or chicken. Place some veggies on the parchment paper first, top with your protein, drizzle with some olive oil, wrap tightly, and bake. Again, there aren’t any pots and pans to wash (easy cleanup is a theme here!). Check out Rachael’s Fish in a Sack (pictured above) and Chicken in a Sack and give it try for yourself.
6. Make disposable and crafty placemats: Having kids over for dinner? Cut placemat-sized squares from parchment paper and put place settings on top. Who cares how messy the kids are? Just toss when dinner is done.
7. Cut down on microwave messes: Instead of paper towels, cover dishes in the microwave with parchment paper to cut down on splatter. Your microwave will thank you.
8. Make a snack cone: Don’t you love when you go to a restaurant that serves fries in a cone? Make your own at home with parchment paper by simply rolling the paper into a cone and securing with tape. This works great for all sorts of munchies like popcorn and nuts, too.
9. Replace paper cupcake cups in a pinch: Isn’t it the worst when you’re making muffins or cupcakes and run out of liners? Skip rushing to the store, and use parchment paper instead. Cut 5-inch squares of parchment paper, spray each muffin cup, and press a paper square into each cup, taking care to press the paper firmly against the sides to avoid folds.
10. Use as a cookie cooling rack: If you’re baking multiple batches of cookies, chances are you don’t have enough cooling racks to accommodate all of your treats. Line your counter with parchment paper and transfer partially cooled cookies to free up your racks for those that are hot-from-the-oven.