It's So Easy To Transform Bland Oyster Crackers Into The Perfect Snack

Oyster crackers in bowl
Oyster crackers in bowl - Bhofack2/Getty Images

There are crackers for almost any recipe, from snappable water crisps to dessert-inspired Teddy Grahams. One of the most uniquely shaped of them all, however, is the hexagonal oyster cracker. Despite the name, these little provisions are shellfish-free, bite-sized snacks made from wheat flour. Traditionally served alongside chowder, tomato bisque, and other soups to give them a much-needed crunch, oyster crackers are inherently bland and rely on the dishes they're served with to gain flavor. Because of this design, they don't make a great standalone snack. However, by toasting them with your favorite spices and seasonings, these hexagonal treats transform from bland to bold in just a few minutes.

If you're new to the kitchen, or simply enjoy low-effort snack recipes, toasting oyster crackers requires very little effort and skill. Simply drizzle the crunchy hexagons with cooking oil, toss them with seasonings, herbs, and spices until they're fully coated, and then pop them in the oven to brown. Because they have such a neutral taste on their own, you don't have to worry about matching your seasonings to the flavor of the crackers, which gives you more room for mixing, matching, and creativity.

A good rule of thumb for temperature and timing is 250 degrees Farenheit for about 20 minutes, stirring them around after 10 minutes. When they're golden brown, let them cool and get to snacking.

Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life

Best Spice Blends For Toasted Oyster Crackers

Herbed oyster crackers
Herbed oyster crackers - X, formerly known as Twitter

Whether seasoning an oven-baked chicken breast or zhuzhing up oyster crackers, there are endless combinations of spices, seasonings, and herbs to add flavor and aroma to your favorite foods. While meats and other proteins have distinct flavors that require a mindful selection of spices, oyster crackers are a blank canvas primed to be painted with any spice blend.

Feeling spicy? Combine cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes to develop some heat uplifted by garden-fresh cilantro and tangy lemon pepper seasoning. Hot, zesty, and stimulating, this combination of flavors is bold but never brash.

For a satisfying and savory combination, turn to alliums. Garlic and onion powder will provide the plain crackers with a familiar, umami-adjacent taste that's complemented by earthy oregano and the sweet, slightly bravado of basil. Of course, you can never go wrong with a ranch seasoning blend, typically made of onion and garlic powder, dill, chives, and salt and pepper.

For a cheesy taste sans cheese, smother your crackers with nutritional yeast for a savory flavor that mimics cheddar and is sure to impress your vegan friends!

Picking your spice blend is easy, but keep a few tips in mind before heading to the oven. Because the oyster crackers aren't toasted under extremely high heat, you don't have to avoid ingredients with low-smoke point like olive oil, so don't feel constricted. Also, whichever spice blend you choose, be sure to add a dash of salt to enhance the cumulative flavors.

How To Serve Toasted Oyster Crackers

Chowder and toasted oyster crackers
Chowder and toasted oyster crackers - Ken Weinrich/Shutterstock

Toasted oyster crackers are a flavorful solo snack. However, if you want to introduce them into larger meals or platters, there are plenty of ways to incorporate your new and improved creations into robust smorgasbords and hearty entrees.

Keep things traditional by using them as a functional garnish for heaping pots of soup, chili recipes, or tender, leafy salads. Although plain oyster crackers work fine, when they're toasted and seasoned, they add a flavorful crunch to your bowl.

Mix the toasty, geometric crackers into casseroles or use them as a crispy topping for baked dishes like macaroni and cheese or green bean casserole. Their crispy texture and flavor will coat the exterior of your meal, providing it with a gentle resistance that gives way to a creamy, rich interior.

Crush the crackers and use them as a coating for baked or fried seafood like fish fillets, shrimp, or oysters Rockefeller. Make sure you toast them with fresh herbs to give the seafood an uplifting aroma. Not into seafood? The crushed biscuits are also a great coating for baked or fried chicken.

If you like chips on your deli sandwiches, switch up your routine by swapping potato chips for toasted oyster crackers. Because they're puffy and hollowed out, they provide an airier, lighter crunch than chips.

Next time you have a pack of boring oyster chips, don't waste them! Fire up the oven and enjoy these versatile crackers like you never have before.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal