Despite what we always thought, a waffle maker is no one-hit wonder. Thanks to its distinctive honeycombed surface, the breakfast gadget is like a panini press, mini grill, and toaster oven all rolled into one-and that means it can cook much, much more than just waffles. Don't believe us? Here are 25 recipes that prove it.
1. Healthy Waffle OmeletShare on Pinterest
Just like any omelet, all you really need to make this breakfast work is eggs and milk. The more veggies you add, though, the healthier it gets. The omelet cooks up perfectly in a waffle maker-just make sure to dice up your vegetables pretty small so they fit in the cracks.
2. Pumpkin French Toast WafflesShare on Pinterest
Take French toast and make it 10 times better by letting it soak up pumpkin and spices, then press it in a waffle maker. It'll turn out soft, moist, and just asking for a maple syrup drizzle. PS: Since it's made with almond milk and pumpkin instead of whole milk and eggs, it's totally vegan and dairy-free.
3. FrittaffleShare on Pinterest
It's a frittata. It's a waffle. No, it's a frittaffle! While it may not become the next huge food trend, this fusion combines eggs with veggies, bacon, and cheese for a real breakfast pleasure. It takes a little time, but who can resist those mini, colorful bites?
4. Pumpkin Spice Sweet Potato Noodle WafflesShare on Pinterest
This recipe gives swoodles a breakfast makeover, and we couldn't love it more. Spiralized (or finely sliced) sweet potato softens up in a pan, then combines with pumpkin pie spice and eggs before taking a trip to the waffle maker for an easy meal that'll get you a healthy dose of vitamin A.
5. Waffled Hash BrownsShare on Pinterest
How do you make the classic a.m. side even better? You waffle it. Chances are, you have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. These hash browns are already nice and crispy, but you can take them to the next level by experimenting with different spices like oregano, hot pepper flakes, or curry.
6. Waffled PolentaShare on Pinterest
Italian grandmothers may not approve of premade polenta, but some days it's so much better than stirring a pot of cornmeal for half an hour. Slice up a tube and crisp the pieces in a waffle maker, then top with sautéed tomatoes, zucchini, and some Parmesan for a meal so colorful and tasty, grandmas just might forgive us.
7. Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Potato WafflesShare on Pinterest
Turn Sunday's chicken and mashed potato dinner into a completely different meal during the week. Mix the two with cooked broccoli (or whatever other veggies you have in the fridge), cheese, flour, egg, and some spices, then waffle it up! It'll remind you of your mom's best casserole-minus the canned condensed soup and overcooked rice.
8. Strawberry Jam Grilled CheeseShare on Pinterest
This anything-but-ordinary grilled cheese comes with a sweet surprise. The cheddar and strawberry jam combo here is perfect, but don't let that stop you from going a little crazy-you can also try Havarti and apple butter, pepper jack and tomato chutney, Gruyere and orange marmalade, Brie and fig jam… you get the picture.
9. Crab Cake WafflesShare on Pinterest
When there's no time for a beach vacation, make these crab cakes instead. (They may not make you tan, but they're a heck of a lot cheaper than a trip.) The coconut and almond flours makes it gluten-free, and they're ready in far less time than it takes to pack a suitcase.
10. Healthy Eggplant ParmesanShare on Pinterest
Eggplant Parmesan feels like one of those meals that was just meant to be cooked in a waffle maker-it's healthier since there's no frying involved, and it cooks way faster in the iron than it would otherwise. Plus (and this is the best part), the iron creates just the right size pockets for sopping up aallllll the marinara sauce.
11. Kimchi Fried Rice WafflesShare on Pinterest
Skip the takeout and make your own kimchi fried rice at home (where you can control the spice). If you don't have homemade kimchi, be sure to buy a quality brand (read: no funky preservatives). All of the spices combine into the perfect flavor, and the probiotics can help keep your digestive system running smoothly.
12. Waffle Iron QuesadillasShare on Pinterest
Perfect for a quick snack or simple meal, this recipe is effortless and versatile. Not having to use a skillet means there's no need to flip, which also means one side doesn't get crispier (OK, more charred) than the other. We like using whole-wheat tortillas and garnishing with guacamole instead of sour cream.
13. Falafel WafflesShare on Pinterest
While there are plenty of oven-baked ways to satisfy our constant craving for falafel, this waffled version delivers with a crispy texture that makes it feel fried. The chickpeas provide fiber and some protein that'll keep you full, while the parsley adds that perfect flavor we always want more of.
14. Turkey and Swiss Waffle Iron PaninisShare on Pinterest
A turkey and cheese is a pretty classic sandwich, but this recipe takes it to an entirely different level. The combo of Swiss cheese, turkey, and mustard is pretty irresistable-especially when it's all pressed and heated to perfection in your trusty waffle iron.
16. Paleo Pepperoni Pizza WafflesShare on Pinterest
It's not delivery-and it doesn't look like a pizza. Yet it tastes like one! The magic happens when you combine plantain (banana's potassium-loaded cousin), egg, tomato paste, seasonings, nutritional yeast, and pepperoni into a batter and cook in the waffle iron. Dip into warmed pizza sauce and think of it as Italian fondue.
Sides, Snacks, and Appetizers
16. Caribbean Shrimp Stuffed Waffle Pops and Mango Cilantro DipShare on Pinterest
If it's not a party without shrimp cocktail, try this island twist. Jalapeño peppers and Caribbean seasoning give the crustacean a spicy kick, while the yogurt-based mango and cilantro dip provides cooling, fruity relief.
17. Waffled Zucchini FrittersShare on Pinterest
Popping zucchini fritters in the waffle iron instead of pan-frying them makes them a little bit healther, and usually, that's just what we want. Don't worry, though-these mini waffles are just as crispy, cheesy, and delicious as the originals.
18. Mashed Potato, Cheddar, and Chive WafflesShare on Pinterest
Like the best loaded baked potato, this recipe calls for melted cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of chives. You can use leftover mashed potatoes or whip up some from scratch. Bonus: The waffles turn out lighter than expected and can easily transform into a Benedict-like main dish if topped with an egg.
19. Mini Ice Cream Waffle SandwichesShare on Pinterest
Nothing against cookie ice cream sandwiches, but using waffles as the sandwich part is, like, 200 percent better. The waffles bring a nutty taste to the handheld dessert, which is pretty delicious as is. But this recipe adds a super-easy berry topping that's to die for-we'll never buy a store-bought ice cream sandwich again.
20. Chocolate Chip Waffled CookiesShare on Pinterest
Any recipe with chocolate chips is worth trying, and this dessert is pretty much a guaranteed winner. And just like the traditional oven-baked version, these cookies are optimal for dunking. Just make sure to let them cool so they crisp up.
21. Maple Bacon WonutsShare on Pinterest
Making its debut in Chicago, the wonut-the waffle doughnut-is the cronut's cousin. Crispy, chewy, and downright heavenly, the wonut is a treat worth waiting in line for. Luckily, making it at home means you'll only have to wait for the waffle maker to buzz. Not a bacon fan? Top with icing and sprinkles like a traditional doughnut instead.
22. Snickerdoodle Waffle Cookies With Cream Cheese GlazeShare on Pinterest
Butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon-this dough has everything you'd expect from a snickerdoodle recipe. Topped with a cream cheese glaze, this cookie is fully cooked in 2 minutes. We recommend calling in backup support (a.k.a. friends) so you don't accidentally eat all of them.
23. Grain-Free Brownie Batter WafflesShare on Pinterest
There are two kinds of brownie eaters: those that covet the corner piece and those that dive straight into the gooey center. This recipe is for the crust-cravers. You can top with a caramel drizzle or try berries and Greek yogurt for a healthier option. Let your imagination (and taste buds) run wild.
24. Cinnamon Sugar Churro WafflesShare on Pinterest
What is it about the smell of hot dough coated in cinnamon sugar that's so addictive? (Actually, we guess it's self-explanatory, huh?) Anyway, we always want these simplified, wafflefied churros. Dip (or slather) them in whipped cream or cinnamon-y Mexican hot chocolate sauce for an indulgent treat.
25. Chocolate Waffle CookiesShare on Pinterest
Chocolate cookies that cook in a minute and a half? Yeah, we're fans. The traditional frosting complements the deep cocoa taste, making these a go-to when we need something sweet, stat.