We’ve all done it. Come the last day of being home for the holidays, we swipe every goodie in sight that would otherwise mean using unnecessary dollars from our pizza and PBR funds to purchase. Our top contender for the most valuable appliance to snag? The waffle iron.
The obvious idea behind having a waffle iron is to make waffles, but why stop there? Grab your mom’s waffle maker and get creative. From cinnamon rolls to tater tots, you can make tons of delicious foods with this versatile, sometimes magical, appliance.
1. Hash Browns/Tater Tots
Regardless of how you prefer your potatoes, try cooking them in the waffle iron. The pressing that takes place in the iron gives the potatoes a delightful crunch, making the perfect bed for a blanket of hot sauce, eggs, shredded cheese or any other topping that pairs well with hash browns and tots.
Pro Tip: Spread the hash browns fairly thin so that the iron can fully close and cook all of the potato evenly.
2. Waffle Pizza
If you have leftover pizza, you are in luck. This idea for leftover pizza pockets from Serious Eats is super simple and incredibly delicious. Just take your leftover pizza, fold it in half and waffle iron it to crispy perfection. Click to see the recipe step-by-step.
3. French Toast
It’s no surprise that the sister food of the waffle, French toast, can be created in the same appliance. First, take a slice of bread and dip it into an egg and milk mixture. After it’s been submerged, simply sprinkle the slice with some cinnamon sugar and place it in the iron to cook for a few minutes.
Pro Tip: Use the crater shapes of the bread to your advantage by filling the indents with peanut butter, maple syrup, powered sugar or other ordinary (or not so ordinary) accompaniments to your newly revolutionized French toast.
4. Waffle Hot Dogs
“I miss the hot dog bun,” said nobody ever after trying this new twist on the classic American hot dog. Waffle dogs are seriously delicious and actually pretty simple to make. Click for the step-by-step recipe from Guava Rose.
5. Cinnamon Rolls
As fun as it is to use mixing bowls and dirty a handful of metal beaters while making cinnamon rolls from scratch, college kids typically prefer to buy their calories by the can and toss them in a pan; it’s less work and makes less dishes. The only thing easier? Placing these rolls in a waffle iron and cooking them in a fraction of the time. Once cooked, they look similar to Eggo waffles but taste like heaven rather than freezer burn and last nights toaster oven dinner. Once they’re finished, simply drizzle the icing included in the package onto each roll or dunk the rolls individually to return to your childhood days.
6. Falafel Waffles
As fun as ‘falafel waffles’ are to say, they’re even more fun to eat. This recipe takes a little longer, but is totally worth it. Check out falafel waffles = wafalafels from Serious Eats for the step-by-step.
7. Blueberry Biscuits
Like the cinnamon rolls, these flakey rounds of goodness can easily be placed in a waffle maker and will bake much faster this way than in the oven. The people behind Pillsbury Grands! have now created delectable blueberry biscuits. If you’re a fan of the plain biscuit flavor, you can still get creative: cook the biscuits in the iron and use two biscuits as the “bread” for a waffle breakfast sandwich.
8. Waffle Fries
And you thought fries couldn’t get any better. Simply turn your old fries into pull-apart waffle fries. Alternatively, if you have one available, use a food processor and combine potatoes, onion powder, salt and olive oil. Pour over the hot waffle iron and in 5 minutes you’ll have a giant waffle fry better than anything Chick-Fil-A could ever serve.
9. Biscuits and Gravy
Sometimes your taste buds (and your soul) just need some good old fashioned southern lovin’. After you cook your biscuits in the waffle iron, you can add some thick gravy as the perfect comfort food topping. The best thing about this recipe is that the waffle indents create the perfect gravy-to-biscuit ratio.
10. Paninis and Sandwiches
Whether it’s as simple as a slice of cheddar or as involved as strawberry and goat cheese, practically any sandwich can be pressed in a waffle iron and made warm. If you’re a fan of the classic grilled cheese sandwich, kick it up a notch by adding turkey and jalapeño slices and see if your taste buds don’t thank you. Or, try these 8 ways to take grilled cheese to the next level in your waffle iron.
11. Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple just got way more interesting. Use your classic Bisquick pancake mix with added pineapple juice (or any pineapple muffin or cake mix) and pour the batter into the waffle iron. Sprinkle the finished cakes with pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries and use the syrup to drizzle these delectable upside down cakes to sugary perfection.
12. Waffle Banana Bread
Satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking your New Year’s resolution. Take this ‘waffled’ banana bread recipe, add 1 cup of water and presto. Crunchy, yet fluffy banana bread in waffle form. Pro Tip: dip in peanut butter for extra deliciousness.
13. Waffle Quesadillas
Sometimes even spicy Mexican food needs some spicing up. When you’re not in the mood to wait in line at Moe’s, make this super easy, super delicious quesadilla instead. Take a tortilla and cover half of it with Mexican blend cheese. Decorate with the works: tomato, olives, sour cream, mushrooms, chicken and/or beef and then, more cheese. Press down. Enjoy every cheesy bite.
14. Iron Baked Mac and Cheese
We all love baked mac and cheese, so why not waffle iron your gooey, golden noodles? Kraft mac and cheese is cheap and works perfectly for this. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top to add even more cheesy, crunchy goodness.