Author: Tosh Lubek Published: 23rd March 2021
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If you’ve got a waffle maker, chances are you’re already familiar with the delicious goodness of crispy, fresh waffles for breakfast, but you might be wondering what else you can cook with it?
After all, waffle makers take up quite a lot of cupboard space, and it seems a bit crazy to have all that dedicated space for just the one meal – even though waffles are delicious!
One thing that you might want to know is that I’ve found square waffle makers better suited to making non-breakfast recipes that include bread, especially sliced bread. Usually, with a square waffle maker, you can cook two pieces of toast or toasted sandwiches side-by-side. With round waffle makers, you may only be able to do one slice at a time since it will need to be placed in the middle of the waffle maker.
Something else you should consider is how well does your type of waffle maker matches the breakfast recipe you want to cook. If your recipe involves something like bread, you’ll be better off using a regular waffle maker than a Belgian waffle maker which has deeper grid pockets. If you look at the above image, you’ll notice the bread is much less toasted where it lies over a pocket.
Simply put, where the hot plate of the waffle maker is further away from the bread, the bread will take longer to brown. Hence the uneven grid pattern of toasting. However, if you’re cooking something that’s ‘squishier’, the ingredients will squeeze into the pockets and cook more evenly.
With that said, what else can you make in a waffle maker for breakfast?
If you want to mix your breakfast routine up a bit, the good news is that there are loads of options out there for you to try. So, let’s get creative with some quick and easy breakfast recipes you can cook with a waffle maker.
What else can you do with a waffle maker?
This sounds surprisingly simple, but you can make toast in a waffle maker very easily! Put your desired number of slices in plain, just as you would in your toaster. If you have a small waffle maker, obviously you’ll need to do the slices one at a time. Either way, remember you put the bread in plain, no butter or spread.
Give the slices a couple of minutes, or until they are toasted to your preferred level, and then take them out and spread whatever toppings you like on them.
But be warned. If you start making toast in your waffle maker regularly, you might find you give up on your toaster entirely. Why? Because waffle irons make a great slice, or two, of toast!
2. Toasted cheese and ham sandwich
Cheese, ham, and toast are breakfast regulars, so why not put them together and make a toasted sandwich. It makes for a dish that’s easy to eat on the go, provided you don’t add too much cheese.
Lay some bread down and add a slice of ham and then a slice of cheese. If you want to make this a little more interesting thinly slice a tomato and use enough to cover the cheese. Now top the sandwich with another slice of bread and place it into the waffle maker for a couple of minutes, or until it’s done to the way you like it.
If you’re a pancake fan, you might be extremely excited to learn how easy it is to cook pancakes in your waffle iron. No need to mess around with pans; just make your pancake batter, preheat your waffle iron, and ladle a scoop into it.
These pancakes will have a great, distinctive crisscross pattern on them, and cook evenly on both sides – perfect!
People often ask whether you can use pancake mix to make waffles. Yes, you can. But the waffles won’t be quite the same. Being much paler than the golden brown you would normally expect. So, if you can make waffles with pancake mix, why not make pancakes in a waffle maker.
Although pancake batter and waffle batter share many of the same ingredients the batters are different in that waffle batter contains fat/oil and possibly more sugar, especially Liege Belgian waffles that also include pearl sugar in their recipe. So, if you are using a pre-prepared batter mix, like Bisquick™, just leave out the oil.
What you may notice is that the shape that your pancake acquires from the grid and pocket pattern of the waffle maker makes them less floppy than a normal flat pancake. It’s like building a structure using squares and triangles, there’s much more strength to the overall structure.
4. Waffle Corn Dogs
Avoiding the deep-fried aspect of corn dogs makes them a good bit healthier than their traditional alternative, so while they aren’t a “healthy” breakfast meal, they’re definitely an option. Grease your waffle iron, add a thin layer of batter, and then put a skewered hot dog in place.
Let it cook for a few minutes, and then take it out and enjoy. If you use a thicker batter, you can also add a top layer, but this can be trickier! These are best cooked in a Belgian waffle maker because the hot dogs are a bit too thick to cook in a regular waffle maker.
5. Waffle Iron Pizzas
Some people might say that pizza isn’t exactly a standard breakfast food, but others would definitely disagree, and waffle iron pizzas are particularly tasty. You can very easily make these with just some mozzarella, some tomato, and some crescent rolls.
Fill the rolls with tomato and mozzarella, and then fold the rolls over and pinch the edges in to create a seal. Put them in the preheated waffle iron, press it down, and cook for about five minutes. Hey presto, delicious, hot, gooey pizza waffles. You can add any toppings you fancy to these.
6. Mini Waffle Doughnuts
Does it get better than doughnuts? Well, maybe mini waffle doughnuts – made with a relatively simple batter, and then poured into the waffle maker and cooked for about three or four minutes until crispy and brown. Perfect and delicious.
7. Cinnamon Rolls
Cinnamon rolls are fantastically easy to make in the waffle maker, and they make another wonderful breakfast treat. Drizzled with some icing sugar, these make a very tasty breakfast or snack for later in the day. They can be cooked in 2-4 minutes in the waffle iron.
These are ideal if you want a snack you can tuck into a bag or pocket for later, as well as being a very popular breakfast with kids. They probably aren’t high on the healthy list, but they make a wonderful treat.
8. Omelet Waffles
While technically these aren’t an answer to what else can you make in your waffle maker – that isn’t a waffle, that is – omelet waffles are still an alternative to your basic waffle! They’re also a great breakfast food for anyone, and they take minimal ingredients. Whip up some eggs, cheese, and any herbs which take your fancy, and cook for 4-5 minutes in the waffle iron.
Eggs make a good breakfast and are nice and filling. They’re also another one that many kids will eat, and you can actually sneak some healthy veggies chopped up fine into these waffles if you want to.
9. Egg and Cheese Hash Browns
Hash browns are an immensely popular breakfast food for obvious reasons, and waffle hash browns with egg and cheese are even better. With a bag of hash brown mix, you’ll find this recipe even more of a breeze, or you could make them from scratch.
Mix the potato shreds with egg, milk, cheese, and herbs, and add them to the preheated waffle iron and cook for a few minutes. The wonderful thing about cooking these in a waffle iron is you’re likely to get a really crispy result, perfect for hash browns.
10. Waffle Maker Noodles
This might sound like a really weird one, but if you fancy a noodle breakfast and want to mix it up a bit, you can actually turn your bowl of noodles into a noodle waffle!
Cook them in boiling water according to the packaging instructions first, and then put them in the waffle maker, press down the lid, and in just a couple of minutes, you’ll have an easy-to-eat noodle waffle. Nobody can accuse you of lacking creativity there.
This is great if you need breakfast on the go and won’t have any cutlery to hand.
11. Toast, Eggs, And Bacon
If you don’t feel like messing around with pans, you can spread these ingredients out in the waffle maker, close the lid, wait a couple of minutes, and you’ll have a beautifully sizzling fry-up just perfect for breakfast. Remember to grease the waffle maker so nothing sticks to it.
One of the great things about this technique is it tends to make the eggs cook in a square (assuming you have a square waffle iron) which means they fit satisfyingly on top of the toast.
12. Tortilla Wraps
Grab a couple of tortilla wraps and top one with all your favorites fillings, such as cheese, tomatoes, onions, etc. Next, lift the wrap carefully onto the waffle maker. Add your second wrap as a topping, press the lid down for 2-4 minutes, and you’ve got a delicious tortilla to eat.
You can do this with most toppings, but avoid ones that don’t like to be heated, such as lettuce – the heat in the iron will make it wilt. Instead of the lovely crisp bite of fresh lettuce, you’ll get a very odd texture in your tortilla.
13. Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese is a popular breakfast favorite, but it’s easy to forget about it under the grill, and it can be a total mess to do it in the toaster. Instead of mucking about trying to squash the slices tightly together and having all the toppings fall out in the toaster, make your grilled cheese in the waffle iron!
Put a slice of bread in your waffle maker, top it with cheese, tomato, basil and whatever else you fancy, followed by the second slice of bread. Give it a couple of minutes, and a beautiful grilled cheese will come out.
14. Waffle Iron Duck, Chicken, or Turkey Panini
Of course, if you can make grilled cheese in a waffle iron, that opens up a whole host of other sandwich options you can whip up in there for your breakfast. Think of grilled chicken, duck, or turkey. Any of those must be next on this list.
Don’t feel restricted to only using Paninis. If you don’t have paninis, you can do this just as well with normal sliced bread, or slices of rustic homemade bread. I like to mix it up a bit and use Polish-style sourdough bread with caraway seed. But any seeded loaf will mad your waffle toasted sandwich a touch special.
Also, consider alternative meat fillings to poultry. We’ve already mentioned using bacon and ham but there are many other delicious options to consider.
Brownies might not exactly count as a healthy breakfast, but for a treat once in a while, they can’t hurt – and nobody can argue that they make an absolutely amazing breakfast.
Waffle iron brownies are quick and easy and very tasty. The only challenge might be resisting making this your everyday breakfast!
And if you add a scoop of ice cream to the top and enjoy their hot, chocolatey goodness with a splash of sweet, frozen creaminess, you’ve possibly got the most perfect breakfast in the history of existence! Yum, yum!
16. Soft Pretzels
Who doesn’t love pretzels? Again, they aren’t an ideal breakfast for eating regularly, but waffle irons are perfect for making soft pretzels in, and you can even get the shape approximately right if you pour the dough in carefully.
If you want to be more authentic, although it will take longer, you could take a more traditional approach to your pretzel making. Make your pretzel dough using yeast as a leavening agent. Once the dough has risen take about a third of a cup of dough, and on a flour-dusted surface, roll it into a 20-inch roll or rope. With the rope on the surface, grab the ends and lift them away from you and twist the ends together. Now bring the twisted ends back towards you and lightly press into the rounded middle of the rope of dough. You should now have something that looks like a pretzel shape.
Don’t put it into the waffle maker yet. A pretzel wouldn’t be a pretzel unless you first boil it for about 20 seconds in a mix of water baking soda. Lift out the pretzel using a fish slice or spatula, sprinkle with salt, and put into your heated waffle maker. Since all waffle makers are different, you’ll need to experiment with cooking times. But start with about 2-4 minutes and adjust the cooking time as required.
Waffle irons might seem a bit of a one-trick horse that takes up unnecessary amounts of kitchen space, but they actually have so many options. They make some amazing breakfasts and they’re almost limitless in what you can heat up in them. It’s even possible to create cakes and waffle cones!
With a bit of creativity, you might find your waffle iron quickly becomes your go-to breakfast tool, even more popular than the toaster, hob, or microwave. If so, you should now have plenty of ideas about what else can you make in a waffle maker for breakfast, and you’ll have some tasty and unusual breakfasts on your horizon.
Tosh learned how to cook while watching his Polish Mom at home. He also worked in a family-owned restaurant while a student and learned much from the chefs. Cooking has always interested him, especially the hearty Polish recipes he learned from his mother. He has helped create and appeared on cookery shows on radio stations in Scotland.
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