11 Ways You Never Thought to Use Your Waffle Iron

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11 Ways You Never Thought to Use Your Waffle Iron

Back away from the Bisquick, friends, because your waffle iron can do a lot more than make waffles. By creating additional surface area, and applying a high temperature to it, a waffle iron produces new textures and flavors, crisping starches like rice or potatoes and caramelizing vegetables and fruits. Just as a waffle’s myriad compartments hold syrup and butter, other foods similarly benefit when it comes to salsa, pesto and other toppings. Altering the shape and topography of food doesn’t change its nutritional properties. This accords with the principle of “TITO,” or “Twinkie-in, Twinkie-out.” Still, waffling your foods adds a fun twist to familiar favorites as well as reinventing leftovers.

1. VEGETABLES

A waffle iron is great for cooking veggies such as zucchini and other squash, eggplant, peppers and asparagus. Slice about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick, toss with olive oil,  kosher salt and cook for 3–5 minutes. Asparagus stalks 1/2 inch in diameter or skinnier work best. Go really green by making  these waffle iron kale chips.

2. FRUITS

Any firm-fleshed fruit suitable for grilling can also be tossed on a waffle iron.  Stone fruits, apples, pears, figs, pineapple and even plantains work well.

3. QUESADILLAS

You might wonder if the waffle maker will punch holes in a quesadilla. The answer: not really. Instead, it  makes little waffle-shaped tortilla pockets of cheesy goodness. A round waffle maker is probably better than a square one, but it’s hard to see how you’d go wrong either way.

4. OMELETS

For each omelet, beat two eggs plus two tablespoons of milk, stir in chopped onions and peppers, pour onto a waffle iron and cook until the eggs are set. Is it an omelet? Is it a frittata? You decide.

5. MUFFINS

Waffles are basically muffins anyway, though muffin batter is a little thicker and usually sweeter. Still, any muffin recipe will cook up in your waffle iron. Pour it in, close the lid, cook until steam stops coming out. Leave it in a little longer if you want a more crispy bite. Keep a sheet pan underneath your waffle iron to catch any spills. With this in mind, you can see how a waffle maker would also be great for making banana bread,  carrot cake and even brownies.

6. HASH BROWNS

Hash browns and other grated root vegetables offer a wealth of waffle iron opportunities. Shred potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes on a waffle iron brushed with melted butter to produce  waffled hash browns. Combine with beaten egg for latkes. Change the flavor by substituting sweet potatoes for some or all of the potato or use  other root veggies like carrots, parsnips and turnips. Shred something else entirely, like zucchini, and bind together with milk, flour and grated parm to make fritters.

7. TATER TOTS

Some people may say these are simply another form of hash browns, but I beg to differ. Skip the grating and fill your waffle iron with tater tots for a crunchy delight.

8. GRILLED CHEESE

The grilled-cheese variations alone, when you consider the innumerable combinations of bread, cheese and other ingredients, are simply staggering. Here’s one example, another and another. I’d be inclined to make a grilled-cheese sandwich using two leftover waffles as the bread.

9. FALAFEL

Falafel is usually pan- or deep-fried, but when you make a waffle falafel, the only oil necessary is cooking spray. Bonus points for using a round waffle maker, since falafel shape matches round pita bread.

10. POTATO

Whole potatoes, baked or microwaved until tender first, take on a fabulous browned exterior in these waffle whole potatoes. Use red potatoes, yellow or Yukons.

11. REPURPOSE LEFTOVERS

There are a lot of leftovers that take on new life in a waffle iron. A short list: leftover fries, leftover pizza, leftover mac & cheese, leftover mashed potatoes, leftover stuffing, leftover fried rice, leftover risotto, leftover polenta, and leftover meatloaf.

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  • Lisa

    While I like the idea of using the waffle iron for things other than waffles, I’m kind of taken back and the kinds if foods suggested in this article. Starts out great with fruit, veggies and even kale chips….but by the end of the article, there’s mention of mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, pizza, and tater tots? I know, I know, everything in moderation. It just doesn’t seem that this article fits this site. I expect to get healthful recipes when I look through this blog.

    • Zoe

      Totally agree Lisa, maybe creative but not for this site. No 11 blows my mind – fries and pizza? Really?

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      • Plant-based pizzas and oil-free fries are great options instead. I like the idea of using a waffle iron to make “fries” instead of frying. It’s a creative alternative to roasted and baked potatoes, both of which I make without oil or other added ingredients besides seasonings.

      • Showstopper

        There are tons of ways to make healthy fries and pizza. I lost 50 pounds and met all of my nutrition goals each day eating pretty much variations of fries and pizza.

      • Gold Stars

        If people cannot even read about a different method of cooking without losing control, then just stay away from food, as it sounds too dangerous for you and Lisa both!
        In other words, Grow UP!!

        • gary

          I have found out that I am allergic to food, I break out in fat.

          • linnilu

            Now I have the answer to the problem that has plagued me all of these years!

          • Randa Marlow

            LOL! Thanks for that. 🙂

          • Eddi Way

            laughs. good one!

    • Patty

      I don’t know, you can make decisions to eat healthy foods or not. MFP let’s you decide what you want to do. You just stay within your parameters, calories, fats, carbs, etc. I like the ideas in this article, but I can choose to eat them or not. I’d still like to see them though. I’d hate to have good ideas discouraged from this site because someone just doesn’t want to see them because they don’t agree with their way of thinking.

      • Yeah, using the waffle iron is about ways of cookie. What you are cooking, healthy or not, is something different. I like the idea of using the waffle iron for things like fruits and veggies.

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        • MermaidGirl

          Ways of cookie! haha BEST.Typo.EVER.!!

    • It’s completely possible to make healthy versions of pizza, fries and other “unhealthy” foods. 🙂

    • 66jalopy

      My potatoes are healthier because I only use enough oil to get the plate covered.

      • Darlene Campbell Garton

        you can also us nonstick spray instead of oil

    • Gold Stars

      They do give you healthy recipes! Quit whining and learn to take responsibility for you eating habits!
      Great article and some good ideas!!
      Everything can be healthful if prepared and eaten correctly! Remember a Big Mac is healthy for a starving person!!

    • disqus_LZipN7GbVD

      I have to feed teenagers. Sometimes you have to bend a little and feed them something they want.

    • Mark Proxell

      Get over yourself

  • Zach Siciliano

    Thanksgiving Stuffing is the best cooked in a waffle iron.

  • Lisa Riordan Dickens

    Anyone have suggestions for a good quality waffle maker? TIA! Lisa

    • Showstopper

      We use a Cuisinart Griddler with the waffle plates. We’ve done everything on this list, but we used different plates for each. It comes with a panini side and a regular grill side and we bought the waffle plates off of Amazon.

      • Lisa Riordan Dickens

        Thanks!

    • 66jalopy

      My Cuisinart Griddler is probably 15 years old. Cleaned one of the contacts once in that time, easy job. Used almost daily for anything from grilled cheese sandwiches to cooking frozen fries, even cook meat on it. Hint, cover flat plates with aluminum foil and throw the foil away once a day for easy cleaning.

    • Gold Stars

      Yes, as mine is likely over 80 years old, but sadly I am pretty sure they stopped making this model decades ago also. 🙁
      It is a Super Electric model 105. Made during the late 20’s to the 30’s. Works wonderfully and makes excellent waffles!
      Those old waffle irons were durable to say the least!! 🙂

  • Baxter Doodle

    French Toast in the waffle iron is the best!

    • Eddi Way

      Been doin that trick for years.

  • Bev McDonald Byrd

    That list is brillant! Simple, yet brillant. Thanks,

  • Anthony Bear

    damn, now I’m hungry! Thanks a lot, MFP! 😉

  • Liza Deboer

    These are terrible ideas! I run a sorority house. We have had fires because people read these articles that are poorly researched and NOT Recommended by the manufacturers of such devices. Stop, just stop!

    • karinagw

      There is nothing wrong with any of these food items in a waffle maker. Your girls are probably drying panties or some such in them. Or plugging them in overloaded outlets.

  • Ruth Ann Grogan

    Waffle cookies are yummy.

  • gary

    I am looking for a waffle iron that has removable plates for better cleaning. There used to be a bunch out there, but now I can not find one

    • Susan

      Krups make waffle maker with removal plates. I just bought one for my daughter and she loves it

    • Robbin E. Dillon

      Make a habit of perusing your local GoodWill/second hand shops – it’s one of those gifts that newlyweds seems to get more than one of, and then never use…. I got mine for $2, and it looks like it was never used…. yayMe!

    • Ellen Appleby-Musser

      Just got a Farberware waffle iron.
      I love it!

    • J Yanero

      Cuisinart makes one. I love mine. Clean up is a snap!

    • April Bafia

      I agree with Cusinart. Love mine

  • Eating healthy is far more about portion control, or how much you eat, than it is about what you eat. Everything is fine in moderation. Have a slice of pizza, just don’t eat the whole damn thing! And don’t eat it every day.

  • MermaidGirl

    So on fitness pal they are telling us to make TATER TOTS in a waffle iron? This is not healthy eating! If I didn’t see a picture of your fit face, I would have assumed you had a fat face! LOL! I am now just assuming you got high .very high … while writing this article and you took a couple turns from kale and healthy suggestions to just putting any old thing in the waffle iron such as potatoes and cheese … quesadillas… grilled cheese… ha ha… By any chance.. Are you in California? XD

  • MermaidGirl

    Alfaro… doesn’t sound Irish to me! LOL All those potato suggestions! XD

  • goodideas

    How about using the waffle iron as a weight while exercising?

  • Gold Stars

    Amazing to me just how many poor whiners complain about this article!
    Get a life and learn to accept other ideas for a change!!!
    If using a waffle iron is beyond your ability, then stay away from them. LOL 🙂

  • goodideas

    Use the waffle iron as a weight when exercising.

  • Joann Koch

    great ideas.

  • Bob Masters

    Waffle irons make great Brownies. Kids can have fun with their ‘burnt’ waffles!

  • Maureen Hammer

    I know people are appalled by the fact that there was mention of pizza an mac as cheese… but that’s what real people eat and hopefully they are eating responsibly and not choosing those items every day and getting in daily activity, lots of water and supplements if needed… but think about organized races… they have treats at the end… donuts, pizza, fruit, etc…after a run well done… and all those runners eat it!! we work hard and we should be able to think outside the box and waffle ourselves into a new idea… btw: is also like to add… if you OWN a waffle iron and have such an issue with pizza in it… what were you putting in it before? Ya know waffles and syrup aren’t the most healthiest choices either no matter how you like to gluten free or whole grain it up!! Just saying!! Good to have your opinion…

  • Chelin Jamie Hu

    don’t forget the pillsbury cinnamon rolls…. 🙂