waffled Cubano sandwich
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Waffle makers are way more versatile than their name implies; just see these creative waffle maker recipe ideas for proof (and plenty of inspiration).

You may have registered for a waffle maker when you got engaged or snagged one during a great sale at your favorite home goods store, only to find that the novelty of using it wore off after one or two lazy Saturday breakfasts. So after relegating it to the far reaches of one of your kitchen cabinets it’s now back there collecting dust. It’s time to pull it out.

“I like to think of a waffle iron kind of like a panini press, so anything that works for that is great for this kitchen appliance,” says Dan Jackson, director of culinary for Fields Good Chicken in New York. “I love to make pressed sandwiches, grilled cheese in particular, or any type of recipe that starts with a batter.” He’s made brownies, cookies, vegetable frittatas, and latkes as well as quick breads like biscuits and flatbreads.

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Try one of these ingenious ideas to make use of your waffle maker, plus Jackson’s savory recipe for a waffle inspired by fried chicken and cornbread:


Curried Sweet Potato Hash Brown Waffles

Shredded potatoes get so irresistibly crispy in the waffle maker that they easily rival the hash browns at your favorite local diner; but there’s no need to stop at russet or Yukon Gold. Blogger Sandi Gaertner of @fearless_dining grates sweet potatoes and mixes them with curry powder and turmeric then spoons them into a waffle maker coated with olive oil. She serves the crunchy spuds with sour cream and chives. Get the Curried Sweet Potato Hash Brown Waffles recipe.

1-Bowl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Waffles


A quick bread gets even quicker thanks to this easy peasy version from blogger, cookbook author, and recipe developer Dana Shutlz of @minimalistbaker. Crispy on the outside and tender and ooey gooey on the inside, her chocolate chip banana bread waffles are a sweet way to start the day and an equally fabulous dessert served warm topped with vanilla ice cream. Rolled oats pack a healthy dose of fiber, a banana lets you get your potassium, and dark chocolate is practically a health food, right? Get the 1-Bowl Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Waffles recipe.

Waffle Iron Frittata


Don’t worry if the eggs spill over the side of your waffle maker when you whip up this frittata, says Michelle, the blogger behind @verymichelly, whose site focuses on light and easy meal ideas and recipes. We think that actually makes it look more rustically artisanal. She whips eggs with an electric beater so they’ll cook up nice and airy then folds in light mozzarella cheese, cooked spinach, thinly sliced tomatoes, and freshly-grated parmesan. It only takes about 7 minutes in the waffle iron until brunch is served, leaving you time to mix up a batch of Mimosas. Get the Waffle Iron Frittata recipe.

Pizza Waffles


Lifestyle blogger Andrea Ament of @thesaltycanary deems these sauce-, cheese-, and pepperoni-stuffed pockets to be one of the favorite things she’s ever made. The secret is Trader Joe’s Garlic & Herb Pizza Dough, which she said hands-down beats the taste of the regular flavor. And they are totally riffable: Fill them with sausage, veggies, ham, bacon, you name it! After they are done baking in the waffle iron you can optionally sprinkle them with more cheese and pepperoni and pop them into the broiler for a minute or two. Get the Pizza Waffles recipe.

Churro Waffles


Warm, sweet, and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, churros are often the most-awaited part of dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Now you can make the ever-popular dessert at home, albeit in a different shape. Cookbook author and food writer Shadi Hasanzade Nemati of @unicornsinthekitchen has perfected the recipe using homemade buttermilk and a generous helping of butter that melts in the pan before you add the batter. Eat them as they are or dunk them in dulce de leche, chocolate sauce, maple syrup, or whipped cream. Get the Churro Waffles recipe.

Falafel Waffles


Spanish blogger Iosune Robles of @simpleveganblog used to fry falafel in EVOO until she and her husband Alberto discovered that baking them is just as good and much healthier. Her variation takes just 7 minutes in the waffle maker and is made with chickpeas soaked overnight, garlic, red onion, cilantro, spinach, and chickpea flour. Top them with a yogurt sauce like her vegan version, and if you have trouble with them sticking to the iron, brush it first with a little olive oil or give it a spritz of olive oil baking spray. Get the Falafel Waffles recipe.

Related Reading: The Best Way to Clean a Waffle Maker

Roasted Chicken N’ Waffles

Recipe courtesy of Fields Good Chicken, Director of Culinary Dan Jackson

Jackson loves to make cornmeal waffles with rotisserie chicken or roasted chicken at home, and this version is inspired by the restaurant’s signature cornbread. Fields Good Chicken is currently donating meals to hospital workers and the team recently launched Birds For Good, a donation platform for people to donate any dollar amount toward FGC’s efforts to feed hospital workers; a hundred percent of the money raised goes toward these meals.

Ingredients

For the waffles:

  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • ¼ cup cheddar, grated
  • ¼  teaspoon cayenne

For the Topping / Garnish:

  • 1 roasted or rotisserie chicken
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 5-6 chives

Instructions:

1. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and oil in a mixing bowl.

2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the AP flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chives, cheddar, and cayenne.

3. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry and mix well.

4. Let the mix sit for 20 min to set, and then add it to the waffle maker in batches. If you want a thinner/crispier waffle, add less batter, and for more fluffy-style waffles, add more.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

6. Take your favorite roasted or rotisserie chicken and pull the skin and meat off of the bone.

7. Add the meat and skin to a baking sheet and crisp them up in the preheated oven for around 6 minutes.

8. While the chicken is crisping up, blend chipotle in adobo, garlic, maple syrup, cider vinegar, and tamari until fully combined.

9. Top the waffle with the hot chicken, garnish with Maple Chipotle Sauce and more chives. Enjoy!

Related Video: 4 More Sweet Desserts You Can Make in Your Waffle Iron


Header image courtesy of Jen Wheeler

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