How often do you think about the humble freezer waffle? These rounds are usually reserved for panicked breakfasts when you realize you forgot to buy eggs or for households where children throw tantrums if there isn't a plate of them on the breakfast table every day. Frankly, this frozen breakfast item, which comes in flavors like chocolate chip, maple, blueberry, and whole wheat, tastes nothing like the beloved Belgian waffles of our favorite childhood diner. They're bland and incredibly unpleasant to eat when freezer burn sets in and turns them into hockey pucks.
Is there any hope for the freezer waffle? In an effort to give this convenient item some of its dignity back, we've compiled a list of our favorite ways to use the frozen waffle for more than just a solo breakfast food. We've found that many of these recipes not only make the waffle more palatable but also genuinely add value to the recipe it's used in.
Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained
Swap Them For Bread In Your Favorite French Toast Recipe
Toaster waffles alone aren't very exciting. But when you make something new with a bit of inspiration from another breakfast classic, then you'll have a meal that everyone at your table will be talking about.
You can give your boring, frozen waffles new life by transforming them into French toast. The first step is to defrost your package of frozen waffles until no ice crystals remain -- any method, including microwave or air fryer, will do. While your rounds are warming up, mix together a custard of standard ingredients like eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and a splash of milk. Then, dip your defrosted waffles into the custard before tossing them on a hot, greased skillet. You'll find that, unlike sandwich bread, the custard can really soak into all of the nooks and crannies of the waffle and give it an absolutely sublime texture.
Use Them As A Base For Your Breakfast Sandwich
We admit that we sometimes get tired of eating the same old breakfast sandwich on an English muffin or everything bagel. But after reading this hack for game-changing breakfast sandwiches, we haven't returned to the status quo breakfast sandwich ever again.
Frozen waffles are the ideal stacking component for your breakfast sandwiches. They have the same thickness as a slice of sturdy bread but without the carbiness of a bagel. Plus, the pockets will trap all of your condiments and keep your sandwich locked in rather than sliding all over the place. You can also add your favorite sandwich fillings like eggs, cheese, bacon, sausage, and veggies for added texture. And for an upgraded sandwich, try waffles with little pockets of maple syrup in them.
Make A Plate Of Dessert Fries
Let's face it. Frozen waffles are bland, even when your drizzle of maple syrup turns into a pour. Instead of sticking with a simple topping for your frozen waffles, go all out with dessert fries. It's a creative way to amp up frozen waffles and leave you with the perfect harmony of toppings.
You'll want to start making this dish by cooking your frozen waffles until they're crispy -- not just flimsy. Our go-to method for cooking frozen waffles is in an air fryer because it will perfectly crisp up all the edges and holes. Then, cut the waffles into pieces and slather them with your favorite toppings. For example, if you're a fan of Mexican churros, you can toss your waffles in melted butter, cinnamon, and granulated sugar and serve them with a chocolate dipping sauce. Regardless of the toppings, these dessert fries are best consumed as soon as you make them since moist toppings will make the waffles go limp after only a short time.
Transform Them Into An Ice Cream Sandwich
Homemade ice cream sandwiches? Yes please! To make the best ice cream sandwiches, substitute the cookies with toaster waffles. The waffle is much sturdier than a cookie, making this dessert easy to eat. You'll want to ensure your waffles are cool before sandwiching in your frozen dessert. Moreover, to minimize the amount of mess in shaping and forming these sandwiches, we recommend slicing a pint of ice cream into discs ahead of time to make assembly easier.
After another short chill in your freezer, your ice cream sandwiches will be ready to enjoy. You can swap out the plain waffle with a chocolate or cinnamon one to match your ice cream flavor. You can also roll the sandwich in sprinkles or chopped nuts for extra texture.
Make Them Into Mini Waffle Pizzas
No one can tell how bland your waffles are when you slather them with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella! These breakfast treats are one of the most underrated pizza crust alternatives. The pockets provide the perfect amount of space to balance your pizza toppings, while the crusty bite of the frozen waffle will upgrade the texture of your pizza.
You'll want to start this recipe by baking your waffles on both sides. If you used frozen waffles, they would steam too much under the toppings and come out soggy. After the waffles are fully warmed and crisp, add your pizza sauce, cheese, and toppings and bake for just a few minutes to melt the cheese. Since this bake time is short, you'll need to use pre-cooked meats and softened veggies.
Swap Out Bread For Avocado Toast
Avocado toast on boring sandwich bread? Sad. Avocado toast on a frozen waffle? Fantastic. Frozen waffles can easily elevate this hip breakfast to new levels -- especially when a poached egg is involved. Since the flavor of the toast often leans savory, we recommend sticking to a plain or whole wheat waffle for this recipe. Toast your waffle perfectly before adding a schmear of avocado or thinly sliced wedges to the top. You may even find the waffle to be more sturdy than your favorite bread.
And as we all know, avocado toast is more than just avocado and a base. Add a sprinkle of flaked sea salt and cracked pepper for a textural boost or a handful of arugula to bring out more vegetal flavors.
Crumble Them Up In A Food Processor And Make Breadcrumbs
Although they might seem like a catch-all for stale bread, breadcrumbs are still a good way to use up leftover waffles -- especially ones that you meant to eat but left out on your kitchen counter for too long. You'll find plain and whole wheat waffles to be the best fit for this use since we highly doubt anyone will be going for blueberry-waffle-flavored chicken anytime soon.
You'll want to use toasted waffles for this recipe since moisture isn't ideal for breadcrumbs. From there, you can pop the waffles right into your food processor and pulse until they're crumbly and dry. Although the blandness of the waffle is detrimental to its intended use, it makes the food a blank canvas for herbs and seasonings.
Dip Them In Chocolate For A Simple Dessert
Everything is more palatable when it's dipped in chocolate, including toaster waffles. You can use leftover waffles for dipping in your DIY fondue or chocolate fountain, or stick to making individual pops on sticks. The chocolate coats the pockets in the waffle well and will give you a high ratio of cocoa to waffle in every bite.
You can get creative with your chocolate dips and incorporate different colors and chocolate varieties, along with different toppings and sprinkles. For example, take some inspiration from your favorite Snickers candy and coat your waffle in milk chocolate, chopped peanuts, and a caramel drizzle. Or, go with a more decadent option of dark chocolate, flaked sea salt, and a dusting of chili powder.
Add Them To Your Dip Plate Instead Of Chips
We can only eat so many Ritz crackers at a tailgate party. Instead of opting for the same boring crackers every single time, switch things up with sliced toaster waffle pieces. The deep pockets make it easy to grab hunks of your favorite buffalo chicken dip without it falling off to the side. Plus, they're also ideal for scooping into thick dips like spinach artichoke. Although savory dips are usually go-tos for events, some dessert dips, like caramel pecan cheesecake fruit dip, can also be great accompaniments for frozen waffle pieces.
The key to transforming waffles into the perfect sticks for dipping is to bake them until they're toasted all the way through -- it's even preferable if they're slightly over-toasted. That way, they'll be rigid and able to carry the weight of your dips.
Use Them For A Delicious Grilled Cheese
We've experienced the craving for a hearty grilled cheese sandwich and quickly realized that we were out of bread far too many times. But, when you're short on sandwich bread, look to your freezer. A package of frozen waffles is all you need to help save the day.
Grab your pack of frozen waffles and heat them up until they're nice and crispy. From there, you can top one of the waffles with your favorite melting cheese, like cheddar or mozzarella, and stick it into a baking pan or air fryer. Like other uses for these sandwiches, you don't want to over-toast the waffles; rather, just give the cheese an opportunity to melt. Besides plain waffles, you can also experiment with flavors to some extent. For example, a blueberry waffle may be a great fit for a fancy grilled cheese with goat cheese and basil.
Replace Your Burger Buns
Making your own burgers at home is relatively easy and will help save you money on takeout. But if you find your burger buns have gone stale or you neglected to pick some up from the store in the first place, waffles are the perfectly sweet replacement for burger buns.
The exact waffle you choose is up to you. You can select a square or a round waffle or even go for the mini-waffles for a creative twist on sliders. One of our favorite ways to use this hack is to top our burger with eggs and bacon before sandwiching it between the two waffles for an upgraded brunch dish. A quick brush with maple syrup will also add more breakfast flavor to your burger and take it to a new level.
Upgrade Your Brunch With Chicken And Waffle Sliders
There's no Southern dish quite like chicken and waffles. Although this recipe usually features homemade, hot waffles slathered in syrup and topped with a piece of crispy fried chicken, a quick substitute with frozen waffles will make your favorite breakfast a bit easier to recreate at home. Plus, you can swap out the fresh chicken with leftovers from last night, which will dramatically cut back on the work you have to do to make this meal at home.
While you could just plop the chicken on top of your toasted frozen waffle, you could also cut the waffle into pieces to make mini chicken and waffle sliders. The exact size of your waffle will depend on your chicken, but this recipe variation does open the door to using up your tiny pieces of leftover chicken that would have otherwise been discarded. Serve your little sliders with a toothpick and a cup of syrup for dipping.
Swap Them For An English Muffin In Eggs Benedict
An English muffin is a key component of eggs Benedict -- right? Not with these eggs Benedict waffles, which swap out the carb for an even better one. We like using whole-grain waffles for this recipe because the nutty flavor contrasts with the richness of the hollandaise.
To serve these sandwiches, each toaster waffle is topped with a layer of low-sodium deli ham, poached eggs, and sauce. Besides swapping out the classic muffin for waffles, our recipe also takes it up a notch and adds blanched, thin asparagus spears to the mix. The vegetal flavor of the asparagus really curbs the fattiness of the yolk and the sauce, helping to bring a little more balance to this dish.
Add Them To Your Breakfast Casserole
Getting the perfect texture from your breakfast casserole can be tricky. While using frozen tater tots or hunks of biscuit dough might be plausible, torn waffle pieces are the way to go. For this recipe, you'll want to toast your waffles to perfection before breaking them into pieces and adding them to the bottom of your casserole dish. If you used frozen pieces, you'd not only struggle to cut them, but they would also release a ton of steam that would alter the cooking time of your other ingredients.
Once you have your waffle base, layer upward with staples like breakfast sausage, eggs, and cheese. Alternatively, you can also make the dish into a bread pudding-like one and top your waffle pieces with sweet custard and fruit.
Swap Them For Cake In A Trifle
Strawberry trifle is a relatively easy dish to make at home, considering you only have to layer sliced fruit, cake, and cream together. But instead of making a whole entire cake just to cut it up into tiny pieces for your trifle, swap it out with frozen waffle pieces instead.
The hunks of toasted waffles pair excellent with cut summer fruit. Plus, since the waffles are toasted and firm on the outside, they won't absorb as much moisture as cake would. This means that you can confidently assemble your trifle in advance and leave it in the fridge without worrying that your fruit and cream will make the entire waffle layer soggy. Besides using berries, you can also incorporate chocolate, nut butter, or candy into the mix, too.
Use Them For S'mores
Graham crackers are such an outdated vessel for your s'mores -- especially when there are so many better options on the table -- or, in this case, in your freezer. Instead of busting out a box of Honey Maids, grab a pack of frozen waffles instead. The crunch is super satisfying for the other mushy components, while the chocolate and the marshmallow will infuse a confectionary flavor into the rest of the sweet sandwich.
There are numerous ways to incorporate waffles into your s'mores routine. The first is to place your waffles directly from frozen onto a piece of greased foil and fill it with your marshmallows and chocolate. After finishing the sandwich with the other waffle, close the foil completely and place it near the fire or on your grill to get the insides melted. Or, use a toasted waffle as a replacement for your graham crackers.
Cube Them Into Pieces For A Stuffing
Stuffing is probably not your go-to when you remember having a box of waffles tucked into the back corner of your freezer. After all, why would you need to make an Eggo version when you have a perfectly good stuffing mix?
Waffles have a crustier outside than most bread, meaning they'll make for a crunchier stuffing than a standard mix. And when you start with a plain or whole wheat waffle, there are many opportunities to add more flavor to your mix with herbs, aromatics, and broth. But you should be diligent about how many of these mix-ins to include. The best way to ensure the perfect texture for stuffing is to ensure that your bread (or, in this case, waffle) comprises at least half of your stuffing.
Make Them Into A Waffle Cake
Waffle cake may just sound like something a TikToker conjured up one day, but this dessert is more well-thought-out than you anticipated. Instead of just stacking waffles on top of one another and slathering them with frosting, waffle cake is made by encasing each waffle with cake batter. Besides adding to the texture of your cake, the waffles also prevent the cake from puffing up in the center -- meaning that you can leave your leavening tool in the drawer for now.
The key to making this recipe is to pour your batter into the greased cake tins and place your frozen waffle in the center. You can use massive Belgian waffles for this recipe or stick to the small Eggo-style waffles for a mini dessert. Once your cake has baked and the waffles have set, cover the entire thing in maple syrup and enjoy.
Think Mexican With Waffle Tacos
You will never see us diving into a hard-shelled gringo taco anytime soon. But if you wrap taco fillings in a soft waffle, we might just bite. The key to making these waffle tacos is to try and keep the waffle as soft and as pliable as possible. Toasting it will cause the waffle to turn into a hockey puck, which isn't conducive for wrapping around your taco fillings. Instead, you'll just want to lightly toast your waffles -- enough to get them soft and malleable enough to move. As for your taco fillings, you can add whatever suits your fancy. Grilled chicken is one of our favorite fillings because it's light and fresh, especially when paired with chopped lettuce and guacamole.
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