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Comfort Food

Surprisingly Delicious Waffle Iron Recipes That’ll Make You Glad You Still Have One!

Crab cakes, brownies, "chaffles," baked apples, pizza and more!

There’s nothing more frustrating than having appliances we barely use take up precious storage space — or worse, counter space. Argh! That’s why we’re always thrilled when we hear about a way to turn these one of these one-trick ponies into a multitasking workhorse. Enter the waffle iron. You may have bought yours with visions of family breakfasts that you find yourself just too short on time to make very often. Well…it turns out that waffle iron can do a lot more than make waffles! We asked chefs for their favorite waffle iron recipes that aren’t waffles, and you’ll be delighted by their answers. Keep reading to see how cooking certain foods in your waffle iron can save you time, money — and even help you lose weight!

Why the waffle iron is a great all-around cooker

The intense heat of the waffle iron, which cooks food between two hot plates, creates food that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Another benefit of using a waffle maker? Cooking time is reduced drastically because the item is pressed simultaneously between very two hot surfaces at a high temperature.

One caveat: That quickness may lead to overcooking. “Keep a close eye on cooking time,” advises Sarah Johnson, cooking and home appliance expert with Big Air Fryers.

7 surprising recipes to make in a waffle iron

Your waffle iron doesn’t have to be a one-hit wonder anymore. Keep reading to see these waffle iron recipes from chefs and professionals, and get ready for your diet to become a lot more dimpled.

1. Crab cakes

Crab cake waffles on a wooden board
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“Cooking crab cakes in a waffle iron gives them an amazing crispy texture on the outside,” says Cassandra Carrick, recipe developer for Looks Delic. “When you bite into a waffle iron crab cake and get that thin crunch on the outside and the soft texture inside, the mouthfeel is comparable to a perfectly cooked French fry.” Check out the recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. fresh lump crab meat
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. old bay seasoning
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Divide into 4 equal parts and form each portion into a patty.
  2. Preheat a waffle iron on high. Once hot, and working one patty at a time, spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and place a crab cake patty in the center. Close the waffle iron and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Open the waffle maker, remove the crab cake to a plate and repeat with the remaining crab cake patties.
  4. Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite cajun dipping sauce.

Tip: “Avoid opening the iron for an early peek,” advises Carrick. Doing so may keep the patty from holding together, resulting in a mess. She also recommends against using frozen crab for this recipe, as it may not cook evenly.

2. Cheddar-bacon ‘chaffles’

Chaffle on a white plate. A waffle made with cheese and bacon
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“Chaffles,” or waffles made with cheese and eggs, are low in carbs, high in protein and a snap to make. With only two base ingredients, these keto-friendly treats are infinitely customizable, too. The cheddar-bacon version below is perfect for brunch. (Click through to learn more about how chaffles can help you lose weight.)

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • ¾ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 slices bacon

Directions

  1. In nonstick skillet, cook 3 slices bacon over medium-high heat until crisp; chop. Mix with cheese and remaining ingredients.
  2. Mist waffle iron with cooking spray. In batches, pour ¼-cupfuls into waffle iron; close lid. Cook until set, 3-4 min.

3. Quesadillas

That’s right: This simple-to-make snack just got even simpler. Cooking your quesadilla in a waffle maker eliminates the need for flipping since it’s being cooked on both sides simultaneously. This method also creates crispy-crunchy indents on the outside of your quesadilla — perfect for filling with salsa and sour cream.

To make a quesadilla in the waffle maker, put in your tortilla and fillings of choice, top with a second tortilla, then simply cook until it’s crispy and the cheese is melted. “Don’t overload the quesadilla,” advises Johnson. “A moderate amount of filling ensures even cooking.”

4. Baked apples

Baked apples are delicious, but they’re not known for how fast they come together. However, with this simple recipe for waffle iron baked apples from Stef Pollack of Cupcake Project, you can have deliciously dimpled baked apples in just 1 minute.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple, sliced into rings about ¼” thick
  • ½ tsp. granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat and lightly grease waffle iron.
  2. Rub both sides of apple rings with sugar and cinnamon and place one ring in each section of waffle iron.
  3. Cook for about 1 minute; serve warm.

5. Sweet potato fritters

Sweet potato fritters on a white plate with arugula
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These fritters are easy as they are delicious and healthy, and the waffle iron makes them quick to boot. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which fights against cognitive decline and age-related vision loss. They also contain potassium, fiber and vitamin C, which are vital for bone health, digestion and immunity against sickness.

Simply peel and boil a sweet potato, mash it with an egg for binding and whatever spices you’d like (we recommend ground cinnamon and fresh ginger), place it in the waffle maker and voilà! (Click through for another waffle iron potato favorite — hash browns.)

6. Pizza

overhead view of pizza waffle cut into four slices. waffle topped with cheese, tomatoes and basil, a surprising waffle iron recipe
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Making individual pizzas in a waffle maker is a fun and easy family activity. These pizzas are crowd pleasers since everyone can top theirs however they want!

Simply spread pizza dough evenly onto a preheated and lightly greased waffle iron, says Johnson. Then cook until the crust is golden. Top with sauce, cheese and whatever fixings you’d like, then pop into the toaster oven until the cheese melts.

Or for an all-in-one treat, roll out dough until it’s about ¼” thick, add “toppings”, then layer on another ¼”-thick square of dough. Cook until golden. One tip: “Opt for pre-cooked toppings to ensure they’re heated through during the waffle-making process,” notes Johnson.

7. Brownies

chocolate brownie waffle made in a waffle iron. topped with raspberries and syrup.
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These single-serve brownies bake more quickly than they would in the oven, which means you get to indulge. And they’re perfect for topping with ice cream since the indents catch every melty drip. You can use boxed brownie mix for added convenience, plus here’s an easy from-scratch recipe for waffle iron brownies from Sabrina Snyder, private chef and creator of Dinner Then Dessert.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup water
  • ⅔ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat and grease waffle iron.
  2. Bring water to boil in saucepan, turn off heat and add butter and cocoa powder, whisking until combined.
  3. Pour into large bowl and whisk in sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt until combined and stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop ¼ cup batter at a time into waffle iron and cook on medium-low for 3 minutes.

Click through for more speedy recipes:

Don’t Throw That Leftover Rice Out: Fry It Up Into a Delicious, Unusually Healthy Side Dish

You’ll Wonder How You Lived Without This ‘Lazy’ Lasagna Recipe — It Takes Just 10 Minutes to Prep and 25 Minutes To Bake

‘Grandma Pizza’ Is an Extra-Crispy, Cheesy NY Classic — and So Easy to Make at Home

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