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When it comes to waffles, I think it’s about time we moved past the standard butter-and-syrup routine. (Though that’s certainly delicious, too.) With a honeycomb pattern and fluffy-sweet taste, a plain waffle brings something quirky and special to the plate. So why not add wild toppings to make your meal downright fun? Or try unexpected batters and over-the-top spreads that’ll make your loved ones grin? I’ve ironed out the best toppings, from savory to sweet-plus a few unexpected ideas for wow-worthy waffles to get you started.
1. Make ’em healthy
Waffles don’t necessarily need to be mounded with butter and sugary syrups to be delicious. Lighten them up with a whole-grain batter, fresh toppings and nutrient-rich ingredients and they go from weekend indulgence to weekday jump-starter. Try these handpicked ideas:
- Greek yogurt with honey and blueberries
- Almond butter, sliced apples and honey
- Vanilla yogurt, granola and raspberries
- Fried egg, avocado and pico de gallo
- Sliced kiwi, pineapple segments and toasted coconut
- Applesauce, cinnamon and chopped walnuts
2. Go savory for dinner
Who says the waffle fun has to stop at breakfast? I love the idea of sandwiching hearty ingredients between two waffles for a filling lunch or serving them with creamy sauce for dinner. These savory topping ideas make the case for digging into waffles well past morning hours.
- Pork chops, sliced pears and maple syrup
- Sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and shredded Parmesan
- Sweet corn and spicy maple syrup
- Corn bread waffles with chili, cheddar cheese and sour cream
- Fried chicken with Sriracha honey
- Fried chicken, avocado, salsa and jalapeno syrup
- Goat cheese and balsamic syrup
- Barbecue pulled pork with tangy coleslaw
- Creamy chicken-spinach sauce
- Sliced deli chicken, cheddar, mayo and sliced apple
- Bacon, lettuce and tomato (slider style!)
3. Add toppings that are completely over-the-top
For those days where more is definitely more, load up your waffles with indulgent ingredients you can drizzle, sprinkle and top to your heart’s content. I think they’re just perfect for a birthday or special occasion-but we won’t judge if you dig in on any plain weekday, too.
- The Elvis: Peanut butter, sliced bananas, bacon strips
- The Sundae: Ice cream, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top
- The S’more: Marshmallow fluff, crumbled graham crackers and chocolate sauce
- The Southern Comfort: Macaroni and cheese with crumbled bacon
- The Hawaiian: Crushed pineapple, sweetened shredded coconut and macadamia nuts
- The Chocolate-Banana Blaster: Sliced bananas, hot fudge sauce, chocolate chips
- The Sweet & Nutty: Nutella, sliced strawberries and pistachios
- The Lox Lover’s: Cream cheese, lox and capers
- The Benedict: Canadian bacon, poached egg and hollandaise sauce
4. Get creative with the batter
Instead of focusing largely on the toppings, one of my favorite things to do is use unique ingredients in place of the plain waffle batter. With a little non-stick grease, anything from brownie batter to leftover mashed potatoes can be made into waffles. Start with these fun twists.
- Chocolate brownie waffle sundaes
- Tater tots, topped with cheddar, jalapenos and diced tomatoes
- Falafel-mix base, topped with tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley
- Mashed potato waffles with cheddar and chives
- Red velvet cake batter with coconut syrup
- Hashbrown waffles with fried egg, salsa and guacamole
- Biscuit dough with mozzarella, pepperoni and pizza sauce
- Sugar cookie waffles, sprinkled with powdered sugar
5. Let your guests decide
The best waffle toppings are the ones that are made just for you. Set up a waffle bar and let brunch guests go wild with their waffle creations. Place a platter of ready-made waffles surrounded by bowls of fun toppings at your next brunch party. With these topping ideas, you’ve pretty much got endless combos for fun.
- Drizzles: Maple syrup, honey, hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce and fruit syrups like strawberry, blueberry, blackberry and more.
- Spreads: Whipped butter, peanut butter, Nutella, cream cheese, marshmallow fluff, whipped cream and yogurt.
- Sprinkler: Powdered sugar, granola, rainbow sprinkles, bacon crumbles and chopped nuts like macadamias, pecans, walnuts and pistachios.
- Fruit: Sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, sliced bananas, sliced peaches, sliced kiwi and diced apples.
Looking to get creative in the kitchen? Check out our favorite fun food ideas for genius ways to add a little joy to your breakfast, lunch or dinner.