15 Inventive Waffle Iron Recipes for More Than Just Breakfast

15 Inventive Waffle Recipes for More Than Just Breakfast

Sorry, pancakes. Waffles have stolen our hearts and we’re not afraid to let the world know! Why? The humble waffle iron is more than a one-trick pony — this kitchen gadget can make omelets, cook cornbread, crisp hash browns and more. So dust off that cooking appliance, because we’ve got 15 mind-blowingly awesome and healthy waffle iron hacks for you to try for breakfast or dinner. Leslie Knope might not approve of these newfangled waffles, but we’re sure your taste buds will.

 15 Healthy Waffle Iron Recipes

Omelet Waffle

1. Omelet Waffles
Ditch the skillet and make your omelet in a waffle iron, instead. The coolest part: You won’t have to hover over the stove — your waffle maker will turn off automatically when your eggs are cooked and ready to eat. Dice your favorite vegetables and toss them in the iron, too, for extra nutrients. Photo and recipe: Jennifer / Kirbie Cravings

RELATED: 10 Unexpected Omelet Recipes for Any Time of Day

Cornbread BLT

2. Cornbread Waffle BLTs
Bacon lovers, put a healthier spin on your BLT by serving it up on a light waffled cornbread, instead of processed white bread. The savory corn-based waffles complement crisp lettuce, Greek yogurt-based aioli and oh-so decadent bacon, which, in moderation, is a good source of fat. Photo and recipe: Megan / The Housewife in Training Files

Zucchini Fritters

3. Zucchini Parmesan Waffle Fritters
Not keen on eating greens? Sneak some veggies into your dinner (or your kids’) by adding shredded summer squash to these fritters. Zucchini is a good source of manganese, vitamin C and fiber, which will keep you full for longer. Try using a blend of whole wheat and all purpose flour for extra grains, or gluten-free flour for those with allergies. Photo and recipe: Kimber / The Pinning Mama

Sweet Potato Waffles

4. Pumpkin Spice Sweet Potato Noodle Waffle
All you need are three ingredients for this inventive recipe. Gather sweet potatoes, pumpkin spice and an egg and get cookin’! You’ll need to spiralize and sauté your spuds before putting them in the waffle iron, but the groovy texture will be worth your time. Photo and recipe: Ali / Inspiralized

Waffles Benedict

5. Bacon and Chive-Stuffed Waffles Benedict
Who cares that cavemen didn’t own waffle irons? These paleo-friendly (and gluten-free) waffles benny will hit the spot. Hollandaise sauce is usually made with heavy cream, but this version stays light with egg yolks, lemon juice and Ghee (clarified butter.) Whip this up the night before, store it in the fridge and then toast them before serving if you like to plan ahead. Photo and recipe: Danielle Walker / Against All Grain

 Chana Masala Waffles

6. Chana Masala Waffles
Surprise your taste buds by getting your Indian food fix in waffle-form. A cilantro-mint chutney and a vegetable-potato medley make this hybrid dinner a guaranteed winner. Thanks to chickpea flour, the waffle base is gluten-free. Photo and recipe: Kristy / Keepin’ It In Kind

Hemp Protein Chocolate Waffles

7. Chocolate Hemp Protein Waffles
Need a vegan chocolate fix? These cocoa-infused waffles will be pillow-y soft but fortified with protein, thanks to mashed banana, hemp protein and chia seeds. Double the recipe if you’re feeding more than two people. Photo and recipe: Lori / Purely Twins 

RELATED: 21 Protein Powder Recipes for Chocolate Lovers

High Protein Zucchini Waffles

8. High-Protein Zucchini Waffles
Packed with 10 grams of protein and just 225 calories per waffle, this zucchini bread-inspired recipe is a nutritional home run. Using spelt flour will increase your niacin and protein intake. And real maple syrup will still taste great on this non-traditional dish. Not a fan of the sweet stuff? Add some seasonal berries instead. Photo and recipe: Sarah / Making Thyme for Health

Pumpkin Cornbread Waffles

9. Pumpkin Cornbread Waffles
You’re 30 minutes and one bowl away from these savory circles of deliciousness. One waffle clocks in at 159 calories, so #putaneggonit if you want some additional protein to keep you satiated. If your batter turns out too thick, add two more tablespoons of almond milk. Photo and recipe: Dana / Minimalist Baker

Healthy Chicken and Waffles

10. Healthier Crispy Chicken and Waffles
Nothing says Southern soul food like fried chicken and waffles. This lighter version ditches the fried poultry for a baked bird coated in crushed corn flakes. Plus, swapping in whole-wheat flour for regular white flour means you’ll benefit from additional vitamin B and antioxidants. Photo and recipe: Caroline / Chocolate and Carrots

Jalapeno Hashbrowns

11. Waffled Jalapeno Hash Browns
Take your breakfast game to the next level by using your waffle iron to make perfectly crispy hash browns. Pair them with a bell pepper tofu scramble for a truly spectacular (and protein-packed) post-workout brunch. Photo and recipe: Katie / Veggie and the Beast Feast

 Gluten Free Protein Waffles

12. Gluten-Free Protein Waffles
Look no further for a low-carb way to start your day. This recipe has a whopping 16 grams of protein, meaning you won’t be hungering for lunch mid-morning. Top your waffle with a dollop of nut butter for extra fiber. Photo and recipe: Lee Hersh / Life by DailyBurn

Waffled Apples

13. Waffle Iron Baked Apples
Snack attack? These crispy apples will be ready for you to nosh on in roughly one minute, so they’re ideal for whipping up quickly when hunger strikes. The fruit will be naturally sweet, but you can add a sprinkle of sugar to each side if you want the flesh to caramelize a bit. Photo and recipe Stef / Cupcake Project

RELATED: 10 Amazing Apple Recipes

Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Waffles

14. Banana Bread Waffles
Since these vegan banana bread waffles come together so quickly, you’ll be able to enjoy them on weekdays, too. Even topped with chocolate chips, this healthy indulgence is still just 239 calories, so it won’t weigh you down for the rest of your day. Photo and recipe: Dana / Minimalist Baker

 Gluten Free Red Velvet Waffles

15. Low-Carb Red Velvet Waffles
These fluffy goodies get their red color from beet puree, but they still taste like a sweet breakfast treat. The surprise: 19 grams of protein are hidden inside. Booyah! Top it with cream cheese frosting made from Greek yogurt. Photo and recipe: Jessica / Desserts with Benefits