17 Unique Ways To Use A Waffle Iron, Because This Is A Piece Of Kitchen Equipment You Should Own

It’s true that kitchen appliances can take up a lot of space and, more often than not, cause a lot of counter space clutter. But here is an appliance that is actually worth it: there are so many things you can make in a waffle iron, that it deserves to become your new favorite kitchen tool. It’s not just about brunch this time (although, to be fair, you can make a lot of unique brunch recipes with it too).

So, what is it about waffle irons that makes them so great? First of all, they can make waffles — but you already knew that. But they can also perfectly grill sandwiches, so you don’t have to worry about investing in a panini press. Just embrace the griddle pattern that will result on your sandwiches and melts.

You can also use a waffle iron to make dishes that require crispy exteriors, like hash browns, tater tots, and even tofu. On the other hand, waffle irons also work wonders with dessert, creating some amazing mini waffles and making the perfect ice cream sandwich. Whether you decide to go savory or sweet, there’s all the more reason to make more use of your waffle iron (or to invest in one for the possibility of endless deliciousness). These 17 dishes show just what it can do.

1. Waffle Iron Hash Browns

The crispiest hash browns aren't necessarily made in the toaster, as A Beautiful Mess proves with this kitchen experiment. Waffle iron, meet potatoes.

2. Monte Cristo Waffles

Believe it or not, these waffles by The Kitchn are filled with ham and cheese, proving that waffles may be the superior to bread in every way.

3. Turkey Club Waffle Sandwich

If you place a croissant in a waffle iron, it's only going to get better, as Inside BruCrew Life shows. Lunchtime just got a major upgrade.

4. Zucchini & Dill Latke Waffle

A mix of potato and zucchini makes latkes healthier, as Cara's Cravings shows. Plus, using a waffle iron to make them crispy cuts down on the amount of oil you would have needed to fry them. It's a win-win!

5. Mac And Cheese Waffles

Oh, yes. At last, the ultimate way to enjoy your favorite carb-based, cheesy meal. I Am A Food Blog shows that mac and cheese is basically destined to go in a waffle iron.

6. Taco Cornbread Waffles

Yes, you read that right. Taco night just got a bit fluffier, thanks to Taste and Tell's cornbread-based recipe. After all, waffle ridges are perfect for capturing every morsel of ground beef, guacamole, and cheese.

7. Tater Tot Waffles

Give the toaster oven a break. Damn Delicious proves that tater tots are their best when transformed into waffles.

8. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-Stuffed Waffles

Cookie dough? In waffles? This brunch favorite just became a bonafide dessert, thanks to Half Baked Harvest.

9. BLT Waffle Sandwich

Who knew that maple syrup could make a BLT that much better? Marla Meridith transforms this classic sandwich into the perfect brunch hybrid.

10. Cheddar Waffle Breakfast Sandwich

Skip the bun — A Beautiful Mess shows that waffles have many functions with this avocado-egg-bacon sandwich. Pro-tip: go generous on the cheese in your waffle mix.

11. Oregon Summer Panino

Who needs a panini press? The Kitchn places this six-ingredient sandwich in a waffle iron to make it extra crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

12. Cinnamon Sugar Waffles

While these waffles by Inside BruCrew Life may look like ordinary waffles, they in fact are not. Pre-made biscuit dough gets a sweet treatment when placed in a waffle iron and doused in cinnamon and sugar.

13. Cheddar Cornbread Waffle Benny

A cornbread-based waffle is amazing on its own, but top it with a poached egg and some hollandaise sauce and you've got something really spectacular, as Cara's Cravings shows.

14. Mapu Tofu Waffles

Here's a meal full of umami flavor that is sure to impress dinner guests. I Am A Food Blog puts tofu in a waffle iron to give it a crisp exterior, and serves it alongside spicy mapo pork.

15. Jalapeño Popper Corn Dog Waffles

Waffles never looked like a game day indulgence before — and Taste and Tell has created something pretty amazing. Cream cheese makes them even better.

16. Brie and Blueberry Waffle Grilled Cheese

When you're looking to strike a balance between savory and sweet, Damn Delicious' brunch-ready grilled cheese is a fail-proof option. Brie results in the meltiest grilled cheese ever.

17. Mashed Potato Waffle Melts

Sure, it helps to have the leftovers, but it doesn't have to be the day after Thanksgiving to make these turkey-brie-avocado melts. Half Baked Harvest's parmesan mashed potato waffles taste just as good with any toppings you might have.

Images: A Beautiful Mess (2); The Kitchn (2); Inside BruCrew Life (2); Cara’s Cravings (2); I Am A Food Blog (2); Taste and Tell (2); Damn Delicious (2); Half Baked Harvest (2); Marla Meridith