Drizzled with maple syrup and topped with a pat of butter, waffles are hard to resist. And with homemade, from a mix and frozen options, you can enjoy this satisfying breakfast on lazy weekend mornings as well as when you’re rushing out the door for work or school. But as much as the butter and syrup combo is a good one, it’s really just one way to top your waffles.
These 11 recipes for waffle toppings will get you excited for breakfast again. Each one is quick and easy and they all work equally well with homemade, from a mix or frozen waffles. Whole wheat or whole grain versions will make for an especially hearty and healthy breakfast. Of course, with toppings this enticing, you may want to enjoy waffles for lunch, dinner or even dessert.
The recipes here are designed to serve four people with each person getting two waffles, but feel free to scale the quantities up or down as needed. If you’re making waffles from scratch or with a mix, you may find it easier to prepare them first and keep them warm in a 200 degree F oven while you work on your toppings. All that’s left is to waffle over which recipe to make first!
1. Strawberries, yogurt and chia seeds: Cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Top each serving with thinly sliced strawberries and a large dollop of low-fat Greek yogurt. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup and sprinkle with chia seeds.
2. Cinnamon roll: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, 4 teaspoons vanilla and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until smooth and syrup-like. Add 2 tablespoons raisins and the zest of 1 lemon (optional) and stir for another 30 seconds. Meanwhile, cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Drizzle the cinnamon roll syrup over the waffles.
3. Ricotta, mascarpone and berries: In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta, 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese and 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar. Cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Divide the ricotta mixture among the waffles, top with fresh berries and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
4. Chili: On the stove or in the microwave, heat 1 (14.7-ounce) can or 2 cups homemade meat or vegetarian chili. Meanwhile, cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions and assemble your favorite chili toppings, such as chopped scallions, grated cheese and sour cream. Divide the hot chili among the waffles and serve with the toppings alongside.
5. The Elvis (peanut butter, banana and bacon):Peel 2 bananas and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cook 4 slices of bacon until crispy then let cool and cut each slice in half crosswise. Meanwhile, cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on each waffle then top with bacon and bananas.
6. Spinach, egg and cheese: In a medium skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 5 large handfuls of baby spinach and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, poach 4 large eggs and cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Divide the spinach among the waffles, top each serving with 1 poached egg and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.
7. Apple and pecan: Peel, core and thinly slice 2 apples. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the apples and 2 tablespoons brown sugar and sauté until the apples are soft but not falling apart, 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Divide the apple slices and any liquid from the pan among the waffles and sprinkle each serving with chopped, toasted pecans.
8. Sausage and pepper: In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, sauté 4 chopped breakfast sausage links (or your favorite precooked sausage) for 5 minutes. Add 1 sliced bell pepper and sauté until softened, 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Season the sausage mixture with salt and pepper, divide among the waffles and drizzle with maple syrup.
9. Broccoli and cheese: In a foil-lined baking dish, toss 4 cups of small broccoli florets with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 400 degree F oven until starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle the broccoli with about 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese and return to the oven to melt the cheese for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Divide the broccoli and cheese among the waffles.
10. Avocado and egg: Halve and pit 2 ripe avocados then spoon the flesh into a small bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and crushed red pepper to taste, and gently mash everything together. Fry 4 large eggs and cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Divide the avocado mixture among the waffles, top each serving with 1 fried egg and season to taste with salt and pepper.
11. Nutella and mango: Peel 2 mangoes then cut them into long, thin wedges. Cook waffles per your recipe or the package instructions. Spread about 1 tablespoon Nutella on each waffle then top with mango slices.
This article was originally published Mar. 2, 2015 at 3:54 p.m. ET.