The Best Things You Can Make in Your Toaster Oven

Katie Sweeney

The toaster oven is a kitchen appliance that rarely gets much praise. However, if you have one and use it frequently to make open-faced tuna melts or fragrant roasted walnuts, chances are you love it. It’s much smaller than a traditional oven and is the ideal tool for many quick culinary tasks. Not only can a toaster oven be used to reheat items like pancakes and pastries, but it’s also good for broiling, flash baking, and making smaller-sized meals. The smart toaster ovens have plenty of bells and whistles that make it easy to use and hard to burn something. If your toaster oven is sitting lonely and unused on the counter, it’s high time you gave it some love. Here are nine dishes that are delicious when made in the toaster oven.

The next time that you have a day-old baguette laying around, use it to make an old school classic: French bread pizza. Top the pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella like this recipe does, or raid your fridge and use what ever bits of cheese, vegetables, and protein you have on hand. Pop in the toaster oven and you’ve got a tasty, goey meal in less than 20 minutes flat.

There’s no better late-night, come-home-from-the-bar-drunk food than homemade nachos. For maximum chip-to-topping ratio, use scoop tortilla chips. Fill them with ground beef, shredded cheddar, salsa, and jalapeños. Place in the toaster oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the chips are starting to brown.

One of the best things about toaster ovens is that they heat up super fast—much quicker than a conventional oven. Thus, when you have to make something like croutons for a Caesar salad, it doesn’t feel like a tedious chore where you have to wait for the oven to heat up. Throw the bread on a baking sheet and place in the toaster oven. Set the timer to ensure that the croutons don’t get overly crisp.

If you live alone and aren’t that into cooking a large elaborate meal for yourself, you’ve got to add this recipe for foil-baked tilapia to your repertoire. All you do is throw the ingredients together and wrap in foil. Then you bake in the toaster oven for 15 minutes. Serve with a side of mixed greens or couscous and a glass of dry white wine.

Making mashed potatoes? Place the leftover potato skins in a large Ziploc baggy. Freeze, then use them at a later date to make these game-day approved potato skins filled kale pesto, crispy bacon, and a good white melting cheese like Monterey jack.

One of my best friends had a toaster oven on her wedding registry, so I decide to gift it to her. She said that before she had the oven, she would always burn nuts when toasting them. But now, thanks to the different toast settings and the oven’s ability to turn off once the time is up, she’s mastered roasted nuts! Learn how to make herb-roasted almonds now.

This kid-friendly Mexican pizza recipe tops store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough with a black bean and roasted red pepper puree.

Having a friend over for a drink? Quickly throw together this uncomplicated appetizer recipe. Jarred piquillo peppers (small, sweet red peppers from Spain) are stuffed with aged provolone and served warm on toasted bread. Delish!

PHOTO:

Leela Cyd

Purchase good quality, fresh local salmon? Don’t overthink when it comes to cooking it. Simply rub with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Then place in the toaster oven for eight minutes and you’ve got one of the best (and easiest!) salmon you’ll ever taste.

Do you have a toaster oven? What do you use it for?

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