Are you using your toaster oven just to make, well, toast? Then you are missing out, my friend! By underestimating this common kitchen appliance, you’re actually depriving yourself of a whole world of easy baking and cooking, because you can make so, SO much more in it than simple brown bread. The toaster oven’s small and subsequently quickly-heating size actually makes it ideal for making all kinds of things you probably reserve for your regular oven, like these dishes the Food Network rounded up for us. Of course, we had to pick out our favorites to show you! Whether you’re using the one at work, don’t want to use the power at home to heat the large oven, or are simply looking for some portion control, open your eyes to these NINE dishes that should start calling the toaster oven home.
Turn the breakfast favorite into an anytime snack by laying some strips on the toaster oven rack and popping a small tray underneath them. Voila! Crispy, less-greasy bacon you didn’t have to babysit in the frying pan.
- Sausage and Peppers
That “OTHER” breakfast meat also works perfectly in the toaster oven. Just tuck them into a bed of your favorite peppers, stir a few times while they bake, and you’ve got yourself a satisfying side or snack.
Forgo the frying pan for the toaster oven with this Mexican favorite. All you need to do is layer the elements on a tray and brush the tortillas with oil. When the cheese is melted and peeking out of the crispy edges, it’s done!
Cure your cooking craving by baking some fresh and satisfying ones in your toaster oven. Since there’s not as much room as your regular oven, you’ll have built-in portion control! Bonus: make the dough ahead of time and freeze it so when the desire strikes, all you need to do is scoop and bake.
- Roast Chicken
With your toaster oven, entrees are on the menu too, even roast chicken! Food Network suggests making Cornish game hens, since their small size is perfect for the smaller baking space, but I’ve also found regular chickens small enough to fit and roast in my toaster oven. Pick your favorite and try it!
It’s not just poultry making the move to the toaster oven— fish are joining the club, too! Since dishes like salmon cook so quickly, they’re actually perfectly suited for the small-and-quick toaster-oven method.
- Roasted Nuts
Are you the only person in your home who enjoys toasted nuts? Make a small batch by lining almonds – or your favorite! – in a single layer, tossing with maple syrup, honey or sugar, and sprinkling with salt and cinnamon or chili powder. The result? A perfectly-portioned wintertime snack anytime you want!
Your toaster oven is ideal for quickly whipping up some delicious breads. During Thanksgiving and other big holiday meals, I’ve used it to make the rolls right at the last second while my regular oven is otherwise occupied. You can do the same with your own portion-controlled batch of biscuits, banana bread, corn bread, muffins . . .
- Fruit Crumble
. . . or desserts like fruit crumbles! This method works especially well if you’re making mini-desserts, using ramekins, or simply have a baking dish that fits in your toaster oven. The result will be absolutely delicious any way you bake it.
Feeling inspired to bake as much as you can in your toaster oven? Then be sure to head back to Food Network’s original list for even more ideas! Do you use your toaster oven for more than just toast? Which dish on this list surprised you the most?