When you think about what can you cook in a toaster oven, what dishes do you come up with?
The humble toaster oven is a mainstay of college dormitories, office kitchens, and small apartments. However, if you are using your toaster oven for just toast or reheating frozen food, you are missing out!
Toaster ovens are a far more versatile cooking appliance than many people realize. With a little know-how and some creativity, you may find yourself amazed at this little wonder of an appliance.
Toaster Oven 101
Toaster ovens are countertop appliances that combine the functionality of both a conventional toaster and a traditional oven in a compact size. They are particularly popular for small kitchens that do not have a conventional oven.
Most toaster ovens will come with several settings, allowing you to control the temperature as well as the cooking duration of the appliance.
Basics Of Cooking In A Toaster Oven
Before you get started cooking with your toaster oven, you need to make sure you are cooking safely.
Make sure that you place your toaster oven in an area with proper ventilation and not too close to other items. The outside of your toaster oven will get hot, so make sure that you do not place anything flammable near or on the toaster oven itself.
As always, whenever you are cooking, it’s handy to have a fire extinguisher nearby. (Hopefully, you will never need it!)
Mighty but tiny
Be mindful of the size of your toaster oven. Toaster ovens are great for cooking small portions of food but are ill-suited for more substantial portions or servings of food that are tall.
If your recipe requires you to broil or toast, check that there is a safe amount of clearance between the top of your food and your top heating element.
A setting for everything
Before you start cooking with your toaster oven, read your manual to get to know all of its features. Different recipes will require different cooking temperatures. Some recipes may require different settings.
Some toaster ovens may allow you to turn on just one or both of the heating elements.
When the toaster oven heats with both elements, that is the “Toast” setting. Heating with the bottom element only is typically the “Bake” setting while heating with only the top element is the “Broil” setting.
Handle That Heat
Whenever you are using your toaster oven for cooking, make sure you have the proper gear to cook and handle hot food.
What Can You Cook In A Toaster Oven
Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get cooking. So what can you cook in a toaster oven? The answers may surprise you.
Toasty Treats Beyond Breakfast
It should be no surprise that what can you cook in a toaster oven includes toast. As the name implies, toaster ovens make a great toast!
Toast can be as simple as toasted white bread, straight out of the package, but with a little know-how, it can be so much more.
This modern Avocado Toast recipe from Gimme Delicious mashes up avocado with seasonings to make a decadent, but easy, avocado toast. You can toast the bread for this modern classic right in your toaster oven!
A beloved favorite in Asian dessert shops, brick toast is thick white bread, topped with a sweet, caramelized custard topping. Angel Wong’s recipe for Taiwanese Thick Toast uses simple ingredients, and you can make it easily in your toaster oven.
If you think that toaster ovens are just for breakfast or snacks, I have a game-changer of a revelation for you.
Yes, you can cook entrees right in your toaster oven. Even better, what can you cook in a toaster oven includes meat and seafood!
When you want crispy, evenly cooked bacon, oven baking is a great way to do it. But if you don’t want to cook up a whole sheet pan of bacon, rejoice! According to Mom on Time Out, what can you cook in a toaster oven includes bacon!
Herb-roasted chicken tenders
If you love chicken but don’t feel like roasting an entire bird, break out some chicken tenders and bake them right in your toaster oven!
This recipe from Michelin starred chef Eric Ripert directs you how to season and roast these tasty treats to perfection right on your countertop.
Salmon is a wonderful, healthy fish that is full of flavor. If you thought you had to roast it on a pan or in your large oven, think again! Salmon is easy to cook right in your toaster oven.
This recipe from Serious Eats details how to marinate salmon and roast it off in your toaster oven for a healthy, no-fuss meal.
For non-meat eaters, tofu is a great non-meat substitute. This recipe from The Kitchn shows you how to make baked tofu your toaster oven.
If you’re tired of salads, try roasting your vegetables. If you don't want to make a whole sheet pan full of vegetables, you can easily make them in your toaster oven.
Try this recipe for Roasted Asparagus in your toaster oven, courtesy of the Pioneer Woman.
Meals For One
The tiny size of a toaster oven compared to full-sized ovens makes it perfect for cooking for just one. Whether you’re single or don’t feel like sharing, these are a few recipes that you have to check out.
Who doesn’t love pizza? As long as you have cheese, sauce, and some bread, you can have a single-serving pizza right from your toaster oven. Try tortillas, English muffins, or French bread pizzas to use up what you have in your pantry.
What if you’re on a low carb diet? Not to worry, you can make keto-friendly low carb pizza in your toaster oven, too!
Feeling fancy and want brunch without the Sunday morning crowds? Get some ovenproof ramekins and try making baked eggs in your toaster oven!
A quesadilla is a great option for anyone who wants a quick meal and is short on time. Cooking quesadillas in your toaster oven means no flipping and less work.
Good Housekeeping has an excellent recipe for Tex-Mex Chicken Quesadillas. However, if you want to experiment, sandwich your cheese and whatever fillings you want and pop it in your toaster oven for a 10-minute meal.
For Your Sweet Tooth
The best use for any oven is dessert! Happily, what you can cook in a toaster oven also includes dessert. Whether you want a cookie, a crumble, or some bread, you can bet your toaster oven is up for the task.
Fresh baked, gooey cookies are only a few moments away with your toaster oven. Leaf.tv has a good recipe and great tips on how to make cookies in your toaster oven.
However, this works with just about all cookie recipes. Next time you make cookies, portion them out, and place individual servings in your freezer. When the mood strikes, bake them right in your toaster oven!
Almost apple pie
This ingenious recipe from the Food Network, quirkily titled “Almost-Immediate Apple Pie-Like Food” is like a cheaters galette.
Thinly sliced apples top a flour tortilla with some cinnamon sugar, baked off in your toaster oven can ease any sudden apple pie cravings you may have.
Dinner Is Served
So what can you cook in a toaster oven? From delicious appetizers through dessert, it turns out that you can cook an entire meal, whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a midnight snack.
The toaster oven is a small yet powerful kitchen tool that should never be underestimated. If you cook for just one or two people, you may find that cooking in your toaster oven is more advantageous than using a traditional oven.
Have you tried any of these toaster oven creations? Have any delicious dishes you think we should add? Let us know in the comments below!