If you want to know what to cook in a toaster oven, toast is a good place to start. One of these can be used to cook snacks, side dishes, and whole meals, and it’s also useful for a lot of other food preparation tasks.
If you choose one of the best toaster ovens, it will have room for pizzas, vegetables, and, depending on the model, even a turkey. It will also make bread and bagels that are nicely browned.
Whether you just bought one of these great countertop cooking solutions for the first time or you want to make more food with it, our guide will give you ideas for what to make.
WHAT TO COOK IN A BREAD TOASTER
A toaster oven is an option that can do more than just replace one of the best toasters. Also, it can cook quickly and crisp up nicely. Some even have the option to air fry, which means you won’t need as many small kitchen appliances.
But what should you make with it? Here’s what to cook in a toaster oven, according to our experts.
1. USE A TOASTER OVEN TO MAKE BREAD AND BAGELS
Okay, we’re not telling you anything you didn’t already know: of course, a toaster oven can cook toast and brown bagels. But you should think about toasting something other than a standard loaf.
Millie Fender, who is in charge of small appliances and cooking at Homes & Gardens, says, “Some come with fully adjustable browning settings so you can cook more than one slice at once.” “This will be very helpful for people who like artisanal bread that might not fit in a regular toaster.”
You might want to use the appliance’s ability to toast for more than just breakfast. You could make tasty bruschetta by toasting slices of baguette and then putting tomato, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil on top.
2. USE A TOASTER OVEN TO MAKE GRANOLA
If you like granola, you could make some in a toaster oven. It can help you make your own version of this great breakfast or snack faster than if you used a stove. You can use your usual recipe, but depending on the size of your toaster oven, you might have to cut back on how much you make at once.
Helen McCue, a contributing editor for Homes & Gardens, says, “It takes 20 minutes to bake granola in my normal oven, and I have to stir it halfway through. Plus, it takes about 10 minutes for the oven to heat up.” In a sandwich toaster? She says, “A pretty impressive eight-minute cut in cooking time compared to my regular oven.”
3. PUT THE BACON IN THE TOASTER OVEN
We suggest cooking bacon in a toaster oven while we’re talking about tasty breakfast foods. What’s up? There are, in fact, a few. First of all, you don’t have to stand at the stove while it’s cooking. You can just check on it every so often. Second, you can make it easy to clean up by lining the baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. This way, you won’t have to deal with a greasy skillet, which can be a pain to clean.
Depending on how crispy you like your bacon, it will be ready in about 10 to 15 minutes. This is also a pretty quick process. You should also know that you can cook bacon in an air fryer, among other things.
4. COOK PORK CHOPS IN A BREAD OVEN
A toaster oven can cook pork chops evenly and make them taste great. You can get dinner on the table faster than you could with a regular oven because it heats up quickly. Depending on how you like your food and what your toaster oven can do, you might want to bake or roast the chops.
5. USE A TOASTER OVEN TO COOK FRIES
instead of one of the best air fryers, you’re using a toaster oven? Then fries are probably one of the first things you’ll want to make with the air fry mode. With one of these devices, you can make fries that are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. They are healthier than deep-fried fries because you only need to spray them with oil.
The process moves quickly as well. When Future’s eCommerce editor, Jaclyn Turner, tried out the KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven with Air Fry, she made tasty fries in half the time it usually takes. She says, “I made some steak fries that were about as thick as you could get, and they were ready in 15 minutes.”
6. USE A TOASTER OVEN TO DRY FRUIT
You can use dried fruit as a garnish or a simple snack, and you don’t need a dehydrator to dry it. A toaster oven will do the job just fine. Think apples, plums, berries, peaches, bananas, and more that have been dried.
If you want to dry fruit this way, you should slice it thinly and keep in mind that it will take a low temperature and several hours to dry the fruit. You can do something else while the toaster oven does its job.
7. USE A TOASTER OVEN TO BAKE COOKIES
Like the idea of making fewer cookies at a time without having to worry about heating up a big oven space? Then you might need a toaster oven. You can use ready-to-bake cookie dough or make a small batch of dough from scratch. Both can make tasty cookies with a crisp outside and a soft center.
Use the bake setting on the toaster oven, but keep in mind that the cooking time might be different from that of your regular oven.
8. MAKE A GRILLED CHEESE IN A TOASTER OVEN
Need a quick lunch or a snack that will fill you up? Grilled cheese will do, and you can use the toaster oven instead of the stovetop to make it. Make sure the rack is at the lowest level, and then put a baking sheet in the oven that has already been heated.
You’ll need to butter one side of each slice. The cheese goes on the slice with the butter side down, then the slice with the butter side up goes on top. Before flipping the sandwich to brown the other side and melt the cheese, cook one side for a few minutes until it is browned.
9. USE A TOASTER OVEN TO ROAST VEGETABLES
If you want a healthy and tasty side dish, you could roast vegetables in a toaster oven. Think about single vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, or carrots. Carrots are great with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, and potatoes and onions go well together. Make sure to cut the vegetables into pieces that are all the same size, then toss them in oil and season them before cooking.
10. USE A TOASTER OVEN TO BAKE BREAD
You can bake bread in a toaster oven, but keep in mind that the loaf may need to be smaller than what you would bake in a regular oven and that the bread needs room to rise inside the oven. The time it takes to heat up must also be changed to fit this type of oven.
Other must-haves? Before you bake the bread, you should preheat the oven and keep a close eye on it as it cooks. Depending on how big your toaster oven is, you may need to cover the bread’s crust with aluminum foil so it doesn’t burn while the rest of the loaf is still cooking.
CAN MEALS BE COOKED IN A TOASTER OVEN?
A toaster oven can be used to cook meals, reheat food, and make snacks and tasty treats. Be aware of how much it can hold. You may need to change a recipe to get the same results as you would with a regular oven, and you won’t be able to cook for more people.
But the model itself is important. Some toaster ovens are big enough to cook an entire chicken instead of just thighs or wings. Or think about foods like lasagna.
If you’re making a meal in a toaster oven, think ahead about which parts of the meal can be served at room temperature instead of right out of the oven. This will help you figure out the right order in which to make the food.
WHAT DOES A TOASTER OVEN HAVE GOING AGAINST IT?
There are some problems with using a toaster oven that you should know about. First, as we’ve already said, you won’t be able to keep something you’ve already cooked warm or cook different things at the same time.
When cooking for a large group, the size of a toaster oven can also be a problem. Depending on how big it is, you might not be able to cook a turkey, a big pizza, or a big loaf of bread.
Keep in mind that there are different models of toaster ovens, so it’s important to check the cooking modes of each one to make sure you don’t miss out on a method you want to use.