We love avocado toast as much as Olivia Pope loves wine. Yes, that much! It’s hard to imagine anything tastier—or easier: Toast bread, smash on avocado, and shake on some salt (and some chili flakes, if you’re fancy). But why stop there? There’s a whole world of toast opportunity out there.
We’ve done the hard work and sought out some of the simplest-to-make yet bursting-with-flavor toasts out there. This list covers everything from a jazzed-up breakfast to a simple supper (and dessert, of course). Let’s raise a glass and toast to toast!
When figs pop up at the market, make sure to snag them before they’re all gone. Then walk (or run!) home to make this insanely good toast coupling the sweet fruit with a bit of ricotta. Roasting some of the figs with balsamic takes a little bit of time, but it’ll taste about a million times better than any premade jam.
Bruschetta usually gets topped with a zesty tomato salad, but it can also go sweet. This snack has a bit of cream cheese, some spinach and mint pesto, and a few slices of strawberry. This is one toast that’s as good first thing in the morning as it is for a late-night snack.
Sweet apple compote escapes the confines of French toast and stars on a crunchy slice of bread instead. Not that there’s anything wrong with the classics, but a little crunch from toasted bread is a nice way to shake things up. Griddling the toast in butter is definitely a delicious touch, but using the good ol’ toaster is just as good (and less risk of burning).
Prosciutto-wrapped fruit is an easy appetizer that satisfies a sweet and salty craving, so why not put it on top of baguette? For a really easy dinner-party appetizer or an elegant lunch, a smear of goat cheese, a few slices of pear, and a ribbon of prosciutto are all you need to turn toast into something pretty fancy. Don’t have pear? Apple, cantaloupe, or dried apricots are great swaps.
Sick of blueberries and yogurt for breakfast, but want something that’s just as quick? These crostini mix the antioxidant-rich fruit with a drizzle of honey, a bit of low-fat ricotta, and lemon zest for a topper that’s unexpectedly amazing. A final sprinkle of almonds ups the chrunchability. Any leftover blueberry topping can easily be recycled into a quick dessert.
Cinnamon toast is a great breakfast. Cinnamon toast topped with juicy peaches and tangy crème fraiche is an unbelievable breakfast. The butter mixture melts together in a saucepan before heading off to glaze the toast. Just add the peaches and crème fraiche, then dig in. In addition to tasting like summer, peaches are a good source of vitamins A and C, and they could help prevent cancer Intake of Specific Fruits and Vegetables in Relation to Risk of Estrogen Receptor-Negative Breast Cancer Among Postmenopausal Women. Fung, T.T., Chiuve, S.E., Willett, W.C., et al. Breast Cancer Research Treatment, 2013 Apr;138(3):925-30..
For a totally new take on bruschetta, give this mango and pepper topping a try. The twist on salsa pairs perfectly with crunchy slices of bread. With nothing more than fruit, veggies, and some seasonings, you can feel good about eating a couple of slices. The combination of peppers and mango packs a serious wallop of vitamin C, and it couldn’t be any prettier.
Thanksgiving has got to be one of the best holidays. Turkey, sweet potatoes, pie, and don’t forget the cranberries. There’s no reason that tangy fruit should only get to shine one day out of the year, though. Bring it to the everyday with this crostini that’s good anytime. The compote is nothing more than cranberries, orange, and sugar cooked down on the stove, so it’s impossible to mess up.
Sautéed Brussels sprouts and pancetta become main-dish worthy when they crown a slice of bread smeared with ricotta. Consider this recipe more of a method than a set of rules, because it can easily be adapted to use different spreads and veggies. Make it dairy-free by replacing the ricotta with hummus or vegetarian by omitting the pancetta. Memorize this method, and you’re always minutes away from a meal.
Beets usually get the same treatment: roasted, peeled, diced, and added to a salad or some other root vegetables. Introduce it to the exciting world of toast by whirling it into a savory pesto that’s perfectly spreadable. A little bit of arugula and Parmesan send these toasts over the top.
Let five-star restaurants think they’re fancy by mashing up peas and calling it purée. You can do better by adding a little bit of wine, onion, and plenty of mint. Peas are filled with vitamins and fiber, so this spread is as healthy as it is tasty. Your toast won’t know what hit it.
Take boring steamed carrots and make them bold by blending them with spices, lime, and a little bit of cilantro. This orange spread makes any slice of bread exotic with nearly no effort. It’s low in calories and fat but high in vitamin A and, most importantly, flavor! It’s a perfect party snack, but it’s just as good when you’re snuggled up with your cat.
Ever find yourself staring into the fridge, hoping you’ll be able to somehow turn a few meager ingredients into dinner? This toast shows how it’s done. Garlicky, spicy broccoli raab turns into an entrée when it’s served on top of some crusty slices. Sometimes simplicity is best.
After an exhausting day (or at the beginning of one), it can seem impossible to put together something quick that’s also hearty enough for a fierce appetite. Toast with sautéed kale and eggs deliver filling fiber and protein, tons of texture, and plenty of antioxidants in a hurry. A little bit of feta seriously wakes up tired taste buds.
Roasted cauliflower might not be the most expected toast-topper, but one bite will leave you wondering why you don’t always eat your veggies this way. Roast up a pan of cauliflower, then mix the toasty florets with goat cheese, golden raisins, and some capers. This is sweet and salty at its finest. A final sprinkle of lemony sumac makes it even more craveable.
This crostini is essentially a lightened version of classic artichoke dip, minus the heavy mayo and cream cheese. That means you can eat a couple without getting too stuffed. Feel free to prep and cook fresh artichokes if they’re available, but the frozen kind are just as good and make this recipe insanely easy.
It’s hard to beat the price of summer squash, especially when it’s in season at the farmers’ market. After a few meals of ratatouille and grilled veggies, though, it can be hard to figure out what to do with the rest of the bounty. This easy toast makes a great lunch or party appetizer, and guests will be so impressed by the taste that they won’t even notice you’re trying to get rid of all that extra squash.
An easy dinner can be just as appealing on a lazy day off as it is during a crazy weekday, making this a great meal for any day of the week. This recipe toasts some Italian bread and then wilts spinach in the same pan. A final topping of tomatoes with olive oil and basil completes the dish. Chock full of vitamin K, manganese, and folate, spinach is an awesome green that will leave you feeling just as fabulous as Popeye. Don’t worry, it won’t make you talk like him.
When pumpkins are abundant, making pie seems like a good choice. Try something completely different and turn that squash into a crunchy crostini. A smear of soft cheese, some roasted pumpkin, and a sprinkle of toasted hazelnuts is pretty much all you need. Who needs pie when lunch is this flavorful?
Beans and Legumes
Free toast from the land of breakfast by topping it with a decidedly savory salad that practically screams spring. This pea and fava bean mix offers lots of fresh flavor, plus tons of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Goat cheese adds a little bit of tang, while grape tomatoes give a burst of juiciness. You’ll never think of toast the same way again.
Brown bagging it seems a whole lot more glamorous when it means toasted bread with this dreamy white bean spread. Filled with roasted garlic and rosemary, the bean purée packs tons of flavor along with plenty of protein that will make the call of the vending machine easy to ignore. Roasting garlic is a cinch, so go ahead and make a bunch to use in everything from salad dressings to mashed potatoes.
Even we need a break from puréed bean spreads from time to time, and this recipe keeps the chickpeas whole for a bruschetta topping with tons of texture. Mix the beans with black olive paste, rosemary, and some balsamic vinegar, and then let the flavors marry. Scoop it on some toast, and lunch is ready.
Healthy appetizers don’t have to mean crudités with hummus. Toast up a crusty baguette and top the slices with this mix of lemon-herb marinated white beans and sautéed kale and shallots. It’s a pretty and satisfying way to kick off a great party or dinner.
Melty cheese makes every day a little bit better, especially when it’s paired with some crunchy bread and a silky black bean purée. This recipe uses the food processor to do most of the work with the bean spread, which means it comes together in just a couple of minutes. Tomatoes make great toppers, but any veggies that are in season will work just as well.
Making hummus at home is easy enough, but this recipe is even faster since it forgoes any fancy kitchen equipment and mashes the chickpeas with a fork instead. The toast is topped with a little bit of cream cheese for richness, the smashed chickpeas for staying power, and pea shoots for some freshness. It tastes like springtime any time.
A lot of people think they don’t like the licorice-like taste of fennel, but cooking it totally mellows out the flavor. Simply roast a tray of fennel and garlic, and then send it to the food processor with some white beans for a spread that’s out of the ordinary. Save those leafy green tops from the fennel bulbs; they have loads of flavor and make a great garnish.
Chickpeas and cannellini beans get whizzed up into purées all the time, so why not try the same treatment with edamame? This purée has all the ease of hummus, but the freshness of edamame. Spread it onto some toasted baguette, and this dish is ready to eat. That leaves you with plenty of time to focus on more important things, like looking at puppy pictures on Instagram.
When asparagus is in season, it’s easy to fall into a cooking rut. As delicious as a pile of the steamed spears is, a stack of broiled asparagus on some bread with tomato and white bean spread takes this spring vegetable to a whole new level. This dish offers up protein, veggies, and carbohydrates for a toast that makes a complete meal.
No disrespect to smoked salmon, but smoked trout totally steals the show in this toast. A simple marinated onion and pickle mixture offers a hit of acid that tastes phenomenal with the smoky fish and rich sour cream. It’s one of the easiest, and most sophisticated meals you’ll eat all week. That’s right, toast can be sophisticated!
A bagel mounded with smoked salmon and cream cheese makes a great occasional treat. For a healthier way to enjoy the same flavors, this simple toast is a great lunch. The protein will keep you full and ready to absolutely kill it at the gym.
Elegant food doesn’t have to be fussy, and this toast is a prime example. The pickled apple and fennel mixture takes just a few minutes, and you can finish it while the bread toasts. Then just assemble. While any anchovies will work here, we vote for the white ones because then you can tell your friends that you had boquerones on your toast.
Garlicky shrimp pasta makes a great dinner, but who wants to wait for that pot of water to boil? Replacing the noodles with some crunchy crostini is just as tasty and definitely easier. Here, sautéed shrimp gets loads of flavor from olives, tomatoes, white wine, and red pepper flakes. Dinner doesn’t get much simpler.
Want something hearty but not heavy for lunch? This mackerel toast is perfect. The smoky fish gets some kick from a mustard and horseradish sauce, plus some freshness from cucumber. It’s a great way to work more mackerel, which is rich in B vitamins, into your fish lineup. Though the recipe calls for soda bread, any kind of loaf will work.
The weekend is a perfect opportunity to turn up the volume on brunch. Avocado toast meets runny eggs and piquillo peppers in this dish for something that’s easy but feels super special. Making multiples is nearly as easy as making one, which means this is a delicious way to entertain. Bring on the mimosas!
A gloomy day calls for a tropical meal to brighten things up, and pineapple is definitely the answer. This toast gets plenty of juicy sweetness from the fruit and basil adds an addictive, herbal note. With loads of fiber and vitamins, this dish is just about the best way to start the day.
For avocado toast purists, this version is just different enough to shake things up without going crazy. Simply mash the avocado with some lime and salt, slather it on toasted bread, then top with radishes and sprouts. It’s creamy, crunchy, and completely gorgeous. It’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
Going out for Mexican means having to choose between favorites like guacamole, tortas, and street corn, or risking a massive stomachache. This toast is the perfect mashup that you won’t regret, plus spice that could help curb your appetite later Effects of red pepper on appetite and energy intake. Yoshioka M, St-Pierre S, Drapeau V. The British journal of nutrition, 2000, Apr.;82(2):0007-1145.. And don’t worry if you don’t have a grill. You can char the corn and chile in a heavy skillet or under the broiler.
Don’t be intimidated by the name, tartine is just a fancy French word for an open-faced sandwich—and this one only requires four ingredients: bread, avocado, halloumi, and pomegranate molasses. Save it for days when only something cheesy will do.
Perfect tomatoes don’t need much of anything to taste great, and this recipe showcases that flavor with just a little basil for some freshness and avocado for creaminess. It’s sort of like an Italian version of guacamole. Pick a bread with lots of seeds and nuts for added texture and nutrition.
Salad with avocado toast makes a great lunch, but make things easier by putting the salad right on top of that bread. It’s an easy way to give your toast more nutrients, a bit of crispness, and loads of spicy flavor. Really hungry? Sprinkle some cooked chickpeas on top for more filling fiber and protein.
Turn up the volume on a simple avocado spread with a tangy drizzle of balsamic and some crunchy pumpkin seeds. Pepitas are an easy way to get more magnesium, which helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar. It doesn’t hurt that they have a toasty flavor that goes great with rich avocado. The best part about this toast? Just look how pretty it is!
Vegan meals that are both hearty and delicious can seem impossible to meat eaters. Thankfully, this toast delivers both in a really easy-to-make dish. Sprout options at the store are endless, so go crazy and get something fun or go for a mixture. How about pea and daikon sprouts?
You don’t need a campfire for this ooey-gooey dessert. An easy chocolate spread is made from cocoa powder, almond butter, and almond milk. Toasted marshmallows and a sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs completes the party. It’s finger-licking satisfying.
Nutella tastes great on just about everything, especially a spoon, but this recipe might be the best use yet. Toasted brioche with orange marmalade gets a drizzle of the chocolaty spread and a sprinkle of hazelnuts for a super easy take on toast. Who says dessert has to be fussy?
Ricotta usually only gets to see the sweet side of things in cannoli, which is a real shame. The creamy texture pairs perfectly with chocolate and fruit, and this recipe proves it. Mix some chocolate spread with the cheese, and then spread it on toasted bread. Top with berries and coconut for treat that’s every bit as beautiful as one of those cannoli but a lot less work.
Consider this a way sassier version of cinnamon toast. A sweet and spicy mixture of sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cayenne makes this one treat you’ll make again and again. The recipe calls for challah, but whole wheat makes is a more healthful choice. Top with some fruit salsa for even more flavor.
A creamy melted chocolate chip and mascarpone mixture makes a rich bread spread. Strawberries add juicy sweetness, and the basil is that secret ingredient that takes something good and makes it great. It’s wonderful for dessert, but we also like it as an afternoon snack when a sweet tooth starts to ache.
Dessert doesn’t always have to be a super-rich brownie or slice of cake. This five-ingredient toast gets just enough chocolate goodness from Nutella and a bit of natural sweetness from sliced banana. Sprinkle on some peanuts for salty crunch… and maybe some sprinkles too.