8 Toaster Oven Tricks to the Best Meals of Your Life in 15 Minutes or Less
Toaster ovens are the perfect countertop alternative to regular ovens and they allow you to cook a quick and easy meal without having to heat up the whole house. Their small and efficient design make just about every meal possible and you can feed you, your whole family, or just a quick romantic dinner for two any time you like, no microwave needed.
- Personal Pizzas for Everyone (on Rice Cakes)
One of the best memories from my own childhood was the personal rice cake pizzas we used to make and enjoy in front of an old western movie together. You get four rice cakes and slather them with mayonnaise (leave a half inch around the edge so there’s no spillage). Thinly slice tomatoes and cover each rice cake. Slice black olives and place them carefully on top.
Lastly, put a slice of cheese over top of each rice cake. Fix a small pan underneath the rice cakes to make sure that any melted cheese is easy to clean up and you have the most delicious personal pizzas! Try them with sausage and pepperoni, as well!
- Elegant Glazed Salmon for Two
This is a great way to quickly pull off a dinner for two in a pinch. Carefully thaw or remove your fresh salmon fillets. Gently brush a honey-citrus or lemon-lime glaze over top of both fillets. Put these in the top of the oven to begin browning now.
Next, chop some kale and spinach together, add a light vinaigrette, and put this in a tray at the bottom of the oven, underneath the salmon fillets. Cook until the salmon is flaky in the center. Your toaster oven will be able to do this, no problem. If you want to save even more money on your romantic night, some great affordable toaster ovens are available for less than $50. Remove the greens, spread them in the center of each plate, and place one salmon fillet on top of the greens. Sprinkle cold blue cheese around the edge.
- Four-Person Full Chicken Dinner for Your Whole Family
You will need two toaster oven sized cookie sheets for this recipe. Divide your chicken into the four main pieces of meat that will be served to each family member. Rub them with salt and spices (add pepper after cooking since burned pepper is bitter) and place them on the sheet in the top rack.
Next, toss the vegetables with whatever glaze or barbecue sauce you enjoy the most and spread them out on the second cookie sheet. Make sure you have enough for everyone in your family. Cook until the chicken is white and fully cooked in the center. Serve immediately.
- Twice-Baked Potatoes (15 minutes each)
This is a simple recipe, but it must be followed exactly. Slice white potatoes lengthwise into three flat strips. layer 12 flat strips (3 pieces x 4 potatoes) on the top rack and cook at medium to high temperature for 15 minutes.
Take the potato pieces out, scoop out all of the white potato centers from the skins, and discard the middle ring. Keep both sides of the skins, because these will be the boats. Mix all of the white potato centers in with mustard, mayonnaise, cheese, parsley, paprika and everything else you love in your twice-baked potatoes. Put them in the 8 potato skins and cook until firm in the center.
- Roasted Steak Strips and Grilled Vegetables with Cheese
Slice steaks into long thin strips and dip them all in olive oil or canola oil. Place these on a cookie sheet in the top rack of your toaster oven.
Toss your vegetables with salt and dill and place them on a cookie sheet in the bottom rack. Cook until steak strips are fully done and remove the meat. Continue cooking the veggies until they are tender in the center. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and mix in the steak strips.
- Small Creme Brulee Custard Cups
Did you know that you can prepare custard cups in your toaster oven? You will need small cups made especially for an oven. Butter your cups, mix your custard, and pour it in the cups. Remove the top rack of your toaster oven. Place a cookie sheet (or higher-lipped baking pan) on the bottom rack and carefully place your cups inside of it. Pour water all around the cups into the pan until almost full. Bake normally.
- Burger, Fries, Roasted Tomatoes, and Fried Onions
You can get a full deli meal with a single toaster oven. You will need both cookie sheets and both racks. Slice your onions, bread them (if desired), pour some olive or canola oil in the bottom of the cookie sheet and arrange the slices of onion on top. Place all of your hamburger patties on top of the slices of onion. One tray ready.
Pour some oil in the bottom of the second sheet. Cut your fries and arrange them on the sheet and salt them. Slice your tomatoes and leave the seeds and juices behind. Arrange the tomato pieces in the other direction on top of the fries. The flavors will be amazing. Cook both trays until the meat is cooked through and the potato fries are soft.
- Breakfast Toast (or Bagels), Eggs and Cheese
If your toaster oven has a pop-up bagel and toast maker in the top, you can simply use this feature. If not, you can still get the full effect in the oven. Arrange your toast or bagels on the top rack, with no cookie sheet. Underneath, put a well-oiled sheet with perfectly broken eggs. Sprinkle some shredded cheese on the eggs. Cook until the toast is just right.
When you look into toaster ovens, remember to check out extra features they may have, such as the pop-up bagel function on top, various temperature controls, and any little metal pans which come with it and which make for a perfect way to cook your meal. These little, added features give you the ability to make a few more varieties of meal from your toaster oven. Happy Roasting!