Skinnytaste founder Gina Homolka transformed her unused, dusty waffle iron into a must-have tool for quick and easy weeknight dinners.
Credit: Victor Protasio

When I have appliances collecting dust, I hate it. That’s how I felt about my waffle iron—until recently. It was my most neglected appliance for quite some time, and then I realized the humble waffle iron is capable of making a lot more than just waffles. Now I keep it on my counter to whip up everything from grilled cheese sandwiches and crab cakes to zucchini fritters and chocolate chip cookies—the possibilities really are endless.

Making quesadillas in the waffle iron is perfect for busy weeknights because it only takes a few minutes for each quesadilla to cook, and the kids (and adults!) love them. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile: You can swap the chicken for chopped cooked shrimp or make them vegetarian by replacing the chicken with black beans and corn. Because most tortillas are round, this recipe works best with a round waffle maker; just make sure you buy tortillas that aren’t larger than your waffle iron.

For hash browns that are crisp on the outside and buttery on the inside, look no further than your multifaceted waffle iron.

About the tortillas: You can use any type with this recipe, but my oldest daughter is gluten-free, which led me to discover Siete’s Cassava & Coconut Grain-Free Tortillas. I now prefer them to wheat tortillas because not only do they taste great, but they’re only 130 calories per tortilla.

Gina Homolka is the founder of and @skinnytaste.