16 Stuff-On-Toast Recipes for Quick Weeknight Dinners

Expand your horizons beyond avocado—and maybe salvage your chance at homeownership.

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Jul 24 2018, 7:00pm

We wish that the echo chamber of digital media hadn’t done such a thorough job of maligning avocado toast, because honestly, we’re quite fond of it as a solution to the “I have no idea what to make for dinner” conundrum. It’s a meal-planning technique that requires very little brain power, but gives you a pleasant feeling of being an artiste with all of your creatively curated toast toppings, and it’s a simple equation that’s hard to fuck up, really. Something savory and spreadable atop a better-than-average slice of toasted bread, with complimentary fixings that bring in either more textural elements or add some balancing acidity or spice. Voila! You’ve created a lunch (or dinner, or snack, or appetizer) that could easily be found on the menu in the hip neighborhood’s hippest café.

You can call it an open-faced sandwich, if you wish. (The Danish call it smørrebrød.) But we call it like we see it. It’s just Stuff On Toast, but don’t underestimate the possibilities. To make sure you’ve set yourself up for success with a quality piece of bread—the foundation of any good sandwich, whether it’s topless or not—we first offer you a few recipes for breads that can carry the weight of your creativity. Then, peruse a few of our favorite recipes from the archives for inspiration for some tried and true combos of Things That Are Good On Toast, and bookmark a few for next week’s tasty but unfussy lunches.

The best thing about using focaccia bread as a base for an open-faced sandwich is that it doesn’t really need to be sliced at all—just cut your sheet-tray’s worth of fluffy focaccia down into single serving-size pieces, and start heaping your favorite toppings up on there.

With chunks of roasted potatoes scattered throughout, and a gorgeously crisp exterior (which you can totally achieve at home if you use a Dutch oven!), this pane Pugliese provides a heavenly blank canvas for all your toast experimentation to come.

If you’re not making this simple baguette around Thanksgiving and you don’t have any turkey bones laying around to make a stock with, you can easily substitute store-bought chicken stock for a flavorful and soft base for your open-faced sandos.

Infuse your bread dough with a little bit—just a tablespoon!—of squid ink to make some toast that’s as black as your cold, cold heart.

This whimsical presentation of eggs and toast is known by many names—frog in the hole, egg in the basket, one-eyed Jack—but no matter what you call it, it’s better topped with avocado, marinated tomatoes, and cotija cheese.

Scandinavian chef Gunnar Gislason whips up some version of this simple toast when he comes home after a late shift, and eats it standing at the kitchen counter, because it’s just too good to wait to get to the table.

Ripe, juicy tomatoes make an appearance on this toast twice—first as a marinade for lightly pan-fried mackerel, then thinly-sliced with a little bit of olive oil and salt right heaped up on top.

Go crazy with wild mushrooms on this one and use whatever variety you can get your hands on—but we suggest starting with a combo of chanterelle, shiitake, and morels.

Salting the green tomatoes first (not to mention slathering your toast in chicken fat) takes a little bit of the tangy bite out of them for a well-balanced sandwich.

The OG, Danish version of Stuff On Toast traditionally has some fish, something pickled, and plenty of mayonnaise, like this version from Dublin chef Halaigh Whelan-McManus.

Throw your cheesy, chorizo-laden baguette slice under the broiler for a few minutes for a truly decadent time.

Broaden your appetizer horizons and consider mini-things-on-toast, like these grilled apricots on top of creamy, tangy goat cheese and crostini.

Another classic dish where heaping delicious, simple things on top of excellent bread comes by way of our Italian friends in the form of bruschetta. With something so simple, go for top-quality ingredients. And weed.

Think of this tartine as a jazzy riff on the classic lox and cream cheese bagel.

You do you, Australia.

In our humble opinion, the mark of true toast success is when you've piled your toppings so high, you can basically no longer see the bread at the bottom. So be generous with your radishes, peas, goat cheese and gooey poached eggs.