I can think of a number of recipes that I like to use as a base for toppings and fillings depending on what I feel like or have sitting around the house. That includes pizza dough, fried rice, biscuits or a pot of cooked grains. Another option that deserves the same consideration: crepes.

These very thin relatives of pancakes are versatile enough to be served at any time of day, whether you prefer sweet or savory. They can be rolled up and stuffed or folded and drizzled. Crepes and other crepelike dishes span an entire world of cuisines, so you’ll have no problem finding one to suit your needs. Here are some starting points from our archives, most of which offer specific fillings but can be used as a framework for customizing as well:

Buttery Crepes, above. If you’re looking for a simple, go-to crepe recipe that you can dress up any way you want, this is the one. Go savory with tomato sauce or sweet with Nutella.

Sizzling Rice Crepes. Using rice flour means this classic Vietnamese dish, known as banh xeo, from Andrea Nguyen is gluten-free. You’ll be treated to a symphony of different flavors and textures.


Serbian Croatian Pancakes (Palacinke). Allow this recipe to help you use up whatever bits of roasted vegetables, cheese or meat you have in the refrigerator as a filling. A higher ratio of eggs to flour and milk than in blini and crepes yields a tighter, shinier and slightly denser result.


Hungarian Crepes (Palacsinta). Here’s a close relation to the palacinke above. They’re typically served with apricot jam, sugar and walnuts, though yogurt and fruit are common as well.


Buckwheat Crepes With Sauteed Apples. Bookmark this one for fall, thanks to nutty buckwheat and a spiced apple filling. Buckwheat flour is gluten-free, so if you pair it with an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend, it can suit those avoiding wheat. All-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flours are options, too.

Herby Mushroom and Swiss Crepes. If you’re looking for a few weeknight friendly recipes to add to your repertoire, consider crepes stuffed with crisp-edged mushrooms, buttery Emmenthaler and bright herbs.


Classic Cheese Blintzes. Blintzes are another of Eastern Europe’s entries into the crepelike canon, and these boast a farmer cheese filling that goes well with a topping of sour cream and fruit. See also Cheese Blintzes, which have a vegetable filling option.


Belgian-Style Crepes. The Belgian twist on this recipe that is otherwise very similar to French versions: 12 ounces of Belgian beer. Still, these will work in sweet and savory preparations.

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