Waffles add texture and flavor to a typical sandwich. Cream cheese and ham make a good combo, but the options are endless. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Peanut butter and jelly may be your go-to lunch option, but 70-plus days into the school year, you may not be excited to find it in your lunchbox. This month’s recipe takes a breakfast favorite — waffles — and adapts it for lunch or snack time. Make a batch of these Cheesy Waffles over the weekend (or on a snow day) and freeze them for a terrific alternative to your typical sandwich. Try them with a smear of cream cheese and a piece of ham. A hard-boiled egg is another option. Or, layer avocados and tomatoes. These waffles offer so many options, they may be the best thing for school lunch since, well, sliced bread.

Cheesy Waffle Sandwiches

MAKE AHEAD: The waffles can be frozen in a freezer-safe zip-top bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in a toaster oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes.

Adapted from “Weelicious Lunches” by Catherine McCord.

Adult help: Yes

Kitchen gear: 8-inch square or round waffle iron, measuring cups and spoons, bowls, whisk, spoon, ladle, tongs, cooling rack

Hands-on time: 35 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Makes: 5 sandwiches (10 4-inch waffles)


2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (mild or sharp)

2 large eggs

11/2 cups regular or low-fat milk

3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

8 tablespoons regular or low-fat soft/whipped cream cheese

71/2 ounces deli-sliced turkey or ham


● Grease the waffle iron with cooking spray; preheat according to the manufacturer’s directions.

● Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the cheese, stirring to make sure it’s thoroughly coated. (This will help keep the cheese from getting gloppy.)

●Whisk together the eggs, milk and oil in a separate bowl or large liquid measuring cup. Pour into the flour mixture, stirring just until no dry spots remain to form a batter. Do not overmix.

●For each waffle, ladle about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the waffle iron. Close and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until set and golden brown.

● Use tongs to transfer the waffle to a wire cooling rack. Repeat to use all the batter, using more cooking spray for the waffle iron as needed.

● Once the waffles have cooled, break each one into quarters. Spread one side of half of the quarters with some of the cream cheese. Layer or fold some of the turkey or ham onto the cream cheese, then top with the remaining quarters to form small sandwiches.

Nutrition | Per serving (using low-fat milk and cream cheese, and turkey): 460 calories, 24 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 120 mg cholesterol, 980 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar

Recipe tested by Toni L. Sandys; email questions to food@washpost.com.