10 Inventive, Delicious Ways to Dress Up a Plain Piece of Toast

Avocado toast was just the beginning. Here are some of the nut butters, bean spreads, and roasted veggies you've been missing.

3 toasts
Photo: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Never underestimate the humble toast. Treat this culinary blank canvas with respect (Put down that bland white bread!) and top it creatively (Spiced beans! Sharp cheese! Roasted veggies!) and it becomes the ultimate last-minute-mealtime solution. Here are 10 tasty combos you'll keep coming back to again and again.

01 of 10

Spicy Almond Butter and Banana Toast

Spicy Almond Butter and Banana Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

While regular honey is a perfectly acceptable substitute, a little drizzle of the hot stuff adds a wonderful, gentle burn to this classic combination of nut butter and banana. (And, if you can't find a chile-infused honey like Mike's Hot Honey or Bees Knees in a market near you, it's not too hard to make your own.)

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02 of 10

Spiced White Bean Toast

Spiced White Bean Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

If you like hummus, this variation on the theme is a great change of pace. Mashing white beans with a dash of lemon juice and a drizzle of sesame oil gives them a pleasant creaminess and a tart, nutty edge. Finish things off with a flurry of red chili flakes for a fiery kick.

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03 of 10

Cucumber and Avocado Toast

Cucumber and Avocado Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

How do you improve on avocado toast? Just add cucumber. The cheerful green-on-green composition is a feast for the eyes and the creaminess of avocado acts as the perfect foil to cucumber's fresh crunch. A final garnish of sesame seeds lends the combo a nutty note—and nods to its sushi-inspired flavors.

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04 of 10

Roasted Pepper, Cilantro, and Sardine Toast

Roasted Pepper, Cilantro, and Sardine Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

It's time to give sardines a shot. These affordable little fish are not only delicious nutritional powerhouses, packed with vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids—they're also one the most sustainable seafood options around. Here, a few strips of roasted red pepper and a pinch of chopped cilantro balance out their flavor beautifully.

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05 of 10

Ham and Pickle Toast

Ham and Pickle Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

It may not sound like much, but this simple toast tastes like a little bit of Gallic-inspired heaven. A smear of creamy butter anchors a salty slice of ham, and thinly sliced, crunchy, briny cornichons finish it off. The result? Imagine a charcuterie plate on a slice of bread.

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06 of 10

Fig and Cheddar Toast

Fig and Cheddar Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

Inspired by that British pub classic known as the ploughman's lunch, this sweet and salty vegetarian combo pairs earthy, fig jam with sharp, crumbly Cheddar cheese. Layer the lot with a few thinly sliced pears for an extra hit of sweetness.

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07 of 10

Pineapple, Mint, and Yogurt Toast

Pineapple, Mint, and Yogurt Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

Thick, tangy Greek yogurt is a great toast topping—and a healthier, protein-packed alternative to cream cheese. A spoonful of sunshiny bright, juicy pineapple and a generous drizzle of honey lend this toast some tangy sweetness and a final pinch of fresh, chopped mint gives it all a refreshing pop.

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08 of 10

Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Toast

Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

Even if they're out of season and looking sad, tossing tomatoes with a spoonful of olive oil and roasting them until soft and charred brings out their juiciness and natural sweetness. For a simple Mediterranean-inspired snack, let them cool to room temperature and add to toast topped with a generous spoonful of fluffy fresh ricotta.

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09 of 10

Roast Beef, Chive, and Horseradish Toast

Roast Beef, Chive, and Horseradish Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

In this easy recipe, simple deli staples evoke the comforting flavors of a classic Sunday roast. A spoonful of horseradish goes a long way to enliven plain old cream cheese and chopped chives are a fresh, colorful finishing touch.

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10 of 10

Roasted Asparagus and Egg Toast

Roasted Asparagus and Egg Toast
Sarah Karnasiewicz

Think of this as springtime on a slice of bread. Stir together lemon juice and mayo for a lazy spin on aioli and give asparagus a turn under the broiler to soften its skin and concentrate its flavor. Then, add sunny slices of hard-boiled egg for creaminess and color.

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