Sweet and Savory Toast Ideas: Think Outside the Bread Box

Let’s talk about toast.

This humble snack has gained serious popularity lately: you’ll find it on the menu at high-end restaurants and hipster coffee shops. Cafés in San Francisco call it “artisanal” – and charge you up to $9 for a slice.

While that seems a little excessive, I’m happy that we’re living through a toast renaissance because it’s such an easy thing to customize and perfect at home. I love toast in all its forms, and I’d happily eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

The fantastic thing about a good slice of toast is its versatility. You can strip it down to the most simple – golden and dripping with fresh butter and a touch of salt – or you can top it with an endless array of ingredients.

blueberry toast

With some of today’s variations, I’m essentially turning toast into an open-faced sandwich (a tartine, as the French call it), so I’ve used our Classic Sandwich Bread recipe as the base for my toasts.

This recipe has several merits when it comes to toast: it’s very easy to slice, it’s quite soft, and it has a good crumb. While I’ll take toast any way you give it to me, I prefer using bread that isn’t too airy or full of holes (like ciabatta). Bread without holes prevents your toppings from falling through – no one wants to lose precious jam or butter!

Softer bread is also crucial. You’ll get a crunchy exterior by toasting, so using a crusty, artisan bread can result in toast that’s too hard and difficult to bite into.

Now, on to the toast! You likely have your own preferences, whether you eat toast for breakfast or for a snack. I’ve included a few favorites for inspiration, but by no means should this limit you.

I’m already making a list of my next toast-based meals: melted cheddar and pesto, smoked salmon and thinly sliced cucumber, roasted grapes with ricotta and thyme, and so on.


Here are nine ideas for topping your toasted sandwich bread, starting from the upper left:

– Sliced banana and almond butter with crystallized ginger
– Greek yogurt with fresh and frozen blueberries
– Romaine lettuce with heirloom cherry tomatoes and homemade mayonnaise
– Fresh ricotta with sliced radishes, flaky sea salt, and chives
– Tuna salad with dill over raw kale
– Sliced pears with honey and Greek yogurt
– Smashed avocado with lemon juice, flaky sea salt, and red pepper flakes
– Butter and cinnamon sugar
– Peanut butter and raspberry jam

I’d love to know how you like to dress up your toast! Tell us in comments, below.


Posie grew up on a farm in Maryland and spent her summers in Vermont. As an editor for King Arthur and Sift magazine, she feels lucky to bake every day and connect through writing. She loves homemade bread warm from the oven, raw milk cream, ...


  1. MizGriz

    Slice bread a little thicker, toast, then add butter, sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar and broil until sugar bubbles. The hard part is waiting until it cools enough to eat!

  2. EL

    Also I do Mayo, Cilantro, Ham and Swiss (not toasted, but you can if you want). And toast with cream cheese and my own home-made roasted tomato jam (unsweetened). Possibly with cream chease and applesauce with rosemary (I haven’t tried it yet, but it tastes great in my head).

  3. Shelly Maan

    My favourite is Chunky Cottage cheese with sliced avo, thinly sliced cucumber and sliced cherry tomatoes. Sprinkled with sea salt and milled pepper. Can add a dribble of lemon if required.

  4. Haley

    great ideas! Many thanks to this, I know what to make some toasted bread with those… My son caught a virus and is on strict diet… This is one of few only diets for him. Many thanks!!

  5. Lydia Schaeffer

    here are three of my favorites; Buttered toast with peanut butter and sliced banana, bread with tuna salad and cheddar cheese toasted ’til the cheese is melted, and toast slathered with mayonnaise, a couple layers of thinly sliced fresh cucumber over that, and plenty of curry powder, salt and black pepper. these all tend to vary for me, I’ve added apple to the cucumber and that adds a whole new dimension!

    1. GRANA

      LYDIA; all of he above apple& curry powder has been on local sandwich shop menu but were “SOLD OUT” each time NO excuse now; I can do it @home, just had not thought of it

  6. Loretta Pereira

    These all sound so delicious. Have some hot pepper jelly and never thought to try it on toast. My favorite is toast, butter, a thinly sliced gouda cheese, and raspberry or strawberry jelly and topped with another slice of toast for a great sandwich. Also a homemade tomatoe preserve is delicious on toast with butter.


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