If you thought you could only get Belgian waffles at the diner, you're in for a real treat. Today's frozen waffles are not just a quick and easy breakfast meal from your childhood, they're also a great snack. Many brands also offer protein-dense or low-carb options to accommodate a range of diets.
Not only that, but you can use frozen waffles to simplify home-cooked recipes. Make them taste homemade by cooking waffles in a skillet instead of toasting them, or stick to your handy air fryer. If you have a great recipe for fried chicken, you can quickly turn it into chicken and waffles or even create a new twist on classic sandwiches, like a Monte Cristo on a waffle.
Which waffles are best for what purpose? We tasted some of the most popular brands to discover the tastiest, crunchiest selections available. Whichever brand you choose, be sure to throw your waffles out after a maximum of six months in the freezer because age can make them stiffer and cause them to develop an off-taste.
Read more: 23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked
14. Eggo Grab & Go Liège-Style Buttery Maple Flavored Waffles
Sometimes you grab a toaster waffle when you're really looking for a good dessert. Eggo has the perfect option for that with its Liège-Style waffles in Buttery Maple flavor -- with no extra syrup required. There are many types of waffles, including the liège. It's unique because it contains pearl sugar in the cooking batter. The amazingly tasty waffle is most often available in Belgium, but Eggo has brought the style to American homes with its frozen, single-serve variety.
The waffles come individually wrapped and do not require toasting. Instead, the packages can just be defrosted for an hour before being enjoyed. We noticed the waffles don't taste anything like standard toaster varieties. It's much closer to funnel cakes -- minus the fresh-baked sensation. They taste even sweeter, which is reflected in the 13 grams of added sugar and the 230 calories for a single waffle. Plus, these waffles were smaller than any others on this list.
We tried pan-frying it, but the liège-style waffles did not cook properly. It's not meant to be crunchy and doesn't turn out that way, even when toasted. This product isn't a great bargain since it only has four in a pack. However, if you're craving carnival food at home, these liège-style waffles fit the bill.
13. Banza Blueberry Protein Waffles
Banza is best known for its chickpea-based pasta and rice dishes, which include products from alphabet-shaped macaroni to chipotle tomato rice. But in 2023, Banza expanded its line of chickpea products to include its first breakfast item: protein waffles.
These were difficult to find, except at Whole Foods. The store only carried the blueberry and chocolate chip flavors. Banza's Blueberry Protein waffles were jam-packed with berries, but the waffle taste still came through. Unfortunately, it still fell short. The waffles were dry and bland, and the blueberry flavor was too light and not sweet. This was disappointing, considering it was one of the few gluten-free waffle brands available. Banza is also the most expensive waffle box on the list, topping out at over $6 for a package of six.
On the upside, Banza's blueberry waffles were perfectly crunchy, whether toasted or pan-fried. Its waffles have excellent nutritional content with 10 grams of protein, relatively low sodium, and fewer calories per serving than other brands we sampled. On the downside, the waffles had a higher fat content than other brands. Banza protein waffles are produced in a peanut-free facility, which makes it one of the few options for people with peanut allergies.
12. Eggo Thick & Fluffy Original Waffles
Eggo's Thick & Fluffy line is its take on Belgian waffles. These decadent waffles make for a hearty meal and did well on the taste test. The waffles are sweeter than Eggo's Homestyle waffles, but that's on the mark for Belgian waffles. We found pan-frying was the best way to reheat the waffles. However, it did make them sweeter, so watch out if this is your preferred way to cook the breakfast staple.
Because the waffles are so thick and fluffy, though, they do not have the anticipated crunch everyone loves. There was only a little bit of crunchiness. We did like the easy-to-use peel-and-reseal packaging that ensures these waffles stay fresh.
Unfortunately, these Eggos did not have the ideal nutritional content for us. The serving size is only one waffle containing 160 calories and 6 grams of sugar. If you eat two, you'll need to double up those numbers.
11. Great Value Homestyle Waffles
Walmart's generic brand, Great Value, was the most affordable waffle brand on this list. In fact, its box of 24 waffles was about a dollar more than its box of 10, which was sold out at our store. But how do the Great Value Homestyle waffles compare to the competition?
While the box is a great bargain, the waffles were disappointing. They had little flavor at all, nor were they sweet. When toasted, they were crunchy on the outside, but the consistency didn't quite reach the inside. Pan frying was a disaster, with the center remaining mushy and tasting almost uncooked.
However, we were shocked that the nutritional value of this package was as good as it was, with only 150 calories for two waffles. A serving also contains 3 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar. Overall, this is a good meal option for families on a tight budget. While the lack of flavor was disappointing, the waffles can be easily integrated into recipes that feature savory toppings.
10. Birch Benders Carb Friendly Toaster Waffles
Birch Benders is another newcomer whose line features several gluten-free and keto-friendly breakfast products, including its Carb Friendly waffles. Its toaster waffles are gluten-free, grain-free, and processed in a peanut-free facility, so this is a good option for anyone with a peanut allergy.
These waffles are high in fat at 16 grams per serving, which is more than any other brand on the list. They're also suitable for anyone on a keto diet. With 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of sugar, we were hopeful these would taste good -- and we were not disappointed. Naturally, these waffles were not too sweet but had a good flavor and a nice crunch. These waffles tasted better in the pan, so if you buy a box, make them in a skillet if possible.
Compared to its competitors, most products from Birch Benders are in the middle price range, and its Carb Friendly waffles are no different. With only six waffles in the box and a price approaching $5, it earned a spot in the middle of our ranking. However, it's great to have a keto waffle option that's gluten-free and delicious.
9. Kashi GO Protein Waffles Vanilla Buttermilk
Numerous brands have come out with products that offer customers a boost of protein. Kashi, a food brand dedicated to natural products, also offers several varieties of protein-packed waffles via its Kashi GO line.
Kashi's protein waffles are Non-GMO Project verified, which is true to its commitment to offering natural products. The brand comes in at 200 calories for two waffles with 9 grams of fat. This product's nutrition facts are excellent, considering two waffles contain 13 grams of protein. However, this box was one of the most expensive products on this list, costing about $5 for a package of eight waffles.
These were the only waffles that tasted a bit like cake, making them sweeter than expected but tasty. The inclusion of the vanilla extract may explain this taste. Kashi GO's waffles were also reminiscent of foods baked with protein powder. Sure enough, they contained whey protein concentrate, a standard protein additive. The waffles failed the crunch test when warmed in the toaster but were better when pan-fried. Kashi GO Protein waffles are your best bet if you are in the mood for a cake-like snack.
8. Vans Gluten Free Original Waffles
Everybody loves waffles, but people sensitive to gluten, dairy, eggs, and corn may not be able to enjoy them. Fortunately, Vans solves this problem. Its Gluten Free Original waffles are certified gluten-free and free of those other allergens, although they contain soy. The waffles are also Non-GMO Project verified, which makes them great for discerning eaters. We enjoyed the simple ingredient list.
Two waffles contain 180 calories and less than 1 gram of sugar, which makes them a relatively low-calorie and low-sugar breakfast option. However, the brand has sodium levels of 460 milligrams per serving, which was more than the other products we reviewed. Despite not containing eggs, the waffles had an egg-like flavor. Like Kashi, these waffles were not too crunchy in a toaster but tasted better when cooked in a skillet.
Vans Gluten Free waffles were not sweet, which makes them ideal for savory recipes. There are only six in a box, but they are reasonably priced at under $3.50. This is a steal compared to other allergen-free products available at supermarkets.
7. Kodiak Protein-Packed Power Waffles Buttermilk & Vanilla
Kodiak has become a favorite among fitness enthusiasts. The brand is most well-known for adding protein to different breakfast foods, including flapjacks, oatmeal, and waffles.
The brand offers several varieties of waffles, but you'll probably only find a few types at your local supermarket, including the Power Waffles Buttermilk & Vanilla variety. Two waffles contain 12 grams of protein, which is the second highest on this list. The ingredient list also notes whey protein isolate and vanilla, but the brand didn't give off the cake-like flavor that Kashi waffles did. That may be due to its 390 milligrams of sodium, which is higher than other brands we reviewed.
The waffles had a nice flavor and a good crunch from the toaster, less so from the pan. Kodiak's waffles are not very sweet, which makes them a potential candidate for savory dishes. A box is priced around $5.00 but includes 10 waffles, so the price per waffle is within reason for a protein-heavy option.
6. Kodiak Thick And Fluffy Power Waffles Buttermilk & Vanilla
Can a protein-packed waffle also be airy? Kodiak's Thick and Fluffy Power waffles answer that question with a resounding yes. They were crunchy on the outside with a nice chewy center, which made for a pleasant eating experience.
These waffles were nearly the most expensive ones on the list at just under $6 for six waffles. A serving size of two waffles contains 220 calories and only 10 grams of protein, which is the same as Banza. The taste of Kodiak is far superior, though.
These waffles were delicious and quite a bit sweeter than Kodiak's Buttermilk & Vanilla variety. Both come in at 7 grams of sugar but differ in taste and eating experience. The Thick and Fluffy waffles smelled heavenly right out of the toaster. However, they burnt quickly in the pan. We recommend using these waffles for an indulgent dessert night, topped with melted chocolate, powdered sugar, and strawberries.
5. Annie's Organic Homestyle Waffles
Annie's Organic focuses on bringing organic products to consumers. The brand also appeals to kids with its ever-present bunny logo and bunny-shaped treats. Its Homestyle waffles include 9 grams of whole grains. Nearly every ingredient is certified USDA Organic, which may appeal to some consumers. These kid-friendly waffles contain only 120 calories, 3 grams of sugar, and 3.5 grams of fat for two waffles.
The waffles have a buttery taste that both you and your kids will enjoy. They are lightly sweet, meaning syrup is a must. We noticed the waffles came out better in the toaster than on the stovetop, but both methods did not give us the crunch we wanted.
At about $4.50 for a box of eight waffles, Annie's Organic waffles are a bit pricey for kid-friendly food. However, we thought these waffles were worth the investment, especially since they taste so good.
4. Vans Power Grain Protein Original Waffles
If you're looking to add protein to your waffle breakfast and are sensitive to dairy, Vans has you covered. Its Power Grains Original waffles are dairy and egg-free and Non-GMO Project verified. Vans has several gluten-free offerings, but these waffles are not. So, be sure to avoid them if you have a gluten sensitivity. Each serving of two waffles contains 10 grams of protein, 200 calories, and 6 grams of added sugar. These waffles had the lowest sodium content on this list, at only 170 milligrams.
Vans were the tastiest of all the protein waffles because of a delightful hint of cinnamon flavor. You get just the right amount of crunch from either your toaster or in the pan. With a touch of sweetness, you need very little syrup for this treat. Vans Protein waffles are a worthwhile buy with a cost of around $4 for a box of eight.
3. Nature's Path Organic Chia Plus Frozen Waffles
You should consider cooking with chia seeds. These nutrient powerhouses contain fiber, protein, healthy fats, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. However, the trick is getting these little seeds to work in a recipe.
Nature's Path Organic Chia Plus Frozen waffles solve this problem. The waffles are jam-packed with chia seeds, yet the taste was phenomenal. We thought the waffles had a bold, malty flavor with a bit of sweetness and an ideal amount of crunch. In addition, we also loved that the waffles were crisp throughout, whether toasted or pan-fried.
Nature's Path features certified organic breakfast and snack foods. It also offers several gluten-free products, including these waffles. At 190 calories and a mere 4 grams of sugar for two waffles, the waffles are a perfect breakfast choice for anyone eating a gluten-free diet. These were a bit high price-wise at over $4.50 for only six waffles. However, the flavor and nutrition label land this brand at the higher end of our ranking.
2. Eggo Homestyle Waffles
Eggo was the original company that started the craze for frozen waffles. American inventor Frank Dorsa designed the process for mass-producing waffles for consumers. Kellogg's later bought Eggo in 1968 and revolutionized the way many people eat breakfast. The brand that set the standard for freezer waffles comes in, unsurprisingly, as one of our highest-ranked products.
Two Eggo Homestyle waffles contain 180 calories, only 5 grams of fat, and 4 grams of sugar. The product is also fortified with minerals and vitamins, including calcium carbonate, iron, vitamin A palmitate, and vitamins B6 and B12.
We thought the waffles had a great flavor and a perfect crunch, no matter how they were prepared. The waffles are mildly sugary and work well for a range of sweet and savory waffle recipes. Our only complaint was that this product thawed quicker than any other brand. So, don't leave them out on the counter too long. But this only knocked a few points off. This box also features peel-and-reseal packaging, which we consider as another plus. A box of 10 Homestyle waffles will only set you back about $2, which earns the product one of our top spots.
1. 365 Organic Homestyle Waffles
Whole Foods offers an affordable organic option via its 365 brand. The label is committed to products that meet its standards for healthiness and foster responsible stewardship. Its waffles are no exception.
You might be wondering why these waffles unseated other contenders clawing for the top spot. It's simple: The Whole Foods 365 waffles were exactly as good as the Eggo Homestyle waffles. However, 365 brand had a preferable ingredient list and was available for just under $3 for a box of six.
Two 365 Organic waffles contain 200 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 5 grams of sugar. Almost all of the product's ingredients are organic, including the pear juice concentrate used for flavoring rather than mysterious natural or artificial flavors. These waffles contain canola or soybean oil that is expeller-pressed, which is a preferable alternative to using certain chemical solvents during normal extraction. All of those add up to a wholesome product with that traditional freezer waffle taste you love.
As a bonus, 365 Organic Homestyle waffles also contain 5 grams of protein. Only the Eggo Liège-Style waffles and Birch Benders had that much protein content without whey protein isolate added to the ingredients. The 365 waffles are a delicious, crunchy product that belongs in your pantry and at the very top of this list.
We purchased some of the most popular and available waffle brands for testing and compared waffles first by taste. Here, we evaluated the flavor, texture, and crispiness of the brand or variety in search of the ones that tasted most like a traditional waffle. The level of sweetness was also compared to determine if the waffle would work for savory dishes or was better suited as a dessert. Plain waffles were chosen when possible to establish a baseline flavor. All of our samples were toasted and pan-fried to see if the cooking method impacted taste and crunch.
Next, we considered product availability to intentionally feature brands that were available to a larger portion of the population. Trader Joe's brand, for example, was not included because the store is not as available to shoppers in every region.
The next ranking factors considered were pricing and nutritional value. In other words, were the waffles affordable for what they offered? For example, we would be willing to pay more for a protein-dense or gluten-free variety versus a more plain one. We also examined if there is a significant taste or texture difference for these brands. In addition, we considered if the products had extra certifications and wholesome ingredients, including organic certification or Non-GMO Project verification.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.