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17 Best Ingredients To Stuff French Toast With

ingredients to stuff French toast
ingredients to stuff French toast - Static Media / Shutterstock

French toast is an iconic brunch item usually made of bread, eggs, vanilla, milk, and sugar. Of course, there are some variations, but that's the general gist of it.  You don't have to get stuck using white bread; you can always swap the bread with French baguette, sourdough, challah, or something else. No matter what bread you pick, dried bread is the key to French toast so that it can soak up the eggy custard mixture. We'll dive into some of the best ingredients to stuff French toast with when you want delicious ways to mix up how you do breakfast.

Some of these ideas are absolute classics that you'll see on nearly any restaurant menu with stuffed French toast, and others are the best because they pair beautifully with French toast ingredients. French toast seems like a sweet option topped with sticky maple syrup, but you can also make a savory version, so we'll have a few non-sweet options included. Stuffed French toast usually involves making a sandwich and stuffing the ingredient in between two slices of bread, but you could also use a thick slice of bread, make a cut, and then add the ingredients within the slit. You can use any method that works for you.

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Hazelnut Spread

chocolate hazelnut spread
chocolate hazelnut spread - Alena_Kos/Shutterstock

Chocolate hazelnut spread is one of the most popular and classic ways to stuff French toast. It hits all the taste points of sweetness, creaminess, and spreadability. You'll find hazelnut spread in anything from crêpes to pancakes, so it is a match made in heaven for French toast. It makes a sweet breakfast, even sweeter. French toast stuffed with hazelnut chocolate spread can be a delicious way to enjoy your brunch at home.

You can make the hazelnut chocolate spread from scratch or purchase it from the grocery store. Slather the spread on your bread alone or combine it with other best ingredients such as fruit, a combination you'll see in many breakfast items. Hazelnut spread gets melted once heated up and makes for an indulgent breakfast. To balance the sweetness, use sourdough rather than white bread or mix it with a dusting of cinnamon. For an additional crunch factor, add some chopped hazelnuts to the sandwich before dredging in the egg mixture.

Smoked Salmon

smoked salmon close up
smoked salmon close up - 4kodiak/Getty Images

Are you ready to have a savory stuffed French toast? By adding smoked salmon, you can satisfy your salty cravings in a sophisticated way. This special brunch is hearty and filling thanks to the protein from the salmon. You can go for a smoked salmon filet, and cut it into smaller pieces, do the thinner sliced smoked salmon, or opt for a canned version. There's not an incorrect type of salmon to use here. Smoked salmon brings that level of depth and flavor that doesn't involve any extra legwork on your part. It already comes smoked and tasty.

You can use the thin, sliced smoked salmon that you'll often find on sandwiches or lox bagels. Rather than adding vanilla or cinnamon to your French toast, do a salt and pepper mixture. Stuff your sandwich with things like feta, capers, pickled red onions, dill, or even finely chopped cooked asparagus. Customize it to your liking. Give French toast a savory twist and have it for dinner.

Lemon Curd

lemon curd in the jar
lemon curd in the jar - Mariha-kitchen/Getty Images

Lemon curd delightfully blends sweet with tart to make a bright and tangy addition to your French toast. Spread it onto bread for a lemony boost and combine it with a lemon zest add-in to homemade whipped cream for levels of mouthwatering lemon in every bite. The rich whipped cream enhances the lemon curd to balance the potency of the citrus. You could even mix things up with a lime whipped cream, or add something like mint to give it a herbal twist.

Lemon curd is used in many desserts, from cakes to cookies, and it makes a great choice for your next stuffed French toast. Make lemon curd at home or buy a jar from your local grocery store. Make your sandwich, then dredge in your egg mixture, and fry. You could also cut a slit in a thick-cut slice of French bread or brioche, stuff it with the curd, and then fry. If it's particularly tart, add a dusting of powdered sugar to the toast.

Red Bean Paste

red bean paste in bowl
red bean paste in bowl - Marcelokrelling/Getty Images

Eat delectable beans for breakfast. Stuff your French toast with anko paste, also called red bean paste, which is made with adzuki beans. It's utterly delicious and made from two simple ingredients: red beans and sugar. You'll often see anko paste in steamed red bean bao. We usually think of beans as a savory food in something like chili, but red bean paste is incredible. It's sweet with a subtle earthiness, and it's usually a dark reddish-brown color, but there can be some variation.

Many iterations will be smooth with blended beans, but you might find chunky versions where you can visibly see the beans. The red bean paste can give stuffed French toast a unique creamy lift. It's a delicious surprise for your French toast that you can pair with cream cheese or mascarpone for a creamy element. Once you fry it in your buttered pan and take that first bite, you'll never look back. Try salted butter to give a bit of balance to the sugary paste. This is a sweet and unexpected way to have beans, regardless of the time of day.

Fruit

stuffed french toast with banana
stuffed french toast with banana - taranova oxana/Shutterstock

Fruit is usually one of the best ingredients to stuff your French toast because you can pick anything from your counter or fridge. Apples, pears, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, you name it. If you want a little extra bite, slice your fruit into thicker pieces. If you prefer it soft, dice them up finely to allow them to cook as you fry up the French toast, but you could heat them ahead of time to ensure they are completely soft.

Chop up your favorite fruit and allow them to sauté in a pan for a couple of minutes until they are completely warm and soft, and you can see the juices run through. Scoop the fruit to stuff in your French toast and then use any leftover juices to drizzle on top so it doesn't get soggy from the inside. Add a pinch of sugar or honey to enhance the natural sweetness that comes from the fruit. Bananas add a fruity boost that tastes amazing with chocolate hazelnut spread or whipped cream, while fresh blueberries have a welcome tartness that tastes great with maple syrup.

Cream Cheese

cream cheese stuffed french toast
cream cheese stuffed french toast - Elena Shashkina/Shutterstock

Cream cheese is not only one of the best ingredients to stuff French toast with, but it's something you'll see with just about any stuffed French toast available at a restaurant. It easily goes with fruit or jam and gets paired with bread and bagels daily. You could pair it with something like peanut butter or lemon curd for a comforting brunch.

Cream cheese stuffed French toast doesn't necessarily have to be sweet. Of course, you can pair it with something like a chocolate spread, fig jam, fruit, or whipped cream, but you could easily go the other direction with chives, pepper jelly, salmon, or jalapeños. There's more than one way to make a stuffed French toast and you aren't obliged to keep it on the sweet side. The warm and softened cream cheese makes the best French toast. It's something you can pair with sweet or savory components to make brunch that everyone can't wait to eat.

Crushed Cookies

crushed oreo cookies
crushed oreo cookies - New Africa/Shutterstock

Crushed cookies are a delicious way to add some texture to your French toast, which can otherwise be on the softer side. We recommend larger pieces of crushed cookies so that they maintain some element of crunchiness. Completely pulverized cookies, however, could be mixed in with cream cheese, to create a spreadable cookies and cream addition to the French toast. Get a thick slice of your desired bread, cut the slit, and then put in the crushed cookie pieces.

You could use a sandwich cookie, chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodle, or even graham crackers. It's up to you what kind of flavor profile you want. You could do a scrumptious chocolate and cream sandwich cookie or opt for a different flavor route by using gingersnaps or peanut butter cookies. Grab your cookies and place them in a plastic baggie, then crush them with your hand or something like a cup. Get your desired consistency, whether it's chunky or powdery, and then stuff your French toast.

Nut Butter

peanut butter in jar
peanut butter in jar - Pinkybird/Getty Images

Nut butter in a sandwich is a staple, and stuffed French toast is nothing but a sandwich dipped in eggs and then fried. Innovate your French toast with nut butter, whether you pick cashew or sunflower butter. We love the incredible green shade and taste of pistachio butter, but macadamia butter is an uncommon addition. It's nutty and brings something to the table when you want to mix up your toast from something like peanut or almond butter.

That said, peanut butter or almond butter are household pantry favorites for a reason. They taste good and go with many foods like bananas, apples, marshmallow fluff, hazelnut spread, or honey. You could do a spin on peanut butter and jelly by adding your nut butter or peanut butter as well as your favorite jam into the French toast. Choose smooth nut butter for a smoother application to the bread.

Fresh Or Dried Herbs

fresh herbs on wooden background
fresh herbs on wooden background - Zeleno/Getty Images

When you're in the mood for a savory French toast, adding some herbs can be a huge hit. It provides a tasty and fragrant upgrade that can take your brunch up a notch. You may use dried or fresh herbs, but fresh herbs can provide additional aromatics to your French toast. Instead of adding vanilla to your egg mixture, leave it with salt, pepper, onion, powder, or garlic powder.

Dill, parsley, oregano, or chives make tasty choices that go well with something like cream cheese, cheddar, or pesto. You can even double up on the herbs by adding herbs, such as dried parsley, to the egg mixture to coat your French toast, and then stuffing with additional ingredients. Try sautéed mushrooms with chives or parsley with tomato. Rather than a piece of white bread, pick a ciabatta or focaccia as an easy swap for savory French toast.

Cheese

types of cheeses
types of cheeses - Hispanolistic/Getty Images

Cheese lovers rejoice, for you can make a sweet or savory stuffed French toast depending on the cheese you use. Stuff your French toast with cheese alone to make a grilled cheese-inspired stuffed French toast. Something like mozzarella can have a stunning cheese pull look if you cut it in half. A cheese like Gruyere would go nicely with leeks, spinach, or bacon. Brie is scrumptious with honey, fig jam, or apples, but you could also turn it into something salty with brie and mushroom, tomato sauce, or ham.

You can essentially make stuffed French toast inspired by your favorite sandwich. Just remember that it does have the egg dredge component, so the ingredients should pair with cheese and eggs. Give French toast a savory twist with ricotta, brie, mozzarella, Gruyère, sharp cheddar, or a different cheese. Cheese is one of the best ingredients to stuff French toast with since you can make it filling, rich, savory, or sweet.

Pie Filling

can of cherry pie filling
can of cherry pie filling - Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Open up that lonely can of pie filling gathering dust in the back of your cabinet. Pie filling is practically a no-brainer for stuffing your French toast because it's all in the name, it's literally a filling. It has the fixings you need so you don't have to do any extra tidying, mixing, or chopping. Pick your filling of choice with a colorful range of fruit options, such as apple, cherry, blueberry, or peach. It's a convenient change compared to raw fruit since it has sugar included and has a softer, tacky texture.

Heat the pie filling in a pan to ensure it's super hot and gooey, or you can let it warm up as it gets cooked with your French toast. Apple pie filling would make an incredible dessert paired with vanilla ice cream. Cherry filling not only provides a deep red hue but also a distinct texture. If desired, chop up the cherries so they're not as big. Apricot pie filling has a level of elegance that you could pair with something like chopped walnuts or hazelnuts. Stuff the filling inside a chunky piece of brioche or French bread and top with a scoop of ice cream stuffed French toast à la mode.

Pudding

vanilla pudding in bowl
vanilla pudding in bowl - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Pudding can jazz up your stuffed French toast since it works in harmony with the custard component of eggs. You can opt for any instant pudding mix that your heart desires, whether you're in the mood for chocolate, pistachio, or butterscotch. Mix a couple to have a swirl effect by adding a spoonful of each to your bread and then swirling them together. Place your pudding in between your pieces of bread and then dunk it in your egg mixture. The pudding has a creamy component that can turn your breakfast into a dessert.

The amount you put onto your toast is a personal preference and an aesthetic one. since you might have a gooey oozing moment if you load up on the pudding. A vanilla pudding-stuffed French toast makes a great base to pair with raspberries, bananas, or whipped cream. Try banana pudding with sliced bananas and vanilla wafer cookies for a stuffed banana pudding French toast.

Marshmallow Fluff

marshmallow fluff sandwich
marshmallow fluff sandwich - Catherine Murray/Shutterstock

Marshmallow fluff is no stranger to sandwiches. The Fluffernutter is a mix of white bread, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff, and makes a fantastic choice for a quick sandwich. Get inspired by this tasty combination for your stuffed French toast, which makes a remarkable option reminiscent of childhood. Once heated and fried in the pan, marshmallow fluff gets nice and sticky, like a melted marshmallow would. You don't even have to use maple syrup since it has a good amount of sweetness to it.

Marshmallow fluff stuffed French toast is particularly toothsome with brioche bread or a soft white bread to mimic the Fluffernutter. Eat marshmallow fluff with larger chunks of fruit that can keep some of its texture like the crunch of a thickly sliced apple or quartered strawberries. Drizzle on chocolate sauce, graham cracker crumbs, or chocolate chips for a s'mores-inspired stuffed toast.

Sprinkles

sprinkles on bread
sprinkles on bread - Corinne Poleij/Getty Images

Believe it or not, sprinkles and bread are a dynamic duo that is beloved by various countries such as the Netherlands and Australia. Hagelslag are the sprinkles that the Dutch love adding to bread, and in Australia, you'll find fairy bread, a delightful treat for all ages. You can use rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, or any type of sprinkles for this concoction. Generously slather butter on your bread and then add an even layer of sprinkles. Place the second bread on top to make a sandwich, and then you're ready to dip in the egg mixture.

The heat from the skillet will melt the butter and, depending on the sprinkles you use, can alter the texture of the sprinkles. Nonpareils give it a nice, but tiny crunch, but you could easily use something like confetti sprinkles for larger sprinkles. You can even have fun by creating a holiday or themed stuff French toast with something like Halloween sprinkles, whether that's based on the color or fun little shapes like ghosts. This will certainly be amongst the kids throughout the year.

Bacon

cooked bacon in a pan
cooked bacon in a pan - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Bacon, eggs, and toast are a popular combination at breakfast joints as it's on nearly every cafe menu. Change the way you think about having bacon for breakfast and use this famous trio to make stuffed French toast. We recommend chopping up the bacon so it can get dispersed evenly throughout your bread. Add something like sautéed mushrooms or shredded cheddar cheese for a savory toast, or go the opposite direction to make a sweet bacon-stuffed French toast.

Once your bacon is all cooked, add maple syrup for a maple bacon. Combine with cream cheese, cinnamon, or slivered almonds to turn your French toast into a smoky, crispy, and sweet experience. For an extra bacon element, chop a couple of slices very finely to mix with your egg dredge. You could also use bacon bits for this part. Whatever you pick, it needs to be on the smaller side since larger pieces will simply fall off. Bacon is one of those ingredients that will boost your French toast from just bread to a full-on meal.

Chocolate Chips

pile of chocolate chips
pile of chocolate chips - Fotografiabasica/Getty Images

There are a plethora of creative ways to use chocolate chips, and stuffing your French toast with them is a delicious way to get a hint of chocolate into your brunch. The chocolate chips melt beautifully sandwiched between your bread pieces. It's melted and gooey, but not so much so that it's dripping and burning your hand. There are also various chocolate chip sizes to factor in.

Use mini chips if you want a more even melting or try regular chips or chunks for a little bit of texture since it'll be partially melted but partially still intact. This can turn a breakfast into a complete dessert. Add some whipped cream or whipped topping and sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top for good measure. Double up on the chocolate with chocolate hazelnut spread or chocolate sauce. This works nicely with brioche, challah, or white bread.

Pumpkin Purée

pumpkin puree
pumpkin puree - Alena_Kos/Shutterstock

Pumpkin purée gives stuffed French toast a festive fall spin to offer a delicious spin on standard French toast. Not only can you stuff it inside of the French toast for a sticky center, but you can use it as a coating added to your egg mixture. For additional complexity, mix in pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and nutmeg to the purée. Since this is on the more moist side, toast your bread pieces ahead of time so they won't completely fall apart throughout the process.

Leave the pumpkin purée alone or pair it with cream cheese or mascarpone for a creamy element that goes perfectly with challah or French bread. Make a pumpkin cheesecake of sorts with cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, and pumpkin purée. This is a great way to spice up your autumn breakfast, but you could easily eat it year-round. Top with crushed pecans, a dusting of cinnamon, and maple syrup.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.