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Savory Ham and Cheese Waffles

I’m a savory breakfast kinda gal. Give me a bagel over a donut any day of the week and I’ll take my toast with salted butter, please, hold the jam. Because of this preference, I’ve never gotten terribly excited over pancakes or waffles. But savory ham and cheese waffles? Hot diggity!

Ham and Cheese Waffles

We had a version of these ham and cheese waffles at a little coffee shop in Edmond, Oklahoma a few weeks back when we were there visiting Chris’s family. They were heavenly. This is my version, using the Cook’s Illustrated yeasted waffles as the base waffle recipe.

Vegetarians can omit the ham, no problemo; adventurous pork lovers can add crispy bacon bits instead. Also try mixing up the kind of cheese you use. I love some sharp Cheddar in these, but I can imagine that Parmesan or a smoked Gouda would be super fantastic, too.

For another savory waffle, try these mashed potato waffles! They’re a delicious way to use leftover mashed potatoes.

ham and cheese waffles

You can serve the savory waffles with butter and maple syrup (try it if you don’t believe me) or to keep it Team Savory, try an herbed compound butter or Hollandaise sauce (find the recipe and video on this eggs Benedict post) along with a fried egg on top for some protein.

Ham and Cheese Waffles Video

Ham and Cheese Waffles Recipe – Printable

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Savory Ham and Cheese Waffles

Savory yeasted waffles recipe, makes 5 waffles if using a Belgian-style waffle iron and 8 waffles using a standard iron

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Total Time: 12 hours
  • Yield: 6 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
  • 1/2 cup minced ham
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives or green onion tops

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and add milk. Set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk in milk and butter until just combined.
  4. Add eggs and whisk until eggs are fully incorporated. It’s okay if the batter is still a little lumpy.
  5. Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours. (Between you and me and the ‘frigerator, up to 48 hours is fine.)
  6. When ready to cook waffles, stir in cheese, ham and chives. (Have your oven warming at 200ºF for holding cooked waffles.)
  7. Cook according to waffle iron instructions, with a Belgian or American style waffle iron. You will get fewer, thicker waffles if using a Belgian waffle iron and more, thinner ones using an American style iron.
  8. Keep waffles warm on a rack on a baking sheet in the oven for up to 30 minutes.
  9. Serve topped with fried or poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce or a compound butter. Or with butter and syrup!

Notes

If you prefer, you can make sweet yeasted waffled by increasing the sugar to 1 tablespoon and omitting the ham, cheese and chives. Instead, add a cup of frozen blueberries to the batter right before cooking.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 waffle
  • Calories: 390
  • Fat: 21
  • Carbohydrates: 37
  • Protein: 13

For other ways to use your waffle iron, try my chocolate chip waffles recipe, wholesome buckwheat waffles, and classic waffles recipe.

ham-and-cheese-waffle-recipe

This is the Belgian waffle iron I use (affiliate link):

30 Comments

  1. Diane on March 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I’m going to have to watch this again, because first I was distracted by the giant pencil in with your utensils and then . . . FLINT!!!!

    • Hilah on March 21, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Everyone needs a giant pencil for writing down IMPORTANT IDEAS. 😉

  2. Gary Lum (@Yummy_Lummy) on March 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Fantastic. I may have to buy a waffle iron for winter.

    • Hilah on March 21, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      Do it! I bet your daughter would even make them for you 😉

  3. Rob on March 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Oh my this is going on my to-make list!!! Oh and you have such a cute baby!

    • Hilah on March 21, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Yay! These are so great for any meal of the day.

  4. pat Soltis on March 22, 2015 at 7:37 am

    You probably don’t need me to tell you that your basic waffle batter is very similar to the batter for Russian blini. Which leads me to suggest that smoked salmon might be good in place of the ham and cheese.

    Your son seems like a happy child.

    • Hilah on March 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Oh, fantastic idea, Pat! Great suggestion for those who don’t eat pork.

      • pat Soltis on March 22, 2015 at 2:28 pm

        Hilah,

        I enjoy both ham and cheese, but, if I were making waffles with smoked salmon, I would leave the cheese out, at least for the first attempt. That’s just what my imagination tells me. A good dose of black pepper and some grated lemon zest might be interesting. Your compound butter would be great on top! I would choose dill or tarragon for the herb.

        Best,

        Pat

  5. Vicky on March 22, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Wowww..seems delicious! Next recipe for sure to my todolist.thanks Hilah!!!

  6. Shayda on March 22, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Amazing recipes and a hilarious personality! Seriously, where have you been all my life…

    • Hilah on March 23, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Yay! Thanks for writing, Shayda.

  7. Michelle on March 24, 2015 at 11:44 am

    YES to savory waffles! I can allllmost smell and taste those thanks to your gorgeous photos…I hope to have my kitchen back and be able to smell and taste them for real sometime soon.

    • Hilah on March 24, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! Hope you try them.

  8. elizabeth @LocalSavour on March 25, 2015 at 10:07 am

    These look amazing Hilah!

  9. Cam Kang on March 27, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I tried the batter and placed it in the fridge, but a couple of hours later, it tasted and smelled like beer. What did I do WRONG? Has this happened to anybody? Can someone help because I do want to try it again.

    • Cam Kang on March 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      I tried it for a second time, and it did the same thing! I used active dry yeast, does the type of yeast have to do with anything?

    • Hilah on March 28, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Hi Cam,
      You didn’t do anything wrong. All yeasted breads will smell a little like beer before they are cooked. Beer and bread are both made using yeast fermentation. Just continue with the recipe.

  10. Cynthia on April 4, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I JUST MADE THESE AND I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT. I used a mixture of bacon and ham and it was delish! I was short on butter but I used the leftover bacon grease hoping it’ll replace the missing butter and even add flavor and it worked out great! Thanks Hilah!

    • Hilah on April 6, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Ooh, great thinking with the bacon grease, Cynthia! I’ll have to try that.

  11. Jen on April 15, 2015 at 7:53 am

    So I just made these but of course I had to un-dairy-ify them since I can’t eat dairy. Let me tell you about it! (spoiler warning: they’re still amazing)

    So first I diced and fried up a whole bunch of bacon. Like half a pound. I wasn’t using that much for this recipe but I needed some for various other things I’m making this week as well. I drained the bacon but reserved the fat and used about 1oz in the waffle batter. The rest of the fat was a mixture of coconut oil (about 1.5oz) and leaf lard (about 1oz.) But wait, you say, that’s only 3.5oz and the recipe calls for a stick of butter, which is 4oz. Little side note…when substituting for butter with a fat that is pure fat, like lard or coconut oil, you only should use 80% as much, because butter is 80% fat and 20% water. You may need to add a little water to your recipe as well (which I’ll talk about later in my post.)

    I heated the fat and coconut milk (instead of regular milk) in a saucepan just until the fat was melted and then added some yeast. It didn’t bloom too much since the liquid didn’t get above 100 degrees but it did warm it up. Then I added the liquid to the dry ingredients, added the eggs, and threw the whole thing in the fridge over night.

    The next morning, it had turned into cement! This is where adding extra water came in to play. I don’t always have to add extra water to recipes where I sub lard/coconut oil for butter; in fact, with most cookie recipes that I do that for, I don’t have to add water. But here I definitely did. I actually used more coconut milk since I had some extra in the fridge. I didn’t measure, but it was probably a couple tablespoons worth, so that the batter was at least stir-able. I’m guessing because it sat in the fridge overnight and the flour had time to absorb all the liquid, it just got really really stiff, maybe.

    I only got 4 waffles out of this but they were really delicious. I added some of the diced bacon from the day before, and honey-smoked ham, and we had them with maple syrup.

    • Hilah on April 17, 2015 at 8:52 am

      Hi Jen!
      Did you use a canned, high-fat coconut milk or a coconut “milk” more like soy milk? If the former, I’d bet that’s why is solidified in the fridge, because of the saturated fat in the coconut.
      Love the idea of adding bacon fat instead of butter! Yum!
      Thanks for sharing the details of your de-dairyfied waffles 🙂

      • Jen on April 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        I usually use canned “lite” coconut milk when I need to substitute for regular milk. I prefer canned so I don’t have a whole jug of coconut milk sitting in my fridge for a long time, since I don’t drink it straight and don’t really use it that often, and there’s one particular brand of lite coconut milk (Thai Kitchen Organic) that has a very similar consistency to 2% milk that I’ve found works the best for substituting. Interesting about the saturated fat! I had not considered that before.

        I got the idea to use some of the bacon fat from someone else who commented about doing the same thing. I use a lot of coconut oil and love the flavor of it, but I find that adding a little lard or bacon fat really helps the texture of baked goods. When I bake cookies, if I use all coconut oil they tend to be a little “crumbly”, but if I use a little lard as well, they are much closer in consistency to what you’d expect if you use butter. 😀

        • Jen on May 10, 2015 at 5:48 pm

          So Hilah…I have a group of friends that I get together with every two weeks (okay, I admit, we are a bunch of geeks and we sit around and play Pathfinder (similar to Dungeons & Dragons) for about 9 hours every other Sunday afternoon.) I always make food for them, because I like them, and I like to cook. So last weekend I made brunch, including these waffles…a triple batch of these waffles, because like I said, we are usually together for about 9 hours, and these guys like to EAT.

          First of all, I have to say, a triple batch of this batter is A LOT! I didn’t have a single bowl big enough for all of it once it was all mixed up. My biggest bowl barely fit all of it and I knew once I stuck it in the fridge the evening before, it was going to explode if I left it all in one bowl. So I divided it up between two bowls and one of them still splooged over the side. I opened my fridge the next morning and about died laughing. I took a pic of it and texted it to the guys and one of them said it looked like Jabba the Hutt left a slime trail in my kitchen.

          I did a waffle bar sort of set up, where they could pick their own add-ins and toppings, including ham/bacon, cheese, & chives (I also did blueberries or chocolate chips as add-ins, and lots of different kinds of syrups and jams and fruit for toppings.) I made the waffles to order and at first the guys were a little skeptical about the ham/cheese/chives combo, but I convinced one of them to try it and I thought his head was going to pop. Seriously. Then the rest of them all wanted to try it and then they were all foaming at the mouth for them.

          Over the 9 hours, we ate a vegetable frittata, a whole panful of roasted potatoes & sweet potatoes, various fried meats (bacon, wild boar breakfast sausage, and beef alsasian sausage), fresh fruit salad, and 14 of these waffles. They all went home not-hungry and very-satisfied. I thought you’d want to know, this recipe made 5 guys (and me) very happy.

          • Hilah on May 11, 2015 at 11:32 am

            Whee! Thanks so much for sharing, Jen! That sounds like a super fun tradition. What a feast, for real.
            And good tip about doubling/tripling the recipe. Jabba the Hutt waffles, anyone?



  12. Clay on June 16, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Hilah.. This is fantastic.. I have wanted some breakfast.. brunch.. (late food for my daughter and her sleep over girls) .. This is perfect.. you are perfect.. Thanks for the SummerFUn.. What.the.Waffle perfect!

    • Hilah on June 17, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Oh they will love these!

  13. Sue on November 18, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I made the sweet version of this recipe. But stupidly, I didn’t read through the whole recipe before starting and then discovered that the batter needs to sit and “proof” in the fridge overnight! Well, I must say, that was the longest 12 hours EVER!! But when I made them for brunch today, they were so worth the wait! They’re light and fluffy but with a nice thin crispy outside. I used coconut oil instead of butter in the recipe and added 1/4 cup of oat bran for a little bit of fiber. You don’t even know it’s there but I love the taste of oats so for me it was a bonus! Served them with some turkey breakfast sausage and pure maple syrup……….mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!

    • Hilah on November 19, 2015 at 7:08 am

      Ack! Sorry, Sue! I should put a big disclaimer at the top. Glad the waffles were a hit, though! Love the idea of adding oat bran.

      • Sue on November 22, 2015 at 11:35 am

        Lol! No apologies necessary. This is a wonderful recipe. I always read recipes from start to finish before making them but I was so excited to try this one, I got caught up in the moment. 🙂
        Between this recipe and the mashed potato waffles, my head is filling with great ideas on the different add-in ingredients to try like, chopped fresh baby spinach, sliced grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, etc… For the sweet recipe, I’ve already made them with sliced strawberries in the batter as well as sliced peaches. The latter was totally awesome, especially with a dash of cinnamon added to the batter. I love using coconut oil in place of the butter. It clumps up into little hard crumbles in the batter due to the other cold ingredients, (milk and egg), but when it hits the hot waffle iron, it instantly melts and creates a wonderful crispy crust and I don’t need to spray the iron first with cooking spray. Thanks to you, my waffle iron(s) are no longer gathering dust in the basement!

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