Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation claimed the most important things in life are “friends, waffles, work.” Clearly, she had life all figured out, because a good waffle recipe is important. Sweet and savory waffles can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—dessert, too. And, regardless of time, a pool of maple syrup is always justified. Crispy waffles have a crunch that pancakes have only ever dreamed of, and their nooks and crannies serve as pockets for the best waffle toppings like syrups, spreads, and fruits. They’re comfort food that you can reach for any day of the week. For instance, it’s easy to microwave frozen waffles before heading out the door. But over the weekend, when you do have time to cook leisurely, fancy waffles are the way to go. 

But, how? One easy way is to switch up the batters of homemade waffles to make waffle recipes like buttermilk waffles or pretzel waffles. You can also add lavish toppings like fried chicken and foie gras. After all, weekends are for indulgence and you finally have the time to treat yourself. If you really want to get fancy—and kind of science-y—you could try your hand at some Pinterest-fail will-it-waffle ideas, too. 

Or, just let us do the waffle recipe grit work for you. Dust off your waffle iron and make these sophisticated waffle recipes that would have Leslie Knope swooning.

Pretzel Waffles with Peanut Butter Maple Syrup 

The gorgeous golden color and intense flavor of traditional Bavarian pretzels are carried over into a waffle. Not only is it best washed down with a pint of breakfast beer, but it’s also a cool experiment for science geeks. Before baking, the waffles are dipped in lye—a corrosive liquid made from firewood ash, commonly used to make soap.

Fried Chicken & Waffles

Chef Kyle Bailey’s fried chicken and waffles attracts a large crowd at Birch & Barley in Washington, D.C., every weekend. The long wait is worth it, but you can whip up this Southern classic right at home. This simple waffle recipe also includes a foolproof technique to keep the chicken juicy as ever.


The lightly fried tortilla chips in traditional chilaquiles are swapped for crispy cornmeal waffle wedges for a finger-licking good breakfast. The smoky chipotle rojo sauce is a bit messy, but thankfully, bleach and Tide To Go exist.

Foie Gras and Waffles

Executive chef Gary Nguyen of Westbound, a chic bar in Los Angeles, created a waffle and foie gras masterpiece sure to impress guests at your next pointy-finger brunch party. The number of steps and required prep that make up this five-part foie gras recipe may seem intimidating, but trust us—it’s totally worth your time and effort in the kitchen. 

General Tso’s Chicken and Waffles

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Southern comfort and Americanized Chinese takeout join forces in at John Seymour’s New York City restaurant Sweet Chick. Rice flour and steamed broccoli are snuck into the waffle batter and serve as a delightful surprise. The chicken sits in a sweet-tea brine overnight for extreme juiciness—and that’s only one of Seymour’s secret techniques for crispy chicken