11 Best Unexpected Toppings For Toast

Whether you consider yourself a master home cook or you rarely step foot in your kitchen, anyone can make toast. It's an easy dish that's as versatile as it is delicious. Toast is suitable for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack, and can be served with a simple spread or adorned with a more decadent and indulgent topping.

Unfortunately, many people have a narrow view regarding what pairs well with a browned slice of bread and often limit themselves to tried and true ingredients like butter, jam, and avocado. While there's nothing wrong with unleashing your inner millennial and enjoying avocado toast every now and then, it's about time that you branch out beyond the creamy green fruit.  

If you've found yourself in a rut when it comes to topping your crispy carbs, don't worry. We've rounded up a variety of tasty ways to take your toast to the next level. Just remember to stay open-minded — these items may seem unconventional, but we promise they're delicious.


This Middle Eastern spread is traditionally made by blending chickpeas, tahini, and an acidic component like lemon juice into a delicious, creamy puree. Modern hummus recipes have expanded this template and often include other ingredients like garlic, herbs, or beets. While many people are familiar with serving the dip with veggies or slathered on a pita sandwich, it's also a great addition to toast.

According to Healthline, hummus offers an impressive range of health benefits. It's an excellent source of plant-based protein, healthy fats, and key vitamins and minerals. It's also high in fiber and low on the glycemic index, which will help regulate your blood sugar and keep you feeling full and focused.

We recommend using a hearty piece of bread as your base and then spreading it with a thick layer of your favorite hummus. While you can't go wrong with blending up your own homemade spread, there are plenty of store-bought options on the market that will work just as well. Feta, lemon juice, olive oil, extra tahini, and chili flakes are all perfect add-ons.

Condensed milk

Although this isn't an ingredient most Americans reach for as a topping for toast, it's a staple in Hong Kong that deserves more attention stateside. Made with sugar and milk that has been evaporated, condensed milk is a thick, sweet, syrupy concoction that results in a dessert-like delicacy when slathered on bread.

A good condensed milk toast recipe will always emphasize one other crucial ingredient — fluffy white bread. This is not the time for healthy grains, and it's essential to use bread that's soft and pillowy as the base for your toast. Brioche is a great option, and you can use either rolls or slices froma loaf.

Enjoy condensed milk toast for breakfast as a sweet way to start the day, pair it with a cup of tea for an afternoon pick-me-up, or serve it after dinner for an unexpected dessert. You'll never see condensed milk as just an ordinary baking ingredient again.

Fava beans

Fava beans (also known as broad beans) may not be the first thing you'd think to put on toast — but hear us out! These flavorful legumes offer a more cost-effective, longer-lasting, and equally tasty alternative to avocados (via Eco & Beyond). Although you do have to cook them before serving, mashing fava beans on bread with familiar staples like lemon, olive oil, salt, and chili flakes makes for an easy, balanced, and nutritious meal.

Don't let the idea of cooking the beans deter you. According to Eco & Beyond, all you have to do is boil them in their pods for a quick three to five minutes. Once they're cooked, allow them to cool, remove them from their pods, and puree. You can also get creative with other toppings like mint, cheese, or micro greens. We like using sourdough as the base because its signature tang works well with the flavor profile of fava beans, but feel free to use whichever kind of bread you please.

Yogurt (custard)

Yogurt is already common breakfast fare, but there's no spoon required for this versatile ingredient when you put it on toast. If you want to offset the carbs in toast with a topping that's high in protein, Greek yogurt is the perfect way to go. According to Healthline, a single serving of Greek yogurt has a whopping 20 grams of protein. Health benefits aside, Greek yogurt tastes amazing on toast when you sweeten it with a little honey and add fresh berries to balance out this dairy product's signature tang.

Yogurt is also one of the main ingredients in a viral TikTok trend called "yogurt toast" or "custard toast." This popular craze involves baking brioche with a mixture of yogurt, egg, and a sweetener like sugar or maple syrup. The result is a treat that's crispy on the bottom, yet creamy and custardy on the inside. Whip up this custard toast recipe to make you feel like you're eating cheesecake for breakfast!

Pepper jelly

Pepper jelly is a commonplace ingredient in the Southern United States. That being said, if you aren't from the South, it might sound a little unusual. Made primarily from peppers, sugar, vinegar, and pectin, it's a jam-like spread that's simultaneously sweet and spicy. The spice level varies depending on what type of peppers it's made from, but the sugar helps keep things balanced. Though the combination of red pepper jelly and cream cheese is often served on crackers, we highly recommend branching out and using it on toast instead of your go-to strawberry jam. 

It's also a perfect choice for when you want to serve mini toasts as hors d'oeuvres. When you pair it with goat cheese and spread it on crispy crostini, you'll be shocked to see how fast this easy snack disappears. You can find plenty of options online or at the grocery store (including unique flavors like whiskey pepper jelly), or you can make your own with our hot pepper jelly recipe.


If you ask someone from the U.K. if mushrooms belong on toast, they'll most likely respond with a resounding "yes!" However, here in the U.S. we're less likely to top our toast with some savory, umami-packed fungi  — and that's something that needs to change.

According to The Guardian, mushroom toast can be made by simply frying sliced mushrooms in the fat of your choice (ideally butter), or by giving them some creamy company with the addition of a dairy product like creme fraiche. Adding garlic and a splash of either soy sauce or wine is also highly recommended.

Meatier mushrooms such as chestnut or shiitake are best for this comforting dish, and making sure you chop them into uniform pieces will yield the best results. You can top mushroom toast with a fried egg, add a layer of melty cheese, or eat it as-is for a delicious British-inspired meal.

Cream cheese

There's absolutely no reason why cream cheese should be reserved for just bagels — it's also a great ingredient to slather on toast. Made with unskimmed cow's milk, the luscious fresh cheese spread is legally required in the U.S. to contain a minimum 33% milk fat and a maximum 55% moisture content, per the Food and Drug Administration.

Technicalities aside, we think cream cheese deserves a more prominent spot as a go-to toast topper. When you do find yourself craving a bagel but want something a little less starchy, spreading cream cheese on a thin piece of toast will often do the trick. A schmear of the plain stuff is perfect on a warm slice of cinnamon raisin toast, especially when you add an extra drizzle of honey. If you feel like indulging in a savory snack, you can make your toast bagel-inspired by adding everything seasoning and even smoked salmon for some protein.

Hot honey

Hot honey is having a moment. According to QSR Magazine, sales of this sweet and spicy condiment have soared in recent years. With companies like Mike's Hot Honey leading the pack, it's a delicious trend we hope to see continue. This increasingly popular condiment is often used on pizza and fried chicken, but it's also an ingredient that 100% belongs on your toast.

If you're going to eat avocado toast (which we know you will), you can take it to new heights with the addition of hot honey. Honey and avocado might sound like a strange pairing, but the combination of sweet, spicy, and creamy creates a flavorful trifecta. We also like adding hot honey to ricotta for a unique spin on another popular toast rendition. If you're a spice-lover, you can sprinkle chili flakes on top to turn up the heat. When you really want to go all-out, try adding fresh figs and prosciutto for a truly incredible treat.


Swap out your run-of-the-mill avocado for another mashed fruit — banana. Loaded with potassium and fiber (via Healthline), bananas are a healthy way to start the day, and adding them to toast makes for a quick, easy, and tasty breakfast.

If you don't have the energy to make your favorite banana bread recipe, you can still satisfy your craving for a snack that will bring you back to your quarantine days with the right banana toast. All you need to do is add mashed banana to a piece of whole wheat toast, and then top it with chopped walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

You can also caramelize your bananas for toast that feels more like a decadent dessert. Although peanut butter is a classic banana companion, we recommend trying sunflower seed butter for something a little more unique. Just keep in mind that sunflower butter is slightly more bitter than its peanut butter counterpart (especially if it's unsweetened), so you may want to add some maple syrup, agave, or honey for balance.


Believe it or not, you can do more with sprinkles than just top a cone of soft serve. In the Netherlands, chocolate sprinkles are a common toast topping, and it's a practice that we think every nation should adopt.

The Dutch word for sprinkles is "hagelslag," which is as fun to pronounce as is to eat. The classic Dutch way to (literally) sprinkle some fun onto the most important meal of the day is to top a toasted slice of white bread with butter and a generous helping of hagelslag. The sprinkles provide a satisfying, sweet crunch that goes perfectly with the richness of the butter. All you need is a good cup of coffee and you have a meal that's sure to bring a smile to your face. Though some may view sprinkles on toast as a bizarre breakfast option, it's perfectly in line with sweet American morning favorites like donuts and cinnamon buns.  

In 2021, the Netherlands nabbed the fifth-place spot on the U.N. World Happiness Report, and we have a feeling their unique choice of breakfast might have something to do with it!

Tinned fish

Your experience with tinned fish doesn't have to be limited to a tuna sandwich or anchovies on pizza. We're big proponents of expanding your horizons and reaching for a can of seafood goodness the next time you're in the mood for a savory piece of toast. If you just want to dip your toe into the proverbial tinned fish toast waters, you can start by simply using your favorite tuna salad recipe. Just omit the second slice of bread, and you'll have a delicious piece of tuna toast.

You can also dive deeper and explore using other options like sardines, smoked trout, or tinned mackerel. Tinned fish is becoming increasingly popular, (via The Guardian) and quality brands are readily accessible. There are more choices out there than you might imagine, and you can find tinned fish that's packed with luxury olive oil, rich tomato sauce, or bonito flakes.