Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

Things on toast: toppings to transform the humble slice

by Malou Herkes

published on 20 February 2020

Ah, toast. How we love thee. Let us count the ways. We love you slathered in oozing cheese, we love you piled high with the freshest produce bruschetta-style, we love you blanketed with smoked salmon. We love you as the morning's first bite or as the last thing we eat after a hectic day. Versatile and lending itself to endless possibilities, the humble slice presents an opportunity for easy innovation and good old fashioned comfort. Whatever your jam, here's how to turn toast into your favourite meal. 

10 toast toppings brunch Meera Sodha's Scrambled Tofu Akuri east

Scrambled Tofu Akuri from EAST by Meera Sodha

“Scrambled tofu is not a poor substitute for scrambled eggs but a genuine contender” says Meera who's paired silken tofu with loud Asian flavours; ginger, garlic and chilli, cumin and fresh coriander. Eat with ketchup and a delicious pot of chai.

Order your copy of EAST here.

toast toppings for brunch cheddar and caraway onion jam on sourdough caravan


Cheddar Cheese and Caraway Onion Jam from Caravan: Dining All Day by Laura Harper-Hinton, Miles Kirby & Chris Ammermann

“This seemingly basic dish gained far more attention on our menus than we ever expected”, say the guys behind London's Caravan restaurant. Pay attention to the three main ingredients – good sourdough, proper mature Cheddar and perfectly caramelised onions – and you've nailed the heavenly trio.

Order your copy of Caravan here

10 toast toppings for bunch white bean parma ham on toast tart london

White Bean and Parma Ham Bruschetta from A Love of Eating by Jemima Jones & Lucy Carr-Ellison

Cannellini beans are braised here with rosemary, sage, sweet leeks and chilli, then blitzed into a deliciously smooth purée. Spread on hot toasts with Parma ham and crispy sage for a posh breakfast or pre-dinner party nibble.  

Order a copy of Tart London's A Love of Eating here

10 toast toppings from brunch 9 spice avocado toast oh she glows

9-Spice Avocado Toast from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon

This is not avocado toast as you know it. Garlicky toast topped with hummus, sliced avocado, a generous amount of Angela's special homemade spice mix, red pepper flakes, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil, this will revamp your Sunday usual. Make the spice mix ahead and have it on hand whenever you need it. 

Order a copy of Oh She Glows Every Day here

10 best recipes on toast Broad Beans & Black Pudding on Toast cook gather feast

Broad Beans & Black Pudding on Toast from Gather Cook Feast by Jessica Seaton

Best in early summer when broad beans are in season and at their freshest, this is a simple bunch of deliciousness. 

Order your copy of Gather Cook Feast here.

toast toppings from brunch bagel brunch the little book of brunch

Bagel Brunch from The Little Book of Brunch by Caroline Craig & Sophie Missing

Inspired by New York's iconic Russ & Daughters bagel spot, the idea behind this bagel brunch is to lay out all the toppings – including egg salad, smoked salmon and cream cheese, tuna salad and plenty of pickles – and let everyone build their own. It's sure to impress.

Order a copy of The Little Book of Brunch here.

toast toppings for brunch the new vegetarian horta on toast

Horta on Toast from The New Vegetarian by Alice Hart

This is a wonderful way to use up any leafy greens in your fridge, from spinach to kale, chard, mustard leaves, wild garlic or watercress. Inspired by the Greek catch-all term for greens that are braised with plenty of olive oil and lemon, this is a great brunch or lunch on toast with a hit of chilli for good measure. 

Order a copy of The New Vegetarian here

toast toppings brunch recipes welsh rarebit book of st john

Welsh Rarebit from The Book of St John by Fergus Henderson & Trevor Gulliver

Probably the best cheese on toast you'll ever eat, this sumptuous Welsh Rarebit teams strong Cheddar with Guinness, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and cayenne on good white bread. 

Order a copy of The Book of St John here.

toast toppings brunch radish ceviche with avocado on toast nadiya family favourites

Radish Ceviche with Avocado & Toasted Sourdough from Nadiya's Family Favourites by Nadiya Hussain

Radish 'ceviche' might sound a little out there, but it's a simple process of soaking sliced radishes in an acidic concoction of lime juice and sugar (with red onion and dill for extra flavour). The perfect pairing with avo and crunchy sourdough. 

Get a copy of Nadiya's Family Favourites here.

toast toppings brunch recipes bean ragout on toast smitten kitchen everyday

Slow Cooked Black Bean Ragout from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman

An incredible bean stew, slow-cooked with cumin, smoked paprika and chilli, and served with garlicky toast, cumin cream and lime-pickled red onions.

Get your copy of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook here.

toast topping brunch recipes prawn pumperknickel rachel khoo swedish kitchen

Prawns on Pumpernickel Toast from The Little Swedish Kitchen by Rachel Khoo

This popular Swedish dish teams prawns with crème fraîche, dill and mayo, dolloped onto crunchy, nutty pumpernickel bread and finished with caviar and chives. A luxurious weekend breakfast.

Order your copy of The Little Swedish Kitchen here.


You might also like

View all


Recipes to help you cut down on ultra-processed food

Delicious dinners, lunches and snack ideas from our dedicated unprocessed food cookbooks.


Mary’s Foolproof Dinners: 5 things we can reveal so far

Here’s everything you need to know about Mary Berry’s 2024 cookbook, including the release date, TV series, and some of the recipes inside.

Recipe Collections

10 clever one-pot meals for one

Discover 10 simple, creative one-pot recipes for single-portion meals, including hearty dinners, salads, dessert and more.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week