A couple months ago, we started doing our 2-week vegetarian capsule meal plan. Overall, it’s been nice, but honestly spotty. Between spending time in the RV on and off, getting back to in-person school and sports, and other life events, our evenings have gotten busier. But one thing that’s remained totally consistent is our Sunday night toast bar dinner.
What Is A Toast Bar Dinner?
The toast bar family dinner was something I thought of on the fly as I was coming up with our meal plan. We’ve done Sunday night brinner (breakfast for dinner) for years, but usually did waffles or pancakes, an egg dish, etc. We almost never have toast for breakfast, but it crossed my mind that it might be fun to do some fancy toasts (like the kind you pay $8 in cute shops!) for every other brinner.
Well, it turns out everyone loved it so much that we’ve done it almost every single Sunday since then. The entire family looks forward to a quick and simple family meal that literally takes only a few minutes to prepare. We all love preparing our own combinations, and the kids love that they get to decide what to put on their toast.
I love that it’s an easy family meal where everyone can help – little kids can get out toppings and set the table, everyone can make their own, and clean up is simple.
Which Bread to Choose for Your Toast Bar
We’ve enjoyed experimenting with a few different kinds of bread for our Sunday night toast bar. We’ve tried hearty wheat and rye and a few others, but undoubtedly our favorite for toast is sourdough. It has enough structure that it toasts well and holds up to substantial toppings for a more dinner-appropriate toast, and has a nice sour punch perfect for a more savory meal.
Perhaps sometime I’ll make homemade bread for it, but for now, we’ve just bought good bread either from the grocery store or our favorite local bakery.
Making Toast For A Crowd
The biggest trick to an elevated toast is to make sure you have well-toasted bread. We don’t actually have a toaster at home, which is just as well because I think it’s so much more delicious when toasted on the pan. I love buttering both sides and toasting in a cast iron pan.
Since we tend to make a lot of toast with a big family, we often make toast in the oven – just preheat to 350F, place the bread on a baking sheet, toast for a few minutes, then flip and toast for a few minutes more. (Butter after you take it out.) You can also do it in the broiler for 2-3 minutes, but you have to pay VERY close attention so it doesn’t burn.
Family Toast Bar Ideas
There are about a bazillion toast combinations out there. We like to have a mix of savory and sweet. We usually start with something hearty and with protein/umami flavor, and then may finish with something a bit lighter and sweeter. It doesn’t get much simpler than toast for dinner so feel free to get a bit fancier with the toppings.
Here are some of our very favorite toast topping ideas, but really, the sky’s the limit!
- Avocado + olive oil + truffle salt + black pepper + pinch of crushed red pepper
- Ricotta + avocado + sea salt + black pepper + shaved Parmesan
- Ricotta + soft boiled egg + sea salt + black pepper + drizzle of honey
- Hummus + mixed greens + olive oil + crispy chickpeas
- Avocado + fried egg + sea salt + black pepper
- Peanut butter + banana
- Pesto + fresh mozzarella + sliced tomato
- Avocado + honey + toasted pistachios
- Brie + apple
- Hummus + kale + lemon juice + olive oil
- Avocado + feta + roasted peppers
- Cheddar cheesy scrambled eggs
- Jam + butter
- Arugula + goat cheese + lemon juice + S&P
- Ricotta + jam
- Pesto + zucchini + arugula + roasted tomatoes + Parmesan
- Ricotta + berries + honey
Have you ever done a DIY toast bar for a meal? Or have you had toast for dinner? I’d love to hear your favorite combos!