Your loaf pan is about to see a lot more action.

Advertisement

Are you using your loaf pan to its full potential? Sure, you probably use it to make Ina Garten's Triple Chocolate Cake Loaf, Applesauce Cake, and Banana Bread, but have you ever tried thinking outside the box (or in this case, the flour bag)? If you reserve your loaf pan for nothing but cakes and breads, you're surely missing out on some great opportunities. After all, the compact, rectangular shape of the loaf pan lends itself to a variety of foods that don't involve bread or cake. Perhaps the best part is that most of the recipes are easy to make, too. 

To find the best ways to use a loaf pan that don't involve baking bread, we scoured the creative ideas on Pinterest for inspiration. As expected, we found plenty of incredible ways to put a creative twist on meals, desserts, and side dishes. From loaf pan mac n cheese, loaf pan ice cream, to vegetarian loaf pan Wellington, we found fabulous ideas for breaking out that pan the next time you step into the kitchen. So get ready to expand your horizons.

Loaf pan
Credit: Getty Images

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes 

DessertForTwo has a genius idea to help you enjoy a delicious meal on busy nights. When you have a free afternoon, whip up a big batch of homemade mashed potatoes and spoon it into mini loaf pans (they have topped theirs with pats of butter but this is optional). Cover and freeze. Then, you'll have mashed potatoes for two on evenings you're short on time or low on groceries. They also come in handy for last minute company! 

Loaf Pan Mac and Cheese 

Who says a kid-friendly meal has to be boring? Mr. Food Test Kitchen puts a twist on the classic crowd-pleaser mac and cheese with hotdogs by baking it in a loaf pan. Since it's cooked in the oven instead of a stovetop, the cheese on top develops a satisfying crunchy crust. Perhaps the best part is the fact that the mac and cheese molds to the shape of the pan so you can serve it in slices. The kids will love it (and adults will, too)! 

Loaf Pan Popsicles 

There's nothing as refreshing as a popsicle on a hot, summer day. If you don't have a mold, Live Eat Learn has you covered! Just pour juice, yogurt, or whatever you like into a loaf pan. Place the pan in the freezer and insert popsicle sticks when the mixture is partially frozen. When it's completely frozen, remove from the freezer, slice, and enjoy.  

Vegetables Wellington 

Vegetarian Times really knocked our socks off with this gorgeous loaf pan Vegetables Wellington Redux. It's a low-maintenance recipe that uses frozen puff pastry, prepared pesto, and prepared tomato sauce. The results, however, are stunning enough to grace your table for formal dinner parties. This ingenious dish works equally well as an entree or a side dish. 

Hot Dogs in a Loaf 

Sure, you can wrap your hot dog in a slice of bread when you're short on buns, but the result isn't the same. The next time you find yourself in a bind, try this trick from About A Mom. She makes a dough out of Bisquick baking mix, fills the bottom of a loaf pan, and presses the hot dogs into it. After it's baked, you just slice the bread in between the hot dogs and serve. It's so easy and inexpensive you might just decide not to hassle with hot dog buns again. 

Salmon Loaf 

If you're looking for a unique, delicious way to use up canned salmon, Just A Pinch Recipes is at your service. Just mix it up with a few ingredients including milk, breadcrumbs, and spices, and bake it to perfection. The finished salmon loaf can be sliced and served on its own, on top of a bed of greens or pasta, or used to make sandwiches or salmon burgers

Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream 

This decadent dessert by Inside BruCrew Life is so good you'll want to put it into steady rotation. The ingredients include bananas, heavy cream, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. The results are absolutely heavenly, and since there are bananas in it, you can tell yourself it's healthy. Just make sure you plan in advance since it needs to spend at least four hours in the freezer before serving.