14 Ways to Use a Baguette

Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta
Photo: © John Kernick

The French treat baguettes like sacred objects. And who can blame them? These light, crisp, chewy loaves are delicious unadorned. There's even a preferred way to eat them — breaking off the heel, or le quignon, to snack on as soon as you leave the bakery. French baguettes are actually protected by law: The serious-sounding Bread Decree of 1993 requires they be made on the same premises where they're sold, are never frozen, and contain only flour, water, yeast, and salt. From sandwiches to toasts and bread puddings, these are our favorite ways to eat baguettes.

01 of 14

Zucchini-Tomato Strata

Zucchini-Tomato Strata
© Andrew Purcell

A French take on strata, or savory bread pudding, this simple summer dish contains zucchini, onion, and tomatoes layered with slices of baguette, then baked with chicken stock and a little cream.

02 of 14

French Seafood Bisque with Baguette

French Seafood Bisque with Baguette
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The freshest seafood — preferably sourced from your local fishmonger — is the highlight of this velvety-smooth bisque. Take care to cook each type as directed to preserve its delicate flavor and texture. This resourceful recipe uses every last bit of your briny haul, yielding a rich seafood soup to sop up with baguette slices.

03 of 14

French Onion Baked Brie

French Onion Baked Brie

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Amelia Rampe

If that first spoonful of French onion soup — with toasted bread, melted cheese, and savory caramelized onions — is your favorite, then you’ll love this appetizer, which is a decadent mash-up of French onion soup and baked Brie. Smear the cheesy snack on slices of toasted baguette. 

04 of 14

Barbecue Shrimp Po’boy

NOLA Barbecue Shrimp Po’ Boy

Frederick Hardy II / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman

Smoky, spiced shrimp are the heart of this classic New Orleans-style po’boy sandwich. Try to find baguettes or rolls with a thin, crackly crust and soft interior for these po’boys, so the spiced shrimp and mayonnaise can soak in while the bread retains its integrity. 

05 of 14

Buttery Crab Bread Pudding

Buttery Crab Bread Pudding
© Kate Mathis

In this recipe from the River Cottage Fish Book, chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall layers baguette and lump crabmeat, then pours custard on top.

06 of 14

Lima Bean and Ricotta Crostini

Lima Bean and Ricotta Crostini
© Con Poulos

F&W culinary director at large Justin Chapple thinks that lima beans deserve a place on every table, especially when they're made into a bright, herby salad and piled onto crunchy and creamy ricotta toasts.

07 of 14

French Onion Soup with Roasted Poblanos

French Onion Soup with Roasted Poblano
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee Montiel

At Tzuco, in Chicago, the French onion soup arrives to the table piping hot, topped with a bubbling layer of Gruyère cheese. Hiding under the blanket of cheese, a thick slice of baguette soaks up a soup suffused with flavor from a mountain of jammy onions, balsamic vinegar, and bay leaves. 

08 of 14

Goat Cheese-Garlic Toasts

Goat Cheese-Garlic Toasts
© Anne Faber

This creamy take on garlic bread from star chef Wolfgang Puck is one of our favorite appetizers. Brush the baguette with olive oil and either toast it in the oven or on the grill.

09 of 14

Bacon and Butter Sandwiches

Bacon-and-Butter Sandwiches
© Marcus Nilsson

Pastry genius Dominique Ansel gives the beloved English “bacon butty” a French accent by subbing a slender baguette for the standard white toast. Flavor upgrade: Ansel replaces the traditional ketchup with sherry.

10 of 14

Kemptville Blueberry Bread Pudding

Kemptville Blueberry Bread Pudding
© Maura McEvoy

This bread pudding is named after a town near Trout Point Lodge in Nova Scotia that sells much of the local wild blueberry harvest. The optional white chocolate chunks provide an extra bit of creamy sweetness. 

11 of 14

Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches with Norton-Shiitake Sauce

Beef Tenderloin Sandwiches with Norton-Shiitake Sauce
© Kirsten Strecker

Riddle's Penultimate Cafe & Wine Bar in St. Louis mentions many of the local farmers who supply the ingredients on its quirky menu. Chef-owner Andy Ayers loves the organic shiitakes from Ozark Forest Mushrooms' farm in Salem, Missouri, because they add an intensely earthy flavor to these meaty, garlicky sandwiches with their wine-spiked sauce.

12 of 14

Citrus and Fennel Chicken with Olives and Calabrian Chiles

Citrus and Fennel Chicken with Olives and Calabrian Chiles
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

A mix of citrus, buttery olives, and spicy, oil-packed chiles punches up the flavor of braised chicken leg quarters. Toasted fennel seeds and dry sherry add a pleasant warmth to the sauce, which begs to be served with a baguette for sopping.

13 of 14

Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta

Herbed Chickpea Bruschetta
© John Kernick

The key to this delicious bruschetta from chef Nancy Silverton is lots of olive oil. After she bakes the chickpeas with a variety of flavorings — including onions, pancetta, and carrots — she purees them with a good amount of oil, spreads the puree on baguette toasts, and drizzles with a little more oil.

14 of 14

Kentucky Hot Brown Macaroni and Cheese

KY Hot Brown Mac and Cheese
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The Kentucky Hot Brown is a classic open-faced sandwich created by Fred Schmidt in 1926 at The Brown Hotel in Louisville; it features thick Texas toast topped with slices of roast turkey, tomato, and bacon and doused with Mornay sauce. Here, we took the essential components of a Hot Brown and combined them for an untraditional macaroni and cheese with the soul of the original. The halved cherry tomatoes add pops of brightness to each bite of pasta coated in the rich, creamy sauce, while a crunchy bacon and bread topping nods to the dish's origins.

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