20 Crunchy, Creamy Ways to Upgrade Your PB&J
20 Crunchy, Creamy Ways to Upgrade Your PB&J
Sweet, salty, crunchy, and creamy, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a staple in lunchboxes everywhere, and when we are feeling a bit nostalgic for our earlier years in the school cafeteria, we can’t help but make this quick sandwich for lunch.
We are all adults here, so why not elevate this childhood mainstay with some delicious additions from nutritious chia seeds (so you can feel less bad about that sugary jelly) or go all-in with a peanut butter and jelly Monte Cristo that checks all the boxes: salty, sweet, crunchy — and bacon.
We already know we have the (fourth) Earl of Sandwich who lived during the eighteenth century to thank for inventing the bready convenience food, but who put peanut butter and jelly together, and how can we thank them?
According to The Food Timeline, Julia Davis Chandler is responsible for the first known reference to a PB&J in 1901, and it didn’t take long to catch on with the kids. Still, in the early 1900s, peanut butter prices were high and this luxury item was reserved for the wealthy, but as the prices dropped, the popularity rose among children of all classes. By the 1920s, when sliced bread was invented, peanut butter and jelly was an unstoppable phenomenon.
Don’t fight the nostalgia; instead test out one of our 20 variations on PB&J that are creamy, crunchy, and everything you would want from this iconic sandwich.
Everything is better with bacon. This hot, melty spin on your childhood favorite with fig jam, bacon, and American cheese will have you wondering why you were making your PB&Js all wrong your whole life. If you're not into American cheese, extra-sharp Cheddar works great here, too. — Suzanne Lehrer
Make It Spicy
Combine Sriracha and creamy peanut butter for a spreadable, spicy version of your favorite peanut butter and jelly. Sweet, spicy, and salty makes one delicious combination.
Add Some Crunch
Yet another way to incorporate healthy chia seeds into your diet. Sprinkle the raw seeds right over top your usual peanut butter and jelly combo for added texture and nutrition.
Sweet and Salty
Granola, pretzels, whatever salty snack you choose, the added saltiness and crunchy texture will make your peanut butter and jelly that much more satisfying.
Add Some Class
Tap into your inner molecular gastronomist with this recipe for jelly caviar served on a bite-sized blini with honey-roasted peanut butter spread.
The perfect faux sushi treat to pack in your kids lunchboxes or pack for eating on-the-go.
More Cheese Please
Warm, melty Brie, blueberry jam, and sliced pear make the perfect grilled cheese and PB&J hybrid sandwich.
Let Them Eat Cake
Use sweet panettone to make this jam-filled French toast with hazelnut and peanut butter spread.
Perfect for Breakfast
This recipe does breakfast right, pairing a beloved staple — French toast — with the delicious combination of peanut butter and jelly. — Crave Cooking Light Cookbook
Heat It Up
This recipe is a great play on the traditional peanut butter sandwich that most children love and enjoy. This particular grilled cheese elevates the original by adding banana and Monterey Jack cheese to create an unexpected flavor combination that creates a new experience for children. — Lauren Gordon
Strive for Perfection
While simple in nature, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can be dissected into an art, and if you follow this recipe, you'll make one perfectly, every time. — Anne Dolce
Add Some Herbs
Looking to add something green to your peanut butter and jelly sandwich? This recipe uses strawberries and chopped basil for a bright and fresh flavor. — Southern Peanut Growers
Elvis Is Alive
This sandwich is, of course, in very dubious taste. But exercising dubious taste is all part of the whimsical hungover experience. And, anyway, this post-modern hymn to American excess between two slices of bread, this portion of rock and roll history, this hearty helping of artery-clogging flimflam, is far more than a mere sandwich — it is a legend. — Milton Crawford
Swap Out the Bread
Swap out the traditional bread for a whole wheat tortilla in this recipe. It might sound strange, but trust us, you will be hooked.
Swap the Nutella for creamy peanut butter, and whip your jelly with mascarpone for a decadent, sweet flatbread treat.
Add Some Fruit
Skip sticky jelly for in-season berries with your peanut butter sandwich. Add a drizzle of honey to this fresh take on a classic PB&J for sweetness.