For the jelly-averse out there, know that you are not alone—and no longer must you hide away the abnormal peanut butter sandwiche combinations you have developed to fill the void. Here and now, we celebrate the most delicious albeit unexpected partners of peanut butter.
You’ve definitely heard of a PB&J, but what about the PB&A, or PB&P, or PB&O? Does it sound like I’m just swapping in random letters? Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. It’s time to spread some creamy nut butter on a slice of bread with the following ingredients and find out for yourself.
Peanut butter and bacon
Savory and sweet is a combination all but scientifically proven to satisfy, and while I’m not eager to add fuel to the bacon hype machine, this is a partnership whose beauty I cannot deny. Crispy, smoky bacon strips layered within a smooth, nutty spread on two slices of warm, toasty bread. As with a few combinations listed below, I suggest you not knock it till you’ve tried it. And while you’re at it, try it with a combination of savory natural peanut butter and sweet candied bacon.
Peanut butter and apple slices
Apples and peanut butter are a go-to snack for many children and adults alike, but have you tried the combination between a couple slices of hearty wheat bread? Keep the apple slices thinner than normal so as not to overwhelm the peanut butter with runny juice; this will also ensure it’s easy to sink your teeth into. Or, if you want to keep things soft, use apple butter instead.
Peanut butter and banana
You’ll likely have some trouble whistling or talking after a bite out of a peanut butter and banana sandwich, but there’s no denying you’ll be satisfied. This combo is a mushy, sweet, and filling meal that goes best with a glass of milk (plant-based or otherwise). Additional pairings include a couch and a not-at-all prestige TV show.
Peanut butter and pickles
I will take any opportunity to praise pickles, but this really is a widely endorsed pairing for peanut butter. At first glance, this sandwich might look like the cartoonish stereotype of someone fulfilling a pregnancy craving. However, if you manage to keep an open mind, you’ll find out just how well the tangy crunch of a pickle plays against smooth peanut butter and pillowy bread. After you try the sandwich, upgrade to the corn dog version.
Peanut butter and marshmallow
Enjoyed regionally and typically among children, the Fluffernutter has earned its spot on any list of the best peanut butter partners. This sandwich has a special place in the history of New England and in the hearts of those who grew up eating it. Often made with Wonder bread, it’s super sweet and almost entirely devoid of texture, but in the spirit of beautiful, reliable simplicity, that’s exactly the point.
Peanut butter and pretzels
Costco pretty much never steers us wrong, and the peanut-butter-filled pretzel nuggets perennially on its shelves are a perfect example. In every bite you get salty, you get crunchy, you get creamy, you get the tiniest hit of sweetness. But maybe you’ve never tried to bring this combo together on a sandwich before—and if that’s the case, you have to change that immediately. The roasty, extra-salty flavor of some Rold Gold Tiny Twists on a sweet bed of Jif, served atop some toast with a glass of milk on the side is one of life’s more attainable treasures. It’ll result in more crumbs than a luxury croissant, but it’s worth the mess.
Peanut butter and chicken
Back in college there was a buffet I would frequent on the weekends with friends, after our college-kid antics the night before. The peanut butter chicken almost always ran out because of how popular it was, the poultry bathed in just the right amount of sweetness. And while there are tons of recipes out there that capitalize on the deliciousness of that combination, Skippy’s official website has found a way to sandwich-ify and level up these flavors in an open-faced peanut butter BBQ chicken melt. Get on it.
Peanut butter and onion
Eating peanut butter and onion sandwiches sounds like an internet dare, or something James Corden would make his celebrity guests do for a segment on The Late Late Show. But it turns out this is actually the kind of thing famous authors eat—allegedly. Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway enjoyed this combination, which is why the sandwich is colloquially known as “The Hemingway.” After some careful taste testing, we can confirm that the combo really does work. It’s not our favorite, but it surprised us by being so palatable.
Peanut butter and cheddar cheese
Peanut butter and cheddar cheese are both called for in that aforementioned recipe from Skippy for a peanut butter BBQ chicken melt, and it sounds like a combination where the two rich, melty elements would clash with one another. But of course, we must consider the classic “sandwich” consisting of cheddar crackers smooshed together with a layer of peanut butter. If you’ve ever eaten peanut butter sandwiched between cheese crackers, then you already know what a great snack combo this is. If not, I suggest you do so to make up for a lost childhood experience.