Experts Create their Perfect PB&J

Did you know the average American eats 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by age 18? Upgrade the classic combo with these delicious spins from food experts.

By Rachel Mount from Reader's Digest Magazine | September 2012
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    PB&Geeks

    Seriouseats.com set out with measuring spoons and a team of tasters to determine the perfect ratio. “Much to my surprise, the servings suggested on the peanut butter and jelly jars (two tablespoons and one tablespoon, respectively) were perfect when spread on two slices of white bread,” writes Ed Levine, Serious Eats founder, or wedge it between two plump pieces of multigrain or your favorite sandwich bread. And a commenter shared a simple trick for portable sandwiches: “Use frozen bread, then wrap and go. It’ll thaw by lunch, and the PB&J will become extra gooey.”

    PB&Gourmet

    Ruth Reichl, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet, spreads butter on thick white bread and adds a sprinkle of salt. “You won’t believe how much more delicious this makes peanut butter taste,” she writes at gilttaste.com. After topping with natural peanut butter and strawberry jam, she puts the sandwich in the microwave for eight seconds. “This will melt the ingredients into a texture so sexy, you will barely recognize the innocent sandwich of your childhood.”

    PB&Banana Split

    Fire up the skillet for a meal that could double as dessert. Butter the outside of your sandwich, then toast over medium-high heat in a skillet until golden brown. Cooking Light suggests a banana split–inspired combination of peanut butter, honey, chocolate, strawberry and banana slices, and pineapple jam.

    PB&Chocolate

    Top your peanut butter with a schmear of Nutella, as New York City’s Peanut Butter & Co. shop does in its Peanut Butter Cup bestseller.

    PB&Seinfeld

    Jerry loves to sprinkle cinnamon on his peanut butter and bagel sandwiches.

    PB&???

    Feeling adventurous? Try peanut butter with one of these toppings: cream cheese, mayonnaise, tomato, romaine lettuce, or bacon. Each combination has legions of fans—and the Reader’s Digest staff even put them to the test. Our verdict? Strangely delicious!

    Fun Fact: The first recipe for PB&J was published in 1901—until then, peanut butter was paired with pimento cheese.

    Your Comments

    • Jrre2

      peanutbutter on a cracker with a dab of horseradish…good combo.

    • Dagmara Oosterbosch

      In the Netherlands we eat peanut butter and cheese sandwiches from the oven. Tastes really good. Also peanut butter and honey is delicious.

    • Gx3

      My mom likes peanut butter and onion sandwiches. I tried it once and apparently didn’t put enough onion on because I hardly tasted it. I’m too lazy for anything else, so I just use peanut butter.

    • Lorelei2460

      Peanut butter and mayo sounds strange, but I’ve tried it and it’s really good! Very creamy!  Peanut butter with powdered sugar has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl – try it :)

    • Pattyr

      As a young teenager (many moons ago) I had a boyfriend who introduced me to peanut butter and dill pickle sandwich. It may sound yucky but it is really delicious. I now buy the dill sandwich slices to put on my peanut butter sandwiches. Try it…you may like it…  : )   Patty

    • Yanz

      a really good peanutbutter sandwich is a slice of multi grain bread covered with peanut butter add a hot smokey link and a dill pickle spear.  Fold the bread around the fillings & bite into a treat for your taste buds!

    • Yanz

      a really good peanutbutter sandwich is a slice of multi grain bread covered with peanut butter add a hot smokey link and a dill pickle spear.  Fold the bread around the fillings & bite into a treat for your taste buds!