Peanut Butter Jelly Time: 5 Simple & Delicious Variations on the Childhood Classic

When I say that the peanut butter and jelly sandwich has played an important role in my life, I’m not exaggerating. Some of my fondest memories growing up with my late father include making him a double decker PB&J when he got home from work, and we were sitting on the couch together watching baseball. 

He always told me I made the best one he’d ever had. 

The same sandwich would then go on to be mentioned in my husband’s wedding vows to me in front of our closest friends and family, as he swore that the day I made him his first PB&J is the same day he fell in love with me. Coincidence? I think not. 

In celebration of “National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day” on April 2nd, I’m putting this childhood classic in the spotlight where it belongs! Here are five different variations of the fan favorite sandwich that even the most basic of chefs can master, this month. 

The Traditionalist 

#1.  Peanut Butter, Honey & Banana Sandwich


  • Peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
  • Bananas, sliced medium to thick
  • Honey (remember, local is best!) 
  • White or wheat bread, lightly toasted

Spread your peanut butter across both sides of your bread, placing banana slices on top in single rows, overlapping each slightly. Drizzle your honey in any pattern you like on each side. A large glass of milk is all you need to dig in and maybe a napkin or two for the stickiness!

The Sweet Tooth

#2.  PB&JFT: Peanut Butter & Jelly French Toast 


  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Bread
  • Creamy peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
  • Strawberry jam or preserves
  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray

Spread your peanut butter and jelly on your sliced bread, forming your sandwich. In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, milk, and vanilla. Next, dip both sides of your sandwich in the mixture. On medium heat, melt your butter in a large skillet then place your sandwich for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Slice up your French toast diagonally, sprinkle with powdered sugar and brunch is served!

The Fancy Foodie

#3.  PB&J with Red Pepper Jelly and Brie


  • Brie, sliced thin
  • Red pepper jelly
  • Crunchy Peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
  • Sourdough bread
  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray

Spread your peanut butter evenly on both sides of your bread, carefully layering your slices of brie on one slice of bread atop the peanut butter. Next, spread a glob of your jelly on the brie side, layering your other slice on top, making a sandwich. On medium heat, melt your butter in a large skillet, then place your sandwich for 2-3 minutes on each side until the brie begins to drip out slightly over the edges. Dig in!

The Savory Lover

#4.  PB&J Bacon Burger


  • Ground beef, seasoned 
  • Hamburger bun
  • Applewood smoked bacon
  • Peanut butter or nut butter of choice
  • Grape jelly

Prepare your ground beef into burger patties, seasoning to your preference. Once your burger and bacon strips are fully cooked, put aside. Lightly toast the buns, spread jelly on the inside of the top bun and peanut butter on the bottom. Add your burger patty and bacon, sandwiching together between the hamburger bun and dig in! Warning: you may need to lie down after this meal! 

The Spicy Señor

#5.  Peanut Butter & Sriracha Sandwich Bites 


  • Challah bread
  • Peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
  • Orange or apricot marmalade
  • Sriracha
  • Butter or oil

On medium heat, melt your butter or oil in a large skillet. Spread your peanut butter and marmalade onto opposite slices of bread, adding sriracha generously to the peanut butter side. Assemble your sandwich and place it carefully inside the heated skillet, grilling until golden brown on each side. When finished, place onto a cutting board and slice lengthwise into 3 even strips and each strip into 2 halves, creating small bites. Enjoy sharing with a friend or family member!

Make it extra special!

Take a page from The Food Network and make it a contest, with each family member making their own and vote on who’s the best! Try one of these recipes or create your own, with whatever favorite spreads and special ingredients you like! Sweet!!



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