12 Ways to Fancy Up Your PB&J with 1 Ingredient

published Sep 1, 2016
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(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

Peanut butter and jelly is a comforting classic that hardly needs improving. Instead, these one-ingredient twists turn a lunch-box staple into something fun and unexpected. Are you read to liven up lunchtime?

The 1-Ingredient Upgrade

These are the single-ingredient upgrades that go beyond the simple swaps of jam and nut butter, or the extra drizzle of honey. These are the unexpected ingredients that add a crunch factor to your lunch and sneak in a pop of flavor.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

1. A Swirl of Cream Cheese

If you’re also a fan of the cream cheese and jelly sandwich, then it’s high time to bring these two sandwiches together. Soften up some cream cheese, then swirl it over the peanut butter.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

2. Chocolate Sprinkles

No matter what your age, sprinkles have the most wonderful way of making everything they touch more fun. Add some whimsy to your lunch with a healthy dose of the good chocolate sprinkles (you know the ones I’m talking about), and call this what it really is: dessert!

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

3. Ridged Potato Chips

For the ultimate sandwich that’s sweet, salty, and crunchy, potato chips have your back. Go for the chips with ridges so the peanut butter and jelly can work their way into all the pockets.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

4. Pomegranate Seeds

These seeds might be small, but they’ll bring a tart and crunchy boost to your sandwich. Choose your jam wisely when adding pomegranate seeds. We like dark berry jam for a good contrast with the tart pomegranate flavor.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

5. Toasted Marshmallows

Not read to kick your summer s’mores habit just yet? That’s okay — neither are we. Toast a few marshmallows on the stovetop or in the oven to make your PB&J feel like a real treat.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

6. Sautéed Grapes

This topping might just change your feelings on grape jam for the better. Sautéed grapes not only add a nice texture to your sandwich, but they also make it feel kind of classy.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

7. Crushed Cookies

Let’s hit two bird with one stone, shall we? You know you’re gonna reach for those cookies after lunch anyway. Crush up a few of your favorite cookies (we’re partial to Oreos, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin) and pile them in the center of your sandwich.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

8. Toasted Coconut Flakes

This is the combo that reminds us of the nuts, raisins, and fat coconut chips in trail mix — but way better. Sprinkle a handful of toasted coconut flakes over your sandwich before folding it together.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

9. Sliced Brie

Want a PB&J that tastes ultra creamy and indulgent? It’s an unexpected addition, but a few slices of Brie on your sandwich will do the trick. We happily pair this rich cheese with fresh fruit, and it’s fattiness proves a welcome complement to peanut butter.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

10. Crumbled Bacon

If you love a good sweet and salty combination, add crumbled bacon to your peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

11. Dried Fruit

Go ahead and add your favorite sweet, chewy snack to your sandwich. We’re partial to apricots, but other dried fruit like cherries, cranberries, raisins, or dates are also a welcome addition.

(Image credit: Jerrelle Guy)

12. Apple Chips

Pick your own adventure with chewy dehydrated apple or the crunchy dried version. We love apple chips layered in the center of this sandwich for the quick change in texture.