Peanut Butter Jar Almost Empty? Here Are 3 Delicious Things You Can Do with It.

published Jun 16, 2022
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jar of peanut butter overnight oats with spoon sticking out the top, honey and raw oats in measuring spoon in background
Credit: Patty Lee

With a PB&J-lover (my toddler) and a baker (me) in the same household, it doesn’t take long for my family to go through a jar of peanut butter. By the time we make all the peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter pancakes, peanut butter cookies, and other delicious peanut-y things to keep a 3-year-old child and sweets-loving mom fed and happy, we’re already in need of a new one. 

I grew up on JIF and Skippy, but transitioned to natural peanut butter in recent years. And although I love the flavor and short ingredient list of the natural kind, the constant need to mix — the oil and peanut butter separate, as there are no stabilizers to hold them together — can be a pain. I know I’m supposed to stir before using, but I’m often in a rush (see: 3-year-old) or simply too lazy, leading to the inevitable peanut butter puck at the bottom of the jar. With no more oil to mix with, the PB disc is hard to get out of the jar and even tougher to spread onto bread or whisk into cookie dough. In an effort to waste less food, I’ve been looking for easy ways to use up the remainder and found a few brilliant things to do with a jar of peanut butter that isn’t quite ready for the recycling bin just yet. 

1. Make a peanut sauce for noodles.

Along with PB&Js, peanut noodles are a hit with both the kid and adults here, making it a dinner staple for my family of three. I usually mix the sauce together in a small bowl or measuring cup, but after seeing Martha Stewart talk about her bottom-of-the-mustard-jar trick again last year (the domestic goddess has been

using this low-waste idea for a long time

this one from The Woks of Life — call for warm or hot water, which helps loosen up the remaining precious peanut butter. Once it’s whiskable again, I pour in the rest of my ingredients to form a smooth sauce, combine it with cooked wheat noodles, and toss the now-empty jar.

2. Amp up your coffee.

Tiktoker @chefreillymeehan was also inspired by the mustard jar hack when he came up with a shaken espresso that riffs on Starbucks’ popular drink. Rather than waste the last bits of peanut butter, he uses the jar as a shaker to imbue his morning pick-me-up with some nutty flavor. To do so, he pours a fresh shot of espresso into the peanut butter jar, gives it a good shake with the lid on, then opens it back up to add oat milk, vanilla bean paste, and honey. The lid goes back on and after a few more vigorous shakes, the drink goes into a cup filled with ice for sipping.

3. Make even easier overnight oats.

A favorite with meal preppers, overnight oats are an easy breakfast solution — you trade active cooking time at the stove with an overnight soak in the fridge to simplify your mornings. Using an almost-out jar of peanut butter adds yet another convenience factor — you’ll have one fewer thing to wash! — as well as flavor and a dose of additional protein.

Simply follow your favorite overnight oat recipe or, if you don’t have one, combine equal parts rolled oats and milk and half as much yogurt, using more of the liquid if you like your oats thinner, plus whatever add-ins you prefer (cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, etc.). Pop in the refrigerator and when you’re ready to enjoy the next morning, give it all the good stir, making sure to scrape down the sides of the jar to fully incorporate the peanut butter. Because the jar goes into the fridge, where the peanut butter will firm up, this method is best when there’s just a spoonful or so left. If you have a good amount still stuck, it’s best to use one of the tricks above to really make the most of what’s remaining.