Peanut Butter Sandwich: Easy Recipe Ideas
Peanut Butter - My Favorite Sandwich Ingredient
I grew up eating peanut butter sandwiches. These repasts were prepared by my father whose culinary skills barely included spreading the thick substance on a piece of bread. Yet, over time, I soon came to appreciate its satisfying, nutty taste, and versatile nature. Filled with protein, a few carbohydrates for energy and fats to keep you satisfied, peanut butter is close to a perfect food, in my humble opinion. It can also be included as part of a vegan or vegetarian diet (be sure to read ingredient labels first), provided you don't have peanut allergies.
While I was in school, I loved peanut butter because it was cheap. As a mom, I still love it because its easy to use for breakfast and lunches (and because it is cheap).
One month last year, I decided to embark upon a culinary challenge. Could I come up with a different sandwich recipe for each day of the week, all of which included peanut butter? Would my kids and husband revolt - or simply get revolted - before the weekend?
Dear reader, no!
We survived the challenge and created a week's worth of peanut butter sandwich recipes. If I don't say so myself, they are all quite tasty and thrifty to make, as well. So c'mon! Give peanut butter a chance. Try these easy recipe ideas that take the peanut butter sandwich from simple to superb!
Peanut Butter and Fruit Sandwiches
Instead of boring old jam or jelly, why not make a peanut butter and fruit sandwich?
The extra fiber and lower sugar in fresh fruit make this meal a healthier alternative.
Start with the freshest sandwich bread (really soft 100% wheat bread is my favorite). Spread 1-2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter on one piece of bread. Now, slice bananas, apples or pears into 1/4 inch pieces. In the summer, you could even try peaches, plums or nectarines. Layer over the peanut butter. If desired, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar or drizzle with honey. You could even go with slivered almonds. Eat open faced, or top with a second piece of bread and enjoy!
If you want to really bring out the natural flavors of the fruit, try lightly broiling the peanut butter and fruit side of the bread for a couple of minutes. Watch closely so that the ingredients don't get too runny. Don't forget to toast the second piece of the bread if you are making a closed sandwich.
Peanut Butter Paninis
Nothing says comfort food like a grilled sandwich. Broiled or pan fried is tasty, but to really kick it up a notch, use a panini maker. We have a great appliance that we use to grill and sear steaks and chops. It also presses sandwiches on both sides at the same time, toasting the bread and warming the inside ingredients (see some of the panini makers shown to the right).
To make peanut butter paninis, you should use thicker bread than that which you'd ordinarily pull out for regular sandwiches. Fresh french sliced white bread is my favorite. Now, spread peanut butter on one side and your choice of ingredient for the opposite side. Our favorite for this recipe is raspberry jam. Close up the sandwich and then spread butter or margarine on the outside of each slice of bread.
Pre-heat the panini grill to 350 degrees and coat with cooking spray. Grill your peanut butter sandwich for about 3-4 minutes. Carefully remove and dust with powdered sugar on one side before eating. Simply divine!
Grilled Peanut Butter Sandwiches!
Peanut Butter Sandwich Recipe Book
Savory Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Grown-ups will appreciate these ideas for savory peanut butter sandwiches. While the ingredients definitely sound unique, the end result is delicious and nutritious. We've tried these two recipes, and there are endless variations on the theme.
Vegetarian savory peanut butter sandwiches:
These open faced sandwiches are so delicious, I'll bet your kids will even enjoy them! Start with thick sliced french bread. Spread peanut butter on both sides, then add thinly sliced tomatoes on top. Lightly salt and pepper (I love using garlic salt for this recipe) and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Broil for 3-4 minutes until cheese is browned and bubbling. Serve open-faced.
Savory peanut butter and chicken sandwiches:
Certainly you've enjoyed Thai chicken pasta with peanut sauce! This sandwich is a variation on the theme, but much less expensive than take-out. I like to use a hearty wheat bread for this recipe. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on the bread. Place a few leaves of fresh basil on top and then add sliced grilled boneless chicken breast. You can also use pieces of prepared rotisserie chicken for this sandwich. If desired, finely chop 1 clove of garlic and sprinkle over the top. Place the open faced sandwich under the broiler for several minutes, carefully remove and enjoy!
For Purists: How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
The Ultimate Kids Peanut Butter Sandwich
What kid doesn't love s'mores? You could be parent of the year if you serve them the ultimate kids peanut butter sandwich - the Smore's Sandwich! But before you try out this recipe, perhaps wait for a weekend...
Nothing healthy about this creation, other than the peanut butter. But any nutritional value is completely eclipsed by the other ingredients here! Start with white Wonder Bread. Spread peanut butter on one side (we recommend the sweetest, most processed brand out there - Jif). Now, add chocolate chips and mini marshmallows or marshmallow whipped topping on top of the peanut butter. Instead of chocolate chips, you could use the Hazelnut/chocolate flavored spread, Nutella.
Broil the sandwich open faced for 3-4 minutes, watching very carefully. The marshmallows will brown slightly and the chocolate chips will get a little bit melted. We find that its best to close the sandwich with the second piece of bread (toasted, of course), rather than to try to eat this open faced. Dust with powdered sugar for a treat they'll never forget!
Change the Bread, Not the Ingredients
If these peanut butter sandwich variations are a little outside of your comfort zone, you can still enjoy the classic lunch fare with a bit of a twist. By changing the bread on which you create the sandwich, but keeping the PB&J, you'll have a new taste.
Try using cinnamon raisin bread, honey wheat bread, homemade pumpkin bread, banana bread or zucchini bread. Mini sandwiches can be created from dinner rolls. You can even make sandwiches using toaster waffles. I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on chocolate chip waffles or blueberry waffles!