As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, in partnership with Earthbound Farm, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: A reminder that peanut butter and jelly still makes for a satisfying -- and adaptable -- lunch.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

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Don't laugh at me when I remind you of a very important fact: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are good. They satisfy in a way that few other things can. They're simple, sure, and you may have eaten them every day for a year when you were nine. But they also make a killer work lunch.

If traditional white bread and strawberry jam are going to make your day, well, you do you. But you can also make your own sandwich bread, smear one side with really good nut butter, and coat the other with a hefty layer of homemade grape jelly. Or switch things up: try tahini and fig jam, or almond butter with raspberry preserves. Just don't hold back. And always remember to wrap your sandwich in style.

Tell us: how do you make your PB&J?


We're partnering with Earthbound Farm to bring you always fresh, never sad lunch ideas. Because dinner shouldn't be the only time that you put care into what you're eating.

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Join The Sandwich Universe co-hosts (and longtime BFFs) Molly Baz and Declan Bond as they dive deep into beloved, iconic sandwiches.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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    Pete Braun
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Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull



Pete B. January 27, 2019
My favorite PB&J is made as follows: Two slices of honey wheat berry bread, a layer of natural creamy peanut butter spread on one slice of bread, some raw and unfiltered wildflower honey drizzled on top before being blended in with the back of the spoon used in the drizzling, a second layer of peanut butter on top to keep the honey from leaking, banana slices laid out over the peanut butter/honey mix, and natural Concord grape jelly spread on the other slice of bread. Put the two slices together with the jelly-covered bread - jelly-side down - on top of the peanut butter, honey and banana-covered bread, gently press them together, pour a glass of milk to wash it down, and enjoy. I’m actually eating one right now as I type this. *takes a bite* Mmm, so good. This will be the best homemade sandwich you have ever had in your life.
Jay J. November 2, 2014
Peanut Butter and Dill pickles... Bread & Butter pickles are also good.
ChefJune September 25, 2013
This bread is my favorite for most sandwiches, including PBJ. We make what we've always called a "Double:" Smear a good amount of peanut butter (could be smooth or chunky, but MUST be fresh) on both slices of bread. Your jam of choice is next spread on top the pb. Carefully close the sandwich and cut into halves, diagonally.
kschurms September 25, 2013
Did I just hear "tahini and fig jam?" That is most definitely something I need to try. Can anyone else vouch for this pairing?
Jenny September 25, 2013
My version: crusty white bread with a nice airy crumb, not tangy, a thick layer of salted butter, a smear of smooth peanut butter, homemade strawberry jam (I use Kim Boyce's recipe from her whole grain cookbook, and I make it in small batches and store in the fridge; I have even used frozen organic berries and it is delish). I always cut the sandwich in half, and if I am carrying it with me (or packing it in my kids lunch), I wrap it in wax paper tied with kitchen twine. PBJ is what we eat every summer for lunch when we drive with our three young boys from Seattle to WI. You can make it on the dashboard!
Panfusine September 24, 2013
PB & Marmalade on toasted slices of white bread , with a teensie bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
amysarah September 24, 2013
Believe it or not, I thought of PB&J as an almost exotic treat as a child. I only ever had it at friends' houses or at camp (I think since my mother didn't grow up with it, it just didn't occur to her.) My own son, however, had PB & honey/banana on toast for breakfast several times per week. He still loves it.
Marian B. September 24, 2013
That's one of my favorite breakfasts, too!
HalfPint September 24, 2013
I was responsible for my own lunches since the first grade (large family, two hard-working full-time working parents). Loved PBJ (with strawberry jam, please), but after a whole year of it every day, I can't look at another PBJ, much less eat one.
Michelle E. September 24, 2013
It's got to be smooth 100% natural peanut butter, raspberry chia seed, homemade, and grilled banana!!!
happymontycooks September 24, 2013
Before wheat allergy: A local bread bakery (Dave's Killer Bread) bread with peanut butter, bananas, honey, and cardamom (OK, perhaps not a PB&J) or a marionberry jam picked up at the Farmers Market. After wheat allergy: I dip bananas, dates, prunes, dried apricots in tahini or raw almond butter. I've also started dipping dried fruit in miso to contrast the sweet/tartness of the dried fruit with the savoury/umami of miso.
Marian B. September 24, 2013
I love dipping my bananas! Also: my mom used to make me grilled peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, and honey sandwiches. Seriously the best.
aargersi September 24, 2013
I made a bunch of mustang grape jelly this summer - pretty killer on a PB&J made with chunky peanut butter and a seed bread. And now I will tell a story on Nannydeb - she ate her FIRST PB&J ever in her WHOLE LIFE this summer, made with my jelly. And she liked it!
Kenzi W. September 24, 2013
nannydeb September 24, 2013
REALLY! My mom didn't make pb&j and until Abbie's grape jelly I didn't eat jelly. In fact, I didn't eat jam either until I tasted Abbie's Ginger Peach jam. Next she'll have me eating berries or cottage cheese (both ick).
Kenzi W. September 24, 2013
Don't go there -- that really is the dark side.
Marian B. September 24, 2013
Cottage cheese: don't do it! Berries and PB&J, on the other hand, I endorse.
Kenzi W. September 24, 2013
A good PB&J is an important part of every diet -- I think I subsisted on them, alone, up until the age of ten.