Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

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Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread
Alternative namesPB&J
Place of originUnited States
Serving temperatureRoom temperature
VariationsPeanut butter and jam, other nut butters, with butter or marshmallow fluff, or with hazelnut chocolate spread
Food energy
(per serving)
403 kcal (1687 kJ)

A peanut butter and jelly (or jam) sandwich (PB&J) consists of peanut butter and fruit preserves — jelly or jam — spread on bread. The sandwich may be open-faced, or made of a single slice of bread folded over. The sandwich is quite common and popular in North America, especially for children; a 2002 survey showed the average American will have eaten 1,500 of these sandwiches before graduating from high school.[1] Smucker's and other companies manufacture commercial sealed crustless sandwiches made of peanut butter and jelly.

There are many variations on the sandwich; for example, honey or sliced fruit can be substituted for the jelly component, e.g. a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Marshmallow fluff can also be substituted for the jelly, or added for extra flavor; this sandwich is called a "Fluffernutter".

The popularity of almond butter has inspired some to transition to "almond butter and jelly" sandwiches; other nut butters are less common. Cream cheese, substituted for the peanut butter, makes a "Cream cheese and jelly" (CC&J) sandwich. Nutella is another possible substitute for one of the spreads. Seed butters, such as sunflower seed butter are also used as peanut butter substitutes.

The jelly or jam can make bread soggy, especially when the sandwich is prepared ahead of time as part of a bag lunch. Peanut butter can be spread on both slices first, with jelly or jam separated from the bread by these hydrophobic layers, prevents this.


Peanut butter and strawberry jam create a red-orange contrast.

Peanut butter was originally paired with a diverse set of savory foods, such as pimento, cheese, celery, watercress, saltines and toasted crackers.[2] In a Good Housekeeping article published in May 1896, a recipe "urged homemakers to use a meat grinder to make peanut butter and spread the result on bread." The following month, the culinary magazine Table Talk published a "peanut butter sandwich" recipe.[3][4] An early recipe for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich appeared in the Boston Cooking School Magazine in 1901; it called for "three very thin layers of bread and two of filling, one of peanut paste, whatever brand you prefer, and currant or crabapple jelly for the other", and called it as "so far as I know original".[5] In the early 1900s, this sandwich was adopted down the class structure as the price of peanut butter dropped. It became popular with children with the advent of sliced bread in the 1920s, which allowed them to make their own sandwiches easily.[6]

Since World War II, both peanut butter and jelly have been found on US soldiers' military ration list.[7]

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day occurs annually in the United States on April 2.[8]


Assuming that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is made with two slices of white bread, two tablespoons each of peanut butter and strawberry jelly, it provides 403 kcal, 18 g fat, 58 g carbs and 12 g protein, which is 27% of the Recommended Daily Intake of fat and 22% of calories.[9]

While roughly 50% of the calories are from fat, most of them come from monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats, which the American Heart Association considers beneficial to heart health.[10]


Jelly is a fruit-based spread, made primarily from fruit juice, while jam contains crushed fruit and fruit pulp.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "PB&J is A-OK". Prepared Foods 171.10. Prepared Foods. October 2002. p. 32. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  2. ^ Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea. University of Illinois Press. p. 35.
  3. ^ McWilliams, Mark. The Story Behind the Dish: Classic American Foods. ABC-CLIO. p. 166.
  4. ^ Lau, Maya (June 7, 2013). "Who Made That?". New York Times Magazine.
  5. ^ Julia Davis Chandler, "Peanuts and pralines", Boston Cooking-School Magazine 6:4:188-189 (November 1901) as quoted in Freedman, Paul; Haley, Andrew P.; Lim, Imogene L.; Albala, Ken; Elias, Megan (November 3, 2017). "The History of Five Uniquely American Sandwiches: From tuna fish to the lesser-known woodcock, food experts peer under the bread and find the story of a nation". Smithsonian. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  6. ^ "Food Timeline". Lynne Olver.
  7. ^ Why Do Donuts Have Holes?. Citadel Press. p. 127.
  8. ^ Ward, Matthew (April 2, 2019). "April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day". WMC News. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  9. ^ Jegtvig,, undated, "How Nutritious is a PB&J?", archived from the original, January 13, 2006. Accessed December 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Corleone, Jill. "Are Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?". Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  11. ^ "What's the difference between jam, jelly and fruit preserves?". Retrieved 2019-09-02.

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