Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich (PB&J) consists of peanut butter and fruit preserves—jelly—spread on bread. The sandwich may be open-faced, made of a single slice of bread folded over, or made using two slices of bread. The sandwich is popular in the United States, especially among children; a 2002 survey showed the average American will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before graduating from high school.[1] There are many variations of the sandwich, starting with the basic peanut butter sandwich or jam sandwich.

Peanut butter and jelly
Alternative namesPB&J
CourseBreakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack
Place of originUnited States
Created byJulia Davis Chandler
Serving temperatureRoom temperature
Main ingredientsPeanut butter, jelly or jam, sliced bread (Typically white bread)
Food energy
(per serving)
320 kcal (1340 kJ)


In basic preparation methods, a layer of peanut butter is spread on one slice of bread and a layer of fruit preserves is spread on another before the two sides are sandwiched together. (Jelly is a fruit-based spread, made primarily from fruit juice boiled with a gelling agent and allowed to set, while jam contains crushed fruit and fruit pulp, heated with water and sugar and cooled until it sets with the aid of natural or added pectin.[2])


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, Worcestershire sauce, watercress, saltines and toasted crackers.[3] 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.[4][5]

The first known reference for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich appeared in the Boston Cooking School Magazine in 1901;[6] 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".[7] In the early 20th century, 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.[8]

Since World War II, both peanut butter and jelly have been found on US soldiers' military ration list.[9]

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day occurs annually in the United States on April 2.[10]


A peanut butter and jelly sandwich that is made with two slices of white bread, two tablespoons each of peanut butter and grape jelly provides 403 kcal, 18 g fat, 58 g carbohydrates (mostly sugar), and 12 g protein, which is 27% of the Recommended Daily Intake of fat and 22% of calories.[11]

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.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "PB&J is A-OK". Prepared Foods 171.10. Prepared Foods. October 2002. p. 32. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  2. ^ "What's the difference between jam, jelly and fruit preserves?". Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea. University of Illinois Press. 2002. p. 35. ISBN 9780252025532.
  4. ^ McWilliams, Mark (April 6, 2012). The Story Behind the Dish: Classic American Foods. ABC-CLIO. p. 166. ISBN 9780313385100.
  5. ^ Lau, Maya (June 7, 2013). "Who Made That?". New York Times Magazine.
  6. ^ Kimball, Christopher (October 7, 2022). "Cooking for Space Aliens and Vampire Queens: Meet Food Stylist Janice Poon". Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Radio (Podcast). Public Radio Exchange. Event occurs at 43:07. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Olver, Lynne. "Peanut". The Food Timeline.
  9. ^ Why Do Donuts Have Holes?. Citadel Press. 2004. p. 127. ISBN 9780806525518.
  10. ^ Ward, Matthew (April 2, 2019). "April 2 is National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day". WMC News. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  11. ^ Jegtvig,, undated, "How Nutritious is a PB&J?", archived from the original, January 13, 2006. Accessed December 20, 2017.
  12. ^ Corleone, Jill. "Are Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?". Retrieved March 31, 2012.