This Thai Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich is the most adult PB&J sandwich you will ever eat. Creamy peanut butter is flavored with Thai spices (curry, lime, ginger, and soy), combined with sweet basil and pineapple jam, and then finished in sizzling butter for a crispy exterior. Slightly spicy and oh-so-sweet, you won't be able to resist this gourmet peanut butter sandwich.
I got the idea for this Thai-inspired peanut butter and jelly from the popular peanut sauce usually associated with Thai cuisine here in the United States. I wanted to recreate that sauce but keep it thick enough for a sandwich. Mission accomplished!
Once I perfected the spicy Thai-flavored peanut butter, I needed the perfect jam. Berry jam just wouldn't cut it, so enter pineapple jam, the ideal companion to this savory peanut butter. Oh and then we add basil to the jam to brighten it up and make it pop.
And to top it off, you gotta fry this baby. Just a quick pan-fry in some sizzling butter for crispy edges and a slightly melty interior. Fancy indeed!
Why this recipe works
- Easy to make
- Unique spin on a classic
- Serves one or a crowd
- Can make the Thai PB in advance
- It's sweet and savory
- Portable, packable, and travels well (picnic anyone?)
Here is what you will need to make this Thai PB&J.
- Peanut butter- Use creamy (smooth) peanut butter for the best results. You can use crunchy if you prefer.
- Thai red curry paste- A ground paste made up of red chilies, garlic, lemongrass, salt, shallot, coriander root, and kaffir lime peel. It's available at most grocery stores in the international section.
- Ginger- I use ginger paste, but you can also grate fresh ginger.
- Soy sauce- Since peanut butter is already salty, opt for low-sodium if you have.
- Lime zest
- Siracha sauce- Optional, but use if you like extra spice.
- Pineapple jam-You can substitute mango, apricot, or even orange marmalade.
- Basil- Fresh basil, or Thai basil if you can find it.
- Bread- Pick your favorite! I use good sturdy white bread.
- Butter or oil for frying
See the recipe card for quantities.
No fancy equipment needed. Just grab a bowl, spoon and stir.
Step by step instructions
Below is a quick visual on how to make this gourmet PB&J.
Start by combining the peanut butter, red curry paste, ginger, soy sauce, and lime zest in a small bowl.
Mix to combine. Add Siracha sauce if using.
Lay out your bread slices. On one side of the bread, spread the peanut butter evenly. On the other slice, spread the jam, and sprinkle the basil on top. Place together to make a sandwich.
Heat the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the sandwich. Pan fry until golden brown, flip, and do the same to the other side.
Use a thicker bread, such as sourdough or a sturdy white bread. It will hold up better when frying in the butter and elevate your sandwich to gourmet status.
Substitutions and variations
This sandwich is great on its own, but you can certainly swap out a few ingredients. Below are some easy-to-find variations.
- Peanut butter: I would say this one is non-negotiable. While other nut butters are usually great stand-ins for peanut butter, the unique taste of peanut butter is what gives this spread its authentic flavor. If you do have an allergy, you can try substituting another nut butter, but just note, the taste will not be the same. If you are looking to cut calories, opt for low-fat peanut butter.
- Ginger: If you don't have ginger paste or fresh ginger, you can sub in a ½ teaspoon of ginger powder.
- Pineapple jam: Pineapple jam may be hard to come by, as not all grocery stores carry it. Just choose a more acidic jam like mango, apricot, or orange. Also, jam, preserves, and jelly are all ok, as long as it's not berry flavored.
- Siracha: If looking for an extra bit of heat, you can use Tabasco or another red chili sauce.
Storage and make ahead
You can make the Thai peanut butter spread in advance and store it in the fridge for up to one week. Allow it to come to room temperature before preparing your sandwich- cold peanut butter is almost impossible to spread!
When ready to assemble, spread the room temperature peanut spread on your bread, then add the jam and fresh basil. Proceed with grilling/frying.
This sandwich also makes a great packed lunch or picnic sandwich to go. You can grill it in advance or you can skip grilling it altogether.
The age-old debate of smooth versus crunchy peanut butter is one that I will avoid here. However, creamy (smooth) peanut butter works best for this spread as it's easier to mix in with the other ingredients. I prefer to use commercial peanut butter (i.e. Skippy, Jiff) as these are typically sweetened, as opposed to "natural" varieties, lending to a well-rounded spread.
If using natural peanut butter containing only peanuts and salt, separation is common. To fix this, simply stir the peanut butter and oil together in the jar until it comes together again. Good as new! Commercial peanut butter contains stabilizers that prevent separation in the first place.
Me too.! Try some of my favorites.
🍳Did you make this recipe? I would love to hear about it! Please leave a recipe rating with comment right below the recipe card. If you snapped a photo of your creation, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @brunchandbatter.
Thai Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
- small mixing bowl
- small pan for frying/grilling
- 3 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
- ¾ teaspoon Thai red curry paste
- ¼ teaspoon ginger paste or fresh grated ginger
- ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- a few dashes of Siracha sauce optional
- 3 tablespoon pineapple jam
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 2 slices bread
- 1-2 tablespoon butter or oil for grilling/frying
- In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, red curry paste, ginger paste, soy sauce, lime zest, and Siracha sauce (if using).3 tablespoon smooth peanut butter, ¾ teaspoon Thai red curry paste, ¼ teaspoon ginger paste or fresh grated ginger, ¼ teaspoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon lime zest, a few dashes of Siracha sauce
- Lay out your bread. On one slice, spread the peanut butter mixture. On the other slice, spread the pineapple jam, then sprinkle with the chopped fresh basil. Bring the 2 slices together to make a sandwich.3 tablespoon pineapple jam, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, 2 slices bread
- In a small frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the sandwich and fry until golden brown on one side. Flip and repeat on the other side, about 3-5 minutes total. Remove from the heat, cut in half, and serve immediately.1-2 tablespoon butter or oil for grilling/frying
- Use creamy (smooth) peanut butter for the best results. You can use crunchy peanut butter if you prefer. Low-fat is ok to use.
- Don't have pineapple jam? Use apricot, mango, or even orange marmalade instead.