Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich Recipe (Grilled!)

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It’s time that the humble peanut butter sandwich got a facelift – and a healthy one at that! These grilled banana peanut butter sandwiches are an elevated, gourmet version of a classic, with walnuts and spices for a tasty and nutritious bite. Super kid-friendly, ready in 15 minutes!

Who said that peanut butter sandwiches had to be 1) boring 2) just for kids and 3) the same every time? I’m a huge fan of PB&J, probably because I had it almost every day when I was a kid: so it has some element of nostalgia for me. And even though I can be a creature of habit a lot of the time, the same ingredients (bread, nut butter, some sort of fruit spread), can get a tiny bit monotonous.

My kids could also eat banana peanut butter sandwiches every single day, but even they want to change things up once in a while. So I decided to reinvent the classic peanut butter sandwich to give it a more gourmet, delicious upgrade!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • One of those easy recipes you can make again and again
  • Healthier than a classic pb&j, but tastes just as good (or even better!)
  • Kid-friendly
  • Gluten free option
  • Vegan option
  • Best peanut butter sandwich ever!

🥘 Ingredients

This banana peanut butter sandwich can be easily made with simple ingredients found in your pantry at most grocery stores! See the recipe card below for detailed ingredients and instructions.

  • Gooey Peanut Butter: Either crunchy peanut butter or creamy peanut butter will work for this recipe, just make sure to get all natural peanut butter that has just two ingredients: peanuts and salt.
  • Almond Butter: Combine with the peanut butter filling for a more complex flavor!
  • Bananas: A sliced medium banana adds sweetness without added sugar.
  • Sprouted Wheat Bread: We used sprouted wheat bread because it’s a healthy carb, and it’s even healthier than whole wheat bread (it has more protein and fiber).
  • Cinnamon: For some warm spice! You can also use any other sweet warm spices you like (see variations below for suggestions)
  • Walnuts: For added texture and healthy fats!
  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Use maple syrup for a vegan option, or omit this for a sugar free pb&j sandwich.

📖 Variations

Kids and adults alike are going to love this sandwich, and they’ll never guess that it’s actually good for them! If you want to mix things up even more, here are some other variations to try with this banana peanut butter sandwich:

  • Use different fresh fruit: diced strawberries, apples, pear, blueberries, sliced grapes, mangoes or peaches, all work well. Whole pomegranate seeds, or sliced figs are more adventurous options to try instead of the banana in this recipe.
  • Change up the spices! I used cinnamon in this recipe, but nutmeg, all spice, pumpkin pie spice, or even a pinch of cloves or cardamom would all work well. For a more “adult” flavor, try a pinch of cayenne or chili powder!
  • Make it more of a classic pb&j sandwich: Add your favorite jelly ideas to this sandwich instead of the honey / maple syrup! Try grape jelly, strawberry jam, strawberry preserve, blueberry jam, or even orange marmalade!
  • Make it into a quesadilla! Replace the sprouted wheat bread with whole wheat flour tortillas and grill it on a griddle.
  • Try a different spread: Replace the peanut butter mixture with sunbutter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter, or even cream cheese.
  • Make a gluten free peanut butter sandwich: Just use your favorite gluten free bread instead of the sprouted wheat bread!
  • Try different nuts: Try almonds, peanuts or cashews as whole crushed nuts instead of the walnuts. You could also whip up a custom blend of “peanut butter” using a mix of nut butters, nuts, seeds, granola or even coconut flakes!
  • Make it into a treat: For a more decadent feel, try using french toast or these pancakes as the bread slices in this recipe! You can also add some marshmallow fluff, cookie butter, chocolate chips, crumbled cookies, chocolate syrup or caramel syrup into this sandwich for more of a dessert like feel.

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Spread the peanut & almond butter mixture on both slices of bread, and top one half with sliced bananas

Peanut butter spread on bread and banana slices laid on top

Step 2: Chop 3-4 walnuts, and add on top of the banana slices along with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey

Chopped walnuts placed on top of the banana slices

Step 3: Top with the other slice of bread (that already has peanut/almond butter spread on it), and place sandwiches in the panini press (or grill sandwiches on a grill pan over medium heat if you don’t have a panini press)

An uncooked banana peanut butter sandwich

At this time, the nut butters, banana and honey are getting all melty and gooey…

A grilled banana peanut butter sandwich

Step 4: Once the top has browned and sides of the sandwiches are slightly crispy, remove from the sandwich press and let cool for 1-2 min. Cut your gourmet banana peanut butter sandwich in half diagonally and serve warm or at room temperature.

Two halves of a banana peanut butter sandwich stacked on top of each other

I love the natural sweetness you get in this sandwich from the bananas, and the tiny drizzle of honey just enhances this. The grilling really helps to release the flavors, as well a making it really gooey!

❓Recipe FAQs

Is a peanut butter sandwich healthy?

The typical peanut butter and jelly sandwich isn’t very healthy for you. The classic recipe consists of a couple of slices of white bread, a big scoop of peanut butter, and two or three spoonfuls of jelly. It’s mostly just sugar (thanks to the refined white carbs and jelly), and can run you upwards of 20 grams of sugar for that meal (as much as a Snickers bar!)

But this gourmet peanut butter sandwich is just as tasty as the traditional version, and is healthy for you too! We make this sandwich healthy by making a few swaps:
1) Replacing the white bread with sprouted wheat bread — which has a healthy dose of fiber, protein and whole grains.
2) Adding banana, which is a rich source of potassium and fiber.
3) Adding walnuts, which provide omega 3s and antioxidants.
4) Combining peanut and almond butter, which adds healthy fat
5) No jelly – this recipe has much less sugar because we removed the jelly. You don’t need it with the banana, spices, and honey / maple syrup!
Each serving has a robust 9 grams of fiber, 17 grams of protein, and only 3 grams added sugar: a healthy and filling sandwich!

Does eating banana peanut butter sandwiches make you gain weight?

One peanut butter sandwich a day (or a couple days a week) along with a balanced diet likely won’t make you gain weight. As with everything, moderation is important so don’t go overboard!

If you eat this version of a peanut butter sandwich (paired with some fresh veggies on the side), it’ll likely keep you full and satisfied until your next meal and you’ll be less likely to snack on unhealthy items in between meals.

Studies have shown that snacking on controlled amounts of peanut butter or peanuts is a good way to control hunger without weight gain (source), since 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 190 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 7 grams of protein.

What goes well with peanut butter sandwiches?

I like serving this banana peanut butter sandwich recipe with fresh veggies on the side to round out the meal: celery sticks and carrot sticks go great with this, as does a simple side salad! Baked potato chips are more of a classic side, as is some fresh fruit!

Can you store this sandwich?

I don’t recommend storing this sandwich in an airtight container and eating it later. While it will be perfectly safe to eat, the peanut butter will absorb into the bread so it won’t be as gooey, and the bread will likely get a little soggy and soft, even when stored in

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use ripe bananas for this gourmet peanut butter sandwich – they will be much sweeter, and choose an organic peanut butter with no added sugar.
  • To make this gluten free, just use your favorite gluten-free bread, or try this homemade gluten free bread recipe!
  • If you don’t have a panini press, you can grill these in a pan on the stove top.
  • For best results, enjoy this sandwich fresh off the panini press, while it’s still hot!
  • To make this even more fun for kids, use cookie cutters to cut a peanut butter sandwich into tiny sandwiches in fun shapes: hearts, stars, dinosaurs have all been a big hit with my kids. Or you could do a seasonal theme: pumpkins for Halloween, Christmas trees for Christmas, snowmen for winter!

Close up of sliced bananas on the sandwich

🥪 More Healthy Sandwich Recipes!

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📋 Recipe Card

Gourmet Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich

Who said that the peanut butter sandwich had to be 1) boring 2) just for kids and 3) the same every time? Sometimes reinventing a classic is just what you need to get out of a rut.

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time15 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 1 serving

Calories: 419.4kcal


Note: This recipe has only 3g added sugar, the rest of the sugar is natural (from the bananas and bread!)
Top tips for making this gourmet peanut butter sandwich

  • Use ripe bananas – they will be much sweeter, and choose an organic peanut butter with no added sugar.
  • If you don’t have a panini press, you can grill these in a pan on the stove top.
  • For best results, enjoy this sandwich fresh off the panini press, while it’s still hot!
  • To make this gluten free, just use your favorite gluten-free bread!
  • To make this even more fun for kids, use cookie cutters to cut a peanut butter sandwich into tiny sandwiches in fun shapes: hearts, stars, dinosaurs have all been a big hit with my kids. Or you could do a seasonal theme: pumpkins for Halloween, Christmas trees for Christmas, snowmen for winter!

For variations on this peanut butter sandwich:

  • Use different fresh fruit: diced strawberries, apples, pear, mangoes or peaches, all work well. Whole pomegranate seeds, or sliced figs are more adventurous options to try instead of the banana in this recipe
  • Change up the spices! I used cinnamon in this recipe, but nutmeg, all spice, pumpkin pie spice, or even a pinch of cloves or cardamom would all work well. For a more “adult” flavor, try a pinch of cayenne or chili powder!
  • Make it into a quesadilla! Replace the sprouted wheat bread with whole wheat tortillas and grill it on a griddle.
  • Replace the peanut/almond butter with sunbutter!
  • Try almonds, peanuts or cashews as whole crushed nuts instead of the walnuts. You could also whip up a custom blend of “peanut butter” using a mix of nut butters, seeds, granola or even coconut flakes!
  • For a more decadent feel, try using these pancakes as the “bread” in this recipe!

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 419.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 51.1g | Protein: 16.9g | Fat: 18.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.6g | Sodium: 307.9mg | Potassium: 561.2mg | Fiber: 9.4g | Sugar: 14.5g

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