Deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yes, it’s a thing. And the recipe below shows you how to make it. As the authors say, “although this would be insane trade bait in the lunchroom, it’s best to eat these deep-fried wonders right out of the fryer.” To us, the deep-fried rendition of a childhood classic is damn good straight up without the white chocolate ganache for dipping. Because whatever happened to purity of purpose? To simple pleasures? To it being midnight and you gotta cut some corners? But if you feel the need to embellish, it’s also damn good with a shmear of the sweet stuff.–David Leite

What can I add to a peanut butter sandwich?

Max and Eli Sussman recommend banana chips but what else sounds good? We have a few suggestions of our own. Obviously, bacon. If you’re gonna eat Elvis’ sandwich, you might as well go all the way. He was also a fan of fresh banana. If you’re feeling less like the King, how about coconut? Raisins, honey, sliced apples or strawberries would work too. Change up the nut butter—chocolate hazelnut would take it over the top here. If you’re a peanut butter and pickle fan, hmmm…maybe?

Three halves of deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a black oval platter with a knife on the side.

Deep-Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

5 / 5 votes
Here’s how to make deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Because yes, that’s a thing. A darn good thing.
David Leite
CourseSnacks
CuisineAmerican
Servings8 sandwich halves
Calories751 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time1 hour

Equipment

  • Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer

Ingredients 

For the white chocolate ganache (optional)

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

  • Peanut oil, for deep-frying
  • About 1/2 loaf best-quality bread, perhaps a heavy sourdough nut or fruit bread such as raisin-walnut bread
  • About 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • About 1/2 cup strawberry jam, (or any flavor)
  • About 2 1/4 cups banana chips, (optional)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

Make the white chocolate ganache (optional)

  • Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and rest the bowl in a saucepan over but not touching simmering water or put the chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler. Heat the chocolate until melted, occasionally stirring gently with a spatula to help the melting along.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: Be careful not to let so much as a drop of water get in the chocolate or it may seize.

  • When the chocolate has fully melted, reduce the heat to low. Switch to a whisk and slowly add the cream, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the ganache into a heatproof bowl. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Make the deep-fried peanut butter and jelly

  • Pour enough oil in a deep pot or deep-fryer to measure about 3 inches. Heat the oil to 325°F (165°C).
  • Cut the bread into 8 slices, each about 1/4 inch thick. Go ahead and make 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If you’re a human, you should know how to do this. But for this fried version, be sure you don’t overload them with too much PB or J. Before closing each sandwich, add a layer of banana chips if you dare.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add 1/2 cup milk and vanilla and whisk until a smooth batter forms. If necessary, add more milk to create a dippable consistency.
  • When the oil is hot, make sure all the sandwiches are tightly closed. Then, working with 1 sandwich at a time, dip it into the batter and turn it gently to thoroughly coat it. Lift it from the batter and let the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Using tongs to hold the sandwich tightly on 1 end, submerge the sandwich halfway into the hot oil and fry for 15 seconds, then release the sandwich into the oil. It should now float. Fry the sandwich, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side. [Editor’s Note: If the sandwich isn’t turning golden brown in the suggested time, increase the temperature of the oil to 350°F (177°C).] Using the tongs, drop the deep-fried PB&J onto paper towels or a brown paper bag to drain. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
  • Serve the warm sandwiches with the white chocolate ganache, if using, on the side for dipping. Originally published February 11, 2014.
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Nutrition

Serving: 1 portionCalories: 751 kcalCarbohydrates: 85 gProtein: 12 gFat: 42 gSaturated Fat: 17 gMonounsaturated Fat: 14 gTrans Fat: 0.01 gCholesterol: 14 mgSodium: 598 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 43 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 Max and Eli Sussman. Photo © 2013 Erin Kunkel. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

We loved the deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We used a sourdough bread that would stand up to any liquid inflicted on it.

I substituted red currant jelly for the strawberry jelly and it was yummy. We made 2 sandwiches with sliced banana and 2 without. I heated the oil and started the ganache. Next, I put together batter and had to add another 1/4 cup milk because it was too stiff for dipping. I cut the first sandwich in half before I fried it. Then, I chopped a half sandwich into thirds, like finger sandwiches, before frying. I liked this size better for eating and serving as it was more manageable.

I found the 2-minute time frame perfect for each side to let them swim around in the pool of hot oil. The fried banana was creamy within the confines of the golden fried batter. The white chocolate drizzle was goodness on top of awesome.

These deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were just too fun to pass up. The batter was too thick to work with as written, a bit like a paste. I added 1/4 cup more milk to thin it some so it would coat the sandwiches. That helped, but it was still pretty thick. It took closer to 4 minutes to fry each sandwich. The first one took the longest at about 7 minutes. I raised the fryer heat to 370°F (188°C) and the remaining sandwiches took 4 minutes each.

The finished sandwich is a bit like a filled funnel cake. I bypassed the white chocolate ganache and banana chips and just enjoyed the sandwich itself. While these aren’t a light dessert, they’re yummy.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    It is glorious!! I’m eating it while attempting to write this at the same time. I made homemade whipped cream instead of the ganache. Still very tasty and oozing with deliciousness. Thanks guys

    1. You’re welcome, Flabiano. I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for taking the time to let us know.

    1. kid1235, the oil is necessary here to fry the sandwich and crisp up the batter. I don’t think there is an alternative that will give you the same result.