The Surprising Ingredient Southerners Put on a Peanut Butter Sandwich

Move over, jelly. There's a new sandwich spread in town.

Next time you make a peanut butter sandwich, skip the banana slices, grape jelly and honey. There’s a surprising ingredient Southerners have been adding to their PB sammies for decades. Here’s the scoop.

Find even more tasty ingredients you can add to a PB&J.

A Surprising Combo: Peanut Butter + Mayonnaise

Born out of Depression-era desperation, peanut butter and mayonnaise were frequently united on the same sandwich in the 1930s and 1940s. And while, to some, this may sound like a combo straight out of a kitchen nightmare, the end result is surprisingly creamy. Plus, the duo is more fattening and flavorful than either spread on its own—providing a filling meal for hungry tummies. Find more Depression-era meals here.

How to Make a Southern Peanut Butter Mayo Sandwich

Taste of Home

If you’d like to try this retro combo in your own kitchen, give this recipe from Taste of Home’s Deputy Editor, James Schend, a try.


  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 slice crusty white bread
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, optional

To Make:

This open-faced sammie couldn’t be easier. Simply combine the mayo and peanut butter and stir until combined. Spread the mixture over the bread (try it either toasted or untoasted—it’s up to you!) and top with cheese, if desired.

Variations On a Classic

In addition to the peanut butter and mayo, some sandwich lovers like to add extra ingredients, such as:

  • Cheese: Give your sandwich a little extra tang with some shredded cheese. Sharp cheddars, like the kind used in James’ aforementioned recipe add more flavor, while mild cheddars increase the creaminess.
  • Lettuce: A big iceberg leaf adds crispness and helps cut through the heaviness of the sandwich spread. It’s also very cost-effective.
  • Bacon: For an extra hit of protein, try adding a few bacon slices. Just make sure you pick up our Test Kitchen-Preferred brands.

Still hungry? Find more of our favorite old-fashioned Southern recipes.

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Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.