10 Genius Uses of Peanut Butter

From cookies to salad dressing, ice cream to swordfish, here are 10 sweet and savory recipes that make creative use of our favorite pantry staple.

  • All-I-Want-For-Christmas Peanut Butter Cookies. Peanut butter cookies sandwiching peanut butter cream (a.k.a frosting)? Count us in. This recipe makes four dozen. That’s hardly enough.
  • Homemade Peanut Butter Cups. You can customize these DIY peanut butter cups in a number of ways: Use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt or cayenne. Make them vegan by choosing dairy-free chocolate and vegan sugar, and swapping out the butter for coconut oil. There are lots of possibilities. All of them are bound to be delicious.
  • Grilled Peanut Tofu. This tofu, marinated in a slightly spicy peanut sauce, is a cinch to make and pleases just about everyone who sits down to a plate. It’s easiest to make the marinade in the food processor, but mixing it up by hand won’t give you any trouble.
  • Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Concord Grape Coulis. Here you have one of the all-time best flavor combinations—PB&J—delivered in a world class vehicle: ice cream with fruity goodness poured over.
  • Lacinato Kale and Mint Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing. This salad has it all: sturdy greens that won't wilt, and a spicy peanut dressing that'll steal the show.
  • Peanut Butter & Cheese Cookies. Ever had a peanut butter and cheese sandwich? For some, it’s a favorite late-night snack, and now that combination can be had in cookie form. This recipe makes a delicious cookie: not too sweet, nice and light, with a savory, cheesy bite in the center.
  • Five-Minute, No-Bake Vegan Granola Bars. These bars can be whatever you want them to be. Add different kinds of dried fruits, different nuts, or different nut butters. It's all good. Mix, wrap, and enjoy!
  • Yam and Peanut Stew with Kale. Rich, nutrient dense, sweet, savory, and spicy, this stew is the ideal winter comfort food. Garnish with green onions and crushed roasted and salted peanuts for an extra kick!
  • Suya Swordfish. This is an adaptation of a Nigerian peanut marinade, which is commonly spread over meat, skewered and then cooked over hot coals/firewood. Swordfish’s meaty texture is a smart substitute for meat, and using homemade peanut butter is a nice touch. A spritz of fresh lime juice before eating is a must.
  • Salted Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. This is the ultimate peanut butter cookie for chocolate lovers. The texture is reminiscent of the peanut butter cookie we all grew up on but with every detail refined—the base is made with cocoa, you stir in unsalted peanuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips (just the right amount of each so it's not overkill), and then sprinkle coarse sea salt on top.

We’re not knocking PB&Js, but peanut butter’s versatility extends far beyond it’s ability to adhere to both white and wheat toast. From cookies to salad dressing, ice cream to swordfish, here are 10 sweet and savory recipes that make creative use of our favorite pantry staple. One tip before we dig in: Stock up on the creamy sort—it’s called on much more often in recipes than it’s crunchy counterpart.

Click through the gallery above to see all of the recipes.

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