9 Peanut-Free Alternatives to a Peanut Butter Sandwich

If you can't have the classic PB&J, these are almost as satisfying

hummus sandwich
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If you’ve got a peanut allergy, finding a peanut-free alternative to the peanut butter sandwich can be a challenge. There's something very satisfying about the combination of creamy (or crunchy) peanut butter and jelly on fresh bread, and if you were diagnosed with your peanut allergy after you were introduced to PB&Js, you may feel quite deprived without your favorite sandwich.

Fortunately, though, there are some decent peanut butter alternatives, not to mention some additional options that may not have occurred to you.

Tree nut butters, deli meat options, and seed butters all can do a fine job of satisfying your taste buds while cranking up the nutrients in your diet.

So if you are unable to have peanut butter due to peanut allergy, there are a load of substitutes that can fit the bill. Here are nine healthy, nutritious alternatives to peanut butter:

1. Sunflower seed butter and raspberry jam sandwich

Sunflower seed butter is a seed butter made from sunflower seeds. It is considered a safe alternative for those with peanut and tree nut allergy. Sunflower seed butter is a good source of vitamin E, iron, and fiber. Spread a slice of bread with sunflower seed butter and top it with raspberry jam. Look for these brands of sunflower seed butter: SunButter, Once Again Organic, and Thrive Market Organic.

2. Ham and cheese with grainy mustard on rye bread

Prepackaged and sliced ham and cheese is your safest bet in terms of allergens. Read the ingredient label for potential allergens, as processing in manufacturing facilities and cross-contamination can be a real issue. Getting ham and cheese fresh from the deli counter can be risky, as it can be potentially cross-contaminated with allergens during slicing and packaging.

3. Turkey, lettuce, tomato, and hummus on whole grain bread

The same holds true for turkey as for ham and cheese—buy it prepackaged and sliced, and make sure to double-check the ingredient list for allergens. Use hummus (which comes in many flavors) as a spread to add in extra protein and flavor. Hummus is made from chick peas (garbanzo beans) and tahini, which is ground sesame seeds. Despite chick peas' membership in the legume family, hummus is usually tolerated with a peanut allergy. Check with your healthcare provider if you're unsure.

4. Hummus in a pita stuffed with leftover salad

Spread the inside of a pita pocket with hummus and stuff it with leftover salad or bagged salad greens. This sandwich is deliciously crunchy and loaded with protein, fiber and vitamins and minerals.

5. Soy butter with banana slices on whole wheat bread

Soy butter is a popular alternative to peanut butter. Made from soybeans, this creamy spread is full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Swipe some soy butter on whole wheat bread and top it with banana slices for a satisfying lunch or breakfast meal. Look for brands Don't Go Nuts and Wowbutter, both of which are nut-free.

6. Tahini (sesame seed butter) with shredded broccoli and carrots on a roll

Spread a split roll on both sides with tahini (which is made from sesame seeds) and pile on the shredded broccoli and carrots (these come prepackaged in most produce sections of your grocery store). You’ll have a crunchy, fiber-rich, protein-filled sandwich that’s full of healthy fats.

7. Almond butter and sliced apples

Sometimes a sandwich isn’t in the cards. Try this peanut-free, non-sandwich option for lunch or as a snack idea. Almond butter is made from almonds, which are tree nuts. Almond butter is rich in fiber, vitamin E and healthy fats. In fact, almonds contain the most nutrients per calorie of any nut.

8. Cashew butter on an English muffin topped with raisins

Cashew butter is made from the cashew, a tree nut, so it's safe for those with peanut allergy but not for those with nut allergy. Spread cashew butter on a piping hot English muffin for some melted nut butter goodness, and add the raisins on top for an extra boost of iron.

9. Pumpkin seed butter and honey sandwich

Pumpkin seed butter is different from pumpkin butter, which is made from the orange flesh of the pumpkin. Pumpkin seed butter is made from roasting pumpkin seeds and grinding them in a blender to a butter consistency. Spread slices of bread with pumpkin seed butter and drizzle a bit of honey on top for a nutritious and delicious peanut butter sandwich stand-in.

A Word from Verywell

A peanut allergy diagnosis obviously rules out the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But it also opens up a whole new world of interesting lunch ideas. Mix and match these or create your own, and you may find you don't miss those delicious, creamy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after all (or at least not too much).

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Seeds, sunflower seed butter, with salt added (Includes foods for USDA's Food Distribution Program).

  2. Cousin M, Verdun S, Seynave M, et al. Phenotypical characterization of peanut allergic children with differences in cross-allergy to tree nuts and other legumes. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2017;28(3):245-250. doi:10.1111/pai.12698

By Jill Castle, MS, RD
Jill Castle, MS, RD, is a childhood nutrition expert, published book author, consultant, and public speaker who helps parents nourish healthy kids.