Ina Garten's Simple Tip Takes PB&J To The Next Level

When home cooks are looking for classic, bulletproof recipes with impressive flair, many of them turn to Ina Garten for advice. From elegant restaurant recommendations to tips for stress-free holiday cooking and cutting down on dishes, the Barefoot Contessa comes to home cooks' rescue over and over again. Garten's latest cookbook, "Go-To Dinners" (which dropped October 25, 2022), is packed with simple-yet-elevated recipes. Garten tells People that she came up with the collection of ideas during the COVID-19 pandemic, during which every meal was cooked at home, and many folks didn't have the energy to devote to elaborate meal planning. In fact, during the pandemic, Garten took to Instagram to show fans how she makes her PB&J – a meal about as classic and simple as it gets.

ESPN lauds PB&J as one of the most popular pre-game snacks in the NBA. Per Healthline, just 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter pack 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 16 grams of fats. PB&J is fuel; It'll keep you full for a while and it's wicked cost-effective. At a Whole Foods in Brooklyn, NY, a loaf of white bread runs for $3.79, a 16-ounce jar of peanut butter costs $3.19, and a 17.5-ounce jar of grape jelly costs $4.99. That comes out to roughly $1.50 per serving, and Garten's simple tip will take your sandwich to the next level.

The toast with the most

Ina Garten's tip for a next-level PB&J isn't an expensive secret ingredient or some elaborate technique. All you need to do for a killer sandwich, says Garten, via her Instagram post, is lightly toast the bread. That's it. Fellow chef Giada De Laurentiis, television personality Katie Couric, and actress Melissa McCarthy all took to the comments section to praise the sandwich, says TODAY. Garten herself hit the comments section as well to reveal her favorite brands: Pepperidge Farms white bread, Skippy peanut butter (creamy), and Eli Zabar's raspberry preserves. In Garten's recipe for PB&J bars (which Southern Living says "stir up all the nostalgia of childhood"), she opts for raspberry jelly again. Notably, the chef's perfect PB&J is made totally from store-bought ingredients. But, as Garten herself says, "You don't have to do everything from scratch."

Still, to some diehard PB&J fans, toasted-versus-untoasted might be the subject of debate. A Reddit forum asking which method people prefer garnered divisive answers. One toasted fan said, "I don't like soggy bread." Another commenter insisted, "Untoast[ed], soft bread is part of the experience." But, whichever method you prefer, if you find that your go-to PB&J is starting to get a little tired, a light toasting might be just the thing it needs.