Easy Panda Peanut Butter Jelly Frozen Sandwiches for School Lunches

I love the fall, with its crisp air and pumpkins. But, it’s also a bitter-sweet time because my babies go back to school … this year, I’m sending them off with these adorably easy panda peanut butter jelly frozen sandwiches in their school lunches. These things are so adorable, I just want to eat them all up. (I made some more for me and Joe.) I got the idea because we all love those peanut butter and grape jelly Uncrustable sandwiches. Best of all, these things unfreeze before lunch!

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What I Love About These Easy Panda Peanut Butter Jelly Frozen Sandwiches for School Lunches

The start of school is like the Game of Thrones finale, where you have to wait until next summer to find out what happens to your favorite characters, or, in this case, what your vacay plans are. It also brings a wealth of school-time activities and school-time STUFF.

The Husband and I started taking our lunches to work about a year ago. I know, right? How is it that I couldn’t get with it with something so simple??? As my friend Douglas writes, taking your lunch to school or work is a great way to save money, but also because you are able to control what you eat.

Although schools do offer low-cost lunches, nothing beats the frugalness of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Not to mention, peanut butter is good for you. I first started making them as a cheaper alternative to the Uncrustable sandwiches.

I then discovered an adorable panda-shaped sandwich cutter. I mean, who can resist this face???

The best part is, this sandwich is super easy and super fun to make. You’ll have an army of cuteness in your freezer.

Five Must-Know Tips for the Perfect Frozen PB&J

  1. Bread Selection Matters – Go for thicker slices to prevent sogginess.
  2. Layering Technique – Spread peanut butter on both slices of bread before adding jelly. It creates a moisture barrier!
  3. Freeze Individually – Wrap each sandwich in wax paper before freezing for easy grab-and-go treats.
  4. Thawing Time – Let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before eating; it’s worth the wait.
  5. Experiment with Flavors – Don’t be afraid to mix up your jelly and peanut butter choices. Variety is the spice of life!


Your PB&J will be defrosted to the perfect temperature … a little chilly but not frozen … once lunch starts. For a very healthy lunch, pair with a non-sugary drink and some fruit.

Keeping Your Frozen PB&J Sandwiches Fresh and Fabulous

To keep them at their best:

  • Freeze Quickly: Assemble and freeze immediately to maintain freshness.
  • Air-Tight Storage: Use airtight containers or freezer bags.
  • Label Them: Don’t forget to date them; they’re best enjoyed within a month.
  • No Stacking: Keep them in a single layer in the freezer to avoid squishing.
    • Hint: Freeze, then stack them into a bigger plastic bag to save room in the freezer. Or, stand them upright!


  1. Storage Duration in the Freezer:
    When stored in the freezer, these can last up to one month. Ensure they are securely wrapped to retain freshness and prevent freezer burn.

  2. Using Homemade Jelly:
    Incorporating homemade jelly into this recipe is a great choice. It often enhances the overall flavor, making your creation uniquely delicious and personalized.

  3. Choice Between Crunchy or Smooth Peanut Butter:
    The recipe is versatile, allowing you to choose either crunchy or smooth peanut butter. Each type brings its own texture and consistency to the dish.

  4. Optimal Bread Type:
    For this recipe, thicker bread slices are recommended. They provide a robust structure and texture, which holds the ingredients together more effectively.

  5. Adding Additional Ingredients:
    You are encouraged to customize by adding ingredients like sliced bananas or cinnamon. These additions can elevate the flavor profile of the dish.

  6. Dairy-Free Alternatives:
    To adapt this recipe for a dairy-free diet, select dairy-free bread and check the ingredients of your peanut butter to ensure it’s dairy-free.

  7. Recommendations for Sugar-Free Jelly:
    There are numerous sugar-free jelly options available on the market. Always check the product labels to find the one that best suits your dietary needs.

  8. Bulk Preparation Feasibility:
    This recipe is ideal for preparing in large quantities, making it suitable for meal prep or serving at gatherings. The dish maintains its quality even when made in bulk.

  9. Thawing Method:
    For the best taste and texture, let them thaw at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. This method ensures they retain their intended flavor.

  10. Toasting Possibility:
    While toasting is an option, it’s recommended to enjoy these chilled as intended. The chilled version provides a unique taste experience that might be altered by toasting.

Additional Information

  • Pairing Suggestions: Pair these with a glass of milk or a cup of your favorite coffee for a delightful breakfast or snack experience.
  • Gluten-Free Adaptation: Use gluten-free bread as a substitute to cater to those with gluten sensitivities or preferences.
  • Community Suggestions: Some people have experimented by adding a thin layer of honey or using various types of nut butters for a different taste experience.

Some Variations to the PB&J Classic

Almond Butter

Freezing Characteristics: Almond butter freezes quite well. It maintains its texture and flavor when frozen and thawed, making it a great alternative for peanut butter in frozen sandwiches.

Pairing Suggestions:

  • Fig or Apricot Preserves: These slightly exotic jams pair beautifully with the nutty flavor of almond butter.
  • Banana Slices: Adding thinly sliced bananas before freezing creates a delightful texture contrast.
  • Honey and Cinnamon: A drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon add a sweet and spicy kick.

Cashew Butter

Freezing Characteristics: Cashew butter has a rich, creamy texture that holds up well in the freezer. It doesn’t separate or become grainy, ensuring a smooth experience in your frozen sandwich.

Pairing Suggestions:

  • Raspberry Jam: The tartness of raspberry complements the creamy cashew butter nicely.
  • Sliced Strawberries: Fresh strawberries offer a summery twist and freeze well with cashew butter.
  • Chocolate Spread: A layer of chocolate spread can turn your sandwich into a luxurious treat.

Sunflower Seed Butter

Freezing Characteristics: Sunflower seed butter is an excellent choice for freezing. It retains its creamy texture and doesn’t harden excessively, making it easy to bite into even when cold.

Pairing Suggestions:

  • Grape Jelly: Classic grape jelly works well with the distinct, slightly earthy taste of sunflower seed butter.
  • Apple Slices and Cinnamon: Thinly sliced apples and a dash of cinnamon add a crunchy and aromatic dimension.
  • Honey and Granola: For a crunchy twist, add a layer of granola with a drizzle of honey.

Hazelnut Butter

Freezing Characteristics: Hazelnut butter freezes satisfactorily, though it can become a bit firm. It’s best to let the sandwich thaw for a few minutes before eating.

Pairing Suggestions:

  • Cherry Jam: The sweetness of cherry jam pairs elegantly with the rich flavor of hazelnut butter.
  • Sliced Pears: Pears offer a unique and sophisticated flavor combination with hazelnut butter.
  • Dark Chocolate Chips: For a decadent treat, sprinkle some dark chocolate chips before freezing.

Walnut Butter

Freezing Characteristics: Walnut butter, while not as common, freezes well. It retains its rich, nutty flavor and doesn’t become too hard in the freezer.

Pairing Suggestions:

  • Blackberry Jam: The tartness of blackberry jam contrasts nicely with the earthy tones of walnut butter.
  • Sliced Peaches: Peaches provide a sweet, juicy element that complements the robust flavor of walnut butter.
  • Maple Syrup and Bacon Bits: For a savory twist, try adding a bit of maple syrup and crispy bacon bits.

Also try out my delicious peanut butter cupcakes!

Photo Steps

Two slices of bread.


Remember to put the peanut butter on the outside, otherwise the bread will get soggy as it unfreezes.


Jelly in the middle.


Inside the bottom of the sandwich cutter.


Push the top down.


Here’s what the completed sandwich should look like.

The little face in the insert.

Yield: 5 sandwiches

Peanut Butter Jelly Frozen Sandwiches

Peanut Butter Jelly Frozen Sandwiches

Embark on a nostalgic culinary journey with these easy-to-make peanut butter and jelly frozen sandwiches. A delightful twist on the classic favorite with the panda-shape.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup jelly (of your favorite flavor)
  • 10 slices of bread


  1. Spread about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on one side of each bread slice. Try to keep kind of in the center (around where the panda-shaped cutter will be).
  2. On five of the bread slices, spread 2 tablespoons of jelly over the peanut butter. Again, kind of in the center.
  3. Top the jelly layers with the remaining bread slices, peanut butter side down. The key here is to not overfill the jelly!
  4. Press gently to seal the sandwiches using the panda-shaped cutter.
  5. Using the face, press gently into the sandwich.
  6. Wrap each sandwich individually in wax paper.
  7. Place the sandwiches in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  8. Enjoy directly from the freezer or let thaw for a few minutes for a softer texture.


  • Bread Choice: Opt for thicker slices of bread to prevent sogginess after freezing.
  • Nut Butter Options: Feel free to substitute peanut butter with any nut butter of your choice, like almond or cashew butter, for different flavor profiles.
  • Jelly Varieties: Experiment with different types of jelly or preserves to find your favorite combination.
  • Freezing Individual Sandwiches: Wrap each sandwich individually in wax paper or plastic wrap to maintain freshness and prevent freezer burn.
  • Thawing: For the best texture, let the sandwich thaw at room temperature for a few minutes before enjoying.
  • Customization: Feel free to add slices of banana or a sprinkle of cinnamon between the layers for an added twist.
  • Storage: These sandwiches can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. Make sure to label them with the date to keep track of freshness.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 589Total Fat 28gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 0mgSodium 564mgCarbohydrates 75gFiber 5gSugar 30gProtein 17g

Nutritional values automatically generated.


The Final: Easy Panda Peanut Butter Jelly Frozen Sandwiches for School Lunches

Here’s Joe enjoying his PB&J sandwich, sans frozen.

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