SB&J Burger

Dave and I enjoyed many fine meals while we were at the Ancestral Healthy Symposium: among them were Animal with our paleo foodie friends and 26 Beach in Venice, on the recommendation of Melissa & Dallas of Whole9Life. (If you live near 26 Beach, they now offer online ordering!)

To get to Venice, we rented bikes in Santa Monica and rode along the beach. What a day! The sky was brilliant blue and the temperature was in the high 70s, a refreshing treat given the summer we’re having in Austin. (Yesterday we broke the all-time record for 100+ degree days in a year; we’re at 70 days so far.)

The Santa Monica beach looks just like the movies: a wide expanse of sand with a meandering bike bath that leads to the Santa Monica pier with its iconic ferris wheel. The bike path disappears under the pier – home of vampires, naturally – and then leads to Venice. Along the way, there’s a skate park, pullup bars and gymnastics rings, drum circles, and plenty of rollerbladers in bikinis.

Dave did some pretty badass vaults on the graffiti wall near the skate park.

Then we biked around Marina Del Rey and walked out a jetty to fraternize with the seagulls and pelicans. I was lucky to see a bulbous, snorting sea lion – named Bobo, according to the fishermen – but he was camera shy.

All that nature worked up our appetites, and we headed to 26 Beach, a sun-filled restaurant known for its hamburgers – generous slabs of beef topped with unusual ingredients. Here’s a gratuitous picture of my husband because he looked so handsome that day, with the restaurant’s shabby chic decor in the background.

I had “Chef Katsu’s Original California Roll Burger” without a bun: Angus beef, snow crab salad, avocado, pickled ginger, shredded nori, and shoyu-wasabi-aioli. The interplay of textures was luscious, and the aioli had just the right amount of nose-rush.

26 Beach “California Roll Burger”

But Dave really picked the winner. The peanut butter and jelly burger. One bite, and I decided I needed to try to recreate a paleo version at home. It’s totally weird and also totally scrumptious. The creamy texture of the nut butter is a lovely contrast to the grilled meat – and the strawberries are tangy-sweet.

26 Beach “Peanut Butter & Jelly Burger”

Here’s the home version with no bun, Sunbutter standing in for the peanut butter, and sautéed strawberries taking the place of the jelly. It’s a damn fine recreation of the restaurant burger, without all the annoying anti-nutrients. I’m excited to try the “jelly” technique on other fruits – peaches, apricots, pineapple, and other berry varieties should also work really well.


SB&J Burger

Serves 2-4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 10 minutes | Whole30 compliant

2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 pound ground beef
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup sunflower seed or almond butter (no sugar added)
4-6 scallions, green tops only, thinly sliced

1. In a small bowl, mix the strawberries, lemon juice, and ginger. Set aside. Preheat a gas grill with all burners on high, lid closed, 10-15 minutes.

2. Mix the ground beef with salt and pepper and shape into four patties. Gently press down the center of each patty until it’s about 1/2-inch thick to make a slight depression; this will prevent them from turning bulbous when you cook them. Grill patties, uncovered and without pressing down on them, until they’re seared on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue grilling to desired temperature: 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium, and 5 minutes for well-done.

3. While the burgers are cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium-high. Pour the strawberries and their juice into the pan and sauté the berries until they’re very soft and syrupy. They should be reduced to about 1/2 cup. Allow to cool a bit.

4. Place the sunflower butter in a microwave-safe dish (or saucepan) and heat until thinned, about 40 seconds in the microwave.

5. When the burgers are good to go, top each with 1 tablespoon of melted sunflower butter and a few tablespoons of the strawberry “jelly,” then sprinkle with scallions.

You Know How You Could Do That?

Change the meat: Use turkey, pork, or a meat combo.

Change the jelly: Use other berries or stone fruits, like peaches or apricots.

Make an Elvis: Bananas and bacon… oh my! Instructions right here.



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53 Responses to “SB&J Burger”

  1. I used the love the peanut butter bacon burger at The Velvet Dog in New Orleans. Best alcohol absorber ever.

  2. Oh, yum. I just shared this on my Google Reader for the benefit of my fellow sunbutter lovin’ friends. :)

  3. Scott Hinson says:

    Oh no. Must fight uncontrollable urge to run home and make this right now.

    -Okra Guy

  4. Dallas @ Whole9 says:


    Glad you guys braved the PB&J burger. I’m adventurous with food, but that just seemed WRONG. Good on you for being braver than me – and enjoying it! :)


    • Mel says:

      It was INSANELY creamy good. But I only had two bites ’cause of the whole peanut butter issue. But the other night? When I made it at home? I ate EVERY BITE.

  5. Cate says:

    Your blog makes me so happy! Oodles of delicious recipes + fantastic whit – that’s a winning combo! I’ve already stolen a few from you, and I have to admit, I’m ridiculously excited to make this for dinner tomorrow night!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Cate! Let me know how you like the SB&J burger. I can’t decide if I’m a weirdo for liking it, or if everyone else is missing the boat 😉

      • Cate says:

        as nancy said, you’re definitely not crazy! this was so tasty. i think the next time i make it i’m going to add some more savory spices to the hamburger though, bring out that yummy ground beef flavor a bit. AND, i love the idea of cherries!

        • Mel says:

          Whew! Glad you liked it, too. Let me know you you season the burgers… I was thinking about trying a little ginger and garlic next time. Unless we go with the bacon. Then probably just garlic.

  6. nancy says:

    Genius. Delicious. I used cherries and cooked the burgers in a little bit of bacon grease. I will definitely make this again.

  7. Sarah says:

    Wow, file this one under, things that should never go togegether…but go together SO WELL! Thanks!

  8. […] 5, 2011 by The Foodee SB&J Burger The Clothes Make the […]

  9. […] don’t know if you saw this on HCF website via Foodee via The Clothes Make the Girl, but I had to post this.  To be honest, I’ve never purchased these silly looking burgers […]

  10. […] article: chasing greatness and beating it down recipe: sbj burger […]

  11. Shawna says:

    Crazy?! No way; made this for dinner tonight alongside roasted broccoli, and I think this is my new favorite paleo meal! So good and satisfying. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. […] Recipe – SB&J Burger – The Clothes Make The […]

  13. Kirsten says:

    Reminds me of a recipe I often make (and also wondered if I was weird for making this concoction). But hubby and friends really love it. And so easy & quick.
    -Sauté chunks of chicken breast ( I use some coconut oil)
    – when browned, add a couple big spoonfuls of almond butter.
    – add 1 or 2 cups of salsa ( I like using really spicy salsa)
    – stir it all up, put on a lid and simmer on low for 5-10min
    So rich and yummy.
    You can play with the ratio of salsa to almond butter. If you have a bit more time, it’s nice to marinate the chicken (I use Tamari or Coconut Aminos plus garlic and ginger).
    Green onions make a nice topping to serve.
    Will sometimes serve atop cauliflower rice for more substantial meal.
    Who knew nut butter & salsa could combine to create something so yummy!!

    • Mel says:

      That sounds GREAT! It’s almost like a really quick, on-the-fly mole… love that! I wonder what would happen if you added just a tiny bit of unsweetened cocoa with the almond butter. Hmmm…

  14. amy says:

    In the nicest possible way, I always thought you Americans were crazy for eating peanut butter and jam (jelly) together.. BUT I felt like something a bit crazy & paleo is making me more adventurous so I gave it a try and OH MY TASTY GOSH it is delicious! Can’t wait for the appropriate amount of days to pass so I can make it again!

    • Mel says:

      Right?! It’s crazy-good! So glad you enjoyed it… and now you’ve inspired me to make this tonight. I’m going to make a more savory version: almond butter with cumin and cayenne, blackberry “jam”, and maybe a strip of bacon.

  15. Rachel says:

    Wow! The only reason I made this is because of how good you said it was because honestly to me, it sounded really weird. I am so happy I made this tonight for dinner. Can’t believe how yummie it was! The strawberry jam was PERFECT! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Demetrius says:


    I almost had a riot in my household with this burger. I made the burger for guests as we cheered for our Houston Texans tonight. I used a mixture of bison and ground beef, mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries), almond butter, and crumbled some bacon on top. I also made the cumin roasted carrots in lieu of fries. OMG!! Now I am the cool a$$ wife of the group. THANKS!!!

    • Mel says:

      YAY! Way to knock your peoples’ socks off with sneaky good food. I think we should just pretend that you and I are responsible for the Texans victory — it was all the good vibes from the food 😉

  17. Lara says:

    My husband was gone tonight so I thought I would try this! Have to be honest it was a little skeptical but you haven’t steered me wrong yet :). SO GOOD. I am pumped for leftovers already. Thank you!!

  18. […] forward to last month when I came across a recipe for SB&J Burgers on the fine Paleo blog,  The Clothes Make the Girl.   I immediately had to see if I could recreate the taste I remembered from childhood.  To make […]

  19. […] First, a vegetarian diet of processed food does not a healthy diet make. Cheese bagels, Maltesers, crisps and weekend Bacardi Breezers? As a staple diet?! Oh my goodness, get some nourishment woman! Eat some proper protein and fat at every meal; maybe some tofu and a bit of avocado. You could even ditch the vegetarian diet and have one with fresher foods, that included the occasional free range and totally delicious burger. I think that would be super healthy and instead of ‘impressing’ boys by smoking and wearing low cuts tops (cough), you could totally be the girl who makes an awesome burger. […]

  20. Mike Carlson says:

    Just made these exactly as above, except with ground bison meat. I really didn’t expect it to be as tasty as it was. I made one with almond butter and it worked just as well. My 9 year old daughter scarfed em up with me. Strawberries, onions, and sunflower seed paste on meat… yummy!

  21. 26 Beach says:

    […] …seriously, what CAN’T they do well? Am curious about their other burgers, especially the PB & Jelly one (<—here’s an at-home recipe version). […]

  22. Dania R. says:

    Thank you for linking to this in your Tuesday 10 Burger Toppings. I can’t wait to give this a try… sounds creepily delicious. Love it!

  23. […] amazing breakfast of all time (again, once the Whole 30 is done in SEVEN days!), and then have a delicious and completely guiltless burger for dinner – all in the same day.  Call me obsessed.  Call me a nut butter fiend.  Call me […]

  24. Aubrey says:

    Insane!! It was all I could do to not eat two!! Thank you!

  25. Danielle Zerlang says:

    We made this tonight. My whole family was skeptical at first, but EVERYBODY raved over it and literally begged for seconds!!! Even our pickiest little eater wanted more! We decided to add a little avocado and our own homemade yam shoestrings on top. Seriously good!!! No non-paleo friends or fam can ever accuse us of missing out! Thank you for another home run!!

    • Mel says:

      Right on! Glad everyone liked it! We just had SB&J Burgers this week for the first time since last year, and man! I forgot how yummy that is. Might have a re-do later this week :-)

  26. […] SB&J Burger from The Clothes Make the Girl […]

  27. […] are always fun and sassy! This looks like a great mix of flavors with easy preparation. Day 26: SB+J Burger served with some BBQ 3000 sweet potato fries and some veggies. I’ve never made this, but […]

  28. Deanna says:

    Oh. My. God. The ONE thing I have truly missed since going Paleo is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which is why whenever I find myself a few drinks too tipsy, I end up making one. I’ve had days where I wondered how you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich paleo. Seeds and berries on a salad? That’s just… a salad. On celery you just have ants on a log. But on a burger… Now I know what I’m treating my husband to when he gets home this weekend! He’s gonna FLIP!!! I’m already flipping!

  29. Alicia says:

    First go round I used blackberries and Justin’s maple almond butter. OMG amazing! Can’t wait to try it this way tonight. Whoo-hoo!

  30. […] and 1/2 of the blackberry “jelly,” then sprinkle with scallions and bacon. Enjoy! Inspired by Clothes That Make The Girl! Thanks girl!! […]

  31. Terry says:

    This has been one of our favorite dishes since we went paleo Feb 1 2012. Thanks!

  32. […] PB&J Burger From The Clothes Make the Girl […]

  33. Cari says:

    Tried this with peanut butter (my “modified” paleo includes PB) and I can’t believe how good it was. Seriously surprising. My boyfriend thinks I’m disgusting now. I gotta get him to try it. 😛

  34. […] GET THE RECIPE via, and make SB&J Burgers for dinner this weekend! […]

  35. […] SB&J BURGERS courtesy Melissa Joulwan at! This recipe is at the TOP of my “To-Make” List, and I CANNOT WAIT for it!!!!!!!!!! Melissa was SO KIND as to retweet my blog post this past Wednesday, on “National Cheeseburger Day”: […]

  36. Rochelle says:

    Made this last night with almond butter and figs instead. My parents mailed us a box full of figs from their abundant harvest and I needed to use them up. OMG, SO. GOOD! I topped some fried eggs with the leftover fig jelly and scallions; that was also delicious. I’ve had the PB&J&bacon burger at Slater’s 50/50 before, but it was a bit too much to handle. This paleo version has the perfect amount of sweetness and was less tedious to eat. My family loves your chili recipe, too! We’ve tried a handful of paleo chili recipes, and yours is one of my husband’s favorites!

  37. Natasha A. says:

    Called The Mr. for lunch and asked if he was OK with an experiment. He devoured this in seconds!! It is so delicious and simple. This will go in high rotation. I’m just getting into no dairy, grain, or refined sugar and I’m blanking on simple recipes. You are definitely my savior with Well Fed!

  38. Jenna says:

    My favorite burger so far is called the artery clogger, it has peanut butter, cheese and a fried egg (with an option to add bacon) and I love it! Thanks for giving me a healthier way to make it at home, this sounds amazing, and I’ll be making it soon!

  39. […] recipe, and uses all short ribs instead of ribs and beef cheek. Tifferz’ SB&J Burgers My favorite paleo blogger and author, Melissa Joulwan, released a new book in the middle of the […]

  40. […] we discover that her and Whole30 are like sunbutter and jelly. This isn’t a new thing, we were just slow on the uptake. The past two weeks we have relied […]

  41. […] Dinners: SB&J Burger An Unlikely flavor combo, this one has made it’s way around the gym a little bit already, but […]

  42. […] blackberries. I found the recipe in Well Fed. If you don’t have the cookbook, you can find it here. The recipe calls for strawberries, but I didn’t have any on hand. Personally, I like the […]

  43. Jane says:

    Hi Mel

    We made these tonight and LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!! Thank you for having a fantastic website, creating amazing food and being a wealth of knowledge for whole 30 newbies. We now own both Well Fed & Well Fed 2 and my husband and I are working our way through them and loving everything!! Every time we try another recipe it becomes our favourite and this is at the top of the list (for today), last night was egg foo yong, the night before citrus carnitas!!! Big hugs from Brisbane, Australia!!!


    • Mel says:

      Hello, Brisbane!

      Thank you for buying both of our cookbooks — I’m really glad you’re enjoying the recipes. YAY! Hugs right back to you. Have fun in the kitchen!

  44. Anne-Marie says:

    Hi! I found your website after hearing you on Jon Smith’s Fit Fat Fast podcast… after sampling a few of the recipes posted here, I purchased WF & WF2 and am loving them! When I saw these SBJ burgers, I thought… “That sounds so odd, it has to be good” – I made them this week (and have been enjoying leftovers) and they ROCK!! The homemade “jam” is awesome and I can see myself using that as a topping for other things like pork chops, coconut flour pancakes, etc.

    Thank you so much for the awesome healthy recipes, keep up the great work! :)

    • Mel says:

      I’m really glad you like this recipe — it’s one of my favorites, too! Thanks so much for buying our cookbooks. I hope you have lots of fun making the recipes.

  45. Jessica says:

    So good! I added bacon, a couple drops of maple syrup, and a fried egg. :)

  46. Sarah says:

    I made this with peaches. Fantastic!!
    I’m thinking this could make decent potluck dish with meatballs instead of patties.
    Thanks so much!

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