Use Your Mostly Empty Peanut Butter Jar As A Flavorful Sauce Base

Spring has arrived, and with it, the annual urge for a big, house-wide spring cleaning. As your urge to purge reaches the kitchen, you might be tempted to do an overhaul of your pantry, discarding stale packages of crackers, expired canned goods, and mostly-empty jars of condiments like peanut butter.

But wait! Don't toss that peanut butter jar yet. There might not be enough left for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but did you know that you can transform those last few dollops into a flavorful sauce base?

That's just one tip the folks over at The Rachael Ray Show had recently for breathing new life into mostly empty jars of things like mayonnaise, tomato sauce, and yes, peanut butter. And with a renewed interest in reusing everything from parchment paper to chopsticks as a way to cut down on waste (not to mention save some hard-earned dollars given recent inflationary trends), it just makes sense to try to create something new out of the dregs of the jarred products in your fridge or pantry.

The many uses for those last bits of peanut butter

Peanuts are the base flavor for a range of delicious sauces, soups, and stews found throughout the world, especially in Southeast Asia. Try adding some warm water to loosen the peanut butter and then follow with some, or all, of the ingredients for Thai Peanut Sauce to make a thinner version perfect for drizzling over grilled chicken. You could also mix up this Peanut Lime Dressing right in that peanut butter jar for an easy, tasty salad dressing.

Peanuts are also the key to maafe, a flavorful West African soup. The base ingredients include onion, tomato paste, red pepper, cumin, ginger, and garlic, all of which can be added to your mostly-empty peanut butter jar along with some vegetable broth for a quick maafe-inspired sauce. Once shaken, just pour it into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, adding some veggies, tofu, or even shredded rotisserie chicken for a quick meal.

You can even take those last dollops of peanut butter in a dessert direction — add a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream and a pinch of powdered sugar, tightly recover the jar, and give it a hearty shake for a minute or two. You'll end up with a thickened peanut butter cream that tastes amazing when drizzled over warm brownies.

The next time you find a mostly-empty jar of peanut butter languishing in your pantry remember it's not trash, but an opportunity for a brand-new dish!