9 Weird Food Pairings That Are Shockingly Good

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9 Weird Food Pairings That Are Shockingly GoodLorenzo Antonucci - Getty Images


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Calling all adventurous eaters! If you’re bored of the same ol’ bacon, egg and cheese breakfast, or tired of munching on carrots and hummus midday, it’s time to mix things up and take your taste buds for a wild ride with a new dynamic duo. To be honest, these wonderfully weird food pairings might just go together better than peanut butter and jelly. But we’ll let you be the judge…

Baby Carrots & Nut Butter

It’s the crunchy and smooth combo for us. Lauren McAlister, Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Wellness Specialist at Mindbody & ClassPass, loves pairing carrots with almond, peanut or cashew butter for a delicious and healthy snack that’s great for on the go. “It's super packable and perfect for kid lunches,” she says. “Plus, it's full of vitamins and minerals (we see you beta carotene) and satiating fat to keep you fueled in between meals.”

carrots and breadsticks with homemade almond butter
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Pasta With Ketchup & Butter

Your inner child is smiling. While there are no amazing health benefits (and that’s just fine!), Jenna Warner, registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Happy Strong Healthy, says pasta with ketchup and butter is her guilty pleasure. “My mom used to serve it to me as a kid, and it was my favorite so now it’s a comfort food.” If you have little pasta or condiment lovers yourself, switch up the usual mac n’ cheese for this kid-friendly combo.

macaroni and cheese with ketchup
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Graham Crackers & Cheddar Cheese

Something new to add to the charcuterie board! Not only are Graham Crackers with cheddar cheese delicious, but this sweet and salty combo is also great for managing blood sugars due to the pairing of protein/fat and carbs, notes Warner. “It keeps you satisfied in a few ways.”

charcuterie and cheese board
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Cantaloupe & Burrata Cheese

Again, the sweet and salty duo is just *chef’s kiss.* “Creamy burrata with the firm melon also makes a great texture pairing,” points out Warner. “It’s great to put on top of arugula for a low effort, ton-of-flavor summer salad with protein, fat, carbs and nutrients!”

summer salad with fruits, tomatoes, burrata cheese and ham
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Hummus & Pasta Sauce

Former nutrition director for Good Housekeeping Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert and co-author of Sugar Shock, recently discovered that hummus goes surprisingly well with pasta sauce. “When you mix them together, you get a creamy sauce with a broader range of plant-based nutrients,” she notes. Her preference is plain hummus and no-added-sugar marinara sauce. Try it over spaghetti or spiralized eggplant noodles.

vegan zucchini spaghetti
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Canned Tuna with Sesame Oil & Soy Sauce

According to Cassetty, mixing canned tuna with sesame oil and soy sauce gives you a yummy alternative to tuna salad. Who knew!? “It might sound a little odd, but it tastes delicious over greens, or stuffed into half an avocado or red pepper,” she says. It’s also a quick and easy lunch to whip up when you’re pressed for time.

mixed salad with tuna
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Anchovies & Prunes

Don’t knock it until you try it! Sports Dietitian Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN, loves adding anchovies and prunes to her crudités for a boost of Omega-3s with polyphenols and fiber. She also enjoys a fish spread, with the prunes providing the creaminess and the anchovies bringing the savory.

crostini appetizers
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Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes, Peanut Butter & Flaked Sea Salt

“It sounds like a weird combo, but it’s delicious and makes for a perfect snack,” says Founder of 4Q Method Allison Gross, MS, RDN & CDN. “The fat and protein in the peanut butter slow the absorption of sugar from the sweet potato into the body and keep you feeling fuller, longer.”

chicken and sweet potato maf
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Cottage Cheese & Waffles

A breakfast of champions! Registered Dietitian Madelyn Larouche loves adding a scoop of Greek yogurt or cottage cheese to her waffle and then sprinkling some cinnamon and maple syrup to top it off. “The flavor combo is good,” she says. “You get the crunch and chewiness from the waffle and the smoothness and coldness from the cottage cheese or yogurt.” It’s a great option for a quick, easy and balanced breakfast that’s packed with protein to stabilize blood sugar and keep you fuller for longer, she notes.

waffles with ripe berries and homemade cottage cheese
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