How to Make and Freeze Homemade “Uncrustables” (plus 3 uses for the crust!)

These homemade versions of Uncrustables only contain 3 real food ingredients, unlike the store-bought ones that include almost 40 ingredients. These are perfect to have in the freezer and pull out for lunches or snacks.
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Let’s face it, even if your kids don’t mind the “crust” of the bread, eating a sandwich without the crust is sometimes just a little more fun. My kids do currently eat the crust at our house so homemade “Uncrustables” are not something I plan on doing every day, but will I do it on occasion just to switch things up? Absolutely.

One complaint from blog readers about making these sandwiches without the crust though is that they hate to waste food. So in addition to showing you how to make [and freeze] your own homemade “Uncrustables” I’ve got some solutions for those bread ends as well.

Why make your own “Uncrustables?”

  1. You can control the ingredients (see “Exhibit A” below).
  2. It (can be) cheaper.
  3. I am not going to lie…they are NICE to have on hand on those nights (or mornings) when you have no clue what to pack for school lunch! Or for when you just don’t have any fresh bread in the house. It happens to the best of us.
Ingredient list of store-bought Smucker's Uncrustables sandwiches.
“Exhibit A”

What I look for in “real” bread, peanut butter, and jelly

  • Bread: I prefer 100% whole-wheat bread made with only 5 or 6 ingredients. This can be hard to find at a supermarket so instead look into your local bakeries or making your own (in the oven or in a bread machine).
  • Peanut Butter: It only takes one ingredient to make peanut butter…peanuts. Anything else (salt, sugar, oil, etc.) is to be considered an “additive.”
  • Jelly: I suppose I technically buy “jam” not jelly. I look for varieties that are organic, have the fruit listed as the first ingredient (as opposed to the sweetener), and that are sweetened with fruit juice as opposed to refined sugar. I either make my own or by Crofter’s brand.
Wonder brand sandwich seal'r n decruster tool.

So yes, I do recommend a special little “tool” for making these at home (as it turns out Wonder Bread is good for something), but you can certainly make them without this thing by cutting with a knife and then pinching the edges together with your fingers. It isn’t quite as easy or “pretty” because I tried it myself—but it will certainly work if you don’t want to spring the $4+ for yet another kitchen gadget.

Once you have that figured out it is time to get started.

Sandwich Options:

  • Go with the classic PB&J.
  • Use sunflower seed butter or cream cheese if you want/need to go nut-free.
  • Use a different nut butter like almond butter if you prefer.
  • Skip the jelly and make a peanut butter and honey sandwich instead…something my daughters really enjoy.

How to Freeze & Defrost Homemade “Uncrustables”

There are two different ways that you can freeze your homemade “uncrustables” to easily store them in the freezer.

To Freeze:

  1. Wrap the finished sandwiches in foil (or small baggies) and transfer them to a labeled, freezer-safe container or bag. Put the crusts in their own labeled container/bag as well.
  2. You could also freeze the sandwiches in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for a few hours before transferring them to a bag/container—if you prefer to skip the foil.)

To Defrost:

I personally pull out any frozen lunch or snack items the night before (whether it’s a sandwich, soup, muffinwaffles, or biscuit) and let it defrost slowly in the fridge overnight.

Homemade Uncrustable sandwiches on a table along with a bag of bread ends in a ziplock bag.

3 Uses For the Crust (no need to waste!)

I personally think it’s easiest to just freeze the crusts right away. Then there is no pressure to do something creative with them immediately! So as mentioned above, right after making the sandwiches just throw them all together in a big Ziplock bag or other freezer-safe container and save them for a rainy day.

Then when you have time to do something with those crusts just pull them out, defrost them at room temperature for a few hours, and make one of the following:

  1. Breadcrumbs.
    Grind up the bread ends in a food processor until crumbly. Spread in one even layer on a baking sheet and bake for at 300 degrees F for 20 – 22 minutes or until golden brown. It is recommended to stir the bread crumbs once or twice while baking to ensure even doneness.
  2. Homemade Croutons.
    Chop the bread crusts into little cubes. Mix them together with just enough olive oil to coat and some spices to taste (we like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt). Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown, about 15 – 18 minutes.
  3. Stuffing or Bread Pudding.
    Use your bread ends in your favorite holiday stuffing dish or bread pudding dessert recipe – yum!

Other Freezer-Friendly Lunch Ideas

Here are some more freezer-friendly recipes that are perfect to to have for lunches, whether the kids are in school or at home.

Please feel free to share your ideas for bread ends/crusts in the comments below. I hope your little ones enjoy these in their lunch. I know you will feel good about sending them :)

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  1. I couldn’t keep the peanut butter and jelly off the crusts, so I made sweet croutons: tossed the crust chunks with a little melted butter, honey, and cinnamon, then baked as described. Yummy crunchy little just-right-sweet treats! My kids are loving them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I practiced making these last week and this week, and my kids (pre-teen and young teen) have devoured them. I’ve gone through two loaves of bread already! I don’t think I’ll be able to even get them into the freezer! One kid says he doesn’t like whole wheat bread, but he didn’t notice or complain about these at all, since they were missing the tell tale crust. I love controlling the ingredients: 100% whole wheat bread, peanut butter with just peanuts and salt, and a quality jam (no high fructose corn syrup or red dyes or any yucky stuff!) I just made circles with a drinking glass. They seal just fine that way. I have a big bag of crusts in the freezer that I am planning to make into a french toast bake. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Any suggestions for brands of natural peanut butter that are actually smooth and don’t get rock hard in the fridge? Trader Joe’s had a great one, but it was discontinued.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Kim. I buy the Kirkland (organic) brand from Costco but I do allow it to sit on the counter a little while before spreading it on bread.

    2. Hi Kim, I know I’m a little late on this topic, but we use one beater from our hand mixer to mix our peanut butter. It stores excellent in the fridge and gives the consistency of “whipped” peanut butter-just hold the jar tight:-)

      1. Great idea! I’ve never even thought about using a hand mixer for PB at all. If I can mix it right in the jar, that would be even easier! I will definitely give that a try.

  4. I have started making my own bread in my bread maker. The bread turns out great but I have trouble cutting the loaf into nice slices. Do you have any tips or recommendations? Thank you!

  5. Melissa Dooley

    I have the cutter I just can’t figure out how to keep the bread from breaking apart. I’m thinking maybe rolling it flat with a rolling pin would work. Do you have any suggestions? I use store bought bread, homemade is intimidating to me lol!

  6. the cutter is out of stock at amazon and is going for $40 on ebay. Is there something special about it or will regular cookie cutters work too?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Amy. You can use a cookie cutter and I’ve also seen similar cutters in the grocery store for just a couple dollars. ;)

  7. Kick up those uncrustables one more notch…..Use different shapes of cookie cutters! My kids look forward to seeing what shape I use. (Today, it was a cat’s head with pointy ears!) :)

  8. My boys love PB and grated Apple sandwiches. I have made them in the morning with frozen bread but wonder how putting them together first would work… I’ll have to give it a try. Thank you for the idea!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hello Erin. You can defrost overnight but these will thaw from frozen within just a few hours. Lisa puts them in the boxes straight from the freezer.

  9. I’m having trouble using my homemade bread to make these. Do you have a recipe for smoother bread recipe that won’t crack so easily?

  10. Once I make the bread crumbs out of the crusts how long are they good for and do I store them in the pantry or fridge?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Kristi. Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag (I “vacuum seal” by sucking air out with a straw) and that will help keep the bread from picking up extra moisture. ~Amy

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hello Veronica. They will be fine in the fridge for several days but will last for months in the freezer. ~Amy

      1. They are upwards of $40 on amazon (for what reason I have no idea). Any alternatives besides DIY? I live in a small town and have not seen any at my local grocer.

      2. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

        Hi again. I’ve used a square pyrex container. It just needs to have a blunt rim.

  11. How do you warm these up? Just pull out of the freezer and let them thaw? If you need them quick can you toss them in the microwave for a few seconds??

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Sarah. You can pack them frozen in lunches in the morning and they will thaw by noon. You can defrost overnight, if you prefer. And yes, you could defrost them in the microwave if you are in a hurry. ~Amy

  12. Please please please reconsider sending Peanut Butter on airplanes. It’s already a logistical nightmare for people with nut allergies (2 planes were recently diverted due to allergic reactions to nuts mid flight), but to now have to worry about smeared PB all over the surfaces makes it that much scarier. Consider using Sunbutter instead. Thank you!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Sinclair. Are you asking this in terms of making uncrustables or are you looking for brands? ~Amy

  13. Hi. I was wondering how long these sandwiches keep in the freezer?( Sorry if it was included in the article and I missed it). I just didn’t see that in there. Thanks.

  14. I was wondering can you freeze fresh breadcrumbs or croutons? I have some hoagie rolls in the fridge that I don’t want to waste.

  15. what’s the point in cutting off the crusts? just to be more like uncrustables? can you make the sandwiches and freeze them with the crusts on or do the crusts get yucky once frozen? thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello Shannon. You can certainly freeze these with the crusts. And yes, the crusts are removed in order to mimic “uncrustables”. ~Amy

  16. I make my breadcrumbs by toasting the bread in a toaster (instead of baking in oven method) then grinding them up in a food processor. Helpful since I don’t keep Panko breadcrumbs handy.

  17. Also- follow up question to my above question. We found out that my son is also allergic to coconut! I’m so sad- I love coconut oil. What would you recommend to replace coconut oil in baking recipes (zucchini bread, cakes, etc.)? Thanks again!


    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi again. We use butter typically as a replacement for coconut oil. Look for an organic grass fed source if you can find it. ~Amy

  18. Hi! Just wondering- is there a certain kind of sunflower seed butter that you’ve found that only contains real ingredients? My 10 month old was just diagnosed with a peanut allergy so I am looking in to other options for my 3 year old’s beloved pb&j sandwich. Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Gwyn. The Sunbutter brand is one of the few I’ve found that is not manufactured in a nut facility. Be sure to check labels closely as they can change. ~Amy

  19. Someone may have already commented on this, but looking at the ingredients list I see that uncrustables contain azodicarbonamide – the same stuff found in Subway’s bread (and yoga mats). Yikes!

  20. I put the PB all the way to the edge, cut out fish shapes for my son’s Finding Nemo party, then stashed the crusts in the freezer. Later, I thawed them out and made a kind of peanut butter french toast bake/bread pudding out of them by adding beaten eggs, milk, vanilla, sweetener, cinnamon, etc. Yum!!

  21. I’d love to try these but have been unsuccessful at finding a real food cream cheese at my local health food store. Any suggestions?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Christina. Lisa buys Nancy’s brand cream cheese. I know it is available at both Whole Foods and Earth Fare here. If you can’t find it in a store near you, you can also order it online. ~Amy

  22. We use the Pampered Chef tool in our house, too, and it works great! It’s an easy way to cut the sandwiches AND have them sealed without extra work. Super fast and simple! That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw this post, that I could use my PC tool! =)

  23. Instead of looking for a Wonderbread product that might or might not be available in your store, check out the Pampered Chef product that works great, is the circle shape, and will help a mom who’s trying to make some extra money to help her family. This is super cool and works great for mini-pies and all kinds of other treats.


    PS This is not my site; it’s my best friend’s site.

  24. Still can’t help being a little disturbed by the Wonder Bread gadget. I get it – It works … But those yellow, blue and red dots have always been a sight of repulsion since childhood.

  25. Do you just stick it frozen in the lunch box to let it defrost by lunchtime o does it need to be heated/toasted prior to eating?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Stephanie. Lisa usually defrosts in the fridge overnight and tosses them in the lunch box the morning of. No toasting necessary. ~Amy

  26. I do not have kids but these look good. We served the real uncrustables in the school cafeteria we worked at. I’m sorry but I really liked uncrustables days, I didn’t have to make the peanut butter and jelly for the day which was a very very messy process. yes, full of additives but convenient :) for a lunch lady. for parents this is super easy too.
    I also use the emails ap as a single “family” of 1. it’s very convenient. Sometimes I half the recipes for 2 or make the whole thing and eat the other half for lunch. I really love the convenience of not having to flip through a mountain of recipes to decide what to make.