It’s not just expecting mothers who have cravings for peculiar food pairings. Many of us develop our own unique combinations that we simply cannot do without. Sriracha and peanut butter? Broccoli and Cheetos? Some of the bizarre food pairings turn out to be the most delightful treats.
We’ve curated a collection of the quirkiest yet tastiest food combinations, complete with chef-approved recipes for you to experiment with. Embrace the opportunity to indulge in a little culinary eccentricity. These uncommon food unions are surprisingly addictive.
1. Sriracha and Peanut Butter
Give peanut butter a savory update by ditching jelly for sriracha! This bizarre food combination is extremely addictive and, like sriracha alone, is good on so many things. Use it as a savory toast topper or drizzle it on chicken and noodle dishes for a spicy Thai-style peanut sauce. Here’s an easy recipe using this bizarre food combo from Bon Appetit.
Recipe: Peanut Butter Sriracha Toast
- Peanut Butter
- Slice of toast
- Sliced scallion
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Fresh lime juice
- Flaky sea salt
1. Spread peanut butter on a slice of toast.
2. Top with sliced scallion, fresh cilantro leaves and sriracha.
3. Finish with lime juice and flaky sea salt.
2. Avocado and Chocolate
Here’s a bizarre food combination perfect for anyone who’s lactose-intolerant or vegan. You can use avocado instead of heavy cream to make a dairy-free and delicious chocolate mousse. The strong flavor of dark chocolate masks the taste of the avocado, which mainly just lends its creamy texture to the dessert anyway.
This food combo is also full of nutrients! Dark chocolate and avocados are loaded with healthy fats, antioxidants and anti-inflammation properties.
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk of choice (use canned coconut milk for ultimate creaminess)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp. sweetener
- Pinch of salt
- Raspberries or mint leaves for garnish
1. Microwave chocolate chips in 20-second intervals, stirring occasionally until melted. Then, add all other ingredients.
2. Blend all ingredients together. Start with 1/4 cup of milk and add up to 1/2 cup until desired consistency is reached.
3. Refrigerate in an airtight container until chilled.
4. When ready to serve, top with raspberries, nuts, and mint.
5. Enjoy your creamy, healthy-dessert win.
3. Broccoli and Cheetos
Cheetos and broccoli?! It’s a surprisingly delicious food combination. Broccoli and cheese make a classic casserole and vegetable dish. Using Cheetos as a topping adds a tasty texture and crunch.
Chef Craig Koketsu from NYC’s Park Avenue Winter combined this bizarre food combo into a mouthwatering dish for Saveur Magazine.
Recipe: Broccoli with Cheetos
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. minced shallots
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- One bay leaf
- 1 1⁄2 cups grated aged Gouda
- 1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 1⁄4 lb. (about 2 large heads) broccoli, cut into small florets, stems cut crosswise into 1⁄4″ slices
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
- 2 cups original Cheetos, crushed by hand
4. Olive Oil and Ice Cream
You can find this bizarre food combination at a lot of ice cream shops in NYC and LA. It was originally made famous by Mario Batali’s restaurant Otto.
Olive oil over vanilla gelato makes for a delicious, cold, creamy treat. The flavor of the olive oil adds a subtle savory taste to sweet gelato without overpowering it. Try making it at home or pick some up at Otto.
Recipe: Olive Oil Gelato
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. water
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- Large pinch salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
1. In a medium-size saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, milk, and salt and heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until frothy. Continue beating whilst pouring in the combined liquids in a thin stream, then return the mixture to the pan. Carry on stirring with the pan over a low to moderate heat until the custard thickens to a loose custard sauce consistency or reaches 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (Take your time and take the pan off the heat, if needed, because you don’t want to scramble the egg).
2. Immediately pour the custard into a bowl and set the bowl in an ice water bath. Stir until the mixture is cool. Transfer to a lidded container, and refrigerate overnight.
3. Whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin steady stream — the mixture should thicken and turn smooth. Taste the mixture and decide if you want to add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil — the oil flavor will become more prominent as the ice cream ages, so keep this in mind.
4. Churn in anice cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions. Eat right away, or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to eat.
5. Pomegranate and Steak
Upgrade steak (or any meat!) with a sweet and savory pomegranate sauce. The bizarre food combination of fruit over meat actually works really well in some recipes. Case in point: Ever tried pork and apples?
Pomegranate juice can be used to make a molasses-like marinade, and the seeds are delicious sprinkled on top of cooked meat as a garnish. Try this food combo with this tasty recipe from Food52.
Recipe: Pomegranate Flank Steak
- 1 1/2-pound flank steak
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, for seasoning meat
- A few turns black pepper
- 2 anchovy fillets, packed in oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 large shallot, finely diced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 tsp. honey
- 3 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp. balsamic reduction (or regular balsamic vinegar)
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp. red wine (any kind)
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, for the marinade
- 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
1. Take the flank steak out and unroll it on a cutting board. Identify the grain and shallowly score the meat for marinade absorption. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Make a paste with anchovies and garlic. Whisk in shallots, honey, pomegranate molasses, balsamic reduction, red wine vinegar, red wine, olive oil, and salt. Pour the marinade over the flank steak and marinate for at least an hour.
3. Remove the steak from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the broiler and place the steak on a hot pan in the oven.
4. Cook the flank steak for 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness. Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
5. Place the marinade in a pot, add any juices from the steak, and boil until reduced and thickened. Stir in pomegranate arils. Spoon sauce over the sliced flank steak and serve.