15 Unexpected Food Combinations that Shouldn't Work...But Do

Superstar restaurateur and Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard got married last month, and the epic wedding cake was the star of the event: a layer of strawberry Nesquik-infused marble cake with bacon buttercream, topped by a layer of Cheez-It cake with peanut butter, chocolate ganache, and chocolate covered Cheez-Its.

While classic cake lovers will think this sounds like a pile of WTF, if you’re the kind of person who secretly mixes mustard pretzels into a pint of cookie dough Ben and Jerry’s (note to self: try that later), you just might be into it. Unexpected, sweet-meets-savory flavor combinations can be surprisingly delicious, and in honor of Izard's masterpiece, we bring you 15 creative and crazy food pairings that shouldn't work...but do. Now excuse me while I eat a peanut butter pickle sandwich.


Mac-n-Cheese Pancakes

Cheesy noodles combined with classic pancake batter create the ultimate comforting brunch food.

Image: freakapotimus/Flickr

Taco Waffles

Taco Bell is currently testing a whole slew of breakfast tacos in the Orange County area, including flavors like chicken and waffles and sweet berry. To be fair, the tastiness of these little breakfast snacks remains to be seen. Let us know, OC!

Image: Taco Bell/Facebook

SpaghettiOs Cupcakes

Yep, you read that right. Food experimenter Becky McKay invented this recipe for SpaghetiOs mixed with yellow cake mix and topped with Velveeta frosting. Who wants to volunteer to try this one? Anyone? Anyone?

Image: ~!/Flickr

Peanut Butter Pickle Sandwich

Do you ever look into a full cupboard and conclude that THERE IS NOTHING TO EAT? Next time try slathering a couple pieces of bread with peanut butter and tucking pickles in the middle. Not convinced? The PB&P has over 800 likes on Facebook.

Image: joy the baker/Flickr

Dark Chocolate and Parmesan

This pairing has been scientifically proven to taste good due to volatile compounds...or something. What we do know for sure is that melting some dark chocolate on a Parmesan grilled cheese (or sprinkling some Parmesan on dark chocolate ice cream) tastes bomb.

Image: Edsel L/Flickr

Eggs and Maple Syrup

You know how sometimes at breakfast your eggs and your maple syrup start flirting with each other and it doesn't feel totally wrong? Some people love pouring syrup directly over their eggs, or just making an egg sandwich with syrup-soaked waffles as the bread. 

Image: adrian8_8/Flickr

Grilled Cheese with Jam

It's common knowledge that putting some fig jam on your brie is très bon, but few think to add jam to their standard grilled cheese.

Image: shivery/Flickr

Peanut Butter and Sriracha

Mix some chunky peanut butter and sriracha to spice up a 25-cent ramen noodle pack. Or make these cookies.

Image: avlxyz/Flickr

Cottage Cheese and Chips

Ever dipped a fry into your milkshake for some salty-sweet action? Scooping cottage cheese with either corn chips or potato chips provides an equally satisfying mix of salty carbs and smooth dairy.

Fritos and Caramel

This combo is especially bizarre, but Frito Lay offers up a recipe for Vanilla-Caramel Corn Frito Pie on their website, while some just love to drizzle caramel straight onto the chips themselves.

Image: thekawaiisweettrain/Instagram

Coca Cola Pork

Coke is a fantastic marinade for pulled pork or a base for salty, sweet BBQ sauce. 

Image: avlxyz/Flickr

French Toast Hot Dog

Los Perros Locos, a Colombian hot dog spot in NYC, concocts all sorts of crazy frankfurters, including a dog wrapped in french-toast-battered buns. You can also cook up your own if you're craving something that tastes like breakfast at the ballpark.

Image: Los Perros Locos/Facebook

Krispy Kreme Burger

A classic when it comes to weird eats, the Krispy Kreme sandwich has been satisfying sweet-toothed carnivores — and causing heart attacks — for years. Paula Deen's version boasts both bacon and eggs. 

Image: Loozrboy/Flickr

Avocado Brownie

Sure, these guys look like they're covered in slime. But avocados are filled with natural oils and make a great alternative to butter. That avocado taste also partners up nicely with cocoa.

Image: Vegan Feast Catering/Flickr

Bacon and...Anything

The best thing to add to bacon is...more bacon, right? Really, add bacon to pretty much anything. Ice cream? Yep. Cookies? Yep. Cocktails? Lay it on me.

Image: Sam Howzit/Flickr