Whip up a DIY take on a snack food favorite with a recipe for Homemade Chex Mix that can be made in a slow cooker or in the oven. So choose your method then raid your pantry because this recipe is merely a template for you to sub in whatever cereals, pretzels and nuts you have on hand. Mix and match to your heart’s desire!
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When it comes to snack foods, nothing beats good ol’ Chex Mix. It’s salty, crunchy, savory and just so dang addicting. Add a Diet Coke to the lineup and someone get me my spandex pants because in the words of Miley Cyrus,”I can’t stop, and I won’t stop.”
This recipe for Homemade Chex Mix just. changed. everything.
When it comes to making this snack from scratch, there are two ways to go about it: toss it into a slow cooker or bake it in the oven.
I’ve provided instructions for both methods, but I have a very clear favorite…
If crunchy is your goal, then the oven is your friend! I’ve made this recipe both ways, and while the slow cooker is convenient, it just doesn’t result in the characteristic crunch that Chex Mix should have.
Traditional Chex Mix typically includes a combination of Chex cereals, pretzels, nuts and a savory seasoning blend. Feel free to add your favorite snacks like bagel chips, cheese crackers, Bugles or even chocolate chips for a sweet and savory twist!
For the Party Mix
- Chex cereal: I love using a combination of Corn Chex and Rice Chex, but any variety will work. I recommend using at least two of your favorite varieties for added flavor and textures.
- Cheerios cereal: Whole grain Cheerios are my go-to for a wholesome addition. The nutty undertones add a delightful contrast to the other ingredients. If you’re feeling adventurous, try honey-nut Cheerios for a touch of sweetness.
- Pretzels: I like to mix things up with pretzels of different shapes and sizes. Pretzel sticks bring a satisfying crunch, while twisted pretzels offer a classic touch.
- Nuts: I’ve opted for walnuts and peanuts, but any nut will work so choose your favorites. When selecting peanuts, go for the roasted, unsalted variety. They contribute a robust flavor without overpowering the mix with excessive salt.
No matter which cereals and mix-ins you go for, just make sure to keep the total volume of snacks consistent. This ensures you’ll have enough seasoning mixture to evenly coat everything. Follow my formula for homemade Chex Mix success:
10 cups cereal + 2 cups nuts + 2 cups mix-ins (pretzels, crackers, wasabi peas, etc).
For the Seasoning Blend
- Unsalted butter: I always choose high-quality, unsalted butter. It allows me to have precise control over the salt content in the mix. The richness of good butter is key to elevating the entire snacking experience.
- Smoked paprika: I’m a fan of a smoky kick, so I tend to go a bit heavy on the smoked paprika. Adjust to your liking, but don’t be afraid to let the smokiness shine through – it adds a layer of complexity.
- Garlic powder: Provides a savory and aromatic essence.
- Lawry’s Seasoned Salt: Lawry’s is a staple, but if you’re in a pinch, try making your own seasoned salt blend. Mix together 2 teaspoons salt with ½ teaspoon pepper, paprika and onion powder, plus a pinch of sugar.
- Worcestershire sauce: A generous amount provides a savory depth and umami.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Kelly’s Note: If allergies are a concern, choose nut-free or gluten-free options to ensure everyone can enjoy this delicious snack. There are plenty of nut alternatives, such as seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds) or additional mix-ins.
If you want that classic Chex Mix crunch that we all love, oven baking is the way to go. It ensures that your mix is dehydrated evenly and thoroughly, giving you a consistent crunch throughout. Plus, this method usually results in a bolder flavor.
Making Chex Mix using the slow cooker method is super easy and convenient. All you need to do is add the ingredients and let the slow cooker do its magic. This method cooks the mix at lower temperatures for a longer time, which makes the mix chewier instead of crispy, unlike the oven method.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine Chex cereal, Cheerios, pretzels, walnuts and peanuts.
- Make the sauce. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.
- Combine the sauce with the dry party mix. Pour the sauce over the dry ingredients, making sure to coat everything evenly. Stir gently to avoid breaking the cereal.
- Choose your cooking method:
- Oven-baked (my personal preference!): Preheat the oven 250°F. Transfer the party mix onto two baking sheets, spreading it into an even layer. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Slow cooker: Transfer the mixture into a slow cooker and turn it to LOW. Cover the slow cooker and cook the mixture for 3 hours, removing the lid every 45 minutes to gently stir the mixture.
- Microwave: Using a microwave-safe bowl, heat for 5-6 minutes, making sure to stir every 2 minutes for even coating. Once done, transfer the mixture to a baking sheet, let it cool, and then it’s ready to be served.
- Whichever method you choose, just be sure to let it cool completely before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together, and it will achieve the perfect texture.
- Stir While Baking: During the baking process, stir the mix every 15 minutes to ensure even coating and prevent it from burning.
- Let it Cool Completely: Allow the Chex Mix to cool completely before storing. This helps maintain its crispiness and prevents condensation in the storage container.
- Make it Your Own!: Customize your party mix by incorporating your favorite cereals, crackers, nuts and seasonings. Add a pinch of cayenne for heat or try a dash of your favorite hot sauce for an extra kick. You can even elevate the savory profile by including dried herbs like thyme, rosemary or oregano.
To preserve the crunch and flavor of your homemade Chex party mix, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Periodically check for any signs of moisture inside the container, and if present, leave the lid slightly ajar briefly to allow excess moisture to escape.
If your homemade Chex Mix is turning out soggy, it might be because it didn’t cool completely before storage. Using too much liquid, especially if you alter the amounts of butter or Worcestershire sauce, can contribute to sogginess, too. To prevent excess moisture, consider placing a paper towel under the lid when storing the mix.
You can control the saltiness by adjusting the seasoned salt blend to your taste. I also recommend using unsalted nuts.
Elevate your Chex Mix with creative mix-ins like dried cranberries, M&Ms, spicy nuts, Goldfish crackers, wasabi peas, popcorn, dill pickle chips, Italian herb-infused crackers and oyster crackers. Feel free to experiment to discover your favorite combination!
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- 8 cups Chex cereal
- 2 cups Cheerios cereal
- 2 cups pretzels
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Combine Chex cereal, Cheerios cereal, pretzels, walnuts and peanuts in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.
- Pour the spice mix over the dry ingredients and toss to evenly coat.
To cook in a slow cooker:
- Transfer the mixture into a slow cooker and turn it to LOW. Cover the slow cooker and cook the mixture for 3 hours, removing the lid every 45 minutes to gently stir the mixture.
- Transfer the mixture from the slow cooker onto a baking sheet. Let it cool completely then serve.
To bake in an oven:
- Preheat the oven 250°F.
- Transfer the Chex Mix onto two baking sheets, spreading it into an even layer.
- Bake the Chex Mix for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely then serve.
- Don’t skip stirring! This ensures even coating and prevents it from burning.
- Allow the Chex Mix to cool completely before storing. This helps maintain its crispiness and prevents condensation in the storage container.
- Customize your party mix by incorporating your favorite cereals, crackers, nuts and seasonings. Add a pinch of cayenne for heat or try a dash of your favorite hot sauce for an extra kick. You can even elevate the savory profile by including dried herbs like thyme, rosemary or oregano.
- Store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Periodically check for any signs of moisture inside the container, and if present, leave the lid slightly ajar briefly to allow excess moisture to escape.
- ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
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Recipe by Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.