How to Make Snack Mix Without a Recipe, Savory or Sweet (2024)

Here at Food52,we love recipes-- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: With just 4 steps and a trip to the spice cabinet, you can elevate all of the snacks already in your pantry into a mix that's suitable for special occasions and raucous get-togethers.

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Picture your favorite snacks: pretzels, peanuts, bagel chips, cereal, Fritos -- the foods that, despite all our talk about kale, get us through day-to-day life.

Now, picture your favorite snacks blanketed in a coating of spicy, salty butter and baked in the oven until crispy and toasted. Suddenly, your favorite snacks have been elevated beyond the stuff of everyday sustenance. Now, they're a diverse mixture of all the snacks you love united under a common flavor.

Ordinary snacks are for road trips, between-meal mouthfuls, school lunches, and watching TV. Snack mix, however, is suitable for special occasions and raucous get-togethers -- and at this time of year, that means football games and Oscar parties.

To get started, you need to pick your path: savory or sweet. Spicy snack mix goes particularly well with ice-cold beers and chicken wings, but if you're forgoing the big game and watching the Kitten Bowl instead, you might prefer a mix flavored with honey and dotted with dried fruit and chocolate chips.

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How to Make Any Snack Mix, Savory or Sweet

1. Compose the ultimate mix. Get out a big bowl and start gathering everything you want as the base for your snack mix that will fare well in the oven. (You’ll want to hold off on any chocolate or dried fruit for now.)

This list will get you started:

  • Chex in all of its iterations: corn, rice, wheat, and, if you’re going sweet, honey nut
  • Nuts, broken or mini bagel chips, and bite-sized pretzels or pretzel sticks
  • Cheerios or any other cereal of your choosing, like Kix, Crispix, or Life
  • Goldfish, Fritos, or Bugles (yes, Bugles)
  • Coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, and pepitas

Consider any tasty, bite-size morsel in your pantry to be fair game. Make sure that there are no duds in your mix -- otherwise, your guests are going to scavenge for the good parts and you’ll be left only with the undesirable leftovers (rye chips, anyone?).

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2. Melt plenty of butter. For both the savory and sweet varieties, you’re going to want to melt enough butter to coat your mixture. For a big serving of snack mix, you’ll need approximately a stick or a stick and a half of butter for 12 to 14 cups of stuff, but use your judgment.

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3. Raid the spice cabinet.


If you’re looking for a savory, bar snack sort of mix, you’ll want to add plenty of salty, tangy flavors. Try a combination of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, garlic (fresh or powdered), onion powder, or soy sauce.

If you want something on the spicier side, throw in some cayenne, chili powder, curry powder, or paprika. Whatever flavors you decide, be sure to add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Melt the butter and seasonings in the microwave (or in a cute butter warmer). Dip in a piece of cereal (or a finger) to make sure the mix is properly seasoned. Pour the melted butter mixture over your base and toss everything until well-coated.

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If you’re interested in a dessert-y snack mix, you’ll want to add some form of sweetener at this point. Brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar are all possibilities.

You can also experiment with spices: cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves. (If you use it to bake delicious cakes and quick breads, it will probably be good in your snack mix.)

Maybe you’re feeling chocolate-y and you want to add cocoa powder. Melt that with the butter, too. Add a pinch of salt and do a taste test. Then, coat the mix with the melted butter.

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4. Bake to perfection. Spread your mix evenly across a couple of baking sheets.

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Bake in a low temperature oven (about 250° F) for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, or until the mix is crisp and dried out.

Let cool, then add all of the goodies you’ve had in reserve: mini-marshmallows, raisins and other dried fruits (papaya and mango chunks, chopped figs and dates), chocolate chips, M&Ms, yogurt-covered raisins, and anything else you fancy.

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Pour the mix into a big, party-size bowl and let your guests have at it.

Eat a handful every time your team has the ball. Eat a handful every time the opposing team has the ball. And if you get bored of the game, start planning your next snack mix concoction.

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We're looking for contributors! Email [emailprotected] and tell us the dish you make in your sleep, without a recipe.

Photos by James Ransom

How to Make Snack Mix Without a Recipe, Savory or Sweet (2024)


What is Chex Mix made of? ›

Though contents vary, the mixes generally include an assortment of Chex cereals, chips, hard breadsticks, pretzels, nuts or bagel bites.

What is a good substitute for Chex cereal? ›

If you're looking for some alternative ingredients, try some of these:
  • Use Crispix instead of Chex. ...
  • Try freshly popped popcorn instead of the puffed cereal for a fun change.
  • Use any nut or seed combo in place of the listed seeds. ...
  • Do not use dry rosemary in place of fresh.
Jan 17, 2023

What is snack mix called? ›

Snack mix is a subset of snack foods consisting of multiple snack items. Popular snack mixes are as follows: Bridge mix – Nuts, raisins (or other dried fruit), and candy, all covered in chocolate. Chex Mix – Rice, corn and/or wheat Chex, peanuts, pretzels, and usually bagel chips.

How do you fix bland Chex Mix? ›

As a rule of thumb, you'll want to use a 1:3 ratio of Worcestershire Sauce to unsalted butter and a 1:3 ratio of Worcestershire Sauce to Chex Mix seasoning. That means for every 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, you'd use 3 tablespoons melted butter, and 3 tablespoons Chex Mix seasoning blend.

Is Chex Mix healthy or not? ›

Who doesn't love traditional Chex Mix? It's salty, crunchy, and everyone has a favorite item– the perfect party snack! But sadly, what makes it taste so good also makes Chex Mix not the healthiest option. It's full of refined grains, sugar, and tons of sodium.

Is it cheaper to make your own Chex Mix? ›

Homemade Chex Mix Is Cheaper AND More Delicious Than The Store-Bought Stuff.

Is Chex Mix healthier than chips? ›

Potential Health Benefits

Chex mix is a better option to consume than regular potato chips and is high in calories. Manufacturers add niacin and thiamine mononitrate into the chips to increase nutrients.

Why is Chex called Chex? ›

The name "Chex" reflects the square checkerboard logo of Ralston Purina.

Are Crispix and Chex the same? ›

Crispix is a blend of corn and rice cereal, while Chex is packed individually as corn, rice, or wheat. Alternatively, you could use Barbara's Multigrain Spoonfuls.

What are the brown circles in Chex Mix? ›

The brown, round things you are referring to in Chex Mix are known as "Wheat Chex." Wheat Chex is a type of cereal made from whole wheat, and it is a common ingredient in various Chex Mix varieties.

What is a traditional snack and savoury maker? ›

A Traditional Snack and Savoury Maker is responsible for making various types of snack and savoury products. S/he is is responsible for receiving raw materials, checking quality, cleaning, grinding, sieving, mixing, frying, cooking, heating, cooling, blending, packing and storing.

What are the flat things in Chex Mix? ›

The original Chex Mix you love! It's corn Chex, wheat Chex, pretzels, rye chips, bagel chips and mini breadsticks combined with a unique seasoning blend for a one-of-a-kind snack.

Why is Chex Mix soggy? ›

Using too much liquid. Don't go over the recipe's suggested liquid amounts; that is a sure way to get soggy mix (which, again, nobody wants). Follow this tip: If you need to make a change in liquid ingredients, just keep the amount the same.

Is it OK to freeze Chex Mix? ›

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To freeze: Chex mix freezes great! Store in freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

What is the least favorite Chex Mix piece? ›

Other than the rye chip, nothing brought more people together than pretzels — combined, 38% marked the circle and square pretzels as the worst pieces.

Is Chex Mix chips or crackers? ›

Traditional Chex mix is made with a combination of:

Bagel chips: These tend to be in larger pieces, so break them up with your hands first. Nuts: Peanuts are used here, but you can use any kind of nut. If you want to keep it nut free, use more cereal, pretzels, or bagel chips instead.

What flavor is Chex Mix? ›

The most popular version which is still on the Chex cereal box is a mix of corn, rice, and wheat Chex cereal combined with nuts, pretzels, and bagel chips tossed with melted butter seasoned with garlic and onion powder and Worcestershire sauce.


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