Arguments abound over the best snack mix recipe. Entire families have been torn apart over the ratio of pretzels to chocolate, or cheese crackers to honey. We’re talking divorces, estranged aunts, the whole nine yards.
Honestly, it’s not an overreaction. There’s nothing better than the perfect mixture of sweet and salty. It’s like hot chocolate on a crisp day, or a puppy who hasn’t grown into their paws yet—we just can’t get enough.
This snack mix recipe is the ultimate baseline to quell snack-related family drama. Why? Because you can make it completely your own. Dial up the spice by adding more cayenne, or skip it completely for a milder palate. Prefer cashews to peanuts? Great! Toss ‘em in there and send the peanuts packing.
Best of all, when your family comes at you with suggested tweaks to your mixture, you can send them back to this recipe and say, “If you think you’re so smart, make a better version.” This is secretly a win for you: they’ll make some snack mix and you’ll get to eat it.
Makes about 10 cups of snack mix
- 2 cups cereal, like puffed corn, oat o’s, or wheat squares
- 2 cups pretzels of any shape
- 1 cup nuts, like peanuts, cashews, almonds, or pecans
- 1 cup cheesy snack, like cheese puffs or cheesy crackers
- 3 cup savory snack, like popcorn or potato chips
- ½ cup melted butter, olive oil, or melted refined coconut oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 2 cups of sweet snacks like candy coated chocolate bits, chocolate chips, chocolate-covered pretzels, or gummy candy. We love our Chocolate Covered Everything, Dark Chocolate Covered Broken Almonds, or Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 275° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cereal, pretzels, and nuts.
- In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter or oil, salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, and honey or maple syrup.
- Pour the butter or oil mixture into the cereal mixture and toss until evenly coated.
- Pour the cereal mixture onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15. Bake until everything is medium brown and dry. If the mixture is getting too dark, turn your oven down to 250° F.
- Immediately after removing from the oven, stir in your popcorn or potato chips, cheese snack, and sweet snacks.
- Pour mix onto wax paper or a separate cool baking sheet to let it cool completely.
- Once room temp and dry, serve (or keep hidden in a cabinet where no one else will find it).
Recipe notes and variations
This mixture is ready to be customized! If you want something purely sweet, opt out of the savory snacks like potato chips and cheese puffs and replace them with more cereal, popcorn, and pretzels. Rather than the butter/oil mixture with spices, melt a cup of white chocolate chips in the microwave and pour it over your mixture. Shake in a bowl or stir with a spatula until everything is evenly coated. Pour the mixture into a large zipped top bag and add ¾ cup powdered sugar. Shake vigorously until everything is coated with sugar and everything inside is evenly mixed together. Once the chocolate has cooled and hardened, serve and bask in the compliments.