How to Make a Big Batch of Homemade Chex Mix with Whatever Snacks You’ve Got

published Dec 10, 2022
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butter mixture completely made and being stirred
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Chex mix is the ultimate DIY snack. It’s crunchy, just the right amount of salty, and stays good for several weeks, making it the perfect thing to keep on the counter for midday nibbling. Plus, our version can be made with whatever cereal, toasted nuts, and crunchy snacks you’ve stocked up on.

Many Chex mix recipes (including the original) have you simply melt some butter and pour it over the ingredients. But we firmly believe that the very best, most irresistible Chex mix is oven-baked Chex mix. Oven-baked Chex mix takes whatever mix of ingredients you’re using, tosses them in a generous amount of heavily seasoned melted butter, and bakes it in the oven until crisp and perfectly toasted. Here’s how to do it.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

The Best Ingredients for Oven-Baked Chex Mix

Traditional Chex mix is made with a combination of Chex cereals (both rice and wheat varieties), pretzels, bagel chips, and nuts, but what you add to the mix is totally up to you. For this recipe, we stuck to the classic combo and opted for peanuts as our nut, but you can mix and match your favorite snacks however you like.

Don’t have Chex? Use Cheerios or Crispix instead. Peanuts not your thing? Swap them out for almonds. However you riff, just be sure to keep the total volume of snacks the same to ensure that the butter mixture coats each and every piece. Here’s a helpful formula.

9 cups cereal (Chex cereal preferred, but any savory variety will work) + 1 cup nuts + 5 cups add-ins (such as pretzels, chips, or crackers)

This recipe’s blend of spices is also pretty traditional, and gives the mixture its bold, savory flavor. A combination of seasoning salt (we like Lawry’s), onion powder, and garlic powder give it a pop of flavor, while a generous amount of Worcestershire sauce lends a subtle savoriness that rounds it all out.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Why Oven-Baked Chex Mix Is the Best Chex Mix

Baking Chex mix in the oven transforms it into a toastier, crunchier version of the classic, and makes the flavors of the spices pop and become bolder. Think of it like the difference between raw nuts and toasted nuts. Toasted is always better.

The trick to getting the Chex mix perfectly crisp and golden is to gently toast it at a low temperature. Our recipe calls for baking it at 250°F, which for some ovens is the lowest temperature it will go. If your oven can only go down to 275°F, that also works — just keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn, and pull it out as soon as it gets golden. The low-and-slow bake helps the moisture in the butter evaporate so that the mix gets crispy, and it makes sure the nuts and cereal don’t burn and get bitter.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

3 Tips for the Best-Ever Oven-Baked Chex Mix

Before you head into the kitchen to make this Chex mix, keep these tips in mind.

1. Don’t skimp on the seasoning. The recipe makes a lot of Chex mix, and it can handle a lot of seasoning, so be sure to use the full amount even if it seems like a lot.

2. Toss the Chex mix with the butter in two steps. To make sure that every piece of your Chex mix is evenly coated in the butter mixture, pour half of it over the Chex mix, give it a toss, then proceed with the rest.

3. Stir the Chex mix every 15 minutes as it bakes. To make sure the Chex mix is toasting evenly, give it a stir every 15 minutes.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell
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Here is how to make the best oven-baked Chex mix.

This post was originally published at Kitchn. Read it there: The Best Oven-Baked Chex Mix