Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix

Consider this my contribution to Superbowl party recipes. I’m just a month early.

My husband thanked me for being early because this is totally his thing.

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix - Pretzels, peanuts & popcorn tossed with ranch mix! Ready in 5 mins & so addictively good!

I almost didn’t want to tell him that it takes less than five minutes to make a batch. Having it appear that I was on my feet for long hours and slaving away in the kitchen may help my chances of securing an extra long back rub or foot massage.

I combined one packet of dry ranch dip seasoning mix with canola oil, stirred, and then poured the green-flecked oil over a bowl of  popcorn, pretzels, and nuts. If you don’t have ranch mix, most any type of prepared powdered salad dressing or dip mix will work. Or make your own seasoning mix with herbs, spices, and salt. For convenience and flavor, buying prepared mix was well worth the 99 cents.

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix - Pretzels, peanuts & popcorn tossed with ranch mix! Ready in 5 mins & so addictively good!

I love popcorn and eat it almost every day, and made sure to include it in the mix. I quickly and easily make popcorn in the microwave by adding two to three tablespoons of kernels to a brown paper lunch bag, fold the top down twice, and heat for about ninety seconds on high power. Don’t add oil, butter, or anything else; just the unpopped kernels. When the popping sounds are less than every two seconds or so, it’s ready. Doing it this way is a cinch, it saves so much money not being dependent on pre-packed microwave popcorn packets, and I can control what goes into or onto my popcorn because in general, prepared microwave popcorn is far too fake-buttery and sodium-laden for my taste.

For the snack mix, I recommend using waffle-board stye pretzels because they do a good job trapping the coatings in their window pane-like crevices, but most any type of pretzels will do. Feel free to mix-and-match the dry ingredients based on what you have and enjoy. Add crushed saltines, oyster crackers, crumbled Ritz or Club crackers, potato chips, Doritos, tortilla chips, or whatever is taking up space in the pantry.

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix - Pretzels, peanuts & popcorn tossed with ranch mix! Ready in 5 mins & so addictively good!

I also had leftover peanuts from the Peanut Chewy Payday Bars, and if I would have had cashews or Rosemary Chipotle Almonds, I would have included them. This is a great recipe for cleaning out the bottom of the bags of this-and-that, which seem to plague my cupboards.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and toss to coat them with the oil-seasoning mix. Microwave on high power for two minutes, stopping after one minute to toss. The oil has a tendency to pool at the bottom of the bowl and it should be coating the goodies, not sunk at the bottom. Don’t be alarmed if it looks a bit on the oily side because it all gets absorbed. The cheese added next helps with that.

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix - Pretzels, peanuts & popcorn tossed with ranch mix! Ready in 5 mins & so addictively good!

 Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese, toss, and dig in. This didn’t last long here because my husband loves pretzels in any way, but especially ones that are coated with savory herbs, spices, and Parmesan cheese. The different textures from the popcorn and peanuts make this an addictive snack.

Ready in five minutes, crunchy, salty, and perfect for those spur of the moment munchies.

Almost too easy.

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix - Pretzels, peanuts & popcorn tossed with ranch mix! Ready in 5 mins & so addictively good!

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix - Pretzels, peanuts & popcorn tossed with ranch mix! Ready in 5 mins & so addictively good!

Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix (no-bake)

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 4 minutes

Yield: about 8 cups

An extremely easy and fast snack mix recipe, and ready to be munched on in under five minutes. Feel free to mix and match ingredients, tossing in favorite nuts, crackers, or various odds and ends taking up space in your cupboards. A packet of ranch dip mix and a little Parmesan cheese go a long way in making this a crunchy, satisfying, and addictive snack.


2/3 cup canola, vegetable, or olive oil

1 one-ounce packet ranch dip seasoning mix powder (I use McCormick Ranch Dip)

about 4 cups popcorn, popped (2 to 3 tablespoons unpopped kernels)

about 3 1/2 cups pretzels (waffle-style pretzels recommended, I use Snyder's)

1/2 to 1 cup peanuts, almonds, cashews, or favorite nuts or mixed nuts, optional

3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated


In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the oil, ranch mix, and stir to combine. Add the popcorn, pretzels, nuts, and optional ingredients (see below). Tip to make popcorn easily - add 2 to 3 tablespoons unpopped kernels to a brown paper lunch bag, fold the top down twice, and heat for about 90 seconds on high power - don't add oil, butter, or anything else, just the kernels.

Toss to evenly coat the mixture; it may seem a bit on the oily side, this is okay and it absorbs. Heat on high power for 2 minutes, stopping after 1 minute to toss the mixture because the oil has a tendency to pool at the bottom of the bowl. Add the Parmesan and toss to coat evenly. Serve mix immediately. Mix will keep for up to three days in an airtight container or large ziptop plastic bag; but is best enjoyed same day, noting that cheese has been added and some may wish to refrigerate the mix if storing it longer term.

Optional Variations - Can be added instead of or in combination with the other dry ingredients: Coarsely crushed saltines, oyster crackers, Club or Ritz crackers, rye crisps, Asian-style rice crackers, tortilla or potato chips, favorite gourmet or specialty crackers, cashews, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, pistachios. For a spicy version, add a pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper, to taste.

Related Recipes:

Homemade Mary’s Crackers (vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, grain-free) – No dehydrator required in these easy homemade crackers and depending on the seasonings used from cinnamon-and-sugar to cayenne and garlic, they can be made sweet or savory

Rosemary Chipotle Roasted Almonds (vegan, gluten-free) – Fast, easy, with a bit of kick from the chipotle that’s balanced with soothing rosemary. These would be great in the Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix

Vanilla Cake Batter and White Chocolate Chip Caramel Corn – I adore caramel corn, cake batter, white chocolate, and vanilla. They’re all rolled up into one salty ‘n sweet snack. Easy-to-make and perfect to set out for holiday parties or for a girls-night-in on the couch

Spinach & Artichoke Dip (fat-free, vegan, gluten-free) – One of my favorite things to snack on at any party is dip, especially spinach and artichoke dip. This one can be served warm or cold, and is a lightened up version, perfect for those of us who love a few crackers with our bowl of dip

Cinnamon Sugar Chocolate Pretzels (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Who can say no to chocolate-covered pretzels with sprinkles that are ready in less than ten minutes. I made these the last time we were in Aruba and my husband and daughter are still talking about them. Perfect at the last minute for parties, tv nights, or a fun little hostess gift

White Chocolate Vanilla Peanut Butter Puppy Chow (GF) – A twist on classic Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies, using white chocolate. A favorite anytime snack that’s ready in five minutes

Combos Pretzel and Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Bars (No-Bake) – A salty ‘n sweet bar, made with Combos pretzels, peanut butter, and generously drizzled with semi-sweet chocolate. No-bake, fast, easy, crunchy, and chewy all in one

Do you have a favorite party or snack mix?

I’d love to hear about your favorites because they’ll never go to waste around here. We love to crunch and munch.

Thanks for the MixerMaid Attachment Giveaway entries – just a one-day giveaway


108 Responses to “Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix”

  1. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance — December 13, 2012 at 2:08 am (#

    What a great, and more importantly EASY, snack mix! The ranch flavor would be a hit with my family!

  2. Jan — December 13, 2012 at 2:24 am (#

    I know this would be good b/c I’ve made it before with oyster crackers and ranch powder, dill, onion and garlic powder. But you never cease to amaze me b/c this is a very clever and tasty way to use up odds and ends in the pantry indeed! Also throwing some chocolate bits or m&m’s in the mix wouldn’t hurt either! Maybe some dried plump cherries too! Lol. Of course plenty of nuts too! Ok I better stop b/c I’m making myself very hungry now and it’s way to early in the morning to be eating!

  3. Ashley — December 13, 2012 at 2:45 am (#

    haha my husband would also love some of this right about now. As much as he loves all the baking I do, I think he’s a little sick of all the sweet treats coming out of my kitchen at the moment. This sounds delicious by the way!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 13, 2012 at 7:21 am (#

      My husband can’t even keep things straight! I’ll tell him, well today I made xyz. It’s really similar to those abc bars you told me you loved a couple months ago. And not only does he not remember abc bars, he can’t remember he even told me he liked them! lol

  4. Joy @ Baking-Joy — December 13, 2012 at 3:03 am (#

    This looks delicious Averie and dangerously addictive :-)

  5. little kitchie — December 13, 2012 at 3:13 am (#

    I make something similar every Christmas with oyster crackers. It’s a great snack to have around during the holidays when you never know when you might need a quick app on hand! Yours looks great – I’ll take any variation on popcorn!

  6. sally @ sallys baking addiction — December 13, 2012 at 4:14 am (#

    Averie! This recipe is SO up Kevin’s alley. He is obsessed with snack mixes like this – and well, I am too. I adore good ole chex mix – my family and I have made it every single Christmas for years. Sometimes we make a Seasoned Pretzels recipe with uses those huge Snyders hard sourdough pretzels broken into pieces. This recipe reminds me of that except you have to bake those for about an hour. But these – no baking, 5 mins, and with the addition of popcorn (love!) and nuts. I do not think I would be able to stop munching on this. I have that problem with snack mixes. For all the entertaining people are doing in the upcoming weeks and months, easy recipes like this are golden.

    i NEED to try your FF spinach artichoke dip. with a (small) side of pretzels.

  7. kelley {mountain mama cooks} — December 13, 2012 at 6:05 am (#

    This would make such a fun gift to give for the holidays! I love mixing up all the sweet treats with a savory one! I want a big bowl sitting next to my computer so I can nosh and work all morning!

  8. Kristina — December 13, 2012 at 6:11 am (#

    I am ready for Superbowl eats, so this is good with me too! Now you have me craving salty savory snacks…

  9. Katie — December 13, 2012 at 7:07 am (#

    This is too funny. I was just talking with my mom last night about this recipe. She used to make this all the time and hasn’t for about 5 years and has absolutely NO recollection of it at all! I think she’s getting senile, even though she’s only 54!

    I love easy recipes like this for the holidays. Perfect, and better than the storebought crap by far.

  10. Paula — December 13, 2012 at 7:17 am (#

    Popcorn and pretzels top my list for crunchy snacks! I remember my mom making chex mix and it always seemed to take forever to bake and then cool down, so I like the time factor involved here. Very convenient when I’m scrambling for something to munch on at the last minute…and only have a toaster oven! It’s funny how well I’m surviving without my big oven, but I’ve enjoyed baking small batches of a variety of your delicious recipes!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 13, 2012 at 7:25 am (#

      There are caramel corn recipes that start out with quick bursts and then finish in a low oven for like 45 mins or so, tossing and turning as time goes by. Sometimes I feel like things are just as good out of the microwave and that the extra step just continues to melt the caramel/sugar creating a sauce, rather than helping it to set up. Same with this kind of a certain point, the oven more or less melts the oil rather than helping it set if that makes sense. Regardless, microwave versions are nice!

      And glad you’ve been thriving just with the toaster oven!

  11. Ed — December 13, 2012 at 7:42 am (#

    Looks easy and tasty…

  12. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — December 13, 2012 at 8:24 am (#

    After my success with ranch flavored sunflower seeds, I know we will love this snack mix! I have been making my chocolate drizzled caramel popcorn everyday. It’s time to savory things up!

  13. Heather (Where's the Beach) — December 13, 2012 at 8:30 am (#

    My sister has made something that sounds similar – she just used pretzels though. I was just telling Jason last night how much I loved the original homemade chex party mix – long long long before you could buy it pre-made.

  14. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — December 13, 2012 at 8:37 am (#

    How addicting does that look, yum!

  15. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — December 13, 2012 at 9:25 am (#

    As much as I love popcorn, dressed up almost all ways, my hubby only likes the savory option…I bet he’d like something like this!

  16. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — December 13, 2012 at 10:17 am (#

    Pinning immediately! Making as soon as I have a snack attack!

  17. Jenn@slim-shoppin — December 13, 2012 at 11:15 am (#

    Love the chex mix! And I’ve never tried making popcorn in the microwave in a bag…I must try that soon.

    Thanks for all the great ideas and your photos are so pretty!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm (#

      It’s so great b/c it saves you money, and all kinds of fake-buttery, oily, salty goopy stuff. Sometimes that’s all okay, but sometimes…not so much. So my method avoids all that!

  18. Sue/the view from great island — December 13, 2012 at 11:38 am (#

    I’m just devising a nut mix of my own this week, I love your addition of popcorn into the mix. My kids would have loved this in their lunchboxes!

  19. Hannah — December 13, 2012 at 11:43 am (#

    I’m obsessed with popcorn right now, and the crunch of pretzels must be so good here!

  20. Karly — December 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm (#

    I usually read blog posts. I’m sorry. Not today. Your pictures, man. I just kept chanting “get in my face get in my face get in my face.”

    I need this in my life.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm (#

      You’re one of the only people who seem to read anymore. But you’re forgiven just this one for picture-staring :)

  21. Angela @ AnotherBitePlease — December 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm (#

    these kind of mixes are so addicting…just reaching and grabbing and eating…reach grab eat…that would be me…then I picture the ranchy mix all over my boys hands as i tell them don’t touch anything!! hahaha and kuddos for you to be ahead saying SuperBowl.

  22. Kristy @Sweet Treats & More — December 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm (#

    I’m such a snack-a-holic, I need this! Yum!

  23. angela @ Canned Time — December 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm (#

    I’ll be trying this one with the cayenne pepper addition. I’m sooooo sweeted out right now with all the holiday recipes, this will really cut the sugar for me! Thanks :)

  24. Jackie @ The Beeroness — December 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm (#

    Can not pin this fast enough ;)

  25. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — December 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm (#

    Ugh, you’re killing me! I want this ranch mix right now! I love salty mixes like this, especially with a fun flavor kick like ranch. And I love that it’s versatile: basically use what you’ve got on hand and you’re done. Simple! Also: awesome tip about popping kernels in a paper bag! I totally didn’t know that!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 13, 2012 at 4:45 pm (#

      Such an easy one with the popcorn – saves money and controls ingredients for those times you don’t need/want your popcorn coated in a fake buttery substance :)

  26. Cassie — December 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm (#

    Girl, this is totally my kind of snack. I love it!

  27. joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas — December 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm (#

    This is the kind of snack I go nuts over. And eat too much of LOL.

  28. Hannah — December 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm (#

    My snack mixes are usually equal parts sweet and salty, but I really like the sound of your more savory rendition! There are many “accidentally” vegan ranch dip mixes, and it would be excellent with nutritional yeast instead of parmesan. Now I think this might be the next dish to make for upcoming holiday parties. ;)

  29. Ashley - Baker by Nature — December 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm (#

    I love this! This is the kind of snack I could eat all day long – perfect game watching food!

  30. Nicole @ Lapetitebaker — December 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm (#

    I love this! Ranch is my favorite flavor and when combined with pretzels, I am a goner. This will be an everyday snack for me, that is for sure.

  31. Cathy @ Noble Pig — December 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm (#

    I always have that Ranch mix around, I love adding it to my chicken salad. But this is even a more splendid idea.

  32. Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — December 14, 2012 at 5:35 am (#

    delish– wishing i had a bowl at my desk right now!

  33. Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) — December 14, 2012 at 5:47 am (#

    I had the biggest obsession with ranch dip mix in high school!! Wow, I haven’t had it in SO long but this snack mix has me craving it. And we don’t even need to put it in the oven?! Superb. :) I also LOVE that you’ve got popcorn in here, one of my favorite snacks as well. I never thought the brown paper bag trick actually worked (I always picture a bag gone wild and kernels all over the microwave…) but you make it sound pretty simple, so I might try it!

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 14, 2012 at 7:01 am (#

      It works 100% of the time and I pop popcorn and lightly sprinkle it with other seasonings for myself most every day – from cinnamon to nutritional yeast and it’s the fastest and easiest way to pop popcorn without adding oil, or making a big production out of it!

  34. Jennifer — December 14, 2012 at 6:01 am (#

    This recipe looks great. I buy Chex mix at the store but I always feel like I’m getting ripped off. And I like ingredient control. 2/3 of a cup of oil seems like a lot to me but I’ll follow.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 14, 2012 at 6:58 am (#

      Well you could use less but then your coating may or may not stick. It’s going to sort of depend on your other dry ingredients, what you use, type of pretzels, etc. And for 8+ cups of mix, and not even all of it does end up sticking, it’s not excessive. You’ll see in the mixing bowl what I mean – I bet Chex mix has more :)

    • Jennifer Osborn — December 18, 2012 at 6:22 am (#

      Okay, I made this last weekend and on a scale of one to five, must give it a six. It was so, so, so, so good. My husband and son devoured it. And the 2/3 of a cup of oil was perfect. You were right, It does absorb into the mix. Now, I’m concocting some more combinations in my head. I may add some wasabi peas to my next batch.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 18, 2012 at 7:20 am (#

      I’m glad it gets 6 stars out of 5 :) That’s awesome and yes, the oil, it’s sort of an eye-ball case-by-case thing, but you do need enough to coat things and I’m glad you followed the recipe and it worked out so well for you!

  35. Bree — December 14, 2012 at 6:27 am (#

    I love that popcorn bag trick! This mix looks great. I am a sucker for savory snacks :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 14, 2012 at 6:55 am (#

      Such an easy trick for being able to control what goes into or not into your popcorn!

  36. JulieD — December 14, 2012 at 7:36 am (#

    Wow, I absolutely have to make this ASAP!! Putting the stuff on my list – gorgeous photography, Averie!!

  37. Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — December 14, 2012 at 7:44 am (#

    This mix is the perfect snack for an at home movie night this holiday season. Can’t wait to try this on a netflix night!

  38. claire bingham — December 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm (#

    Looks really yummy! Hoping to watch a movie tonight and make this!

  39. Erin@LawStudentsWife — December 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm (#

    What a pretty, festive collection Averie! You have such an eye. Thanks for passing along these finds and recipes!

  40. Valerie — December 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm (#

    This would be the perfect late-night snack! I didn’t know you could pop popcorn in a simple brown bag- genius!! :)

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — December 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm (#

      You totally can & it’s such a money saver and for controlling the ingredients and not having a pound of salt automatically included :)

  41. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — December 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm (#

    Oh my goodness – this looks way to dangerous to have around the house, especially around the 10-2AM time zone!

  42. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — December 16, 2012 at 7:58 am (#

    Love this snack mix, Averie! It looks so delicious and perfect for any party!

  43. the 3volution of j3nn — December 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm (#

    I would eat ALL of this in half a day! And that’s probably being conservative. Salty + crunchy is my weakness. Well, one of them anyway :)

  44. Jolene ( — December 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm (#

    I make a “nuts & bolts” type mix that is pretty good, but this one sounds more interesting!

  45. tracy {pale yellow} — December 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm (#

    Ranch mix is the “prepared” food item I still buy, I just love ranch flavor! I’m all over this snack food.

  46. Linda — December 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm (#

    On the savory side of snaks, I also add REAL bacon bits to some of my mixes as my son and hub LOVE bacon! :)

  47. Elizabeth — January 18, 2014 at 11:44 am (#

    I was looking for Some quick snack ideas and Came across this recipe. Enjoyed it very much. Now I’m going to try the chocolate covered pretzel recipe. Can’t wait!

    • Averie Sunshine — January 18, 2014 at 11:47 am (#

      Thanks for trying this one and enjoy the chocolate ones!

  48. Jenny — May 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm (#

    This sounds so yummy! I’m tasked with bringing several appetizers to my nephew’s high school graduation party in three weeks and this will definitely be a hit! I’m going to add some Cheez Its to the mix. Question though: Is the parm the freshly grated type or is it the kind in the green can that I secretly use when I am too tired to grate my own? :o)

    • Averie Sunshine — May 3, 2014 at 5:59 pm (#

      Green can :) It’s all about easy for this recipe…LOL

  49. Jackie — August 23, 2014 at 10:39 am (#

    Two questions… 1.) Does the parmesan need to be fresh grated or will the canned parmesan work? Also, I don’t have brown paper bags and will be popping the corn on the stove in oil. Will this plus the oil in the recipe be too much oil? Thanks!

    • Averie Sunshine — August 24, 2014 at 8:07 am (#

      Canned is fine. And I don’t usually add oil to my popcorn in effort to keep it lighter but I’m sure your method will be fine.

  50. Jen — September 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm (#

    While I didn’t get a food rub or anything along those lines for this, it definitely made my planning and prepping much easier for an event we had yesterday. delicious, and sooooooo easy, which gave me time to focus on the rest of the details! Thanks for the great recipe

    • Averie Sunshine — September 4, 2014 at 4:18 pm (#

      I love your comparison to getting or not getting a foot rub…that’s kind of the gold standard, isn’t it. That if a recipe can do that for ya, it’s a total keeper. But glad this is a keeper for you regardless & it made your day easier!

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