Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix (no-bake)
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Serves: 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.
  • ⅔ 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 3½ cups pretzels (waffle-style pretzels recommended, I use Snyder's)
  • ½ to 1 cup peanuts, almonds, cashews, or favorite nuts or mixed nuts, optional
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Recipe by Averie Cooks at