Spicy Chex Mix

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Spicy Chex Mix – Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!

Spicy Chex Mix - Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!

Easy Homemade Spicy Chex Mix

Have I got a treat for you! This easy homemade Chex Mix is a little spicy, savory, salty, and sweet to balance it out. It has it all! When I say you won’t be able to stop eating this stuff, I’m not kidding! Everyone who tries it goes nuts for it.

Coupled with the irresistible crunch of Chex Cereal, Cheez-Its, pretzels, Club Crackers, and mixed nuts that are coated in seasoned butter, we are talking a seriously amazing homemade snack recipe.

Spicy Chex Mix - Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!

After spending just 5 or 10 minutes stirring everything together, the snack mix bakes for an hour in a low oven to allow the kicked up butter to bake into the cereal and crackers just perfectly so they’re nice and crunchy and not the least bit soggy.

This is a great snack recipe to keep on hand for hungry game day fanshere’s lookin’ at you Super Bowl and March Madness fans – or for an after work (or after school) snack before dinner is ready, or keep a batch around during the holiday season because it’s great to set out when you’re holiday entertaining to keep your guests delighted while you’re putting the finishing touches on the main course.

Spicy Chex Mix - Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!

How Spicy Is This Hot and Spicy Chex Mix?

I would say that this homemade mix has kick but it isn’t crazy spicy. Here’s how to customize the heat level:

  1. If you’re making this for a group and aren’t sure you want to go all-in on the spiciness and prefer a milder mix, then you can scale back on the red pepper flakes and omit the cayenne pepper or reduced it to 1/4 teaspoon.
  2. If you want more heat, up the cayenne and red pepper flakes, add a tablespoon of chili powder, or even add a teaspoon or tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce to the mix. Something like a few shakes of sriracha is great.
Spicy Chex Mix - Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!

Ingredients in Firecracker Chex Mix

You’ll need the following easy-to-find ingredients to make a batch of this snack mix with Chex cereal and more.

  • Unsalted butter
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Ranch seasoning mix
  • Light brown sugar
  • Dried Italian seasoning
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Corn Chex
  • Wheat Chex
  • Rice Chex
  • Cheez-Its (or favorite cheese crackers)
  • Mini pretzels
  • Mini Club Crackers (or oyster crackers, bagel chips, bite size pita chips)
  • Mixed nuts (or just peanuts, just cashews, pecans, almonds, etc.)
Spicy Chex Mix - Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

How To Make Spicy Snack Mix

It’s a cinch to make this baked snack mix with cereal, crackers, nuts, and more. 10 mins of prep, and an hour to bake it, or about 1 hr 10 minutes total time, and you’re set!

  1. Preheat your oven and in a large microwavable bowl or saucepan, melt the butter.
  2. Add the Worcestershire, ranch dressing mix, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, teaspoon onion powder, teaspoon garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, and stir to combine.
  1. In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients (all dry ingredients cups corn chex, cups rice chex, cups wheat chex, crackers, nuts, etc.) and pour the seasoned butter mixture over the top.
  2. Stir very gently but thoroughly to mix and coat evenly before spreading out onto one or two large baking sheets. You can line them with parchment paper if you’d like.
  1. Bake for about 1 hour in a 250F oven, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Storage

At Room Temp: This recipe will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 month, but I dare you to make it last that long!

In the Freezer: Believe it or not, you can freeze homemade Chex Mix. This recipe will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.

Spicy Chex Mix - Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!

Ingredients Substitutions for Easy Baked Chex Mix

You may be wondering if you can mix-and-match and the answer is, yes indeed! This is snack mix, not souffle. You’re not going to “mess anything up” if you make some tweaks.

Here are some ingredients substitutions that may pique your interest:

  • You can switch out any of the mix ingredients to suit your tastes. However, make sure you are using the same ratio of ingredients so the sauce still coats it correctly. Meaning, if you just love Cheez-Its but don’t care about the mini Club Crackers, and want to use 3 cups Cheez-Its and no Club Crackers (1 1/2 cups Cheez-Its as called for, plus the 1 1/2 cups of Club Crackers you’re not using) that’s just fine.
  • If you can’t find Mini Club Crackers, oyster crackers are a good alternative.
  • No mixed nuts on hand? Or you just love peanuts or honey-roasted peanuts, or cashews? Use 10 ounces of your favorite nuts.
Spicy Chex Mix - Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!
  • The recipe calls for a bit of brown sugar which I love because I am all about a touch of sweet with my heat. However, 2 tablespoons of any of the following are fine – regular white sugar, maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar.
  • Regular paprika (sometimes called sweet paprika) in place of smoked paprika.
  • Seasoning salt rather than onion powder or garlic powder.
  • If for some reason, you don’t have both onion and garlic powder on hand, or Italian seasoning, and don’t want to pick up a whole jar for this recipe, it’ll probably be fine to go a bit heavier handed on another seasoning and just omit the one you don’t have. Of course, I recommend using everything for the best flavor!
  • The one thing I wouldn’t omit is the ranch seasoning mix. It adds so much flavor and a salty kick that you can’t replace and I find instrumental to the flavor.
Spicy Chex Mix - Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!

Spicy Firecracker Chex Mix FAQs

can i make chex mix in advance?

Yes, you sure can. It keeps well at room temp, stored in an airtight container, for up to 1 month. Which makes it an amazing snack recipe to make ahead of time. Because of that, it’s a great homemade gift around the holidays, or to keep on hand for holiday entertaining on a whim!

what size bowl should i use for mixing the chex mix?

Use the biggest bowl you have! At least as big as something you’d use to make a big batch of cookies in. Because there’s 9 cups of cereal going in, right off the bat, plus everything else – so you want to make sure you have room for it all. It will make the job of mixing it so much easier if you’re not fighting with pieces that want to fall overboard from lack of bowl space.

can i make chex mix in a slow cooker?

While I haven’t tested this particular recipe in a slow cooker, I do have Crock-Pot Maple Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix recipe that’s a reader favorite from 2014! While the ingredients are different, and that mixture is a bit stickier due to maple syrup, I cook it for 2 hours on high in my Crock Pot, and then spread it out on baking trays and let it cool uncovered, for at least 2 hours (or overnight) so it crisps up. You would have to play around with this recipe, but more or less, that method should work.

why is my homemade chex mix broken?

You probably stirred a bit too aggressively. Make sure to use a light touch when mixing the cereal mixture with pretzels, nuts, and so forth so that you don’t break the more delicate Chex Cereal. It will still taste fine, but no one prefers broken pieces. I like to use a rubber spatula rather than a spoon so that I can toss it well, but in a gentle way.

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5 from 1 vote

Spicy Chex Mix

By Averie Sunshine
Spicy Chex Mix – Sometimes called firecracker Chex Mix because of the kick, but no matter what you call it, everyone loves this EASY homemade snack mix recipe! Chock full of Chex cereal, Cheez-Its, mini pretzels, mini Club Crackers, and mixed nuts. Melted butter seasoned with ranch dressing mix, garlic and onion powder, smoked paprika, and more give this BAKED snack mix recipe a bit of heat, savory, salty, and tiny bit sweet rolled into every addictive handful!
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
Servings: 20
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Ingredients  

Buttery Sauce

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ounce packet ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix, such as Hidden Valley
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste* (if very sensitive to heat either omit or reduce to 1/4 teaspoon)

Dry Mix

  • 3 cups corn Chex Cereal
  • 3 cups wheat Chex Cereal
  • 3 cups rice Chex Cereal
  • 1 ½ cups Cheez-Its Crackers or similar
  • 1 ½ cups mini pretzels or pretzel rods
  • 1 ½ cups mini Club Crackers, oyster crackers, bagel chips, or bite-sized pita crackers may be substituted
  • 10 ounces salted mixed nuts

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 250F and line one or two baking sheets with parchment or foil, if desired for easier cleanup; set aside.
  • Buttery Sauce – To a microwave-safe bowl (or you can use a large saucepan although I prefer the microwave), add the butter and heat on high power to melt.
  • Add all remaining sauce ingredients, and stir or whisk to combine, making sure everything has dissolved. Set aside momentarily.
  • Dry Mix – To a very large mixing bowl (the biggest one you have) add all the dry mix ingredients.
  • Evenly pour the buttery sauce over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine and coat evenly. Tip – I find it easiest to stir using a rubber-tipped spatula (like you'd use to scrape the bowl when making cookies) because they're more gentle than other types of spoons and you can flip, toss, and really get in there an mix everything on the bottom of the bowl and flip it to the top, without breaking the cereal.
  • Spread the mixture over the one or two baking sheets in a single, even, flat layer. Tip – If in doubt, use two because you don't want it extremely crowded and packed in because air needs to circulate.
  • Bake for about 1 hour, stopping every 15 minutes to flip, toss, and stir. Again, use a rubber-tipped spatula so you don't break the cereal. Notes– Baking time is approximate and if your mix is done after 45 mintes, or takes 75, that's fine; bake until the pieces are toasted and crisped, without being burnt. They will also crisp up more as they cool. If you're baking on two baking sheets, I recommend rotating the placement of the baking sheets as well midway through since whichever is below will be 'shaded' by the one on top and won't be as well-cooked.
  • Cool the snack mix on the baking sheet(s) before transferring it to airtight containers (I like gallon sized ziplock bags) for storage. Make sure it's completely cooled (a few hours) before transferring it and sealing it or it will become soggy.
  • Storage – Mix will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 month. I have frozen it too and it'll keep airtight for up to 3-4 months, but I recommend consuming or gifting it rather than freezing it.

Notes

Spiciness – I would say that this homemade mix has kick but it isn’t crazy spicy. Here’s how to customize the heat level:
  1. If you’re making this for a group and aren’t sure you want to go all-in on the spiciness and prefer a milder mix, then you can scale back on the red pepper flakes and omit the cayenne pepper or reduce it to 1/4 teaspoon.
  2. If you want more heat, up the cayenne and red pepper flakes, add a tablespoon of chili powder, or even add a teaspoon or tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce to the mix. Something like a few shakes of sriracha is great.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 454kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 431mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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