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How to Make Homemade Chex Mix in the Oven, Air Fryer and More


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There are lots of ways to make crunchy homemade Chex Mix. You might even want to whip up a double batch: one to keep and one to share!

It’s not overstating the matter to say that homemade Chex Mix is ​​one of the great joys in life. It’s a delicious and irresistible snack that’s crunchy, savory and salty. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!

We love making Chex mix for family game nights with our kids; the recipe yields a huge batch that keeps us all happy for hours. I also like homemade Chex Mix for family gatherings like birthdays, as a road trip snack, and to bring camping, because it stores well and lasts for days. It’s a treat that’s easy to make and absolutely everyone will love.


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What Is in Chex Mix?

The first recipe for Chex Mix appeared on the back of the cereal boxes in the early 1950s. A simple recipe back then, the oven-baked mixture called for Rice and Wheat Chex (the only flavors available at the time), nuts, Worcestershire sauce, butter and garlic salt. Today, the official Chex Mix recipe is a zesty and salty blend that includes Corn Chex, pretzels and bagel chips. The retail bagged versions also include rye chips and mini breadsticks.

How to Make Homemade Chex Mix

My homemade Chex Mix recipe includes three kinds of Chex cereal, pretzels and nuts. With four different ways to make it, there’s a Chex Mix recipe here for everyone! No matter which method you use, this recipe makes about 15 cups.

ingredients

Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 cups Honey Nut Chex
  • 3 cups pretzel sticks or mini twists
  • 2 cups mixed nuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Editor’s Tip: Our Test Kitchen tasted more than a dozen brands to find the best pretzels out there.

Tools

  • Big Bowl: Stir everything together in a roomy mixing bowl.
  • Pyrex Measuring Cup: Use Pyrex (or another microwave-safe dish) to melt the butter.
  • Large Baking Sheets: This recipe makes a lot of Chex Mix, so you’ll need plenty of surface area for baking and cooling the mixture.

How to Make Homemade Chex Mix in the Oven

Homemade Chex Mix

Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

This is the classic way to make Chex Mix, the method home cooks followed in the ’50s and ’60s. Baking takes a little longer than some of the other methods, but it creates a toasty, crunchy mixture, enhances the flavors of the seasonings—and makes your kitchen smell amazing.

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Mix together the Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Honey Nut Chex, pretzels and nuts in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave or in a pan on the stove. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, onion powder and cayenne.
  3. Pour this sauce over the cereal mixture. Stir well to coat everything.
  4. Divide the mixture between two baking sheets; spread it into an even, single layer.
  5. Place the baking sheets into the oven. Bake for a total of 45 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. (If the pans are on two oven racks, rotate the pans with each stirring.)
  6. Allow the mixture to cool completely on the baking sheets. Transfer the Chex Mix to a bowl and serve.

How to Make Homemade Chex Mix in the Microwave

Homemade Chex Mix in microwave

Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

The best thing about this method is that it’s really fast! Microwaving is also a great option if there’s no oven or you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. You’ll still need to spread the mix out to cool, so have baking sheets ready for this.

  1. Mix together the Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Honey Nut Chex, pretzels and nuts in a large microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, onion powder and cayenne.
  3. Pour this sauce over the cereal mixture, and stir it well to coat everything.
  4. Place the bowl in the microwave. (If your microwave is small, you can do this in batches in a smaller bowl.) Microwave the mixture for about 6 minutes, stirring it every 2 minutes.
  5. Spread the mixture out on large baking sheets and let it cool completely. Then it’s ready to serve.

How to Make Homemade Chex Mix in the Slow Cooker

Homemade Chex Mix slow cooker

Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

This one takes the longest of all of the cooking methods, and you’ll still need to stir it a few times during cooking. However, the slow cooker is a great option when it’s the only appliance available.

  1. Turn the slow cooker on high and add in the butter. Once it’s melted, turn the slow cooker down to low, and stir in the Worcestershire sauce and spices.
  2. Add the cereals, pretzels and nuts, then stir everything together until thoroughly coated.
  3. Cook the Chex Mix for 2 hours, stirring the mixture every half hour.
  4. Spread the Chex Mix out on large baking sheets, allow it to cool completely, then serve.

How to Make Homemade Chex Mix in an Air Fryer

Homemade Chex Mix in air fryer

Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

Not only is this the fastest method on the list, but an air fryer also turns out Chex Mix that’s extra crunchy with lots of color. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, you may need to make this in batches.

  1. Mix together the cereals, pretzels and nuts in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, onion powder, and cayenne.
  3. Pour this sauce over the cereal mixture, and stir it well to coat everything.
  4. Pour the mixture into the air fryer basket (no more than half full). Shake the basket to settle the mixture into an even layer.
  5. Program the air fryer to 350° and cook for 3 minutes. Stir the mixture and then cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Spread out the Chex Mix on large baking sheets, allow it to cool completely, then serve.

Ways to Make This Chex Mix Your Own

Classic Chex Mix is ​​tasty but there are plenty of ways to mix things up.

Change up the cereals

My recipe uses equal amounts of three Chex cereals. (I really like light sweetness of Honey Nut Chex with the salty, savory flavor of the snack mix.) However, you can swap in other kinds of Chex or use more or less of the other varieties. I’ve seen people use Cheerios, too. Just aim for a total of 9 cups of cereal.

Switch the seasons

Homemade Chex Mix

Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

You can get really creative with spices to make a uniquely flavored Chex Mix. Try replacing the Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt with two packets of taco seasoning and salt to taste to make a Mexican-spiced version. Or make an Italian-inspired version: Use 2 tablespoons of an Italian seasoning blend, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and 2 teaspoons of salt. Once the mix finishes cooking, stir in 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. You could also experiment with any number of store-bought or homemade spice blends from Cajun seasoning to garam masala.

Use different mix-ins

Try making your Chex Mix with a different bite-size pretzel shape or even with flavored pretzels like those from Snyder’s of Hanover. Other crunchy mix-ins to try are mini bagel chips, Cheez-Its, Goldfish crackers and potato sticks. Make sure your mix-ins are small in size or broken into small pieces so that the mix is ​​easy to eat. Aim for about 5 cups total of nuts and crunchy mix-ins.

Homemade Chex Mix

Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

Try this sweet version

There are fun, sweet flavors of Chex available that make a really delicious dessert Chex Mix! Here’s my recipe: Mix together 3 cups each of Peanut Butter Chex, Chocolate Chex and Cinnamon Chex with 2 cups of broken pretzel snaps. (The ones that look like checkerboards.) Stir together 1/2 cup of melted butter, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour this over the cereal mixture and stir to coat.

Spread the mixture over two lined baking sheets and bake at 250° for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let the mixture cool on the baking sheets and sprinkle 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar over the top. Transfer the Sweet Chex Mix to a serving bowl. It’s delicious!

How to Store Homemade Chex Mix

Although it’s unlikely that you’ll have any leftovers (it’s just too good!), if you do, you can seal it in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to a week. This means you can easily make it in advance for parties, movie nights or poker games.

Chex Mix is ​​also a food that freezes well: Place it in a freezer-proof zip-top bag with the air pressed out. It will keep in the freezer for two to three months. Let it come to room temperature in the sealed bag before serving.

Tips for Making Homemade Chex Mix

  • With all of the cooking methods, the one crucial step is to spread the Chex Mix out to cool after it’s done cooking. This step lets moisture evaporate and makes the snack mix crunchy.
  • You can reduce the salt content by using unsalted nuts and pretzels and salt-free spice blends like the ones from Mrs. Dash (like this Extra Spicy Seasoning).
  • It’s possible to make a gluten-free Chex Mix, because all of the Chex cereals (except for Wheat) are gluten-free. Look for gluten-free versions of pretzels and other mix-ins. Most US Worcestershire sauce brands are also gluten-free.
  • You can also make your Chex Mix dairy-free by using vegan butter, such as Miyoko’s or Earth Balance.


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