For whatever reason, snack mix ("Chex Mix") is usually associated with the holidays. Maybe General Mills just really pushes it hard on the commercials at that time of the year, but I don't know why snack mix (particularly the little extra effort to make homemade) is really only associated with the Christmas/holiday season. I'll tell you that I am here to flip the script!
Snack mix is the perfect snack. What do you want from a snack? Salty, crunchy, savory, maybe a little spicy kick. Snack mix has it all and the glory of making your own is you can literally make it to be exactly what you want. For instance, I despite pretzels and nuts in my snack mix, so you won't find them in the original Slo's Homemade Snack Mix recipe, but please, don't let that stop you from adding it if you just can't get enough.
Additionally, snack mix is such a perfect summer snack. It can sit out for a while without going bad (although that summer humidity can wreak havoc on the crunch factor), it's great to have by the pool or sitting in a bowl on your counter when guests come over, and it packs up easily for a bite on the road (or in a plane). What could be better?
Like I said, my mix is made to my personal preferences. If you don't like something in the below mix or are missing something you love, add or swap. Just make sure you have about 15 cups total of mix to make sure you have the right amount of the butter mixture to adequately coat everything. And feel free to leave out the chipotle and/or hot sauce if you don't want it to be spicy. I don't think it's overpowering, but if you are sensitive to heat, you might want to dial it back.
Enjoy this snack mix now, later, and every time in between!
Slo's Homemade Snack Mix
Makes ~ 15 cups of mix
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 35-60 minutes (depending on cooking method)
Click the file below to download and print the recipe
I recommend reading the recipe all the way through, including the recipe notes at the bottom, before you start cooking.
Snack mix components
3.5 C. corn Chex
3 C. rice Chex
2 C. wheat Chex
1.5 C. oyster crackers
1 1/4 C. sesame sticks
1.5 C. rye chips (~ 4.75 oz. bag) such as Gardetto's
2.5 C. crunchy Cheetos
1 stick of salted butter
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
2.5 tsp. hot sauce (or to taste)
2 TB (heaping) ranch dressing mix (such as Hidden Valley)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder (or to taste)
Preheat the oven to 250°
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, add the rest of the butter mixture ingredients and stir or whisk often until everything is incorporated together. Do this over low heat so your butter isn't bubbling too much. Alternatively, melt the butter in the microwave.
In a large roasting pan (like one used to make a turkey), add all of the snack mix components. Make sure any of the larger pieces are broken into bite-size pieces, about 1" or so. If you don't have a roasting pan, add everything to the biggest bowl you can find that will give you enough room to stir in it. Drizzle in half of the butter mixture all over the snack mix. Using a large spoon, stir. Drizzle in the other half of the butter mixture and mix everything together very well so that all of the pieces are evenly coated in butter.
Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake at 250° for 1 hour, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. If not using a roasting pan, spread the snack mix onto two large sheet trays to bake. When you stir the mixture every 15 minutes, swap which tray is on the top rack/bottom rack to ensure even baking.
Alternatively, you can cook on convection at 250° and stir every 8-9 minutes for 32-36 minutes. If using sheet trays, still be sure to swap top/bottom racks each time you stir.
Allow the mix to cool on the counter completely before snacking or storing. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (if it lasts that long!)
*Recipe notes + Variations*
I started using the convection method recently and it saves a bunch of time. Just keep an eye on it if you're using this method because convection can quickly cause things to burn. If you don't trust your oven's convection, using the regular method.
If you're sensitive to heat, reduce or leave out the chipotle pepper and hot sauce. Consider adding sweet paprika in place of the chipotle to still give a little smokey pepper flavor without the heat.
Feel free to swap out/add any of the snack mix components to fit your particular tastes or dietary needs. I personally do not like pretzels or nuts in my mix so I leave them out, but if you love it, you do you! Just make sure you have about 15 cups of mix total to be sure the butter-to-mix ratio is correct. Below are some other ideas for things to add to the mix:
Nuts (peanuts, cashews, almonds)
Mini Ritz crackers