Homemade Chex Mix

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Take it old-school with homemade Chex mix! This irresistibly savory and buttery snack, also known as nuts n’ bolts, is the perfect nibble to have on hand when you’ve got a full house.

chex mix in bowls.

Chex mix (aka nuts n’ bolts), a classic American snack that’s a staple in American homes, especially during football games and holiday gatherings, combines Chex cereal with nuts and other bite-sized treats, seasoned and baked until crispy. My go-to version comes from Barb Gyles, a longtime family friend who was like a second mom to me in the neighborhood where I grew up. Known for her Chex mix, Barb, a mom of four, always kept huge quantities in a bin in her kitchen, ready for our neighborhood gatherings and impromptu visits.

Curious about her recipe, I asked her if it was the same as the one on the cereal box. Barb’s response was a hilariously candid: “No way. That crap’s for amateurs.” Her recipe calls for extra butter, spices, and more salt “if your heart works.” It’s easy to make and customizable (swap out the nuts or any other ingredients to suit your taste), making it the perfect snack to feed a crowd.

“Every year I’ve been making the recipe on the Chex box and it was always so disappointing. I knew it wasn’t the same as the recipe I grew up on (in the 50s and 60s) but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The answer? Lots more butter! And lots more spices! Last Christmas I was making this two times a week…it’s sooo good!”

Ruth
old neighborhood photo of Jenn and friends.
The old neighborhood, circa 1978 (that’s Barb in the blue turtleneck; I’m in the middle with the blue overalls, my sister is the little one on a lap in white and green, and my dad is on the far left in the blue shirt. )

What You’ll Need To Make Homemade Chex Mix

chex mix ingredients

Step-by-Step Ingredients

Combine all of the snack mix ingredients in a large disposable aluminum pan or roasting pan.

chex ingredients in aluminum pan

Next, make the butter seasoning: in a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, and thyme.

butter and seasoning for chex mix in bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked seasoning for chex mix.

Slowly pour the butter mixture over the snack mix, being careful to spread it evenly around.

pouring the cereal over the chex mix

Stir until all of the ingredients are evenly coated.

stirring the chex mix to coat evenly

Bake in a 250°F oven, stirring occasionally, for about 1½ hours. Let cool, then store in an airtight container.

bowls of chex mix.

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Homemade Chex Mix

Take it old-school with homemade Chex mix! This irresistibly savory and buttery snack, also known as nuts n’ bolts, is the perfect nibble to have on hand when you’ve got a full house.

Servings: About 18 cups
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Snack Mix

  • 4 cups Corn Chex
  • 4 cups Wheat Chex
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 2 cups Cheerios
  • 3 cups skinny bite-sized pretzels
  • 1½ cups salted nuts

For the Butter Seasoning

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or vegetable oil)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 heaping teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1¼ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Combine the Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, Rice Chex, Cheerios, pretzels, and nuts in a large disposable aluminum pan or roasting pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. Pour slowly over the snack mix, stirring as you go, to coat evenly. Continue stirring until snack mix is well coated with the seasoning. Bake for 1½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Let cool, then serve or store in an airtight container.
  4. Note: You can omit any of the snack mix ingredients as long as you substitute something else. The idea is to keep the ratio of snack mix to butter seasoning the same. Also, be sure your oven is fully preheated before you put the snack mix in. The initial surge of heat to preheat the oven will burn the snack mix in a heartbeat.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The snack mix can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Cool completely before freezing.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (18 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 395
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 721 mg
  • Cholesterol: 18 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • For New Year’s 2024 I made your/Barb’s Chex Mix with a couple tweaks–used half the amount of seasoned salt due to doctor’s orders and also substituted a couple cans of lightly salted mixed nuts. Super delicious! Thanks for bringing back this oldie but goodie.

    • — Caryn on March 5, 2024
    • Reply
  • This Chex Mix is Fabulous! We have made gallons of it to give to co-workers, friends and family during the holidays. We customize the add ins (Bugles, Goldfish, BBQ chips, Mini Doritos, etc) to suit everyone’s tastes, keeping the base ratio intact for the cereals, pretzels and nuts. It reminds me of the “Doo Dads” that my great aunts would buy in the ’70s. Great snack for any time of year!

    • — Stefanie on December 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Making this today, thanks

    • — Molly on December 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • My family is from Texas & Louisiana, so our old school Party Mix sauce has butter, bacon grease, garlic powder, Worchestershire sauce, paprika & a medium bottle (the whole bottle) of Tabasco. Because several members of my family have high blood pressure, we substituted paprika for the seasoned salt & garlic powder for garlic salt. Plus we use Fritos & Cheez-Its. Those & the pretzel sticks have enough salt.

    • — Rachel Ralston on December 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • Our gas company used to distribute recipes on cards – this was in my Grandmother’s (born 1885) box and I’ve used it for years as it’s the best; your friend’s comment on the “new” versions is right on! Old school snacks are the best! As for fat and calories; it’s a snack not a staple!! Thanks for making our lives better!!!

    • — George Meier on December 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • Omit the nuts and replace with Honey Nut Chex for a sweet and savory snack.

    • — Marla on November 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’m 72 years old and like Barb the recipes I find (on box and online) for Chex Mix is nothing like what I had in my youth. THANK YOU for posting this recipe and THANK Barb for me. You both have made my day!!! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

    • — Maxine on May 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • 😊😊

      • — Jenn on May 19, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is a great recipe. Just like Mom used to make. I’m not a pretzel lover, though so I substitued sesame sticks. Also I like things a little spicy so I added 2-3 Tbsps. of tabasco sauce.

    • — Jeff on February 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn- I am excited to try this. If I make half the recipe, what would you recommend for the baking time?

    • — Ann on January 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Ann, the baking time would remain the same — enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 31, 2023
      • Reply
  • I was thrilled to see this recipe in your recent email blast. I am crazy about nuts and bolts. I am fortunate to have a sister committed to gifting nuts and bolts yearly at Christmas. (I just polished off my second container)
    We are from Silver Spring, so close to your home in Potomac. I wonder if it’s a regional gift? Thank you.

    • — Bobbi on January 7, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made the Chex Mix using canola oil instead of the butter.
    Turned out great. Don’t think I’ll ever use butter in the recipe again.

    • — Marcia on December 31, 2022
    • Reply
    • Don’tcha know the secret to life? It’s butter, dear.

      • — Sherrie on April 16, 2024
      • Reply
  • Great picture! We lived in North Arlington. And Art Monk was our neighbor in the early 80’s. So I was definitely a Redskins fan!

    • — Alene on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • The real secret is to add lemon juice to the spice mixture. This is the first year I have not made Chex mix since I can remember. You can’t go wrong w/making it early in the season, putting it in little decorated baggies, keep in the refrigerator, and pull them out as you need them. They are great for “emergency” gifts if needed.

    There are a million versions for this recipe. I prefer mine w/X-tra Cheddar Goldfish crackers instead of Cheerios. It is critical to dash Worcestershire in between stirrings and make sure it lands on the Wheat Chex, along w/an extra drizzle of butter.

    • — Ruby on December 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I don’t have seasoned salt on hand – will omitting affect the flavor?

    • — Emmy Hartrich on December 21, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Emmy, the seasoned salt is pretty important here. You could make your own if you’d like — here’s a recipe (you could cut the recipe in half and still have some left over). Hope that helps and that you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on December 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jenn, I so look forward to making this sometime this weekend for Christmas gifts! I hope this does not sound like a crazy question but could you substitute dry roasted peanuts with sea salt for the salted nuts?

    • — Staci on December 12, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Staci, roasted peanuts with sea salt would work perfectly fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jenn, When I make the Nuts and Bolts can I not use the Cherrios and use the equal amount of the other cereals? Thank you, Carol Lucey

    • — Carol Lucey on November 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Definitely!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2022
      • Reply
      • This is the perfect snack mix recipe, so much better than the recipe on the boxes of cereal! Love the addition of the thyme also. This is a winner and I’ll be making it every Christmas. Thanks Jenn for sharing the recipe and the great story.

        • — Paul Lenhard on December 23, 2022
        • Reply
      • No where near enough seasoning. I couldn’t find my recipe and this looked close…I would definitely add more of every seasoning to this next time.

        • — Jodi on January 1, 2024
        • Reply
  • Thank you so much for this recipe! Every year I’ve been making the recipe on the Chex box and it was always so disappointing. I knew it wasn’t the same as the recipe I grew up on (in the 50s and 60s) but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The answer? Lots more butter! And lots more spices! Last Christmas I was making this two times a week. That can get pretty caloric, but it’s sooo good!

    • — Ruth Nichols on October 2, 2022
    • Reply

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