My family loves this Spicy Holiday Chex Mix; we have been enjoying it for many holidays over the years. This delicious baked savory snack is made with wholegrain cereals and antioxidant rich nuts. The buttery and spicy sauce that I toss into the ingredients before baking them is far less salty and greasy than the ready made snacks at the market. I have to forewarn you though, this stuff is extremely addictive, so I do my best to limit making it just for the holidays. On the other hand it is so good, and it is such a handy treat to have around for parties, picnics, road trips, school lunch boxes…you name it. So as you can imagine, this snack mix might become a regular addition to your pantry before you know it. There is even a strong possibility that it could replace the beloved popcorn at family movie nights!?
This Spicy Holiday Chex Mix has cereal, nuts and pretzels mixed with a flavorful buttery sauce and then baked in the oven for an hour. I like to make it a little spicy by adding some ground cayenne pepper, so if you don’t like it spicy just leave out the cayenne; it is quite delicious even without the spicy kick!
Four different breakfast cereals are used in this mix: Chex wheat, corn, rice, and multigrain Cheerios. I like to use the cereals that are wholegrain and not loaded with sugar because their simple taste mixes very well with the savory sauce that they are baked with.
It is entirely a personal preference, but I use fat-free thin pretzel sticks, unsalted roasted cashews, and unsalted almond slices. If you have another favorite nut by all means use it; I also love this snack mix with pecans (not roasted), and roasted unsalted peanuts. All of these nuts have the right texture and flavor to go very well with the flavors in this mix. The only nut that I don’t recommend is whole almonds because of their firm texture.
All the ingredients are added to a deep nonstick roasting pan. The sauce is made separately in a small saucepan; the ingredients are heated to a low boil and then drizzled over the mixture. The sauce should be tossed gently and right away using two spatulas so that all of the ingredients are coated evenly without breaking into pieces. The Spicy Holiday Chex Mix is baked on the center rack of a preheated 250 F oven for 1 hour. In order for this snack mix to roast evenly, it should be stirred every 15 minutes during this time. The best way to do this is to remove the pan from the oven, stir the ingredients with two spatulas and then return it back into the oven. I hope you enjoy this delicious spicy snack mix over many warm conversations with family and friends, like we have over many holidays and parties and road trips, and……
Yields: 17 cups of snack mix
Prep time: 5 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour (stirred in 15-minute intervals)
You will need: One large 2-3 inch-deep nonstick roasting pan. One small saucepan. 2 large cooling racks covered with aluminum foil
- 1 cup Wheat Chex cereal
- 2 cups Corn Chex cereal
- 2 cups Rice Chex cereal
- 7 cups Multigrain Cheerios cereal
- 2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup whole cashews, roasted unsalted
- 2 cups thin pretzel sticks (I use fat-free)
- THE SAVORY SAUCE:
- ½ cup (4 ounces), or (one stick) unsalted butter
- 7 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ tsp celery salt
- 1 ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250 F with the rack in the center position.
- In a large, 2-3 inch deep, nonstick roasting pan mix the cereals, nuts and the pretzel sticks
- In a small saucepan add butter, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cayenne pepper and salt. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and the sauce just comes to a slow boil. Remove from the heat.
- Pour the sauce over the ingredients in the pan. Immediately use two spatulas and toss the ingredients to coat evenly.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven.
- You will need to toss the ingredients 4 times at 15-minute intervals. Every 15 minutes take the pan out of the oven and toss the ingredients and then put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. So the mix will be baked for a total of 1 hour.
- At the end of this time the snack mix will be crisp and light and will get even crisper as it cools. Place two large sheets of aluminum foil over cooling racks. Use a spatula to spread the prepared Spicy Holiday Mix in a shallow layer over the foil to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 weeks.