If I had to choose a favorite snack, I would probably always pick homemade snack mix (Chex Mix, Crispix Mix, party mix, what have you). My grandmother makes homemade snack mix, my mom makes homemade snack mix, and my friends and I made homemade snack mix while we roomed together in college. I’m obsessed with the stuff. And while there are many different varieties, I have finally pinned down my favorite, based on my mom’s recipe, the original recipe found on the Crispix box, and the original recipe on Chex boxes.
My mom’s snack mix is the stuff of legends: Chex, 4 types of Goldfish, Cheerios, Cheez-Its, mixed nuts, pretzels, and more, depending on what she has available or buys at the store. And while I love this mix, it can be pretty expensive to buy all of these ingredients. I narrowed it down to my very favorites and kept only 3: Chex, Cheerios, and Cashews. Mmmm…
- 4 cups Rice Chex
- 4 cups Corn Chex
- 2 cups Cheerios
- 2 cups Cashews
- 6 tbsp Butter
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 and 1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
- 3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 3/4 tsp Onion Powder
- 2-4 tsp Lemon Juice (I just squeezed half a lemon right into my mix because I think this adds a lot of dimension to the flavor. Add to your taste)
1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Some recipes call for 250, but this led to burnt cashews in the past. I was not okay with this.
2. Mix together dry ingredients in a baking pan. My mom got me a giant baking pan that fits this recipe perfectly! Otherwise, use two 9×13 pans.
3. Melt butter in a microwave safe dish.
4. Add Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and lemon juice (if you use a fresh lemon, beware of seeds!) to butter. Whisk.
5. Pour this mixture over your dry ingredients and stir until the sauce is fully distributed.
6. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the mix and turning the pan every 15 minutes. If you are using 2 pans, you might also want to rotate them between the middle and bottom racks so one pan does not get more done than the other.
7. Turn off the oven and allow the mix to cool down with the oven, or remove it and let it cool for instant snacking! I usually scoop out a bowl to eat right away, and leave the rest in the oven for an extra 15-20 minutes.
8. Enjoy!! If you have self-control and do not eat this all in one day, store in an air-tight container to maintain freshness.
In case you are interested, here are a few reasons why I chose what I chose:
I use Rice and Corn Chex (because everyone avoids the Wheat Chex anyways, let’s be honest), which also allows this to be gluten free. If you eat gluten free, Crispix, as far as I know, is not certified Gluten Free, even though they removed the malt ingredient.
Cheerios have just recently become gluten free and these little halos taste SO good when they get all toasty brown. My mom was the first to start putting Cheerios in her snack mix and it quickly became our favorite part.
Finally, I believe cashews are a superior nut. As much as I enjoy almonds, peanuts, etc., I still feel drawn towards the cashews out of the mix. So I made a snack that focuses on the beauty that is cashews. It might be a little more expensive than buying mixed nuts, but for me it is worth it!
With all of this in mind, however, I know other people enjoy other ingredients. If you have a wider palette than me (I always gravitate towards “simple” foods), you might want to add other ingredients. 12 cups of dry ingredients can replace the ones I used.
This mix can be dairy free if you use a butter substitute.
If you are a vegetarian, Worcestershire sauce does contain anchovies (this didn’t stop me when I was a vegetarian…) and I’ve heard soy sauce and A1 can be used as substitutes. I would be aware of sodium, though, as 1 tbsp of generic soy sauce has 5 TIMES as much sodium as Worcestershire. Wow.
This is pretty salty, in my opinion, but if you enjoy a saltier mix, you can use garlic salt and/or onion salt.
Thanks for reading and happy snacking!