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Savory Party Mix Recipes

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Linda explores food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

My favorite version of Party Mix

My favorite version of Party Mix

Let's Be Honest, We Need This

Super Bowl Sunday is just a few weeks away. At this point, all of us have already given up on the gym membership (the one that we resolved to faithfully use).

It's time for Chex party mix!

Do You Know What That Is?

Party mix is a snack that can be eaten like (and is just as addictive as) popcorn—a combination of Chex cereals, mixed nuts, and pretzels seasoned with salt and spices and baked in the oven at low heat until all of the pieces are golden and savory.

Or, at least that is how the original Chex Party Mix was made. Today, there are dozens of variations—some of them are salty, some are salty-sweet, and some are totally sweet and/or chocolaty.

A Very Brief History Lesson

According to Wikipedia:

"Chex cereal was introduced in 1937 by Ralston Purina. By 1952, recipes for "Chex party mix" appeared on boxes of Chex cereal. However, it was not until 1985 that pre-packaged products were introduced commercially by Ralston Purina and the trademarks registered to it. Chex party mix became popular as a holiday treat when purportedly in 1955, the wife of a Ralston executive in St. Louis served the snack at a holiday function. However, Chex party mix was not a unique idea: it was one of many popular "TV mixes"—snacks which could be consumed without interrupting television watching—which appeared in the 1950s with the introduction of television."

The original recipe was first published in the June 16, 1952, issue of Life magazine. The text is too small to read, so I'll give you the recipe below.

Original Chex Mix recipe as it appeared in an advertisement in Life Magazine, June 16, 1952

Original Chex Mix recipe as it appeared in an advertisement in Life Magazine, June 16, 1952

Original Chex Party Mix Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups Wheat Chex
  • 2 cups Rice Chex
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter in a shallow pan. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Add Chex cereals and nuts. Sprinkle with salts. Toss to coat. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Updated Original Chex Party Mix Recipe

Over the years, the ingredients, proportions, and baking instructions have changed. Here is the current version.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 cup bite-size pretzels
  • 1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In an ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in the oven. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in chex cereals, mixed nuts, pretzels, and bagel chips until coated. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  3. Spread on paper towels until cooled. Store in an airtight container.

The original recipe is easy and addictively tasty... and so very traditional. But why not explore some other flavor profiles? Here are a few ideas.

Buffalo Wing-Flavor Party Mix

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Pepper-Jack flavored Cheez-Its
  • 2 cups tiny pretzel twists
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons hot wing sauce
  • 1 packet spicy ranch dressing mix (Hidden Valley)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, mix cereals, crackers and pretzels; set aside. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the hot sauce, ranch dressing mix, and celery seed until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
  3. Pour mixture onto a large baking sheet. Bake for 60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven to a wire rack. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Asian Party Mix

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups sesame stick snacks
  • 3 cups chow mein noodles
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons hoisin
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional--omit if you don't like heat)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix cereals, snack crackers, and nuts; set aside. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
  3. Pour mixture onto a large baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake for 60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven to a wire rack. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Loaded Baked Potato Party Mix

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 4 cups shoestring potatoes
  • 2 cups bite-size cheese crackers
  • 1/4 cups bacon flavor bits or chips
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 package (1 oz.) ranch dressing and seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix cereals, potato sticks, snack crackers, and bacon bits; set aside. In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour over cereal mixture; stir until evenly coated.
  3. Pour mixture onto a large baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake for 60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven to a wire rack. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Taco-Flavored Party Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 (7.5oz) bag regular Bugles
  • 1 (7.5oz) bag Cheddar Bugles
  • 1 (8oz) bag Pretzel Goldfish crackers
  • 1 (16oz) box Cheez-It crackers
  • 1 (16oz) can peanuts
  • 1 (1oz) package taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup canola oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Combine all ingredients in an ungreased large roasting pan.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  4. Spread on paper towels until cooled. Store in an airtight container.

More Suggestions

Here are some of the ingredients that could be combined to create a savory or sweet/savory party mix. Just remember that the total cereal/crackers/chips/nuts, etc., should equal 12 cups.

  1. Rice Chex
  2. Corn Chex
  3. Wheat Chex
  4. Cheerios
  5. dry roasted peanuts
  6. walnuts
  7. pecans
  8. cashews
  9. pistachios
  10. pumpkin seeds
  11. sunflower seeds
  12. oyster crackers
  13. goldfish crackers
  14. Cheetos
  15. Cheez-It crackers
  16. bagel crisps
  17. pretzels
  18. Bugles
  19. Fritos
  20. pita crisps
  21. potato sticks
  22. Triscuit mini crackers
  23. popped popcorn
  24. chow mein noodles
  25. dried apples
  26. raisins
  27. dried cranberries
  28. white raisins (dried currants)
  29. bacon bits

I must confess that I am not thrilled about the Super Bowl this year (my team didn't make it to the final 4), but I'll be front and center to watch the advertisements, and then, of course, there is always the Puppy Bowl!

I hope you enjoy these recipes. And, if you create your own winning party mix combination, I would love to hear from you.

© 2016 Linda Lum

Comments

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on December 16, 2017:

Barbara - I had no idea this could be microwaved. Too bad we have one of those teeny tiny microwaves that won't accommodate a large dish. (Although the way my husband eats this stuff, perhaps it's just as well).

Thank you for sharing this recipe with everyone.

BarbaraRiley on December 16, 2017:

I had lost my original recipe I make every year. I googled and got the cereal companies recipe. I learned a quick way of cooking the mix with using the microwave. After preparing it all the exact same way as all of the recipes, instead of putting it in the oven for an hour and stirring every 15 minute. Put the mix in a microwavable long dish, cook for total of 6 minutes on high, stirring every 2 minutes. (All microwaves are different so be sure to check that yours doesn’t burn or add extra 30 seconds until the moisture is absorbed.) Finish with pouring out on towels to cool. This is a great time saver and it taste just as great as the oven method!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 09, 2016:

Bravewarrior - They are almost TOO convenient. I always make a double batch and it disappears as though we had been hit with a plague of locust. If I ate as much Chex mix as I wanted I would weigh a ton.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 09, 2016:

I don't watch the Super Bowl, but love convenient snacks. I love sesame sticks, and little toasted bagel chips. I can, and do, eat them by themselves.

What I like about the Chex Mix is all the different textures.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2016:

Jodah - My mom used to call it "nuts and bolts" also. I wonder where than name came from? Since you are in Australia it's no wonder you will not be watching the Super Bowl. But I am glad to know that you might find an excuse to have a bit of "nuts and bolts" anyhow. Thanks for your kind words.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on February 02, 2016:

These party mixes sound great.....perfect for man occasions. Won't be any Super Bowl here though :) We sometimes make a similar party mix called "Nuts and Bolts" ...using similar ingredients a cereal called Nutri Grain, nuts, pretzels, dry noodles and curry powder etc. Good hub.

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2016:

Hi Flourish - Over the Christmas/New Year holiday we made several batches of Chex mix. Our favorite was Rice Chex cereals, Cheerios, crunchy Cheetos, Fritos, and cashews. Gluten free (although that's not a problem for us, but good to know if you have a friend who is sensitive). Personally I have not yet tried the potato sticks but as a kid I loved them as a snack, so need to try that soon. Thanks for your comments and kind words.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 02, 2016:

I love some of these suggestions. I like to tweak recipes and thus tend to add more pretzels and nuts and increase the sauce while replacing some of the wheat with corn or rice. Potato sticks are a good idea!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2016:

Oh Eric, you are such a hoot. You made me laugh out loud (and I needed that!) If you look online you will find a TON of sweet Chex mix recipes, but as you know I'm already sweet enough, so I always gravitate toward the salty/savory flavors. Thanks so much for stopping by. And remember, no matter how old you get you'll always be younger than me!

Linda Lum (author) from Washington State, USA on February 02, 2016:

Bill, I could not care less about the Super Bowl this year (it's just heartbreaking, isn't it?) but the ads ARE fun. So, rent a movie from Netflix for you and Bev and have a good time. (Note, you really do have to share this with someone--don't eat it all yourself).

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 02, 2016:

Stop it! Just stop it! I love these party mixes and could survive on them, game or no game. Now that I know how to make them there will be no end. Good thing that I actually use my gym membership. Great article and very fun. Except the history did make me feel a bit old.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 02, 2016:

Honestly, I won't be watching the Super Bowl....but....party mix goes quite well while watching a movie, too....so thanks for the recipe...glad to see garlic was included. :)