Firecracker Chex Mix

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Firecracker Chex Mix is a spicy, savory snack that takes traditional Chex Mix to the next level! It’s made with ranch seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid smoke, and red pepper flakes for an extra kick. This delicious firecracker mix is customizable to all ages and makes for a tasty party treat or midnight snack!

To make your party or get-together even more fun, serve this spicy Chex Mix recipe with other snacks like tortilla chips and salsa, pretzels and dip, or popcorn and candy. Together they’ll create an unforgettable snacking experience!

Firecracker chex mix in a white bowl.

Firecracker Snack Mix

Chex Mix has been around since the 1950s and is a beloved snack that’s enjoyed by families everywhere. The original mix consisted of equal parts Wheat Chex, Corn Chex, and Rice Chex along with some butter or margarine and seasoning for flavor.

Today’s version still includes these cereals but also adds pretzels, nuts, and other ingredients for a more varied flavor experience.

We’re taking the classic recipe a step further and using the traditional seasonings from Alabama Fire Crackers plus some liquid smoke for a smoky flavor. The result is a savory, spicy, crunchy snack that’s so satisfying, you’ll want to make it all year!

How to Make Firecracker Chex Mix:

This spicy Chex Mix recipe is super simple to make. Here’s a quick snapshot of the instructions. The full recipe, including ingredients, is listed further down the page.

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F, and grab a large roasting pan or two large, rimmed baking sheets.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, peanuts, pretzels, and Cheez-Its then set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid smoke (if using), and red pepper flakes.
Ingredients for chex mix in a bowl.
Butter, ranch mix, and seasonings in a measuring cup.
  1. Drizzle the butter mixture over the cereal mixture a little at a time while stirring between additions. Make sure to evenly coat the cereal mixture.
  2. Transfer the ingredients to the roasting pan or baking sheets. Spread the mixture in an even layer, and bake for 1 hour. Stir every 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Scoop the finished firecracker mix onto paper towels to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Enjoy! 
Seasoned butter poured over cereal mix.
Seasoned cereal, peanuts, crackers, and pretzels in a roasting pan.

Tips for Success:

  • To make sure your firecracker Chex mix is extra spicy, use a generous amount of crushed red pepper flakes. Other great options are hot sauce, chili powder, or cayenne pepper.
  • If you want a sweet and spicy snack mix, consider adding some honey or brown sugar.
  • For a smokier flavor, try using smoked paprika or extra liquid smoke.
  • Use flavors like Worcestershire sauce or cumin for a deeper flavor profile in your spicy Chex mix recipe.
  • Get creative with what ingredients you put into the mixture – think outside of just nuts and pretzels! Consider including bagel chips, seasoned crackers, seeds, and more for an extra depth of flavor!
  • Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese for cheesy goodness!
  • Skip the mixing bowl, and stir the cereal, peanuts, pretzels and crackers together in the roasting pan instead.

Storage:

Leftovers store well in an airtight container or resealable bag at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Large bowl of chex mix with spicy seasonings.

How do you make Chex mix not soggy?

Ensure that you follow the precise amount of butter or liquid specified in the recipe for the best results. Additionally, follow the instructions for cooking the snack mix which helps to toast the ingredients and prevent them from being soggy.

How spicy is this firecracker Chex mix?

This firecracker mix is lightly spicy to not spicy at all depending on how sensitive your tastes are. Of course, you can add more red pepper flakes to really amp up the spiciness.

Or, use less for a milder flavor. Even with a lesser amount of red pepper flakes, you may still snag a cereal piece every now and then with a pepper flake stuck to one side.

Side view of spicy chex mix in a set of white bowls.

Is it necessary to bake Chex mix?

All the ingredients in the Chex mix are edible without being baked. However, baking the ingredients once they’ve been mixed ensures a crunchy snack mix that lasts for several days without becoming stale.

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Close up view of spicy firecracker chex mix.

Firecracker Chex Mix

5 from 1 vote
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Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Cool Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 25 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1 cup Itty Bitty Mini pretzels
  • 1 cup Cheez-It crackers
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ ounces ranch seasoning mix, 1 ½ packets
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, optional
  • 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 250°F.
  • Place the Corn Chex, Rice Chex, Wheat Chex, peanuts, pretzels, and Cheez-Its into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine then set aside.
    3 cups Corn Chex
    3 cups Rice Chex
    3 cups Wheat Chex
    1 cup unsalted peanuts
    1 cup Itty Bitty Mini pretzels
    1 cup Cheez-It crackers
  • In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, liquid smoke (if using), red pepper flakes, and onion powder.
    ¾ cup unsalted butter
    1 ½ ounces ranch seasoning mix
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    2 teaspoons liquid smoke
    2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Drizzle the butter mixture over the cereal mixture a little at a time while stirring. Make sure it’s evenly coated.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a large roasting pan. Spread the ingredients in an even layer, and bake for 1 hour. Stir every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and place the Chex Mix onto paper towels to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy! See post for tips, FAQs, and storage options.

Suggested Equipment

Roasting pan with rack
Roasting Pan with Rack remove the rack for this recipe

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 477IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 5mg

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of ½ cup of snack mix. Actual calories will vary.
 
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please scroll up and view the post.
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