Rule number one of a successful party: Always have some Chex Mix. Chex Party Mix has been a staple for over 50 years and can be thrown together in a matter of minutes. Endlessly adaptable, and easy to turn into mixes as simple or as complicated as you want, Chex Mix will never let you down. Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex—pick your favorite and be sure to try out one of these recipes for your upcoming holiday party.
Header photo and recipe of Spicy Cereal and Nut Mix from CHOW
1. Smoked Carne Asada Chex Mix
Worcester sauce and carne asada seasoning kick this Chex Mix up a notch. If you have a smoker, now is the time to put it to use. This recipe recommends turning it up to 250 degrees Farhenheit, but you can also bake the ingredients in the oven at a higher temperature to roast the peanuts and cashews.
Photo and recipe from All Things Barbecue
2. Thin Mint Chex Mix
This recipe takes a beloved cookie, the Thin Mint, and manages to turn it into a delicious, crunchy snack mix. A half-and-half mix of chocolate chips and mint chips (in addition to some peppermint extract) makes these Chex taste pretty close to the Girl Scout cookie favorite.
Photo and recipe from Tablespoon
3. Cinnamon Churro Chex Mix
Melted cinnamon chips (found in the baking aisle) and powdered sugar are what make this Rice Chex Mix taste almost exactly like a churro. Use the cinnamon and sugar liberally here and shake the mixture in a tightly sealed Ziploc bag to fully coat. Paired with some vanilla ice cream, this party mix makes an excellent dessert.
Photo and recipe from Crumbs & Chaos
4. Duck Fat Chex Mix
Savory creations are where you can pack an amazing amount of flavor into a tiny, crunchy Chex square. Using rendered duck fat combined with spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and thyme, you can make this delicious mix in a snap and eat it as a substitute for real dinner—we won’t tell.
Photo and recipe from The Texan New Yorker
5. Gluten-Free Chex Mix
The best thing about Rice and Corn Chex cereal? They’re gluten-free! Make sure to use gluten-free pretzels in this recipe or you’ll defeat the purpose. Mixed nuts and lots of seasonings make this the perfect wheat-free option for your next fete.
Photo and recipe from Delicious As It Looks
6. Asian Chex Mix
Get crazy with this Asian Chex Mix recipe that involves another favorite snack food: Bugles! The Japanese nori komi furikake seasoning contains bits of seaweed and is often used to flavor rice; it makes this snack mix the perfect thing to chow down on with a Tsingtao or Sapporo.
Photo and recipe from LiveJournal
7. Muddy Buddies (a.k.a. Puppy Chow)
These Muddy Buddies (also known as Puppy Chow) are perhaps the best cereal-based treat I’ve ever eaten and definitely give Rice Krispies Treats a run for their money. Melted chocolate, peanut butter, and melted sugar coat the Chex and make for a completely addictive concoction. Use extra powdered sugar to coat the Chex thoroughly, and then try not to eat the whole batch in one sitting. Trust us, it's a challenge.
Photo and recipe from Life's a Tomato
8. Cinnamon Roll Muddy Buddies
This Cinnamon Roll Muddy Buddies recipe uses Cinnamon or Vanilla Chex for extra cinnamon-roll-tasting action. Vanilla frosting and Duncan Hines Frosting Creations cinnamon roll flavor mix, melted with white chocolate chips, make this an irresistible rendition; the chopped pecans add a nice crunch.
Photo and recipe from Crazy for Crust
9. Cake Batter Puppy Chow
Everyone knows that Funfetti cake mix is the most delicious. Now you can enjoy it bite by bite thanks to this Cake Batter Puppy Chow recipe. White chocolate chips, sprinkles, and confectioners' sugar make this the snack-mix version of a beautiful birthday cake.
Photo and recipe from After Dinner Dance
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.