Homemade Chex Mix Recipe

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Chex mix is everyone’s favorite snack mix because it is bursting with flavor and is easy to make. Customize it and swap out ingredients to make it different each time. This healthy plant-based version of Chex mix is completely oil-free!

homemade vegan butter-free chex party mix with a scoop for serving

Traditional Chex mix is made with butter which we don’t eat so, last year I came up with this healthier recipe. It is completely butter-free and oil-free, so it’s much lower in fat and calories.

Chex mix is the ultimate healthy snack because it’s crunchy, salty, easy to store, and perfect for parties, holidays, and movie nights. It makes a terrific game night healthy snack and even works great for low-fat plant-based traveling snacks. This healthy, vegan snack is made with cereal, nuts, and savory seasonings, and I’ve included plenty of variations and add-ins to suit everyone’s tastes.

wooden oval handmade bowl filled with homemade chex mix

What is Chex mix?

While Chex usually gets the credit for creating Chex mix, it was Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook back in 1950 that first featured the recipe using Kix cereal that was tossed in melted butter and sprinkled with salt and seasonings. A version of the original Chex mix recipe has been around since 1952 when it first appeared on their cereal boxes, but it has been changed several times over the years.

overhead shot of white bowl of chex mix

Many of us grew up eating this made-from-scratch baked snack during the holidays. My childhood memories are filled with making Chex mix with cereal, nuts, pretzels, and crackers during the Christmas holiday season. As an adult, I’ve made it many times throughout the Christmas season for family and friends.

Ingredients in Chex party mix

ingredients for chex mix on white background and labeled

There are only a few ingredients in the basic Chex mix recipe, but I’ve included a list of additional add-ins below for those who might want to mix it up a bit. These are the basic ingredients.

  • Cereal– I use a mixture of corn, rice, and wheat Chex cereals. The wheat seems to be harder to find lately, so I’ve been ordering it from Amazon. Some people even use other cereals like Cheerios.
  • Mixed nuts– Though a can of premixed nuts can be used, they are usually cooked in oil and salt so I opt for my favorite raw nuts that include almonds, pecans, Brazil nuts, and others.
  • Worcestershire sauce– We use vegan brands called Annie’s or Wizard’s because the traditional sauce has anchovies in it.
  • Seasonings– Garlic powder, onion powder, and season salt are the traditional seasonings that we use and like best.
  • Lemon juice– Substitute lemon juice and water for butter to make this crunchy homemade snack much lower in calories and fat.

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

pan of golden cooked chex mix

Baking Chex mix in the oven is best

Slow baking in the oven at a low temperature is the secret to creating the best party mix because it creates a crunchy texture that is perfectly toasted. Think low-and-slow when it comes to making Chex mix. Stirring it every 15 minutes throughout the hour-long cooking process will allow it to cook evenly. We use this same cooking method for our homemade gluten-free granola recipe to get that crunchy texture.

How to make oven-baked Chex mix

4 steps pictured for making chex mix photo collage
  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. You can also go ahead and line 2 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper to reduce sticking. Lining the pans is optional, but it sure makes cleanup easier.
  2. Place all of the cereals and nuts in a large mixing bowl roomy enough that it can hold everything with plenty of space for mixing.
  3. In another small to medium-sized bowl, whisk together the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, water, garlic powder, onion powder, and season salt.
  4. Pour the wet seasoning mixture over the cereal and nuts in the large bowl and gently toss to coat each piece evenly. Don’t worry if it’s not completely even because you are going to be stirring throughout the cooking process.
  5. Pour the mix onto the lined baking sheets in a single layer. You want the pans to have rims because they will be pretty full.
  6. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. It will crisp up even more as it cools.

Other mix-ins and variations

These are some great substitutions or add-ins to create variety every time you make this party mix.

  • Make it spicy– Add 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce to the wet ingredients when mixing.
  • Make it sweet– Drizzle in maple syrup, date syrup, or agave nectar when mixing up the wet ingredients.
  • Subout cereals– This recipe calls for 3 cups each of rice, corn, and wheat cereal, for a total of 9 cups. Substitute any of the cereals desired–use only one or 2 varieties if desired. Or, even try Cheerios.
  • Add-ins– Try adding in raisins, craisins, or pretzels.
  • Spices– Other great spice ideas to add would be smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or chili powder.

Top tips for the best oven-baked Chex

As you are gathering your ingredients and prepping, here are a few tips to set you up for success.

  • Seasoning– Don’t skimp on the seasonings because they add so much flavor. Even if you think it sounds like too much, try it the way the recipe is written for the first batch. You can always adjust for the next one.
  • Mix the seasoning first– Be sure to mix all the wet and dry seasonings in a separate bowl before pouring the mixture onto the dry cereal and nuts. This ensures that all the pieces of cereal are coated evenly.
  • Baking temperature– 250°F is the perfect temperature, so don’t be tempted to turn it up any hotter to speed up the process. It will burn easily and it needs to be a slow, drying bake.
  • Stir every 15 minutes– Don’t get busy and forget to stir the mix 4 times during the cooking process. It needs to bake for 1 hour, and stirring must be done every 15 minutes to make sure it bakes evenly.

Make ahead and storage

I make this ahead for parties and get-togethers all the time. It keeps its crunchy texture very well when kept in an airtight container. Most of the time, I use a flat container with a snap-on lid because it travels well and keeps the cereal from getting crushed.

It is easy to store at room temperature in an airtight container or even a ziplock storage bag for up to 10 days. There’s no need to refrigerate.

black iron pan with handle full of chex party mix

More healthy snack recipes

If you love snacking but want to make sure there are healthier options that are store-bought, here are a few that should hit the spot.

For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!

If you try this recipe, please let us know how you like it by rating it and leaving a comment. We love to hear from you!

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blue and white bold bowl filled with chex mix and a white scoop
4.75 from 8 votes

Homemade Chex Mix

Chex mix is everyone's favorite snack mix because it is bursting with flavor and is easy to make. Customize it and swap out ingredients to make it different each time. This healthy version is vegan and completely oil-free!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups Chex Rice cereal
  • 3 cups Chex Corn cereal
  • 3 cups Chex Wheat cereal
  • 1 cup mixed raw nuts
  • 2.5 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons season salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 250°F. You can also go ahead and line 2 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper to reduce sticking. Lining the pans is optional, but it sure makes cleanup easier.
  • Place all of the cereals and nuts in a large mixing bowl roomy enough that it can hold everything with plenty of space for mixing.
  • In another small to medium-sized bowl, whisk together the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, water, garlic powder, onion powder, and season salt.
  • Pour the wet seasoning mixture over the cereal and nuts in the large bowl and gently toss to coat each piece evenly. Don’t worry if it’s not completely even because you are going to be stirring throughout the cooking process.
  • Pour the mix onto the lined baking sheets in a single layer. You want the pans to have rims because they will be pretty full.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. It will crisp up even more as it cools.

Video

Notes

Mix-ins and variations
These are some great substitutions or add-ins to create variety every time you make this party mix.
  • Make it spicy– Add 1-2 tablespoons of hot sauce to the wet ingredients when mixing.
  • Make it sweet– Drizzle in maple syrup, date syrup, or agave nectar when mixing up the wet ingredients.
  • Subout cereals– This recipe calls for 3 cups each of rice, corn, and wheat cereal, for a total of 9 cups. Substitute any of the cereals desired–use only one or 2 varieties if desired. Or, even try Cheerios.
  • Add-ins– Try adding in raisins, craisins, or pretzels.
  • Spices– Other great spice ideas to add would be smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or chili powder.
Top tips for the best oven-baked Chex
  • Seasoning– Don’t skimp on the seasonings because they add so much flavor. Even if you think it sounds like too much, try it the way the recipe is written for the first batch. You can always adjust for the next one.
  • Mix the seasoning first– Be sure to mix all the wet and dry seasonings in a separate bowl before pouring the mixture onto the dry cereal and nuts. This ensures that all the pieces of cereal are coated evenly.
  • Baking temperature– 250°F is the perfect temperature, so don’t be tempted to turn it up any hotter to speed up the process. It will burn easily and it needs to be a slow, drying bake.
  • Stir every 15 minutes– Don’t get busy and forget to stir the mix 4 times during the cooking process. It needs to bake for 1 hour, and stirring must be done every 15 minutes to make sure it bakes evenly.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 588mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g

Disclaimer

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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11 Comments

  1. I tried it with all water the first time and the cheerios shriveled up. The next time I tried it with 3TBSP of tahini and thinned it out with water, it turned out fantastic. Making my third batch now. Thank you for helping me stay on track and creating a healthyish snack!

  2. Great, I used raw nuts. So not too salty, just right. Love it. Next time I would toast the nuts a bit first as they were not toasted after an hour. Thank you !

  3. Hi Terri! I made this yesterday and to be honest I did not like it when it came out of the oven. This morning I tried it and the flavors must have intensified as I like it better this morning. I do think next time I will double up on the spices as I like it with a lot of flavor. Thank you for this recipe! I did like that it did not have all that butter and fat! :))

  4. I had been told that Chex Brand cereal was not vegan/plant based because of the additive D-3 and where it was sourced. Can you provided info on this as I would love to make Chex mix again but only if it is vegan/plant based. Am I being too picky on where my food comes from?

    1. Moon- My understanding is that Chex cereals are made with natural, plant-based ingredients. The only gray area where no one seems to be able to say for sure is the company’s sources of vitamin D. If they use vitamin D extracted from lanolin (sheep wool) then it would not be pure vegan.

  5. In oven per recipe right now!. Was able to find mixed salt free/oil free nuts at Aldis cheaply and used store brand cereals, so very economical. House smells great. Cant wait to dig in!

      1. UPDATE…just had some and it is FANTASTIC!!! Not sure why it ever had to have all that butter! Perfect for the holidays AS IS! Thank you so much for this healthy alternative to a childhood favorite.

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