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Alabama Fire Crackers are a perfect party snack and are easy to make using saltines and a handful of simple ingredients from your pantry. Pair the spicy, crispy crackers with your favorite dips or add them to a charcuterie board for a budget-friendly game day or party appetizer!
Speaking of party recipes, you should also make these savory Garlic Ranch Pretzels and these sweet Ritz Churro Bites for your party snack fix. They are both easy and always total crowd-pleasers, just like these firecracker saltines!
Turn bland saltines into a zesty, spicy snack with this easy Alabama Fire Crackers recipe. The crackers are transformed by a marinade made with red pepper flakes, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, and onion flakes, and oil.
Whether you’re cheering on your favorite team on game day, celebrating the holidays, or just getting together with friends, these spicy saltines are guaranteed to be a hit.
A word of warning, though — they’re so tasty and crispy that you probably won’t be able to stop at eating just one!
Ingredients for Alabama Firecrackers
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
To make these tasty snack crackers you’ll need:
- Saltine Crackers — Saltines are my favorite cracker to use for this recipe, but club crackers, oyster crackers, and many other varieties work well, too. If you can find the mini saltine crackers, they make wonderful bite-sized fire crackers.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes — This is the ingredient that gives the crackers their name! Red pepper flakes add just the right amount of heat. However, you can reduce the amount of red pepper flakes to adjust the spice level to suit your family’s preferences.
- Onion Flakes — These are dehydrated onions. If you don’t have them, use 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder instead.
- Garlic Powder — Adds savory depth of flavor.
- Ranch Seasoning — Powdered ranch dressing mix adds tangy flavor to the fiery saltines. Or try this ranch seasoning substitute.
- Vegetable Oil — Canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, or even melted butter can be used.
To make this great snack, you only need a few simple kitchen tools:
- gallon zip-top bag
- baking sheet
- aluminum foil or parchment paper
How to Make Alabama Fire Crackers
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Place vegetable oil, ranch seasoning, red pepper flakes, onion flakes, and garlic powder in a large Ziploc bag (gallon size).
Step 2: Seal the bag, and use your hands to knead and squeeze the bag to mix the oil and spice mix together. If you prefer, you can whisk the ingredients in a bowl before adding them to the bag, but it is not necessary.
Step 3: Open the bag, empty the sleeve of saltines into the bag, reseal it, and turn it over and over gently to coat the crackers in the oil and seasoning mix. Leave the saltines in the bag overnight so the crackers soak up the oil and seasoning.
Step 4: After the crackers have marinated in the seasoning overnight (or at least 8 hours), preheat your oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place crackers in a single layer. Bake the crackers for 10 minutes or until the oil is absorbed and the crackers are crispy and golden brown. Let the crackers cool to room temperature before serving or storing in a plastic zipper bag or other airtight container.
Serve these spicy Alabama fire crackers with as bow lof soup or chili to add flavor and texture. They also make a wonderful accompaniment to your favorite dip, like buffalo chicken dip or these fun 7 layer dip cups.
They’re excellent on a charcuterie board with deli meats and cheeses. You could also serve them with pimiento cheese, alongside a cheeseball, or with cream cheese and some pepper jelly.
Storage and Freezing
Room temperature: Store leftover crackers at room temperature in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag for up to a week. Let the crackers cool completely before storing them. If they are still warm, condensation might form in the storage container, making them soggy.
Freezing instructions: For best results, do not freeze these crackers. They’ll get soggy once thawed.
Firecrackers Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Double or quadruple this recipe if you’re feeding a crowd. They’re so addictive! Separate the crackers into multiple bags if you’re making extra. You don’t want to overcrowd them.
- Don’t overlap the crackers on the sheet pan. Bake them in two batches if needed to ensure they’re all golden and crispy.
- Rotate the bag every hour or so if you can to ensure the oil and seasonings coat every single cracker.
Additions and Variations
Use different crackers. Out of saltines? Use whatever’s in your pantry. This recipe works for mini club crackers, oyster crackers, Wheat Thins, Cheez-Its, Chicken in a Biscuit crackers, Ritz crackers, and more!
Add grated parmesan cheese. Before you bake the crackers, sprinkle some grated parmesan on top for added flavor.
Lower the sodium. Watching your salt? Reduce the sodium in this recipe by using unsalted crackers and substituting a low sodium ranch mix, Italian seasoning, or different herbs instead of the regular ranch.
Swamp Crackers FAQ
Yes, they can be made with any type of saltine and most types of crackers, such as oyster crackers, wheat crackers, multigrain crackers, and so on.
They’ll stay fresh and crisp in an airtight container or zip-top baggie for about a week at room temperature but are best eaten within 3 days. After that, they may become stale.
I don’t recommend freezing these spicy crackers. They’ll get soggy when thawed and will lose their crispness.
Easy Party Appetizer Recipes
Planning a party or a holiday get-together? You NEED these easy snack recipes on hand.
- Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs — a twist on classic deviled eggs that’s even more delicious than the original.
- Coca Cola Meatballs — sweet, tangy, bite-size meatballs that are always a hit. Just 3 ingredients!
- Little Smokies (crock pot recipe) — another super simple 3-ingredient appetizer your guests will love.
Alabama Fire Crackers
- ¼ cup vegetable oil or melted butter
- 1 Tablespoon ranch seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion flakes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 sleeve saltine crackers
- Add oil and seasonings to a gallon-size freezer baggie.
- Seal the bag and use your hands to knead the ingredients together in the bag.
- Add the saltine crackers, re-seal the bag, and turn the bag over and over to coat the crackers in the seasoning mixture.
- Allow the saltines to sit in the bag overnight to absorb the seasoning.
- The next day, preheat oven to 250℉. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the crackers out in a single layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the oil has absorbed and the crackers are golden brown.
- Allow the crackers to cool to room temperature before serving or storing.
- Makes approximately 33 crackers.
- Melted butter or olive oil can be used instead of vegetable oil.
- If you can’t get your hands on any dehydrated minced onion/onion flakes you can use ½ teaspoon onion powder instead.
- You can easily double the recipe and use an entire 1-ounce packet of ranch mix.