Spicy Chex Mix

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This bold, spicy Chex mix recipe takes the classic recipe and turns up the heat. Made with crispy cereal, crunchy nuts, pretzels, crackers, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and ranch seasoning to balance out the flavor, this spicy snack mix is perfect for any party or occasion.

Firecracker spicy chex mix with pretzels, crackers, nuts, coated in a spicy ranch seasoning mix.

Chex Mix, no matter what kind, has always been my go-to party snack. I’ve made everything from cinnamon sugar chex mix and chex mix with m&ms to a no bake sweet and salty snack mix. This spicy Chex mix recipe is my latest obsession as it’s the perfect snack when I am craving a little heat!

This crunchy goodness is made of traditional Chex cereal, rice cereal, cheesy crackers, pretzels, and mixed nuts but what sets it apart from any other kind of mix is the coating.

Sweet and spicy with the right amount of saltiness, it’s sure to become one of your favorite snacks to munch on during the holiday season, football season, and every single day in between.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • This is truly addictive. A little sweet, savory, spicy, it has it all! 
  • It makes enough to serve 20 people.
  • Just 10 minutes of prep time.
  • There is plenty of room for ingredient swaps.
  • The perfect snack for family gatherings, movie nights, and game day parties!

Ingredients for Homemade Spicy Chex Mix

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.

Labeled ingredients for chex mix recipe: mixed nuts cheeze-its, wheat chex, corn chex, rice chex, mini crackers, pretzels twists, two sticks of butter, ranch mix, light brown sugar and seasonings.
  • Cereal – I use a combination of corn Chex, wheat Chex, and rice Chex. 
  • Crackers – Cheez-its and mini club crackers.
  • Pretzels – Mini pretzels are great just because they’re bite-size and fit in nicely without being too bulky. You can also use waffle pretzels or pretzel rods if preferred.
  • Nuts – Mixed nuts are always a fun choice. You can use salted, spicy, or candied, it’s up to you. I used a lightly salted nut mix from Planters with peanuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts

For the Sauce

  • Butter – I use unsalted butter just because there is already salt in the crackers, seasoning, and possibly the nuts. Butter helps to coat the seasoning and just gives it that buttery goodness.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Adds a savory, umami flavor to the sauce.
  • Seasoning – Ranch dressing mix, dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
  • Sugar– Packed light brown sugar adds a great sweet balance to the salty and spicy flavor combination. 

How to Make Spicy Chex Mix

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: Add crunchy mixture to a bowl. Combine the cracker and cereal mixture in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix everything together.

Chex cereal, mini pretzels, cheeze-its, mini club crackers, and mixed nuts in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Make the sauce. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Then, add the spicy seasonings with the rest of the sauce ingredients and whisk to combine until the sugar has dissolved.

Left: melted butter with ranch mix and seasonings in a small post.

Step 3: Coat Chex mix with the sauce. Pour half the sauce over the mix and use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix. Pour the rest of the sauce in and gently mix again until everything is evenly coated. 

Chex mix coated with sauce in a glass mixing bowl.

Step 4: ​Assemble on a baking sheet. Transfer the mixture to a large, ungreased sheet pan and spread it out into an even single layer. 

Chex mix spread in an even layer on a baking sheet.

Step 5: Bake in a preheated 250°F oven for 1 hour, tossing the firecracker snack mix every 15 minutes to ensure it cooks evenly. 

Step 6: Cool it completely, then enjoy!

Handful of spicy ranch chex mix.

Pro Tip:

If using a quarter sheet size pan, divide the mix in half and place it onto two sheets. It’ll crisp up better if everything is spread out.


Once completely cooled, keep the spicy ranch chex mix in an airtight container at room temperature. It’ll keep for up to 1 month. It’s great for parties and entertaining, packing in school lunches (if your kids like a little heat), having something quick to grab on your way out the door, an after school snack, or something to nibble on while dinner is being made. 

You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Overhead photo of the bowl of spicy firecracker chex mix with some of the snack mix scattered on the table around it.

Tips for the Best Spicy Chex Party Mix

  • Adjust the spice level. This has a kick but it isn’t crazy spicy. If you want more, up the cayenne and chili flakes, or add some chili powder or your favorite hot sauce to the mix!
  • You can switch out any of the ingredients to fit your tastes. However, make sure you are using the same ratio of ingredients so the sauce still coats it correctly.
  • A great make-ahead recipe. Since this stays fresh for up to 1 month on the counter, it’s a snack that can be prepared early to save time. 
  • Double or triple the recipe if needed. It makes a lot, but depending on the size of your football party crowd, you may need more.

Additions and variations

  • Swap the brown sugar. Use white sugar, maple syrup, or honey instead. 
  • Sweet paprika. I love the smoky addition, but if you would rather have regular paprika, go ahead and use it.
  • Different crackers. Use oyster crackers or bagel chips instead of or in addition to the cheese crackers.
Firecracker snack mix with pretzels, crackers, nuts, coated in a spicy ranch seasoning mix.

More Party Snack Recipes

Firecracker spicy chex mix with pretzels, crackers, nuts, coated in a spicy ranch seasoning mix.
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Spicy Chex Mix

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
This spicy Chex mix recipe takes the classic party mix and turns up the heat with the addition of cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Ranch seasoning mix balances out the flavor for a zesty snack mix perfect for ay occasion.


For the Mix:

  • 3 cups corn Chex
  • 3 cups wheat Chex
  • 3 cups rice Chex
  • 1 ½ cups Cheez-its
  • 1 ½ cups mini pretzels
  • 1 ½ cups mini cClub crackers
  • 10 ounces mixed nuts

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ounce ranch seasoning mix (1 packet)
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar packed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Preheat oven to 250°F.
  • In an extra large bowl, add the corn Chex, wheat Chex, rice Chex, cheez-its, pretzels, club crackers, and nuts; toss to combine. Set aside
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the Worcestershire, ranch dressing mix, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne. Whisk to combine, continuing to whisk until the sugar has dissolved (3-5 minutes).
  • Pour half the sauce over the mix in the bowl, gently tossing to coat. Then pour the remaining sauce, again tossing to evenly coat.
  • Spread the coated chex mix onto a large ungreased sheet pan in an even layer. Depending on the size of your pan you may need to use two (mine is half sheet size).
  • Bake for 1 hour, tossing the mixture every 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before storing or serving.


  • Ingredient swaps: Don’t like a specific ingredient? No problem- swap it out for something you do. This is so easy to customize to your taste.
  • Spice level: This has a kick but it isn’t crazy spicy. If you want more spice, up the cayenne and chili flakes, or add a bit of hot sauce to the mix.
  • Storage: store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.


    Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 500mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1008IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 15mg
    Firecracker spicy chex mix with pretzels, crackers, nuts, coated in a spicy ranch seasoning mix.

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