This nuts and bolts recipe is the ultimate homemade snack mix! Salted peanuts, five different kinds of cereal, crunchy pretzels, bagel chips, cheese crackers, and Worcestershire pair with a mix of seasonings and bacon drippings to make this everyone’s favorite. You’re going to want to keep a batch of this on hand at all times!

A bowl of nuts and bolts snack mix with wooden spoon.

Before you could purchase snack mix in the grocery store, every party needed a nuts and bolts recipe! Similar to homemade Chex Mix, this recipe has the same savory seasoning and variety of textures. There are so many variations to play with, but this combination is easily my go-to; using bacon drippings in place of some of the butter is a total game changer!

It’s a winner for holiday parties, gifting, movie watching, and lunch boxes. Best of all? It’s super simple!

Roasting pan filled with pretzel sticks, Cheezits, Cheerios, bagel chips, Chex cereals, and peanuts.

Ingredients and Tools Needed

  • Bacon Grease: This recipe calls for 1 cup of bacon grease, which you can get from about 2 pounds of bacon. Next time you’re making breakfast, store the drippings in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use!
  • Cereals: In this nuts and bolts recipe I use five kinds of cereal! Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Wheat Chex, Kix, and Cheerios. Other brands work just as well, and you can mix and match your favorites.
  • Crackers and Snacks: The combination of Cheez-Its, bagel chips, pretzel sticks, and peanuts, is incredible. Using plain bagel chips, pretzels, and peanuts, is great here since the seasoning we make will bring all the salt we need!
  • Seasoning Ingredients: Using seasoned salt, garlic powder, celery salt, and onion salt, we get a perfect finger-licking coating for our snack mix! Of course, you can make this your own by adding your favorite spices or herbs.
  • Kitchen Tools: You will need one very large roasting pan (or two smaller ones), a spatula, a small saucepan, and a small bowl.

Seasonings measured into a bowl for nuts and bolts recipe.

How to Make This Nuts and Bolts Recipe: Step By Step

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F
  • Combine cereals, crackers, and snacks into a large roasting pan and mix.
  • In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Then, stir in the bacon grease and Worcestershire sauce into the pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix the seasonings together and set aside.
  • Drizzle the melted butter over the cereal mixture and toss. Once coated, add the seasoning mixture.
  • Use a spatula, wooden spoon, or your hands, to mix everything together until all the pieces are evenly coated.
  • Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  • When each piece is crispy and dry, you will know it’s done. Once that happens, bring the pans out quickly and let them cool completely.

Pouring melted butter and bacon drippings over nuts and bolts mixture.

Oven or Crock-Pot?

I suggest the oven for this, but I know some folks do prefer to make this mix with their Crock-Pot. If you want to try that out, you would pour the mixture into the slow cooker rather than the roasting pan. You may need to do this in batches or use an extra-large slow cooker. You can let this go for about three hours on the lowest setting, but to prevent burning you will want to stir this once an hour, and twice in the final hour.

Closeup photo of nuts and bolts mixture.

Variations and Mix-Ins

This combo is my favorite adaptation, but you can easily make this your own! Here are some alternate options you can try out:

  • Rye chips, Goldfish, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and rice crackers can be added to the mixture or used to replace something else.
  • The peanuts can be omitted totally or replaced with a different type of nut.
  • If you like spice – add ½ tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce to the melted butter.
  • Chili powder or cayenne go great in the seasoning mix, but make sure you add in small increments to taste.
  • For the sweet tooth in the group, add candied peanuts, toffee bits, or flavored Cheerios for some sweetness.
  • After cooling, things like chocolate chips can be stirred in.

Storing and Gifting

This recipe makes an insanely large amount of snack mix!

  • Storage: This will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
  • Gifting: Since this recipe makes such a large quantity, it’s an awesome (and economical!) gift. Fill a mason jar or a small cellophane bag, and tie with a bow or ribbon.

Fingers picking up nuts and bolts out of a bowl.

I’m ready for more snacks! How about you?

I would absolutely love it if you made this nuts and bolts recipe; if you do, please stop back and leave a rating and let me know how you liked it! ENJOY! 😍

Nuts and Bolts Recipe

This nuts and bolts recipe is the ultimate homemade snack mix! Salted peanuts, five different kinds of cereal, crunchy pretzels, bagel chips, cheese crackers, and Worcestershire pair with a mix of seasonings and bacon drippings to make this everyone's favorite.
5 (1 rating)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce (340.2 g) box Rice Chex cereal
  • 12 ounce (340.2 g) box Corn Chex cereal
  • 14 ounce (396.89 g) box Wheat Chex cereal
  • 12 ounce (340.2 g) box Kix cereal
  • 8.9 ounce (252.31 g) box Cheerios
  • 13.7 ounce (388.39 g) box Cheez-It crackers
  • 16 ounces (453.59 g) plain bagel chips
  • 16 ounces (453.59 g) pretzel sticks
  • 32 ounces (907.19 g) salted peanuts
  • ¾ cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (236.59 g) bacon grease
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion salt

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  • Place the cereals, crackers, bagel chips, pretzels and peanuts in a large roasting pan (you will probably need to use two) and stir to evenly combine.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together the butter, bacon grease and Worcestershire sauce. In a small bowl, stir together the seasoned salt, garlic powder, celery and onion salts.
  • Drizzle the melted butter mixture evenly over the dry ingredients, then evenly sprinkle the seasoning mixture. Using your (clean) hands or a large wooden spoon, gently stir to ensure that all of the ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then store in an airtight container or bag at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • Equipment: Large roasting pan, a spatula, a small saucepan, and a small bowl.
  • Bacon Drippings: You can yield 1 cup of bacon grease from about 2 pounds of bacon. Store the drippings in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Substitutions: You can mix and match your favorite ingredients to make this a completely custom snack mix for YOU! See the post above for suggestions and ideas.
  • Storage: This can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional values are based on one serving
Calories: 366kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 860mg, Potassium: 267mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 695IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 108mg, Iron: 9.1mg

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Photography by Lauren Grant.