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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.