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. 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.
- Kitchen Tools: You will need one very large roasting pan (or two smaller ones), a spatula, a small saucepan, and a small bowl.
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.
I’m ready for more snacks! How about you?
- Homemade Chex Mix
- Cinnamon Sugar Candied Chex Mix
- Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts
- Snickers Rice Crispy Treats
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Love all your fecipes
Omgosh! I love the addition of bacon grease! I can’t wait to make this! I’m moving this week and my big pans are in storage. This will be at the top of my list to make! Thanks!!
Could you provide some guidance on seasoned salt? I’ve tried a couple with mixed to poor reviews from my family. I started using celery salt as my seasoned salt, but Nuts and Bolts has both.
Hi Barb, I use Lawry’s seasoned salt. I hope that helps!
Rye* …… Dang auto correct!
My all time favorite are the garlic the chips by Gardetto’s! I may have an addiction to them.
My family has been making nuts and bolts for decades and they are delicious. But bacon grease? That could be a game changer. Whoa.
I see Bugles in the $1 bins at Target on a pretty regular basis, here in Hawaii! Mahalo for sharing another yummy recipe!
I like to add sesame sticks to my chex mix.
Omg I have never thought of this! Yum!
I am a big time snack lover, especially snack mixes like this one! Looks like the perfect little snack to tide me over until meal time! Knowing me I will probably fill up on snacks though and not be hungry for dinner, haha!
My mother used to season everything with bacon grease., I seldom cook bacon but use the microwave and will never have any grease. My husband eats some Bugles every night to take some of his meds. I used to make something that had lots for Chex in it and think some hot sauce. This sounds good but I never get hungry or full. Know I would love it but my doctor would not approve and don’t need to gain weight.
We are on the same page! I just made a huge batch of nuts and bolts .. Although my recipe is slightly different. I used browned butter for my last batch and it was amazing!
BACON GREASE. Genius. I usually err on the side of sweet, but I do love that this has a little with the Kix to it. Rather than salted peanuts, maybe try honey roasted? Maybe those PB pretzel mini Ritz crackers? Now I want to make some!
Yes, they do still make Bugles. I added them to my last snack mix batch. I also added mini Triscuits, and they were a brilliant inclusion.
So… my last blend was Crispix, Bugles, Goldfish, Mini Triscuits & those hollow pretzel shells, along with mixed nuts, butter, garlic powder, soul food seasoning (picked this up instead of seasoned salt by accident, but it worked), cayenne, and a good dose of Worcestershire sauce. Yum! Time to make a new batch, I think. =)
The do still make Bugles. My mom sends me out looking for them every November to make mini cornucopias to top cupcakes or dipped oreos. There are even different flavors of Bugles now. The caramel is really yummy.
I always add the garlic rye chips to my snack mix. I also use both mixed nuts and honey roasted peanuts. And extra worcestershire so it has a litte bite to it.
I’m totally a snack-girl. I’ve cut back over the years and it’s helped me to lose a little weight, but I can’t go without a few nuts or apple slices to get me through until dinner. If chex mix is in front of me, I will eat it all. I’d definitely have to portion this homemade version out into snack bags!
I’m a snack man! I try so hard not to snack and then just snack it up anyhow. I think it’s all that ping pong and can jam I play. This nuts and bolts looks great, adding a few nuts and maybe a swig of peanut butter. And chocolate.
I have the old Nuts & Bolts recipe too (yes I started saving recipes as a young teenager!!). My secret is once it has cooled – place all in a BROWN paper grocery bag (folding the top of the bag over and over until it is down to the contents). Leave over nite and I give it an upside down shake or two. Makes the mix crispy!
Great idea for keeping the Mix crispy…I hate soggy snacks.
Does anyone know how this mixture freezes?? Like buns, you can freeze them, bring them out of the freezer, let them thaw to room temp., heat the oven to 350 degrees and put the buns inside a brown paper bag, fold the top down twice and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes to reheat. Shake them once, while warming and turn bag over for even heating. Every oven is different, so you might find 10 minutes not quite enough time, but I wouldn’t go past 20 min., you’ll dry them out. Anyway, remove from the oven and you have buns that have the crusty outer shell and a steamy, soft, fragrant inner bread and your house will smell like the bakery down the street who baked them in the first place! You think doing this with the Nuts n Bolts would work?
ps. If you are trying to sell your home, about 1/2 hour before the showing, throw some buns in a brown bag, follow the procedure above and the agent and potential buyers will be drooling as they walk through your place. They will also not be able to detect any pet, or smoke odors!
Could you post the old nuts & bolts recipe, It possibly could be the one my Mother made and we loved it so. Thank you. ——————————————————