Puppy Chow Snack Mix Recipe – How to Make it in 12 Simple Steps

Whether you call it Puppy Chow, Muddy Buddy, or Reindeer Chow, this snack mix features the flavors of chocolate and peanut butter. So simple that a grade-school-aged kid can make it, this recipe for Muddy Buddy Snack Mix is perfect for a potluck or just as an afternoon snack.

This is a close look at a bowl of puppy chow snack mix.

Sweet, crunchy, and with a hint of salt, Puppy Chow is typically considered a Midwestern snack because in the states of Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and the Dakotas, this snack is everywhere. No matter what potluck event is happening, you can be certain that a big bowl of puppy chow will be on the table. One of the first fun cooking projects that kids in this area are taught, this cereal-based snack goes by many names. In some places it’s called Puppy Chow, but in other areas Muddy Buddy is the name. It is also known as Monkey Munch or Reindeer Chow, the latter name likely given due to the fact that many make and give this snack as a gift around the Christmas holiday season. 

Puppy Chow Snack Mix Recipe

April Freeman
Who doesn’t like the classic flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate? This recipe for Puppy Chow, sometimes called Muddy Buddies, takes that flavor combination and turns it into a crunchy, delicious snack mix. If you need a recipe for a party or just for the kids to nibble on after school while doing homework, this recipe for Puppy Chow Snack Mix is easy to make and will soon become a favorite of the whole family. 
Prep Time 15 mins
Drying Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Cup Servings


  • Large Cookie Sheet
  • Medium-Sized Microwave-Safe Bowl
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Zip-Top Bag


  • 1 cup Chocolate Chips your choice of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or semisweet chocolate
  • ½ cup Peanut Butter
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 6 cups Rice Squares Cereal
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar


  • Line a large cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper and set it aside. 
  • In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, measure out the peanut butter, the chocolate chips, and the butter. Microwave these ingredients for 30 seconds. 
    A bowl of melted chocolate.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the mixture with a heatproof rubber spatula.
    The ingredients are mixed into a bowl.
  • Return the chocolate mixture to the microwave and microwave it for an additional 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and stir it again. If the chocolate chips are all melted, and you can stir the ingredients into a smooth mixture, do not return it to the microwave. But if there are still chunks left in the bowl, microwave it again in 10 second bursts until it is fully melted, stirring after each burst. Do not overcook the chocolate and peanut butter. You may scorch the chocolate, or it may seize into a chunky, grainy blob that will have to be thrown out.
  • Add the vanilla extract and stir well.
  • Put the cereal pieces, pretzels, and nuts into a large mixing bowl.
    The dry ingredients are mixed in a bowl.
  • Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the cereal, stirring it constantly with a rubber spatula.Stir this mixture very gently because you want the cereal to stay in large pieces. Gently turn and stir the cereal pieces until they are completely coated in the chocolate mixture.
    The chocolate is poured onto the dry ingredients.
  • Spoon the cereal mixture into a gallon sized zip top bag. Add the powdered sugar and seal the bag completely.
  • Shake and turn the bag to coat the cereal mixture in powdered sugar. When it seems completely coated in sugar, open the plastic bag and pour the mixture onto your waxed paper lined baking sheet.
  • Spread the puppy chow on the paper in a single layer. You want to break up any clumps that form. 
  • Let the puppy chow sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes until the chocolate is set and no longer sticky.
    The mix is then spread out on the baking sheet.
  • Store the puppy chow snack mix in a zip-top bag, tightly sealed, or in an airtight container for up to two weeks. If your home is warm or humid and the puppy chow starts getting sticky feeling, keep the snack mix in the refrigerator.


While Puppy Chow is definitely human food and not dog food, this snack actually has ties that go back several decades to the dog food company, Purina. Ralston Purina was the company that actually created the cereal, Chex, that is the basis for this snack. Ralston Purina also made the pet food called Puppy Chow. Because the company was so popular for its dog food, people made gentle teasing remarks about Chex being “human chow.” 
The typical recipe that features the classic rice cereal coated in chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar is a favorite, but over the years, others have created new variations. The recipe that we have included here is the traditional one, but you can find different styles of Puppy Chow all over the internet. Whether you want to stick to the traditional recipe or want something that features lemon flavor, Andes mints, orange flavors, or something else, you can serve up a batch of Puppy Chow that you and your family members are sure to love. .
For this recipe, we called for rice squares cereal, but if you only have corn squares cereal on hand, that will do just fine as a substitution. You do need to have smooth peanut butter on hand for this recipe. Chunky peanut butter just will not work. Also, you get to choose the kind of chocolate flavor that you wish to have in your recipe. Whether you want to use milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips, this snack will still taste great. 
Keyword Puppy Chow Snack Mix, Recipe, Snack

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