Oven Baked Chex Mix with Bacon Grease

Homemade Chex Mix is everyone’s favorite snack. But have you ever had Chex mix with bacon grease? It’s the secret ingredient that will takes this oven baked chex mix recipe over the top.

Hand using a metal measuring cup to measure out homemade chex mix into blue serving bowls.

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You may be surprised to learn that The Husband possesses a little known secret talent. During the holidays, he becomes the official family homemade Chex mix maker.

He’s not a cook, per se. But the few recipes he does make, he does them well. Every year around this time, he asks me to locate his grandmother’s recipe. I retrieve it, carefully preserved in a plastic sleeve, from the back of my recipe notebook, and he sends me to the store with a list of ingredients. He makes several batches to give out to friends, family and co-workers. Beware, we also like to refer to this as Crack Mix. Once you start eating, it’s darn near impossible to stop.

Ingredients and tools you will need

Starting in November, I start watching the store ads for sales on Chex cereal, Cheerios and butter — these are typically the most costly compared to the rest of the ingredients. If your store carries cheaper store brands of these items, by all means go that route. I definitely have. To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 7 tablespoons bacon grease – Before anyone asks, no, there is no substitute for the bacon grease. If you don’t want to use bacon grease, please find another recipe. I am a Southern cook, so I always have a jar of bacon grease in my fridge (I am not kidding). But if you don’t happen to have an entire jar of bacon grease  on hand, one 16-ounce pack of bacon should yield you the proper amount. You can always eat the leftover bacon as a snack while you’re cooking.
  • 1 cup unsalted butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in my finished product.
  • 5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 4 cups Rice Chex
  • 5 cups Corn Chex
  • 5 cups Cheerios
  • 2 cups Wheat Chex
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups Spanish nuts – these are a smaller peanut covered with red skins. They are sold in the same aisle as the nuts. If you can’t find Spanish nuts, you can leave them out or substitute with regular peanuts.
  • Roasting pan – We prefer to use a roasting pan vs. a cookie sheet because of the high sides. You’ll be doing a lot of stirring and the high sides keeps the homemade Chex mix from spilling out during the process. Sometimes I use a disposable roasting pan for this occasion so I can just throw the pan away when we are done.
  • Wooden spoon – for stirring.
Collage of ingredients needed to make oven baked chex mix with bacon grease.

How to make Oven Baked Chex Mix with Bacon Grease

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. In a large roasting pan, add the bacon grease, butter and Worcestershire sauce. Place the roasting pan in the oven just long enough for the butter to melt. This usually takes about seven minutes. Pull the pan out and sprinkle in the garlic salt. Stir until the garlic salt is completely dissolved.

Next, add your cereal, pretzels and nuts. The Husband typically measures everything out into a large mixing bowl then stirs it all together so everything is evenly mixed. Add 1/3 of the cereal mixture to the melted butter and bacon grease. Stir until the cereal mixture is completely coated. Repeat with the remaining cereal, adding 1/3 at a time and stirring between each addition. Homemade Chex mix needs to roast for 2 hours, but you’ll want to take it out of the oven and stir every 15 minutes.

Variations

I don’t recommend adding additional ingredients because it could dilute the flavor of the seasoning. However, you can definitely substitute an ingredient you don’t like. Other variations I’ve seen include:

  • Cheez-It crackers
  • Goldfish
  • Bagel chips
  • Bugels
  • Oyster crackers
  • Crispix cereal
  • Wasabi peas

Storage instructions

While Chex mix with bacon grease is positively awesome to snack on when it’s warm right out of the oven, you’ll want to let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. As long as the container is stored in a cool, dry place, the Chex mix should last up to one month. Though at out house, it never lasts more than a few days.

Bacon grease Chex Mix can also be frozen. Transfer the roasted Chex Mix recipe to freezer friendly containers or freezer bags. If you do choose to use freezer bags, be extra careful when moving the bags around so the pieces don’t get broken. Consume within three months. Allow the Chex party mix to thaw completely at room temperature.

Frequently asked questions


Is it cheaper to buy Chex Mix or make your own?

I did the math. The serving size of one 15-ounce family size bag of store bought Chex Mix is 1/2 cup. There are 8 servings per bag, equalling 4 cups total. Based on the current price of a family sized bag of Chex Mix at my local Wal-Mart ($3.96 as of 11/1/23), that comes of $.99 a cup. One batch of this baked chex mix recipe makes 20 cups. However, I can get two batches out of the cereal and the bag of pretzels.

If I spend $43.31 on ingredients and net 40 cups of roasted Chex Mix, that comes to $1.08 a cup. So yes, it’s a bit cheaper to go out and buy a bag of Chex Mix. However, we give our home made Chex Mix to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers as Christmas gifts. They are always touched that we took the time to actually make something from scratch. Plus, I’ve done the taste test. Our baked Chex Mix recipe wins hands down.


Can this be made in the microwave?


There are microwave Chex Mix recipes out there. This is not one of them. Microwaves do not distribute heat evenly and I can not guarantee you will get the same results.


Why is my Chex Mix soggy?


It is very important to stick to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe. Adding more liquid than what’s called for can affect the cereal’s ability to absorb it. The Chex Mix may seem a bit chewy right out of the oven. As it cools, the cereal will crisp up. It’s very important to let the cereal cool for several hours before transferring it to a sealed container. Any residual heat can cause condensation inside the container and affect the texture. Also, make sure the container lid is kept tight at all times as air can cause the Chex Mix to go stale.

If your Chex Mix does end up stale, you can spread it out in a cookie sheet and roast it at 250 degrees for 15 minutes.


Can I double this recipe?


Yes, in fact when my husband is in prime Chex Mix season, he frequently makes more than one batch at a time! As mentioned above, he can get two batches from the boxes of cereal and the bag of pretzels. I do recommend getting a second roasting pan to ensure optimum roasting. I also recommend rotating the pans everytime you remove the pans from the oven to stir. In other words, the pan on the top rack of the oven needs to go back in on the bottom and vice versa.


Do I really have to stir it every 15 minutes or can I just bake it straight for two hours?


If stirring the Chex Mix was not an important step, don’t you think I would have just omitted it? Stirring plays several roles. It prevents the liquid from pooling on the bottom of the pan. As the cereal is moved around, it’s continuously being coated and recoated with the seasonings. It ensures all the cereal is roasted evenly. The cereal on the bottom gets moved to the top and exposed to the heat. Stirring also prevents the cereal on the top from burning.


What if I don’t have garlic salt?


Make your own using three parts salt to one part garlic powder.

blue ceramic bowl full of chex mix with a metal measuring cup, red serving bowl full of chex mix to the side

Oven Baked Chex Mix With Bacon Grease

Homemade Chex Mix is everyone’s favorite snack. But have you ever had Chex mix with bacon grease? It’s the secret ingredient that will takes this oven baked chex mix recipe over the top.
4.50 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Lisa B.

Ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 4 cups Rice Chex
  • 5 cups Corn Chex
  • 5 cups Cheerios
  • 2 cups Wheat Chex
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups Spanish nuts

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  • Place the bacon grease, butter, and Worcestershire in a large roasting pan. Heat in the oven until the butter is melted, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Slowly add the garlic salt and mix until completely dissolved.
  • Combine the cereal, pretzels and nuts in a large mixing bowl.
  • Gradually pour 1/3 of the cereal mixture into the roasting pan with the melted butter and bacon grease. Stir the cereal to coat. Repeat, adding 1/3 at a time, with the remaining cereal mixture.
  • Roast the Chex mix for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes.

Video

Notes

While Chex mix with bacon grease is positively awesome to snack on when it’s warm right out of the oven, you’ll want to let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. As long as the container is stored in a cool, dry place, the Chex mix should last for a few weeks. Though at out house, it never lasts more than a few days.
Bacon grease Chex Mix can also be frozen. Transfer the roasted Chex Mix recipe to freezer friendly containers or freezer bags. If you do choose to use freezer bags, be extra careful when moving the bags around so the pieces don’t get broken. Consume within three months. Allow the Chex party mix to thaw completely at room temperature.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4.2g | Fat: 4.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1.4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 1.8g | Sugar: 2.3g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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20 Comments

  1. Try substituting Honey Nut Cheerios for plain and honey roasted peanuts for other nuts. I got my recipe from my mother-in-law. She always used bacon grease in addition to butter. She also added tobasco.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the first recipe I’ve come across that uses bacon grease in the Chex Mix recipe. I’ve always use bacon grease in my recipe, as that’s how my mom and grandmother used to make theirs. There’s no other way to make it in my opinion. I just love all your recipes.

  3. Similar to my mother’s recipe that I think she got from her grandmother. However, she adds a tiny bit of tabasco (used for seasoning, not to make it spicy), almonds and brazil nuts. Used to also add walnuts and hazelnuts, but no one likes walnuts much here and some are allergic to hazelnuts.

4.50 from 16 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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