Reindeer chow is classic puppy chow with a dose of Christmas cheer with festive chocolate candies and crunchy pretzel bites. Make a batch of these easy treat for your holiday party!
Snack mixes are synonymous with the holidays for us, and I’m sure we’re not alone.
We do make snack mixes all year long, but when it gets close to Christmas, whipping up a batch of reindeer chow is at the top of the to-do list.
Just like puppy chow (aka muddy buddies), rice Chex cereal gets coated in melty chocolate and peanut butter, then tossed in powdered sugar. But for the holidays we give it an extra flair with plenty of red and green M&Ms and pretzels!
This is a great Christmas treat, and it’s so incredibly easy to make.
Ingredients for Reindeer Chow
To make this recipe, you’ll need:
Rice Chex – Light and crunchy rice Chex forms the base of the snack mix. You can also use corn Chex or another flavor if you like.
You will need 9 cups of cereal, which is just slightly less than a standard-size box.
Both Rice Chex and Corn Chex are gluten free.
Peanut butter – Use creamy peanut butter for the best flavor and texture in reindeer chow. If you use natural peanut butter, be sure to stir any separated oil back in before measuring.
Chocolate chips – I use semisweet chocolate chips in my recipe. Swap in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate chips.
Butter – Butter is mixed with the peanut butter and chocolate to make sure it is beautifully smooth and coats the cereal. Salted or unsalted will work here!
Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract adds a boost of flavor.
Powdered sugar – To coat the cereal, you’ll need plenty of powdered sugar! This is also labeled confectioners’ sugar.
Holiday M&Ms – For a festive touch I use red and green M&Ms in the classic milk chocolate flavor. There are a ton of M&M flavors out there, especially during the holidays, so use your favorites or try a mix!
Pretzels – Small pretzels work best in reindeer chow so you can get a bit of crunchy salty pretzel in each mouthful. Small pretzel rounds or the newer pretzel balls work perfectly. The pretzel balls also add buttery flavor that pairs well with the chocolate.
How to make reindeer chow
Measure your cereal into a very large bowl and set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter.
Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until almost completely melted. Add the vanilla and stir until completely melted and smooth.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir well to coat. If you have food-safe kitchen gloves, I find this task is easiest to do with your hands!
Sprinkle on the powdered sugar and stir to coat.
Optionally, scoop the cereal into a clean plastic Ziploc or paper grocery bag. Add the powdered sugar, then close the bag tightly and shake well to evenly coat the cereal.
Add the M&Ms and pretzels and stir or shake again to mix. Once mixed, it’s ready to enjoy!
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
What can I add to reindeer chow?
Want to add even more to this snack mix? Go for it! I love how reindeer chow can be totally customized to your preferences.
Try it with mini peanut butter cups or mini chocolate kisses in place or in addition to the M&Ms.
Use a different kind of nut butter, such as almond or cashew, or even a flavored peanut butter.
Add roasted peanuts or cashew halves.
Other snack mixes you’ll love
Round out the holiday snack table with these options:
Making reindeer chow muddy buddies is a must for my household. Make it with your family and watch it disappear. Happy snacking!
- 9 cups Rice Chex
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ to 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups holiday M&Ms
- 2 cups pretzel balls
- Pour cereal into a large mixing bowl.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl (or in a saucepan over low heat) combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla.
- Pour mixture over cereal and stir to coat completely. Scoop the coated cereal into a large clean paper or plastic bag. Pour the powdered sugar over the top, seal bag, and shake to coat cereal. Add the M&Ms and pretzels and stir to mix.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Serving Size:½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 35gProtein: 5g
Nutritional information is an estimate for informational purposes only and not to be used for individual dietary needs.