Christmas Puppy Chow

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
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This sweet and crunchy Christmas puppy chow is a festive twist on the classic, with pops of red and green M&M’s, salty mini pretzels and Reese’s cups. It’s an easy no-bake dessert that you can’t stop munching on!

Why You’ll Love This Christmas Puppy Chow Recipe

You won’t be able to resist grabbing a handful each time you walk by!

  • Festive: Red and green M&M’s in the mix just scream Christmas!
  • Great for Gifting: Place it in mini jars or cute bags with ribbons for the sweetest holiday gifts ever.
  • Quick and Easy: This is a no-bake dessert recipe is ready in only 15 minutes! Use the microwave to make the chocolate mixture and then toss in the cereal. Once set, mix with the remaining ingredients and you’re done.
  • Gluten Free: If you use gluten free pretzels, this is an easy gluten free dessert.

What Is Puppy Chow?

You may have heard it called muddy buddies, reindeer chow, or even monkey munch…but we call it puppy chow! Made with chocolate-peanut butter cereal coated in powdered sugar, each bite is addictive!

This recipe is for a Christmas-themed puppy chow, which is why the M&M’s are red and green. It’s often served in large bowls at parties or given as sweet party favors. This muddie buddies recipe also makes a great addition to your Christmas Cookie platter.

Ingredients for Christmas puppy chow.

Recipe Ingredients

The more chocolatey goodness, the merrier. Here’s a quick look at what you’ll need to make this puppy chow for Christmas. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Cereal: Use plain rice or corn Chex.
  • Chocolate chips: They can be milk or dark, but semi sweet chocolate chips is my favorite.
  • Peanut butter: You can use crunchy, but I always use creamy peanut butter.
  • Unsalted butter: Salted butter works too.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered sugar: Don’t use granulated sugar because it’ll make the coating grainy.
  • Mini pretzel twists: Chopped pretzel sticks work too.
  • Mini Reese’s peanut butter cups: Or caramel filled Rolos are another fun option!
  • M&M’s: I prefer red and green ones, perfectly festive for the holiday season.
Close-up of pretzels, Reese's, and M&M's in Christmas puppy chow.

How to Make Christmas Puppy Chow Chex Mix

If you can melt chocolate and shake a bag, you can make this puppy chow Chex mix! Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  • Prep the baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside.
  • Melt: Add chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave, stirring often, until melted and smooth. Add the vanilla.
  • Mix: Place the Chex cereal in a large bowl. Pour in the chocolate peanut butter mixture and stir until completely coated.
  • Shake: Transfer the chocolate-covered Chex into a Ziploc bag with powdered sugar. Seal and shake well to coat.
  • Cool: Spread the puppy chow on the baking sheet to cool completely.
  • Add-ins: Add the pretzels, peanut butter cups, and M&M’s. Serve and enjoy!
Spoonful of festive puppy chow.

Tips & Variations

Use more add-ins if you want… Just make sure the Chex mixture doesn’t stick to the tray!

  • Line the Tray: Line the baking tray with parchment paper to prevent the puppy chow from sticking. This also makes for extra easy cleanup!
  • Marshmallows: Mini marshmallows (3/4 to 1 cup) will add some fluffy sweetness to every bite.
  • Cool Quickly: Pop the baking tray into the fridge for 30 minutes to help the puppy chow cool a lot faster.
  • Make Bars: Stir the leftovers into my Rice Krispie Treats recipe for a festive twist.
  • Add Nuts: 1/2 cup of candied pecans, walnuts, or chopped almonds will add crunchy nuttiness.
  • Dried Fruits: Stir dried cranberries or dried blueberries into the puppy chow for a bit of tartness.
  • White Chocolate: You can also add a scoop of white chocolate chips!
Bowl of festive puppy chow.

Proper Storage

Store it in an airtight container for up to 7 days at room temperature. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight to prevent the chocolate from melting.

Landscape photo of Christmas puppy chow.
5 from 5 votes
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Yield: 12 servings

Christmas Puppy Chow

This festive Christmas puppy chow recipe is loaded with crunchy Chex, salty mini pretzels, Reese's, and M&M's for the sweetest party snack.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rice or corn chex cereal
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cups mini pretzel twists
  • 1 cup mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped, or Rolo's
  • 1 cup red & green M&M’s

Instructions 

  • Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add chex cereal to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter to a medium sized mixing bowl. Melt in the microwave by cooking in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the chex mix and stir gently with a spatula until combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar to a ziploc bag along with the chocolate covered chex cereal and seal. Shake the bag until the cereal is evenly coated.
  • Spread the puppy chow out onto your baking sheet to fully cool. Mix in the pretzels, peanut butter cups, and M&M’s with the puppy chow before serving, enjoy!

Notes

Storage: Store it in an airtight container for up to 7 days at room temperature. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight to prevent the chocolate from melting.
Add Marshmallows: Mini marshmallows (3/4-1 cup) will add some fluffy sweetness to every bite.
Cool Quickly: Pop the baking tray into the fridge for 30 minutes to help the puppy chow cool a lot faster.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 115kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 24mg, Potassium: 53mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 87IU, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 0.1mg

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.