Puppy Chow {& How to Customize}

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Puppy Chow is a delicious treat made primarily with chocolate chips, peanut butter, and Chex® cereal! No baking required!

Jazz up your Puppy Chow with some fun additions like M&M’s®, miniature chocolate chips, Reese’s® pieces, etc. Puppy Chow also makes a great gift; Package it in decorative boxes or tins and give it out for a fun holiday treat.

Speaking of holidays, you can jazz up your puppy chow for any occasion! Use seasonal M&M’s or sprinkles to customize this snack mix for a special event, holiday, or birthday! Today I’ve made Puppy Chow for Easter; if you want to gift this snack mix with a free printable bag topper, check out this Easter treats post.

Overhead photo of Puppy Chow with a child's hand grabbing a piece.

Puppy Chow

Puppy Chow is a delicious, sweet, and crunchy cereal snack mix made with Chex cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, butter, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. This treat is especially easy to make as it doesn’t require any baking!

This treat is often called puppy chow because of the close resemblance to dog food. So although this might not make the prettiest treat, you’ll be obsessed from the first bite!  Just make sure you don’t actually feed your dog(s) or pet(s) this snack 🙂

Regardless of what you want to call this snack mix, it’s addictively delicious AND simple to make. I’ve got step-by-step process photos and a quick process list below. 


What’s in a name? Puppy Chow goes by many names, including Muddy Buddies, Monkey Munch, and Reindeer Chow. The ingredients can vary widely, but there is nearly always some type of crispy cereal, sweeteners, chocolate or peanut butter, and all sorts of add-ins. Puppy Chow’s origins are unknown, and it seems like for every 25 people who make it, there will be 25 different versions!

Process shots-- images of the ingredients being melted and added to the Chex cereal.

Step-by-step process

  • Measure the cereal into a very large bowl. Use a bowl large enough that everything can be easily mixed together.
  • Melt the butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter; mix together. Add in the vanilla (for extra flavor) and a pinch of salt (to balance the sweetness).
  • Combine the chocolate-peanut butter mixture and the cereal mixture and toss until mixed. I use a plastic spatula to gently fold everything together.
  • Coat in sugar by transferring the mixture to a large bag. Add the powdered sugar and shake to combine! If you want to add in sprinkles, stir them into the powdered sugar first.
  • Decorate or eat as is. You can stir in some festive colored candies to make Puppy Chow even fancier! More ideas below.

One of the best things about this snack is how easy it is to customize! You can match this mix to any occasion; below are some ideas.

  • Holidays: Add seasonal colored M&M’s to this mix, and attach a free printable bag topper (Easter: Bunny Bait, Valentines: Cupid’s Crunch, Halloween: Goblin’s Goodies).
  • Birthdays: Add frosting and birthday sprinkles to the mix (check out this recipe).
  • Tailgating: Add football-decorated chocolate almonds to the recipe (chocolate almond tutorial here).

Overhead photo of M&M's and the Puppy Chow recipe.

A quick breakdown of Puppy Chow 

  • This recipe doubles well. This recipe also halves well.
  • Storing: Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. We like it best within 3-4 days and after that, it begins to taste a bit stale.
  • Freeze: You can freeze it in an airtight container/bag for up to 3 months; thaw at room temperature.

Photo of finished Puppy Chow in a bowl.

More fun snacks

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Puppy Chow

5 from 6 votes
Puppy chow is a delicious treat made primarily with chocolate chips, peanut butter, and Chex cereal! No baking required!
Print Recipe

Puppy Chow

5 from 6 votes
Puppy chow is a delicious treat made primarily with chocolate chips, peanut butter, and Chex cereal! No baking required!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword puppy chow, puppy chow recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 20 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 592kcal


  • 9 cups Rice Chex or other crispy rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips (I like Guittard or Ghirardelli)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup festive/holiday M&M's or Reeses Pieces, optional


  • Into a large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
  • In a second large microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter. Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring in between each burst for 15 seconds until the mixture is melted and smooth. Add in the vanilla and salt. Pour over the cereal. Stir well, but gently, until the cereal is evenly coated.
  • Pour half of the cereal mixture into a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag and pour half of the powdered sugar over it. Seal and shake until the cereal is evenly coated. Repeat with the other half of the cereal and powdered sugar in the same or a different bag. Shake until all the cereal is well coated! (Separating the process into two batches makes it easier and allows all the cereal to get evenly coated.)
  • Remove into a large bowl and if desired, stir in the M&M's, Reese's Pieces or any other additions desired. Enjoy!
  • Store leftover Puppy Chow in an airtight container at room temperature.


Recipe Notes

Nutritional information does not include the optional candy mix-ins.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 115g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 1043mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 2048IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 404mg | Iron: 36mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.


These Muddy Buddies (also known as Puppy Chow) are the best easy treat! No baking required and only 7 ingredients required! Plus variation ideas! via chelseasmessyapron.com #puppy #chow #muddy #buddies #recipe #easy #quickly #no #bake #recipe #dessert #kidfriendly #party #snack


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  1. I had to stop making muddy buddies at home because I just cannot control myself around it!! haha I blame college – we didn’t have a kitchen so the only dessert we ever made was muddy buddies! These flavors sound awesome!

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