Reindeer Food Recipe

Chex Mix is undoubtedly a family favorite, yet here, we have a neat way to convert the salty snack into a frosty treat — we're making puppy chow for the holidays! Food photographer and recipe developer Miriam Hahn from You Care Self Care is giddy to share this recipe with us. Her step-by-step instructions will direct you on how to make a holiday-inspired version, aka reindeer food! 

This delicious refreshment is a sweet combination of snacks, cereal, and morsels of chocolate. It will definitely be popular with grownups and children alike. It's an easy snack to make with kids, and they'll surely love the idea of preparing food for reindeer. As a Wellness Coach, Hahn tells Mashed, "We usually don't have too many sweets around the house but this special treat is a fun tradition to make with the family." We all love holiday goodies, so join in with this simple recipe and spread some holiday cheer!

Gather up the ingredients for this reindeer food recipe

Toss together this tasty mix using these simple ingredients: 1 cup of chocolate chips, ½ cup of peanut butter, ¼ cup of butter, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. If your peanut butter is salted, skip adding extra salt to the recipe. As well, prepare 1 cup of powdered sugar, 8 cups of Rice Chex cereal, 1 10-ounce bag of Christmas M&M's (labeled for their red and green color), 1 ½ cups of mini pretzels, and finally 1 ½ cups of mini Reese's peanut butter cups. For families with nut allergies, omit the peanut butter and follow Hahn's suggestion: "You can make it with sunflower seed butter to avoid nut allergies. It works just fine."

Melt the ingredients for the coating

Set a small pot over medium heat to start. Drop in the chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, and salt. Again, if the peanut butter is salted, Hahn recommends nixing the salt. Allow the ingredients to combine over the heat for about 5 minutes. As long as your burner isn't too hot, you'll find this nice and easy. Hahn tells Mashed, "I would say it is a beginner recipe ... it can be a bit messy but it is not hard."

Prep the powdered sugar

While the coating melts into a chocolate and peanut butter blend, add the powdered sugar to a 1-gallon sized Ziplock bag. You'll be using it as a container to coat the Rice Chex in powdered sugar shortly. Then, measure out 8 cups of Rice Chex cereal into a large mixing bowl. So far so good, as Hahn notes, "I would call this a pretty easy recipe. You're getting closer to the irresistible final product! Hahn tells us, "My family loves this mix. It is actually the hardest to keep my husband away from it during football games!"

Coat the chocolate Chex in sugar

Once the chocolate mixture is ready, pour it over the Rice Chex, stirring to coat all the pieces. Hahn warns, ""The only thing to watch out for is overmixing the Chex mix when you are adding the chocolate. You want to keep the Chex in whole pieces." Then, while the chocolate-covered Chex are still warm, transfer them to the bag of powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake it well until all of the pieces are covered with sugar. 

Next, pour the coated Chex out onto a baking tray, leaving them to cool for about 10 minutes. Hahn explains that "you want to make sure [to] cool the mixture before you start adding the M&M's ... you don't want a chocolate mess!" Our developer tells Mashed this is the step to ask your little elves for help: "This is a fun project to do with the kids. I usually have them add the ingredients to the big bowl and they can definitely help shake the baggie."

Combine the remaining ingredients

The final step is to combine all the ingredients. Transfer the Chex back into a large mixing bowl and add the M&M's, pretzels, and Reese's cups. With a big spoon, stir everything together until the ingredients are well incorporated.

Hahn tells Mashed that this tasty treat makes for a great snack or gift. She tells us, "We usually bag it up in cello bags and tie [them] with red ribbon to give to neighbors. It is a great thing to bring to parties, book club, cookie exchanges, or anything fun going on for the holidays." To store this in bulk as an at-home snack Hahn suggests, "You can store this in an air-tight container for a few weeks and it stays fine. Just on the counter."

Reindeer Food Recipe
4.9 from 16 ratings
Reindeer food is the perfect sweet and salty snack for the holiday season. Enjoy making this fun and tasty treat with the whole family.
Prep Time
Cook Time
reindeer food in bowls
Total time: 15 minutes
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (omit if your peanut butter has salt)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 cups rice Chex cereal
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag Christmas M&M's
  • 1 ½ cups mini pretzels
  • 1 ½ cups mini Reese's peanut butter cups
  1. Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, and salt to a small pot.
  2. Melt over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. While that is cooking, transfer the powdered sugar to a 1-gallon size Ziplock bag.
  4. Pour the rice Chex into a large bowl.
  5. When the chocolate mixture has melted, pour it over the rice Chex and stir to coat all the pieces.
  6. Then, while it is still warm, add the chocolate rice Chex mix to the bag of powdered sugar.
  7. Seal the Ziplock and shake it well to coat all the pieces with sugar.
  8. Pour the Chex out on a baking tray to cool for about 10 minutes.
  9. Then transfer them to a large bowl and add the M&M's, pretzels, and Reese's cups.
  10. Stir to combine all of the ingredients before serving.
Calories per Serving 800
Total Fat 34.0 g
Saturated Fat 15.0 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 21.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 114.2 g
Dietary Fiber 5.3 g
Total Sugars 63.5 g
Sodium 766.1 mg
Protein 13.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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