Santa shouldn’t get all of the treats! This fun and festive reindeer chow is a sweet and salty mix of cereal, pretzels, peanuts and M&Ms.
Snack mixes are so fun and festive during the holidays—not to mention they’re EASY! If you enjoy this recipe, try our Peppermint Snack Mix or Thanksgiving Snack Mix.
A Kid-Friendly Christmas Treat
Growing up my mom would make what she called “reindeer fodder.” It was really similar to this version, only it used almond bark and the mix-ins weren’t exactly the same. It was a delicious no-bake treat nonetheless.
I hadn’t made it with my own kids just yet and knew I needed to give it a go!
This easy, kid-friendly recipe is perfect for little helping hands. They can do just about everything with the exception of heating the chocolate. And trust me when I say they love the result. So delicious and perfect for Christmas time.
Made in Minutes!
It takes all of 18 minutes to make, and that’s being pretty generous. The saltiness of the pretzels and peanuts helps balance out the sweetness of the white chocolate. P.S. I’m not a huge fan of white chocolate, but in this snack mix it’s subtle and buttery tasting.
MIX. All you have to do is combine the cereal, M&Ms, pretzels and peanuts in a large mixing bowl pour the melted chocolate over top and mix until everything is coated.
SET. Pour it onto a lined baking sheet, add a few pinches of festive sprinkles and pop it into the fridge to set.
Variations and Additions
If you don’t have the exact ingredients, you can always use what you have on hand. Sometimes we swap out the Cheerios for Kix and the peanuts for cashews. No matter what you use, it’s bound to be delicious! Here are a few more suggestions:
- Kettle corn
- Bugles (the chips)
- Multiple kinds of melted chocolate
- Chocolate chips
Melting Chocolate: We wanted to go with white chocolate, which meant that we needed to combine it with some shortening in order for it to melt smoothly. If you would rather omit the shortening then you should use white chocolate melting wafers.
Storing and Packaging
You might want to consider STORING this in the fridge so that the chocolate doesn’t melt everywhere. If your kitchen isn’t overly warm, you can store it on the counter. You can store it in an airtight container or just on a tray. It really depends on what you prefer. It should last 1-2 weeks if it is kept in an airtight container.
How to package for gifts? After letting it solidify in the fridge, break it apart and place it in cellophane bags. You can make it extra cute by tying it close with some seasonal ribbon!
My kids were SO excited to get to try this reindeer chow. It’s full of all of their favorite things! This is such a fun, festive recipe for Christmas, and so easy too!
For more Christmas treats, try:
- Santa’s Cookies
- Homemade Peppermint Bark
- Perfect Roll Out Sugar Cookies
- Peppermint Rice Krispie Treats
Reindeer Chow Recipe
- 4 cup chex cereal
- 3 cup cheerio cereal
- 2 cup M&Ms - red and green 11.40 oz bag
- 1 cup pretzels - halved sticks or mini twists
- 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 20 oz white chocolate
- 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp festive sprinkles - optional
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper, parchment or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the cereal, M&Ms, pretzels, and peanuts. Set aside.
- In a double boiler or in the microwave, melt white chocolate and shortening until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.
- Pour chocolate over the cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated. Pour over the prepared baking sheet, add sprinkles over top.
- Place in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes before breaking apart into chunks.
I’ve made Trash Mix – very similar – for years and thought I would try this variation. It looked beautiful up until the moment I whisked the vanilla in and my chocolate seized. So disappointing. I’ll try again but leave out the vanilla.
Thank you so much for the recipe! I followed your recipe exactly and everything came out perfect! It is so delicious and addictive. I saved some for us, but primarily used it for neighbor gifts.
I will skip shortening & vanilla next time.
White chips were more liquidity before I added vanilla. Why??