Whether you call it puppy chow or muddy buddies, this classic Christmas recipe is easy to make, always a crowd favorite, and makes a perfect DIY gift this holiday season!

puppy chow in a mason jar with a bow tied around it and a gift tag that says 'puppy chow'

Every year, we like to share a DIY Christmas gift – something easy to make that is perfect for gifting to friends, coworkers, neighbors, and teachers. When we were brainstorming this year, the first thing that came to mind was puppy chow! We had it every year around Christmas time so it just screams holiday season to me. This mix is sweet, crunchy, and has the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

Is it Muddy Buddies or Puppy Chow?

You may have grown up calling this mix puppy chow or muddy buddies. Puppy chow is thought to have originated in the midwest and was named because of its resemblance to dog kibble. Later, Chex caught on to the popularity of the snack and began publishing a recipe for ‘Muddy Buddies’ on the back of its boxes, which is why the two common names exist. It is also sometimes referred to as ‘monkey munch’ and ‘reindeer chow.’

melted chocolate and peanut butter poured over chex in a ziplock bag
powdered sugar being poured into a bag full of chex mix covered with chocolate and peanut butter - how to make muddy buddies
chex mix with chocolate and peanut butter shaken up in a ziplock bag - how to make puppy chow
powdered sugar covered chex mix in a ziplock bag - how to make puppy chow

How to make Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

One of the best things about muddy buddies is how easy they are to make! This is a GREAT recipe to get the kids involved in making. All you’ll need to make it is rice or corn Chex, dark chocolate chips, peanut butter (you can use sunbutter if you need to be nut-free), and powdered sugar. Once you’ve got your ingredients, follow the steps below:

  1. Melt the chocolate. First, you’ll melt the chocolate chips. Our preferred way to do this is by microwaving and stirring it in 20-second intervals until melted, but you can also use the double boiler method if you prefer!
  2. Stir in the peanut butter. Next, you’ll stir the peanut butter into the chocolate until smooth.
  3. Place the Chex and chocolate mixture in a bowl or Ziplock bag. The easiest method for making muddy buddies is to place all of the ingredients in a Ziplock bag – this way you can simply shake it up and not worry about spilling powdered sugar. However, you can mix it all in a bowl if you’d like! For this first step, you’ll place the Chex and the chocolate peanut butter mixture in a bag and shake it to combine.
  4. Add the powdered sugar. Next, you’ll add the powdered sugar to the bag and shake again until the puppy chow is coated with powdered sugar. After that, it’s ready to eat!
parchment paper cone in a mason jar on a marble surface - how to make puppy chow
measuring cup full of puppy chow being poured into a parchment paper cone in a mason jar
overhead shot of puppy chow in a glass mason jar on a marble surface

How to gift Chex Mix Puppy Chow

Once you’ve made your puppy chow, you can either keep it for yourself or gift it. For a fun gift, we chose to package the puppy chow up in mason jars. To do this, you’ll simply make a cone out of parchment paper, then stick it in the mason jar and pour in the puppy chow. While you don’t have to use the parchment paper cone, it goes a long way toward minimizing mess! Once you have poured the puppy chow into mason jars, simply tie your favorite ribbon around the top and attach a gift tag, and you’ve got an adorable (and tasty) DIY holiday gift.

3 jars of puppy chow in glass jars with a brown ribbon wrapped around each and a gift tag attached

How to store Muddy Buddies Chex Mix

How long does homemade muddy buddies last?

Puppy chow will stay good for about 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature. After this, the mix starts to become stale.

Do Muddy Buddies need to be refrigerated?

Puppy chow doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but some people prefer it cold. If this is the case, refrigerate it in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

Can I freeze puppy chow?

You can also freeze it for up to 3 months and either eat it frozen or let it sit at room temperature for about an hour to defrost.

Puppy Chow Recipe (Chex) FAQ

How many cups are in a box of Chex?

A family size (18 ounces) box of Chex has a little bit over 17 cups of Chex (enough for 2 batches of Muddy Buddies!), and a regular, 13.8-ounce box of Chex yields 8 cups (perfect for 1 batch of Muddy Buddies!).

We hope you love this recipe! If you’re looking for more Chex Mix recipes, check out our Chex Mix 3 Ways post, where we share recipes for original, spicy, and honey nut Chex Mix. Whichever type you make, these are all perfect for your next holiday party.

Chex Muddy Buddies

5 from 1 vote
By Amber Goulden
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This puppy chow is sweet, crunchy, and loaded with chocolate peanut butter flavor!


For the Puppy Chow

For the Gift Packaging


Melt the dark chocolate using one of the methods below:

  • Double-boiler method: place the chocolate in a medium-sized glass bowl that can rest on top of a pot without falling in. Fill the pot with a couple inches of water, place the bowl of chocolate over top, and bring the water to a boil. Use a spatula to constantly stir the chocolate until it's melted and smooth.
  • Microwave method: place the chocolate in a medium-sized glass bowl and microwave it in 20-second increments, stirring well between each spell, until it's melted and smooth.
  • Stir the peanut butter into the melted chocolate until smooth.
  • Place the Chex in a large Ziplock bag or bowl, and pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over top. Shake the bag (or stir the mixture) until evenly coated.
  • Pour 1 cup of powdered sugar over the puppy chow mix, and shake or stir again until it is fully coated with the powdered sugar. Then, taste the puppy chow and add the additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar, if desired.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

To Make Gift Jars:

  • Roll a sheet of parchment paper into a cone and place it into a 16-ounce mason jar. Then, pour 1 1/2 cups puppy chow into the jar. Repeat for all 5 jars then seal them.
  • Tie a ribbon around each jar, then attach the gift tag.


Calories: 372kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 282mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 1002IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 9mg

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 372
Keyword: chex mix, christmas, holiday, monkey munch, muddy buddies, puppy chow, reindeer chow

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Amber Goulden

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Recipe Rating


  1. Can cut back to about 3/4 chocolate and eye the peanut butter.
    Way too much powered sugar. Next time I’ll use 1/4 cup and go from there.
    Usex 9 cups of cereal. Stored in 2 qt freeze bags. Doesn’t look like 9 buos when down LOL

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us!

  2. This recipe needs to be updated due to shrinkflation! A regular box of Chex is only 12 ounces now 🙁

  3. 5 stars
    Trader Joe’s did not have any Chex! I grabbed Puffins instead. The first ingredient is corn flour. I am debating on trying or going back out for Chex… Any thoughts?

    1. We haven’t tried it with Puffins, but it’s definitely worth a try!

  4. So, there is no need to add butter?
    The recipe I have uses butter. Does it stick to the cereal well?