Naughty and Nice Party Mix Recipe

A bowl of holiday snack mix.

My Naughty and Nice Party Mix Recipe is an updated take on classic Chex mix combining spicy, salty, and sweet flavors into one seriously irresistible snack. It’s endlessly customizable, just make sure to save some for Santa!

A bowl of sweet and spicy snack mix.

Homemade party mix is a holiday tradition

Does your family make a snack mix around the holidays? My mom never made the original that was so popular ever since it was ‘invented’ in the 1950s. But I’m crazy about salty/crunchy snacks, so it was only a matter of time before I met one of these Chex mixes and fell in love.

Making sweet and spicy snack mix.

The beauty of this party mix is that it’s totally customizable!

I loaded this version with all my favorite things, but of course, but everybody’s mix will be a little different. Don’t love cheese crackers? Ditch them. Love bagel chips? Put ’em in! Nut allergies? Leave them out and add in more of what you like. You get the idea.

A bowl of holiday snack mix with a glass of whiskey.

Why bother to make homemade party mix when you can buy it in a bag?

It’s all about freshness, flavor, and texture ~ this homemade version is so much better than the bagged original because you toss your ingredients with a souped-up melted butter sauce, and then bake them until all that flavor is absorbed and the mix has dried out. You end up with something super buttery and with great flavor that no bag can match.

A large bowl of holiday snack mix.

Ingredients for sweet & spicy party mix ~

I chose to riff on the flavors of a classic buffalo sauce ~ it’s a little bit sweet, and a little bit spicy. This recipe hits all the sweet spots, taste-bud wise: sweet, salty, spicy, and umami.

  • corn Chex cereal
  • cheese crackers
  • pecans
  • peanuts
  • pretzels
  • kettle corn
  • butter
  • hot sauce
  • brown sugar
  • smoked paprika
  • garlic powder
  • Worcestershire sauce
A bowl of sweet and spicy snack mix with glasses of whiskey.

Don’t be afraid of a little hot sauce

It’s kick gets subdued once the sauce is tossed throughout the snack mix and everything is baked for an hour, so I suggest making the sauce a little bit hotter than you think you want. But of course, adjust to your own taste and according to the heat of the hot sauce you’re using.

And don’t forget, the sweet kettle corn in this recipe offsets the heat in a really nice way.

A jar of holiday snack mix.

How much party mix to make per person?

Now that’s a loaded question. It depends on how hungry/ravenous your guests are. This recipe makes 6 cups of party mix, and I’d allow 1/2 cup per person, so this recipe serves 12.

But you can easily scale this recipe up or down. Just make sure you keep everything in roughly a single layer on the baking sheets for baking so the mix will stay nice and crisp.

How long does homemade party mix last?

This party mix will last at least 2 weeks, in an airtight container at room temperature.

Chex snack mix in a mason jar

Love crunchy snacks? Try these ~

A bowl of holiday snack mix.
4 from 12 votes

Christmas Party Mix

My Naughty and Nice Party Mix Recipe is updated take on classic Chex snack mix combining spicy, salty, and sweet flavors into one seriously irresistible snack. It's endlessly customizable, just make sure to save some for Santa!
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Yield 6 cups
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 cups corn Chex cereal
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 3/4 cup unsalted pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup cheese crackers
  • 1 cup kettle corn

For the sauce

  • 4 tbsp (1/2 sick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp hot sauce of choice (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 250F.
  • Add all of the mix ingredients EXCEPT the kettle corn to a large mixing bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter and whisk with the rest of the sauce ingredients.
  • Pour the sauce over the mix and gently toss until everything is evenly coated.
  • Spread the mix onto a large baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, tossing a couple of times as it bakes. Use 2 baking sheets if necessary.
  • Allow to cool before adding the kettle corn.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
A bowl of snack mix with a glass of whiskey.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    December 24, 2020 at 10:55 am

    This is great! I can make it gluten free, which is a plus. I tried a standard chex mix but I thought it was crispy yet boring. I was thinking of adding hot sauce and smoked paprika instead of regular paprika! But now I have the correct measurements. Great minds think alike! Lol! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Carol Taylor
    December 24, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    I slipped and put the kettle corn in and it’s baking. Did I ruin the whole thing?

    • Reply
      December 24, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      It should be fine!

  • Reply
    Phyllis Bergst
    December 21, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    5 stars
    Made 2 batches today each with a different hot sauce. There is absolutely no way to judge which one is better. Sue you did it again.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2019 at 4:10 pm

      I have a whole shelf of hot sauces…I should do the same 😉

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