Sweet and Spicy Bar Mix

sweet and spicy bar mix on a baking sheet

Try my Sweet and Spicy Bar Mix whether you’re celebrating the beginning of a New Year or the end of a busy week, this snack mix recipe will be your best friend. The only downside is that you really can’t stop once you start!

bar mix in a wooden bowl

My sweet and spicy bar mix is unassuming but irresistible!

Since we’re not going to bars and pubs right now, I thought I’d bring a little bit of that atmosphere home with this simple pretzel mix. Depending on your point of view, you might think this easy recipe is fabulous, or dangerous, and I have to say, it’s a little bit of both.

It’s not often something so simple ticks so many of our cravings: you’ll get sweet, salt, spice, toasty caramel, umami, butter, and crunch in every bite.

making a sweet, spicy and salty bar mix

What you’ll need:

  • pretzel sticks ~ I like to use the skinny ones, anything else is too bready for the mix
  • almonds ~ whole raw, skin on
  • pecan halves ~ spring for the halves, it makes a big difference
  • sesame sticks ~ any brand
  • butter ~ I used unsalted
  • brown sugar
  • garlic powder  ~ not garlic salt, which would make the mix too salty
  • chipotle powder ~ substitute cayenne, chili powder, or smoked paprika
  • cinnamon ~ I’m falling in love with this complex spice all over again
baking a sweet salty and spicy snack mix on a baking sheet

What makes this snack mix recipe a keeper

I adore snacking on those little bowls of goodies they serve in bars, but for some reason it never occurred to me to try to recreate one at home. One homemade batch and I’m convinced this is the best appetizer ever. You might think they’re just a random assortment of snacks tossed together, but there’s a method to the madness:

The secret that transforms a pile of pretzels and nuts into an irresistible snack is a coating of warm butter, brown sugar, and spices.

When you toast the coated mix in the oven it brings out incredible layers of flavor. 

The sesame sticks (or an equivalent) are key to tying the whole thing together, so try not to skip them.

Just add your drink of choice and you’ll be in heaven, promise.

sweet and spicy bar mix in a wooden bowl

Sweet and spicy bar mix makes the BEST host gift on the planet

Just bag it up in cellophane, fill a mason jar and add a cute wooden lid, or pop it into a food storage container.

More snack mixes to try

sweet and spicy bar mix on a baking sheet
5 from 3 votes

Sweet and Spicy Pretzel Mix

Spicy Sweet and Spicy Bar Mix whether you're celebrating the beginning of a new year or the end of a busy week, this snack mix recipe will be your best friend. The only downside is that you really can't stop once you start!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Yield 24 servings
Calories 123kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 3 cups thin pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup sesame sticks, any brand
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 300F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or foil)
  • Put the pretzels, nuts, and sesame sticks in a large bowl.
  • Heat the butter, sugar, and spices in a small saucepan until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved, and everything is well combined.
  • Pour over the pretzels etc, and toss very well to get everything evenly coated.
  • Spread the mix out in a single layer on one or two baking sheets. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, but watch it so it doesn't burn if your oven runs hot. You can give it a stir once during baking if you like, but it's not absolutely necessary.
  • Let cool before storing. The mix will last up to 2 weeks.


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 73IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Lynn Heron
    November 14, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Any suggestions for subs for the sesame sticks? I’m not a fan. Tried looking online but no luck. This looks really good and would like to take to Thanksgiving for a hostess gift. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Mary Klein
    November 11, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Can this recipe be frozen? Would like to make ahead for hostess gifts.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 11, 2021 at 1:04 pm

      I don’t recommend that I’m afraid Mary, but you could make it a good week ahead without any problems. Hope this helps!

      • Reply
        mary klein
        November 12, 2021 at 6:40 am

        Thank you! I love your site—make a lot of your recipes! happy Thanksgiving!

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