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Nuts & Bolts, also known as Party Chex Mix, is one of the easiest, most beloved, delicious, quintessential holiday snacks ever invented!
Chex Mix recipes have been around for ages and I’m sure there are as many recipe variations as there are people in the State of Virginia. Today I’m sharing my Mom’s recipe which was a staple at our house throughout the holidays. You don’t hear this snack mix referred to as Nuts & Bolts anymore, as Chex Mix is a much more recognizable name. I believe this recipe was named Nuts & Bolts because it resembles a jar of nuts, bolts, nails, and other assorted hardware you might find on a garage work bench.
This recipe makes a giant batch of snack mix suitable for any and all occasions. Mom always had a bowl at the ready for pop-in visitors, holiday gatherings, even Christmas morning (cereal!) and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Nothing goes better with a good football game than this Chex Mix recipe! A big bowl of Nuts & Bolts will see you through to the 4th quarter of all your favorite college bowl games and don’t forget the Super Bowl too!
I’m not sure where Mom got this Chex mix recipe but I’ve always loved it so much I never bothered to make another.
I can’t say this is the BEST Chex Mix recipe in the whole world, because I haven’t tried them all. But it’s the BEST Chex Mix recipe I’ve ever made and it beats the store-bought versions a hundred times over! As a young girl, I remember helping Mom make this recipe year after year. I loved helping Mom in the kitchen and credit her, and her mother, with my love of baking. She’s been gone a very long time; way before blogs and smart phones. But I bet she would have loved this blog! Thanks for this, and many other great recipes Mom 🙂
This Chex Mix Recipe is easy to pull together and bake in a warm 200F oven for 3 hours. The mixture needs to be gently stirred every 15 minutes to ensure each piece gets coated in the buttery spice mix. I bet you can’t help but take a bite or two of the warm, butter covered nuts and pretzels with each trip to the oven. The aroma while baking is unique and enticing, and the snack mix is absolutely addictively delicious!
You’ll need at least two or three large pans to make this recipe.
Large disposable aluminum pans work great for this recipe. I use lightly salted mixed nuts but Mom always used regular salted nuts. Also, Mom used stick pretzels in her snack mix but I’ve seen many Chex Mix recipes using the small pretzel squares. I like the stick pretzels myself and try to use a brand that is a little less salty. I recommend checking the sodium content on the bags of pretzels at your store and select the one that has a little less salt. Discard any salt left in the bottom of the pretzel bag, this recipe doesn’t need it. Don’t skip adding Cheerios too. They soak up all that amazing flavor and are so good! It wouldn’t be Nuts & Bolts without the nuts and bolts 🙂
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Nuts & Bolts (Party Chex Mix Recipe)
- 1 ½ pounds lightly salted mixed nuts
- 7 ounces Cheerios cereal, about 8 cups
- 1 (14-ounce) box Wheat Chex
- 1 (12-ounce) box Rice Chex
- 1 (12-ounce) box Corn Chex
- 16 ounces stick pretzels, low sodium if you can find it
- 2 pounds unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons celery salt
- 1 ¼ teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
- Divide the nuts, cereals and pretzels between two or three large baking pans. You’ll need high sided pans to allow for stirring the mixture while baking. Use three pans if needed and rotate the pans while baking.
- Combine the butter, Worcestershire, celery salt, garlic salt and chili powder is a large, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium power for 2 minutes, then stir. Repeat until all the butter is melted. Mix well. Using a large spoon or ladle, drizzle the butter mixture over the cereal and nuts, stirring the butter mixture as you go to distribute all the spices that may settle in the bottom of the bowl.
- Bake for 3 hours gently stirring every 15 minutes taking care not to crush the cereal. Use a large flat spatula if you have one, pulling up from the bottom of the pan to ensure all pieces are well coated in the butter mixture. Rotate the pans if needed.
- Turn the warm mixture out onto paper towels spread over wax or parchment paper. Cool completely then transfer to air tight containers to store in a cool location. Mixture keeps up to two weeks.
Here are a few more party appetizer recipes you might also like:
Mom’s Party Cheeseball ~ every party needs an easy and delicious cheese ball! There’s nothing like the combination of mild, medium and sharp cheddar cheeses, all blended together with cream cheese and a few seasonings to please a hungry snacking crowd! This easy make-ahead appetizer holds up wonderfully for hours and is perfect served with crackers, bread, fruit and nuts.
And, if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, just try it on a grilled cheese sandwich – oh my! Click HERE to get the recipe for Mom’s Party Cheeseball.
Mini Cheese Quiches are a finger friendly version of the full size classic quiche. With a rich, velvety smooth filling and a flaky crust, it’s a terrific, delicious appetizer or light lunch perfect with a fresh green salad. Click HERE to get the recipe for Mini Cheese Quiche.
Easy peasy ~ Buffalo Chicken Roll Up Appetizers ~ made with all-natural frozen breaded chicken tenders tossed in hot sauce, then rolled up with a homemade blue cheese dip, diced celery, and crisp lettuce. Not a big fan of blue cheese? No worries – they’re great with ranch dressing and shredded cheddar too! Click HERE to get the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Roll Up Appetizers.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Tricia