Christmas Puppy Chow

Christmas puppy chow, also known as muddy buddies or reindeer chow, is a delicious holiday treat you can serve for parties or even give as gifts. It’s a must-have recipe for the holidays!

A bowl of Christmas puppy chow has red and green candies around it. There's a bowl of chocolate chips the background and another bowl of the sweet cereal.

I love making this Christmas Puppy Chow for parties and then watching everyone gather ’round. I think it’s the mixture of peanut butter and chocolate combined in a crunchy cereal kind of crunchy treat that makes this everyone’s favorite sweet treat! It doesn’t hurt that it’s so easy to make, too.

If you want a puppy chow recipe without the holiday vibe, be sure to try this Vegan Puppy Chow.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Adding a bit of vegan butter to the chocolate sauce creates a smooth, spreadable consistency to coat the cereal pieces.
  • Spreading the chocolate coated cereal pieces out on a baking sheet helps the chocolate set into more individual pieces, rather than clumping together.
  • Using powdered sugar creates a coating around each treat, making it perfect finger foods for parties.

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Chex cereal — Use either the store-brand or your favorite rice chex cereal.
  • Dairy-free chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter
  • Vegan butter — Use any dairy-free butter or margarine or make your own vegan butter. Substitute refined coconut oil.
  • Powdered sugar — This recipe uses a bit less powdered sugar than some, but I think you’ll find it’s still plenty sweet.
  • Skittles — To keep this dairy-free, and to keep the holiday theme going, we’ll use red and green skittles. Substitute your favorite red and green candy.

To offset the sweetness of this recipe, consider adding a few pretzels to the mix for a salty/sweet combination of flavors.

How to Make Christmas Puppy Chow

  1. Measure cereal and pour it into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter by combining them in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, let it sit for 1 minute, then stir. If it’s not melted, repeat in 30-second increments.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal. Gently stir until the cereal is evenly covered with the chocolate. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.
  4. Drizzle with powdered sugar and gently stir to distribute it.
  5. Place the pan in the fridge to speed up the chocolate setting process.
  6. To serve, add the Christmas puppy chow to a serving bowl along with holiday-themed candies.

Step One: Measure Cereal

Measure out the cereal and pour it into a large bowl. I prefer to use the cereal at the top of the box because I’ve noticed the cereal at the bottom has a lot of “cereal dust.”

Step Two: Melt Chocolate Chips & Peanut Butter

Place the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a pyrex measuring cup (microwave-safe bowl). Microwave for 1 minute, let it sit for 1 minute, then stir. If it’s not melted, repeat in 30-second increments.

Step Three: Pour Chocolate Mix Over Cereal

Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir it gently, to coat individual pieces.

A chocolate mixture is being poured over a bowl full of Chex cereal.

Once it’s fairy distributed throughout, transfer it to a large baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper.

Step Four: Powdered Sugar

Sift some of the powdered sugar over the chocolate-coated cereal and then gently stir it. Repeat until all the powdered sugar is gone and the pieces are adequately coated.

Powdered sugar is being sifted over a pan with chocolate-coated cereal.

Step Five: Serving

When you’re ready to serve, add the Christmas Muddy Buddies to a bowl along with green and red candies.

Marly’s Tips

There are some dairy-free M&M type candies these days (see more about them on my Vegan M&M Cookies recipe), but the colors are limited and they may not offer green and red colors. Skittles make a great substitute or use your favorite green and red candies.

Looking down on a bow full of reindeer chow with red and green candies.

Storage Tips

Store the Christmas Puppy Chow in a large ziplock bag or in an airtight container. It will keep up to 4 days at room temperature, or up to 10 days in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Vegan Christmas Sweets

A bowl of chocolate Christmas muddy buddies has a dark background and holiday lights behind it.
A close-up shot of vegan puppy chow, chocolate-covered cereal mixture, otherwise known as muddy buddies.

Christmas Puppy Chow

Looking for the perfect easy snack? This Christmas puppy chow is made with only five ingredients and a few minutes of your time. This kid-friendly snack is perfect for parties and get-togethers.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 344kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Measure cereal and pour it into a large mixing bowl.
  • Place the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a pyrex measuring cup (microwave-safe bowl). Microwave for 1 minute, let it sit for 1 minute, then stir. If it's not melted, repeat in 30-second increments.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal. Gently stir until the cereal is evenly covered with the chocolate.
  • Transfer the chocolate-coated cereal to a large baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Sift some of the powdered sugar over it and then gently stir it some more. Repeat until all the powdered sugar is gone.
  • Refrigerate the pan to speed up the chocolate setting process.
  • To serve, arrange the puppy chow to a serving bowl.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

Storage Tips: Transfer to a ziplock bag or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 10 days. Or it can be frozen for up to 2 months.
You can add mini pretzels to the mix.
There are some dairy-free M&M type candies these days, but the colors are limited and they may not offer green and red candies. Skittles make a great substitute or use your favorite green and red candies.
Nutrition Facts
Christmas Puppy Chow
Amount Per Serving
Calories 344 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 333mg14%
Potassium 238mg7%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 666IU13%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 150mg15%
Iron 9mg50%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

2 Responses to Christmas Puppy Chow

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGretchin Reply

    This is the best puppy chow recipe! I love how it uses minimal sugar. It’s still plenty sweet, just not as bad as some!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Gretchin! I’m so glad you liked it. I agree with you – minimal sugar is actually better because it allows the flavors of the other ingredients to come through.

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