Chex Mix and pita chips are two of my all time favorite snack foods, and this oven Chex Mix with pita chips combines the best of both! It's salty and a little bit savory with the perfect amount of crunch.
If I'm making my own homemade Chex Mix from scratch, you can bet I'm going to make it exactly how I want it. And how I want it is with loads and loads of crunchy pita chips!
If you have a roasting pan and an oven you can make Chex Mix with pita chips. It's so easy, you'll never go back to store bought Chex Mix again. (That's a lie, you totally will, and that's okay too!)
This post is not affiliated with Chex Mix in any way.
Why put pita chips in Chex Mix
Long time readers of The Practical Kitchen know that one of Jimmy's quarantine obsessions was making Chex Mix from scratch. This is also how I ended up developing a recipe for Chex Mix Popcorn and my super popular Chex Mix Chicken Tenders.
But a recipe for regular Chex Mix? There are so many out there already, at the time I wasn't sure what else I could contribute.
Times have changed, however. (And I'm not just talking about how in 2009, Chex Mix removed bagel chips from the mix!)
Jimmy was determined to come up with his own twist on this classic snack mix. And he's fired up our oven to make Chex Mix so many times since then, refining the seasoning blend and our preferred ratio of Chex to pretzels to rye chips.
Then, one day, on a whim, he added pita chips to the mix. We had a bag of them lying around. Why not??? (Some of the best recipes start with asking "Why not???"). And it was *chefs kiss* perfection.
The pita chips add a new textural element and are so good at soaking up those delish Chex Mix flavors. Forget bagel chips — pita chips are what Chex Mix is truly missing!
Everyone found a hobby during the pandemic. For many people, it was sourdough. For others, it was conspiracy theories. For me, it was making homemade Chex Mix. I've made countless batches of it, and it’s really hard to stop once you get started.
The number one reason I love making my own Chex Mix is because I get to control what's in it.
When it comes to the official Chex Mix, I love the rye chips and the Chex cereal pieces. I tolerate the pretzels because I truly love pretzels (my family is obsessed with them). I don't like the bread sticks at all.
Making your own Chex Mix means getting to choose what's in it.
You want to put nuts in yours? Go for it. You want to add Cheetos? You do you. Pita chips? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY.
The point is, when you make your own Chex Mix, you'll never feel the disappointment of reaching into a bag of Chex Mix and pulling out a fistful of your least favorite bits, and no pumpernickel chips.
It's all the best parts of Chex Mix, just how you like it.
You don't need a lot of fancy ingredients to make oven Chex Mix with pita chips at home. Pretty much everything else can be found in your spice cabinet and in the cereal aisle.
This recipe uses my preferred ratio, but you can definitely adjust things based on your own preferences!
- Pita chips - I like using Stacy's "Simply Naked" pita chips for when I make Chex Mix with pita chips because we're going to add so much seasoning to them. Better to start with a plain base.
- Rice, Corn, and Wheat Chex - All three will give you the best Chex Mix vibes, but you could also use just one or two types of Chex if that's what you prefer.
- Pretzels - Smaller is better. I like the standard twisted pretzels, but you can also use pretzel sticks, sourdough pretzel nuggets, mini twists, etc.
- Gardetto Garlic Rye Chips - These are "the little brown things" in Chex Mix! I usually use one 8 oz bag (approx 2 cups) but you can add more or less depending on your preferences. Gardetto chips have so much flavor that they get stirred in at the very end. We don't want them sucking up the delicious buttery seasoning from any of the other ingredients!
Chex Mix seasoning
- Melted butter - Unsalted! If you only have salted butter, hold back on the seasoned salt.
- Worcestershire sauce - The secret ingredient in any Chex Mix!
- Seasoned salt - I use Morton's Season All, but you can also use Lawry's Seasoned Salt.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Smoked paprika - If you don't have smoked paprika, any type of paprika you do have is fine. Smoked paprika will give you a smoky, toasty flavor with just a bit of heat.
- Cayenne - Just a pinch gives a nice little kick without being spicy. Double the amount if you want spicy Chex Mix with pita chips.
- MSG - Yes, that MSG. This is optional, but I highly encourage you to include it. Most if not all of your favorite snack foods have MSG in them. If you've ever used "Accent" seasoning, you've used MSG before. MSG is a great way to amp up flavor without adding more salt. (If you're still skeptical, check out the work KnowMSG is doing to destigmatize this naturally occurring and vastly misunderstood seasoning.)
Mixing and seasoning Chex Mix with pita chips
Start by mixing up the Chex Mix seasoning. Melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, and all the spices get whisked together.
We're going to season the pita chips first since they're so big and will absorb a lot of the seasoning.
Pour the pita chips into a large bowl. Like a very large bowl. The largest large bowl you have. Then pour about a quarter of the Chex Mix seasoning mixture over the pita chips. Stir well, repeat. When you think you're done stirring, stir a little bit more.
Add the Corn, Wheat, and Rice Chex cereals, to the bowl along with the pretzels. Drizzle in the remaining Chex Mix seasoning mixture in two batches, stirring well between each addition.
Stir well. Like really well. And then stir a little while longer once you think you're done stirring.
Make sure there's no liquid pooling in the bottom of the bowl. You want all the pieces in the snack mix to be evenly coated or absorbing the Chex Mix seasoning.
Once the pretzels, Chex, and pita chips have been fully coated, pour the whole mixture into a large high-sided sheet pan or roasting pan.
And then how long do you bake Chex Mix in the oven? UNTIL IT'S DRY. This usually takes about an hour, giving the pan a few good shakes every 15-20 minutes or so.
We're actually not really baking it; at 250F the Chex Mix is really just drying out in the oven. It's not at risk of burning, so if it needs more time until it's fully dry that's fine. Just keep shaking the pan periodically until all the pieces are dry.
Right out of the oven it will be hard to tell how it tastes. Don't judge the Chex Mix by how it tastes when it's hot. Let it cool completely, stir in the Gardetto rye chips, then dig in!
Hint: The best way to test if the pita chips are completely dry is to break one in half. Make sure it's dried throughout, otherwise pop it back in the oven a little bit longer.
Other than an oven, there's really only one — okay, two — pieces of equipment you need to make homemade Chex Mix with pita chips.
- A really, really, really big bowl (at least 10 quarts) - This recipe makes A LOT of Chex Mix and you need a bowl big enough to mix it all in. If you don't have one bowl that can fit everything, use two bowls and mix the Pita Chips separately, then combine everything in the pan when you bake it.
- A large, high-sided roasting pan (13x18") - It needs to be big so that the Chex Mix can spread out in an even layer for drying, but you need it to have high sides to keep the Chex Mix from falling all over your oven when you shake it.
- Spicy - Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, double the cayenne, and use a smoked hot paprika.
- Just the pita chips - Reduce the recipe for the seasoning blend by half.
- Vegan - Use a vegan unsalted butter and vegan Worcestershire sauce.
- With popcorn - Arrange an oven rack below the Chex Mix with pita chips and make a batch of Chex Mix popcorn (which needs a finer Chex Mix blend). It will be done faster than the other Chex Mix. Wait until both are cool, then stir together. The popcorn will stale faster than the regular Chex Mix, so this is best for a big party where you don't anticipate leftovers.
I'm sure you can but I don't recommend it only because you would need to do like 3-4 batches to get it all done. An air fryer is just a big convection oven, so you might as well just use your regular oven for this. It's easier, I promise.
In the long run, it is cheaper to make Chex Mix from scratch. But it depends on how you look at the expense. To buy everything you need to make Chex Mix, it will cost more than a bag of Chex Mix. But you'll get A LOT more Chex Mix for your money if you make it yourself, and you'll have ingredients left over to make more Chex Mix in the future — or to use in other recipes (like Chex Mix Chicken Tenders!).
You probably already have some of the ingredients for oven Chex Mix with pita chips, which means you won't need to buy them just to make this!
Even though this Chex Mix is made in the oven, we're not really baking it. We're just drying the butter and Worcestershire sauce so the spices and seasonings stick to the Chex and pita chips.
If your Chex Mix burned that means your oven is running hot (this is why I always recommend having an oven thermometer!) and you need to use a lower oven temp — you can go as low as 200F! It will just take a little longer, but at least it won't be burned.
And make sure you are shaking the pan every 10-15 minutes so that all the pieces are being evenly exposed to the heat.
As long as you keep it in an airtight container, homemade Chex Mix will last 4-6 weeks (if you can keep it around that long!).
Nope! Store your homemade Chex Mix in an airtight container at room temperature and it will be fine.
Homemade Chex Mix with Pita Chips
- 5 cups Pita Chips
- 4 cups Rice Chex
- 4 cups Wheat Chex
- 4 cups Corn Chex
- 3 cups Pretzel twists
- 2 cups Gardetto chips
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- In a medium sized liquid measuring cup, whisk together melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, and all the seasonings and spices.
- Dump pita chips into a large mixing bowl. Pick a bowl that is even bigger than you think you need; give yourself as much room as possible for stirring.Pour about a quarter of the melted butter mixture over the pita chips and stir well. Then stir a few more times just to be safe. Pour a little bit more seasoning mixture over top, then stir again.
- Stir in the three types of Chex and the pretzels until evenly distributed with the pita chips. Pour in the remaining melted butter mixture in two batches, stirring really well in between. Then stir a little bit more, just in case.There shouldn't be any liquid pooling in the bottom of the bowl, everything should be absorbed, and the cereal and snack pieces should be evenly coated.
- Dump the Chex Mix into a large, high sided roasting pan and place in the middle rack of your oven for 1 hour. Shake the pan every 15 minutes until the Chex Mix is dry to the touch.You may need longer than 1 hour, depending on the size and depth of of your pan. The Chex Mix is done when it's completely dry.
- Remove from the oven and stir in the Gardetto chips. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.
- Recipe adapted from the official Chex Mix Party Mix recipe.
- Yes, that MSG. Most if not all of your favorite snack foods have MSG in them. If you've ever used "Accent" seasoning, you've used MSG before. MSG is a great way to amp up flavor without adding more salt. (If you're still skeptical, check out the work KnowMSG is doing to destigmatize this naturally occurring and vastly misunderstood seasoning.)
- Feel free to adjust the quantities of pretzels, Chex, pita chips, and Gardettos to suit your preferences!