Easy Puppy Chow Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Takes: 15 min. + standing
Our puppy chow recipe doesn't skimp on chocolate, peanut butter or sugar.

Updated: Mar. 20, 2024

As a kid, puppy chow was always a sweet treat I’d hope to see at birthday parties, sleepovers, after-school dances and more. Whenever I was lucky enough to find it, I’d always shift around the bowl to find the biggest clumps of puppy chow for the taking, leaving the individual morsels for everyone else. Now, years later, I shamelessly continue to look for the biggest clusters in the mix (and if you claim to not do this yourself, I don’t believe you).  

That’s why I love this puppy chow recipe, which calls for a generous ratio of chocolate-peanut butter to cereal. There are no worries about sparsely coated Chex or a lack of delicious clusters to go around.

We’ll give you all our best tips and tricks for creating a thickly coated puppy chow that will be a hit among kids and adults alike.  

Ingredients for Puppy Chow

  • Corn Chex: It’s not puppy chow without Chex! Our recipe calls for Corn Chex, but you can use Wheat Chex or Rice Chex, too.
  • Semisweet chocolate chips: You can use whatever type of chocolate chips you like or have in the pantry, but we’ve found that semisweet chocolate chips prevent an overly sweet flavor.
  • Peanut butter: If you’re normally a chunky peanut butter lover, pick up some creamy peanut butter just for this recipe. (If you have some left over, put it to use in other peanut butter desserts.)
  • Butter: Not all puppy chow recipes call for butter, but the original recipe calls for itand so does ours! We think it adds a little depth to the chocolate-peanut butter mixture.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: This powdery, light and sometimes messy sugar coats the chocolate-peanut butter mixture for clusters that are perfectly sprinkled and sweet.

Directions

Step 1: Melt the chocolate and peanut butter

Combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a large bowlTMB Studio

Pour the cereal into a large bowl; set aside. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir gently. Continue microwaving, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and blended.  

Step 2: Coat the cereal with the chocolate

Gently stir with a spatula to coat the ChexTMB Studio

Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal. Gently stir with a spatula to coat, trying not to crush any of the cereal.

Editor’s Tip: Start by adding three-fourths of the amount of cereal to the bowl, and see how the chocolate mixture coats it. You can always add the rest if there’s too much melted chocolate to go around.

Step 3: Shake the mixture with the sugar

In a large container shake the cereal with sugarTMB Studio

In batches, place the coated cereal and the confectioners’ sugar in a large sealed container or a bowl covered with plastic wrap (as long as you shake gently). Shake until well coated.  

Editor’s Tip: Wait for the chocolate-peanut butter mixture on the cereal to cool down slightly before you add the sugar. Don’t worry, it will still stick—this will just help prevent the chocolate from absorbing the confectioners’ sugar right away and forcing you to add more to coat.  

Step 4: Let the puppy chow set

Set the puppy chow in a large baking trayTMB Studio

Transfer the puppy chow to a baking sheet, and let stand until set. Store in airtight containers or resealable bags.  

A close-up photo of a bowl filled with Puppy ChowTMB Studio

Puppy Chow Variations

  • Cake batter puppy chow: If you’re a cake-batter lover like me, you’ll love this twist on puppy chow. Use white chocolate chips instead of semisweet chips, and Funfetti or white cake mix instead of the confectioners’ sugar.  
  • Brownie batter puppy chow: Shake the coated cereal mixture with a box of dry brownie mix instead of confectioners’ sugar.
  • S’mores puppy chow: Add in some graham cereal and mini marshmallows to freshly prepared puppy chow to create a snack version of the beloved summer dessert.
  • Cookies-and-cream puppy chow: Swap out the semisweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips, and add some chopped or mini Oreos to create crunchy morsels that taste like cookies and cream.
  • Hot cocoa puppy chow: If you’ve got a bunch of hot cocoa packets lying around, shake your puppy chow mixture with hot cocoa mix instead of confectioners’ sugar for a rich chocolate-y flavor.
  • White chocolate puppy chow: This is a great variation when you want the color of the puppy chow to match the theme of the occasion you’re making puppy chow for. After you melt the white chocolate baking chips, add a few drops of your food coloring of choice before tossing it with the cereal. Make green puppy chow for St. Patrick’s Day, pink puppy chow for Valentine’s Day, and more.

How long does puppy chow last?

When stored in a resealable bag or airtight container, puppy chow will last for up to a week. Though, we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s gone in just a day or two!  

Can you freeze puppy chow?

Technically, yes, but the texture won’t be nearly as enjoyable as it is when puppy chow is made and eaten fresh. Since it takes so little effort and time to put together, try to make just the right amount that you’ll eat up within a week.

Puppy Chow Tips

Easy Puppy Chow in a large serving spoonTMB Studio

Why is it called “puppy chow”?

This sweet and irresistible snack is called puppy chow because, honestly, it kind of looks like dog food. However, we can guarantee that this version is much better tasting for humans (and, more importantly, this puppy chow recipe is not for dogs!).

Puppy chow also goes by other names. General Mills, the original inventor of puppy chow, famously calls the recipe “Muddy Buddies,” as you’ll see on the back of the box of Chex cereal. Come Christmastime, some people like to call it “reindeer chow,” especially when some red M&M’s are added for red Rudolf noses.

Can you use a different nut butter to make puppy chow?

If you’re allergic to peanut butter or you simply prefer a different kind of nut butter, feel free to use almond butter, cashew butter or even sunflower seed butter in its place.

Watch how to Make Easy Puppy Chow

Easy Puppy Chow

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 13 cups.

Ingredients

  • 1 box (12 ounces) Corn Chex
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. Pour cereal into a large bowl. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave on high 30 seconds. Stir gently. Continue microwaving on high, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and blended. Pour over cereal; gently stir to coat.
  2. In batches, place confectioners' sugar in a large airtight container, add cereal mixture, close container and shake until well coated. Spread cereal on a baking sheet. Let stand until set. Store in airtight containers.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup: 229 calories, 10g fat (5g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein.

This easy puppy chow recipe uses a whole package of cereal, so there's less messy measuring. And it makes enough to feed a hungry crowd. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen