Santa’s Reindeer Chow

Reindeer Chow may give Santa’s reindeer the energy they need to deliver gifts around the world but this Christmas snack mix feeds humans too! Chocolate covered Chex Mix, peanuts, salted pretzels, chocolate candy coated in white chocolate. A Christmas snack mix powerhouse!

At Christmas, time cookies are usually my go-to treat but this year I have changed things up and surprised the kids with this tasty Christmas snack mix – Reindeer Chow. Santa’s reindeer need the energy to fly the globe in one night and this recipe is not short on energy revving carbs and sugar!

This Christmas Chex Mix recipe is perfect for putting out as a snack for guests or giving away as a present. The recipe makes a tonne so cut the recipe in half if you like or packaged some up in individual bags or holiday boxes as edible gifts for friends, co-workers, your hairdresser, mail person, or friends. I mean who wouldn’t want some of Reindeer Chow!

Some other great edible gift ideas:

Sometimes the best gifts are ones made with love!

ingredients & substitutions

  • Chex cereal – A prefer the rice version best because it has a great crunchy texture but mild flavour. Any Chex cereal or similar cereal will do.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – Substitute for semi-sweet moulding or bakers chocolate if you wish.
  • Peanut butter – When mixed with the melted chocolate chips it makes the perfect sticky coating to help the cocoa mix coat the Chex. If you are nut-free any peanut butter alternative will work as well.
  • Cocoa powder – unsweetened. I have also heard of people using brownie mix powder if you want to try that.
  • Icing sugar – Or in some places, this is known as powdered sugar. Mixed with the cocoa powder this combo creates the perfect coating for the chocolate Chex cereal nuggets.
  • Pretzel twists – Salted is best if you like a sweet and salty snack but unsalted can be used as well. Or if you don’t have pretzel twists sticks or nuggets will work well too.
  • Salted peanuts – Unsalted, almonds, pistachios, or any nut you wish… or if you are peanut-free these can be left out or replaced with another of your snack mix favourites.
  • Red and green M & Ms – Or your favourite small-sized chocolate treat. In this recipe, because I am Canadian and M & Ms were completely sold out I used Smarties… they are like M & Ms but flatter.
  • White chocolate chips – I prefer to use chips just because I find them easier to measure but white baking chocolate or white moulding chocolate are excellent substitutes.
  • Coconut oil – When melted into the chocolate it helps keep the chocolate from seizing so it remains easy to work with.

How to make reindeer chow

Add the white chocolate chips to a large microwave-safe bowl along with 1/2 a tsp of coconut oil. Microwave on low for 1 minute and remove from the microwave. Do not use a microwave cover because you do not want any water from steam to fall back into the chocolate chips. Even the tiniest bit of water will cause your chocolate to seize into a hard sticky block.

The coconut oil while not necessary is an a safeguard to keep the chocolate smooth and helps to reduce the possibility of the chocolate seizing.

Use a spoon and continue to mix until smooth.

Chocolate chips keep their form even when warm enough to melt so mixing will continue the melting process and turn the chips to a smooth texture.

In a large bowl add the pretzels, M&Ms, and peanuts. Add the white chocolate and mix until all the ingredients are well coated. If you prefer to have more colour leave out the M&Ms. Add them instead of at the very end of this recipe so they do not get covered in the white chocolate.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and then pour out the white chocolate mixture out evenly. Place in the fridge to harden up the chocolate. Then remove, break up into small pieces and add to a large bowl.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter. Micro-wave on low for 1 minute just like you did with the white chocolate, remove from the microwave and mix. The fat in the peanut butter works just the same as the coconut oil keeping the chocolate from seizing.

Add the Chex cereal to a large bowl, pour in the peanut butter chocolate mixture and gently mix to coat the Chex. In a large resealable plastic bag add the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Seal and shake to mix.

Add the chocolate-coated Chex to the bag with the cocoa powder mix, seal tightly and shake to coat the Chex with this chocolate powder coating. Set in the fridge for a half-hour to harden the chocolate.

Add the cocoa Chex to the large bowl with the hardened white chocolate pieces and mix gently with a large spoon to avoid breaking the Chex.

Crunchy, salty, and sweet all in one handful. And this super versatile holiday recipe makes it easy to include all of your favourite snacks in one bowl. You don’t have to use the exact same ingredients as I have here. You are the driver of your sleigh when it comes to this snack mix recipe!

Storing snack mix

Keep this Christmas snack mix recipe crunchy by storing it in an air-tight container on the counter for up to a week. But I doubt it will last that long. It seems to disappear quickly by the handful!

A bowl of Reindeer Chow with Christmas tree branches as decoration

Santa’s Reindeer Chow

Chocolate covered Chex Mix, peanuts, salted pretzels, chocolate candy, and white chocolate. A Christmas snack mix powerhouse!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack, Treat
Cuisine: North American
Keyword: Chex Cereal, Christmas Recipes, Christmas Snack Mix, Holiday Treat, Reindeer Chow, Snack Mix
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 282kcal


  • Large Bowl
  • Medium bowls
  • Spoon
  • Measuring Cups
  • Meauring spoons
  • Microwave
  • Large resealable bag
  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheet


  • 4 cups Chex rice cereal
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups small pretzel twists
  • 1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups red and green M&Ms or Smarties
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil


  • Add the Chex cereal to a large bowl.
  • In a small microwave save bowl add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and peanut butter. Microwave on low for 1 minute. Remove and stir until smooth and all of the chocolate has melted.
  • Add the chocolate mixture to the bowl with Chex and gently stir being careful not to crush the Chex.
  • Add the cocoa powder and icing sugar to a large resealable bag, seal and shake to mix. Add the chocolate-coated Chex pieces to the bag, seal tightly and shake to coat the Chex in the powder. Place in the fridge to harden for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the pretzels, peanuts and M&Ms to a large bowl.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl add the white chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave on low for 1 minute. Remove and mix until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the white chocolate into the large bowl of pretzel mix and mix with a spoon to coat.
  • Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the white chocolate mix out and spread it evenly over the surface of the pan. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden. Remove from fridge and break up into bite-size pieces.
  • Add the white chocolate mixture and the coca Chex mixture to a large bowl and mix. Enjoy!


Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 1 week.
  • Replace peanut butter with a peanut-free alternative like soy, sunflower
  • Pretzel sticks can be used in place of twists
  • Peanuts can be left out in the even of a peanut allergy or dislike of them
  • Replace M & Ms with any candy-coated chocolate.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g
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Please Note:The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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  1. This is such a cute idea, and so much fun to make with the kids! We had a lot of fun combining the ingredients and putting into little baggies to deliver to friends for a holiday treat!

  2. I used to make puppy chow all the time. Happy to find this reindeer chow recipe. It’s perfect for snacking around the holidays.

  3. I am inbetween microwaves right now – but as soon as my new one comes in – I’m making this! This makes it hard to NOT snack ALL DAY!

    1. No need to wait. If you don’t have a microwave you can melt the chocolate in a bowl over warm water using a double boiler system. Just warm water in a pot over low heat and place a bowl over top of the pot so that it rests in the pot without touching the water. Add the chocolate to the bowl and use a spatula to stir until melted. Make sure not to make any contact with the water or the chocolate will seize.

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