Homestyle Muddy Buddies Recipe

If you're not a connoisseur of Midwestern snack foods, there's a chance you may be unfamiliar with muddy buddies, but you could well know the dish under one of its many aliases such as puppy chow, monkey munch, or the oh-so-appetizing reindeer poop. All of these names refer to the treat's rather unassuming appearance, but it's been a staple of kids' parties and holiday gift baggies for many years due to its sheer simplicity. In fact, as recipe developer Miriam Hahn remarks, her homestyle muddy buddies recipe can be a "fun project to do with the kids."

One great thing about this recipe is how customizable it is. Hahn notes that "since there are so many fun themed colored M&Ms, you can have fun making this themed for the particular holiday" you happen to be celebrating. In lieu of colorful M&Ms, though, she says "You can really get creative and add any type of candy to muddy buddies." Among the suggestions she lists are red hots and Reese's peanut butter cups (these would need to be chopped, of course), or you could go in a more savory direction by adding broken pretzel pieces or nuts.

Collect the ingredients for these muddy buddies

These muddy buddies have as their base Rice Chex cereal, although Hahn notes that "you can swap out the type of Chex" and suggests corn or wheat as possible alternatives. You will also be using chocolate chips of any variety (or even a mixture such as semisweet and milk) as well as peanut or any type of nut butter. Hahn is using smooth peanut butter here, but she says, "You can also add more crunch by using crunchy peanut butter."

Other ingredients for this snack include butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar, while M&Ms will add ornamentation as well as some extra chocolate flavor.

Make the peanut butter coating

Melt the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter over medium heat, a process that Hahn says should take about 8 minutes. Keep stirring as the mixture cooks to ensure that it doesn't burn or stick to the pan. Once you have a smooth, homogeneous mixture, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Cover the cereal with peanut butter and sugar

Stir the peanut butter mixture into the cereal, making sure that every last piece is coated. Let the cereal cool down for a few minutes after it's been peanut buttered.

Measure out a cup of the sugar into a large Ziploc-type bag and then scoop half of the Chex into the bag. Zip it up, then shake the bag until all of the cereal is sugar-coated. Repeat this process with the remaining sugar and cereal until all of your muddy buddies are powdery white.

Add the M&Ms at the end

As a final step, stir the M&Ms into the sugar-coated cereal. Your muddy buddies are now ready to be eaten or else portioned out into cute packaging for gifting purposes. Hahn favors using small mason jars, something that adds an adorable touch for a gift or wedding favor.

As for storage, Hahn advises that "this mix will keep well for several weeks if you keep it in an airtight container." She adds that you can also freeze the muddy buddies if you'd like them to stay fresh for a longer period of time.

Homestyle Muddy Buddies Recipe
5 from 36 ratings
These homestyle muddy buddies are guaranteed to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sugar-coated cereal with m&ms
Total time: 18 minutes
  • 8 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup M&Ms
  1. Pour the rice Chex into a large bowl and set aside
  2. Put the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture is smooth. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  3. Pour this over the cereal and stir to coat all pieces. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  4. While the mixture is cooling, add 1 cup of the powdered sugar to a large Ziploc bag. Pour in half of the Chex mixture and shake so that all pieces are coated with powdered sugar. Pour this into a fresh bowl and repeat the process with the rest of the powdered sugar and Chex mixture.
  5. Add the M&Ms and stir to combine. Serve, or store in a tupperware container or mason jars.
Calories per Serving 502
Total Fat 22.6 g
Saturated Fat 10.5 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 16.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 70.3 g
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Total Sugars 51.3 g
Sodium 194.9 mg
Protein 7.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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