Puppy Chow (also known as Muddy Buddies) is a great last-minute snack that can be completely ready in under 10 minutes! Loaded with plenty of peanut butter and chocolate, this is a super crave-able snack. Please note that this recipe is for humans only and is not dog-friendly!
My Favorite 10-minute Snack
I must have made this puppy chow recipe over 100 times when I was pregnant with Luke. Super easy (ready in literally ten minutes), just a couple of ingredients, no oven or stovetop or any fuss, and incredibly satisfying for even your most intense chocolate/peanut butter cravings.
It beats even my rice krispie treats and buckeyes in terms of ease and minimal ingredients. It’s perfect if you’re a procrastinator like I am and need a last minute snack for a party or potluck (Hah, remember the pre-2020 days of parties and potlucks?).
I was first introduced to this Puppy Chow recipe (AKA “Muddy Buddies”) when I worked at Arby’s during college and a coworker brought it in around the holidays (thanks, Steph!). Chocolate & peanut butter and easy to grab a handful of every time I walked into the back, what’s not to love (except maybe the powdered sugar handprints on my black pants).
What You Need
Minimal ingredients, maximum taste. This recipe uses only 6 ingredients:
- Chex cereal. You can use rice chex or corn chex, my preference is rice.
- Chocolate chips. Use a quality brand of chocolate chips, since so much of our flavor is going to come from these (I love Ghirardelli and have had bad experiences using generic).
- Peanut butter. Creamy or crunch will work. I don’t recommend using a “natural” brand of peanut butter (where the oil separates to the top) as it is likely to be too soft and liquidy. See my FAQ section below for nut-free alternatives and notes.
- Salted butter. Usually I sing the praises of using unsalted butter, but we’re going to save a step here and just use salted. If you only have unsalted, just add a pinch (about a heaping ⅛ teaspoon) of salt to your chocolate mixture before melting.
- Vanilla extract. I love the extra flavor vanilla adds. It takes this puppy chow to the next level.
- Powdered sugar. You need a lot of sugar for this recipe because you need to make sure every single square of chocolate is thoroughly coated. Any excess sugar will sink to the bottom of the bowl, you really can’t use too much.
This list is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
TIP: Any time you melt chocolate (as you’ll be doing here) it is important to do it slowly to avoid the chance of it seizing. Heat in 30-second increments and stir well in-between.
How to Make It
- Melt together chocolate, peanut butter, and butter.
- Stir in vanilla extract and pour mixture over cereal. Toss until cereal is completely coated.
- Coat with powdered sugar until cereal is completely covered.
Use a spatula and a gentle hand once you add your powdered sugar so you don’t crush the cereal into small pieces. Don’t be afraid to add more sugar as needed, either! Any excess will sink to the bottom of your mixing bowl.
TIP: Quickly and easily coat your cereal by placing it in a large, clean paper bag and add your sugar. Fold the bag closed and then shake shake shake it until all of the cereal is coated with sugar!
Frequently Asked Questions
Puppy chow disappears so quickly in our house there’s hardly ever a need to store it. However, if you find yourself with leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. It does not need to be refrigerated, but can be if you prefer it cold.
Evidently it got its name because it resembles dog food! Another common name for it is “Muddy Buddies”. It should not be fed to your dog, despite its name!
Many people have successfully made this recipe with peanut butter substitutes, such as sun butter. I do not recommend removing the peanut butter without a substitute, the taste/texture won’t be quite right.
Yes. All of the ingredients that I use are gluten-free. However I always recommend that you double-check the packaging on your ingredients to make sure that they are not contaminated by gluten.
More Recipes You Might Like
- S’mores Cereal Bars (another easy favorite of mine!)
- Caramel Popcorn
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Candied Pecans
Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
- 7 cups rice or corn chex I use rice chex (210g)
- 1 ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (226g)
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter (210g) (see FAQ above for substitute notes)
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter cut into 6 pieces
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-4 cups powdered sugar (250-500g)
- Measure cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a separate, medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter.
- Transfer to the microwave and heat for 30-second intervals, stirring well between, until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour chocolate mixture over your cereal and use a spatula to gently stir (you don’t want to crush your cereal pieces!) until all cereal is coated in chocolate.
- Once all cereal is well-coated, add powdered sugar to the bowl and use a spatula to stir until all cereal is coated with powdered sugar. Add more sugar as needed. Enjoy!
StoringPuppy chow will keep for up to a week when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Originally published December 12th 2018.
I am looking forward to making this for my grandsons paw patrol birthday party. He’ll be 2. My daughter bought several plastic dog bowls to put the puppy chow in and set around on the tables for ppl to snack on.
I hope everyone loves it! 🙂
It turned out great!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Joyce! 🙂
I make a cookies and cream variation. Top half of the chocolate covered cereal with powdered sugar. Grind a package of oreo’s into crumbs and toss the remaining cereal in the oreo crumbs. Combine the two batches and viola cookies and cream muddy buddies!
Sugar Spun Run
That sounds amazing, Lynda! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
As the holidays approach, do you have any ideas how to make this more festive?
Hi Tracy! Colorful sprinkles or festively colored M&Ms make a great addition!
Grace E Gosz
I love this recipe! I have found it easiest to put the puppy chow in a large tupperware and shake it to get the powdered sugar coating. That way it doesn’t crush as many cereal pieces 🙂
Love that idea, thanks for the suggestion, Grace! And I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, I’ve been making it at least once a week recently (pregnancy craving! 😂)
Bonus if you use chocolate Chex cereal!
YES! Sooo good!
Maybe explicitly state that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. a handful of these can kill a small dog. Friends’ teacup killed from a small slice of chocolate cake w real chocolate frosting.
I have a note up at the top of the post but I added another one in the recipe. Thanks for the suggestion! Can’t be too careful, I’m sorry about your friend’s dog!
Great and easy goto snack!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is my favorite. I find that when I make the snack, my powdered sugar seems to sink into the cereal and almost appear non existent. Any ideas why? Yours appear so well coated.
Hi Mary! You’re very welcome 🙂
Could it be that they just need more powdered sugar? I just keep adding sugar until my Puppy chow is very well-coated, you really can’t add too much because the excess just falls to the bottom.
This is awesome. I love it.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much, Madi! 🙂
Mary Danner- try letting the puppy chow cool a bit before coating with powdered sugar. The sugar sinks right into the chocolate mixture when it’s too warm.