Overhead view of bowls of Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)
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Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

What’s better than a quick & easy snack that involves cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, and lots of fun mix-ins? Puppy Chow is a family party food favorite!

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I grew up eating Puppy Chow at family holiday gatherings in the Midwest. Once I moved to New York, I found that none of my new friends were familiar with the goodness of this delicious mix of chocolate, peanut butter, cereal, and powdered sugar.

So I decided that I needed to bring it to the masses. It felt like a civic duty of sorts.

Overhead view of bowls of Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

Well over a decade ago, I made a big batch of Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies) for a Super Bowl party that we hosted for my husband’s co-workers.

Only one of the guests was familiar with Puppy Chow (she was from Ohio) and she squealed with glee when she saw it on the party table!

It was a big hit with the rest of the group as well. I was glad to bring one of my favorites to them.

Back in those days, I stuck with plain ol’ Puppy Chow – straight up with no mix-ins. But it can be a lot of fun to add things into the mix, right?

Overhead view of bowls of Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

Now don’t get me wrong – I love it without any additional candy or snack items mixed in. But getting creative with the extras is something that can bring your puppy chow to the next level.

This dish is perfect for parties. You can pick mix-ins to match any theme, holiday, or color scheme.

Overhead view of ingredients for Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

I love using a sweet-and-salty mix, personally. Salted pretzel rods, chocolate candies (M&Ms are a favorite and a good way to add color), and peanuts are all fun. Things like mini marshmallows or chopped up candy bars are also good.

You can always make a batch plain and offer bowls of additional ingredients so everyone can customize their own bags.

Overhead view of bowls of Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

To get started, pour your cereal into the biggest bowl you have. I like getting it into a bowl before melting the chocolate/peanut butter together so it’s ready as soon as I am.

I like melting the chocolate mixture in 30-second intervals in the microwave. This way you can stir the mixture and make sure it melts evenly and gets nice and smooth.

You could also do this on a double boiler on the stovetop if you want, but the microwave makes it super simple.

Overhead view of steps for making Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

When it’s nice and melted, stir in vanilla extract and salt and pour it onto the cereal. Stir it gently until it’s fully coated.

You may want to use a 2 utensil method to stir it like I did in the video. It will likely max out space in your biggest mixing bowl, but it works! Once it’s all coated, you’re ready to cover it all in powdered sugar!

Overhead view of steps for making Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

Put the powdered sugar in the bottom of a gallon-sized zip-top bag. You can do this in the bowl if you want, or even on a big baking sheet, but I find this method the easiest for getting everything coated with minimal hassle.

Seal the bag (make sure it’s fully sealed to avoid a dust storm!) and gently shake and turn the bag until the chocolate is fully coated with powdered sugar.

At this point, you’re ready to rock! You can serve it as-is or have fun mixing and matching different items to bulk up your puppy chow mixture.

Overhead view of bowls of Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

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Recipe for Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

If you try out this recipe, please come back and give it a star rating and comment below. I’d love to know what you think of it!

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Overhead view of bowls of Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

Puppy Chow (AKA Muddy Buddies)

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: About 10 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: American


What’s better than a quick & easy snack that involves cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, and lots of fun mix-ins? Puppy Chow is a family party food favorite!



Mix-ins (optional):

  • M&Ms
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Pretzel rods
  • Peanuts
  • Chocolate chips


  1. Pour cereal into a large bowl.
  2. Place chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each increment, until fully melted, about 2 minutes total.
  3. Stir in vanilla and salt. Pour melted chocolate mixture over cereal and stir gently until well coated.
  4. Pour powdered sugar in a gallon sized zip-top bag, add coated cereal, and seal. Shake bag until the cereal is well coated.
  5. Add mix-ins, if desired, and serve.


Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

Store leftovers in an airtight container.

You can melt the chocolate and peanut butter on the stovetop, if desired.

Nutrition information doesn’t include mix-ins.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 445
  • Sugar: 38.2 g
  • Sodium: 291.8 mg
  • Fat: 21.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60.8 g
  • Fiber: 4.6 g
  • Protein: 9.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: puppy chow, muddy buddies, kid-friendly

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum

    Mmmmm Puppy chow is a staple around these parts! I have a friend who always brings puppy chow to our get togethers and I always end up eating about 5 cups of it! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    i always knew them as muddy buddies, great recipe, but i am adamantly opposed to the name puppy chow, as i am the word ‘pop’ when used in a soda context

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous- if its just peanuts you’re allergic to, you could try almond butter with it…if it’s all nuts in general it should work fine. There is also a good white choc/lemon “puppy chow” recipe on the Chex site. look up Chex Lemon Buddy recipe and you’ll find it. Also delicious.

  • Ashley

    I’m not sure why the author of this recipe wrote 2 to 3 dozen…it makes a big bowl that’s great for a party. It’s 9 cups of cereal…people could easily eat 1/2 cup each (and that’s showing restraint, since this stuff is addictive!). I hope that helps!

  • Anonymous

    For people who are allergic to nuts there is a product called sunbutter it is made from sunflower seeds it is very similar in taste to peanut butter.

    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      I’ve never used butter in this recipe and it’s always worked out just fine for me. Sorry if you had any trouble with it!

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