Olive Oil Chex Mix with 7 Spice
Dec 29, 2022, Updated Jan 09, 2023
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Here’s an even more delicious and actually healthier take on our beloved crunchers: Olive Oil Chex Mix with 7 Spice seasoning (try mine here!). The mix is made “ours” with pistachios instead of peanuts and olive oil instead of butter. MUST try!
We always joked about my dad’s snacking rituals. He would say, “let’s have some crunchers and fizz!” That meant any nutty crunchy bowl of small pieces he could scoop up and eat a big bite of. Fizz meant pop, as we call it here in the midwest, or soda or really even a glass of water. Like Coke in the south, his “fizz” was a generic term for anything thirst-quenching to wash down his crunchers.
We were forever trying to find healthier crunchers for Dad, then as time passed, for all of us. Nuts, great. But then more flavors, more crunching opportunities would make that bowl of treat even better.
Chex mix was not something we ate a lot of, or really ANY of in those days. But now it’s so everywhere and so satisfying that I’ve taken to making my own version. This blend of the flavors we love and the crunch that gets us through at least the beginning of a movie night is the perfect bowlful. Here’s how to do it.
Pick your Crunch.
Most Chex Mix blends have a couple of Chex variations: rice Chex, wheat Chex, corn Chex. Any and all are so good and at least one of these should be in the Chex mix. Because Chex.
Pretzels are a happy key to salted crunchy joy here. Use little sticks or little twists. Any work as long as they’re bite-size.
Nuts, also key. Also optional if you’re in a nut-free zone. To make my Chex mix taste like our own, I use pistachios, shelled. They’re fabulously savory delicious and add an inch of nutrition to the bowl.
Season with a motherlode of flavor.
Most Chex mix recipes call for a hefty amount of seasoning, mainly because most recipes are for many cups of mix. It’s remarkable just how much Chex mix can go down the hatchet of just one eater. So more is more.
I am LOVING (LOVING!) using 7 Spice to season my Chex mix. The flavor is off the charts without overwhelming any mouth. Use a prepared 7 Spice (here’s mine!) or baharat blend. Homemade is also of course great, you just need lots of spices and a blend that balances them all. Mainly: cumin, paprika, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, and cardamom. Plus salt.
Use Olive Oil instead of butter.
This is such a natural switch-out that I’m surprised EVOO hasn’t replaced butter in any and all Chex mixes. The flavor is actually not all that prevalent given the punch of flavor we get from the 7 Spice. But even with typical Chex mix seasoning (Worcestershire sauce, season salt), olive oil instead of butter is a no-brainer great move.
Be sure to BAKE!
Think of Chex mix as a toasted treat. Once the mix is blended very well with the olive oil seasoning, toss on a coated or foil-lined sheet pan and bake for a good hour at 250 degrees F. The scent will excite your world and the results, as with anything toasted, are heaven.
Olive Oil Chex Mix with 7 Spice
- 4 cups Rice Chex
- 4 cups Wheat Chex
- 1 1/2 cups shelled pistachios
- 4 cups mini pretzels
- 3 teaspoons 7 Spice or your own blend of cumin, paprika, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, and cardamom
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place two racks a few inches apart in the oven. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line two sheet pans with foil or coat with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine the Chex cereals, pistachio nuts, and pretzels.
- In a small bowl, whisk the 7 Spice, salt, and olive oil to combine. Pour over the mixed cereal/nuts/pretzels and stir with a large spoon to coat well.
- Spread the mix evenly on two sheet pans. Bake for about one hour, turning the sheet pans halfway through baking for evenness.
- Serve immediately or store at room temperature in an airtight container for one week.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.