Christmas Puppy Chow

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This Christmas puppy chow is the perfect holiday dessert this season. It’s so easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. All you need is a microwave and a big bowl making it a great activity for making with the kids. It’s absolutely delicious!

A bowl of Christmas puppy chow topped with M&Ms on a green tile table with Christmas decor surrounding it.

Why I love this recipe/why this recipe works

Christmas puppy chow is not for dogs. It’s a delicious treat that you can make for dessert or a snack! Rice chex cereal is covered with a melted chocolate peanut butter mixture and then tossed in powdered sugar until it’s coated. 

While it gets its name from its resemblance to dog kibble, this Christmas dessert tastes nothing like it! It’s delicious! Plus, dogs cannot have chocolate… so don’t feed this to your dog, please!

Also known as muddy buddies, reindeer chow, muddy munch, and monkey munch, this version is made a little more festive for Christmas using red and green M&Ms and holiday sprinkles. I love the texture that the M&Ms and sprinkles add to this recipe, too!

This recipe makes a large batch of puppy chow, perfect for serving a crowd. Whether you’re making this Christmas muddy buddies recipe for a Christmas party, holiday potluck, or for a movie night with the family, this recipe is ready to serve everyone!

Ingredients

Ingredients in bowls to make Christmas puppy chow on a green table with text overlays over each ingredient.

Ingredient Notes

  • Rice Chex cereal – I typically use rice Chex cereal because I like it best. The flavor is mild as compared to corn or wheat Chex which I think cover up the other flavors a bit. But you can use whatever type of Chex cereal you prefer. 
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – I like semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can also use dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or milk chocolate chips. 
  • Creamy peanut butter – I don’t advise using crunchy peanut butter or natural peanut butter in this recipe. Use creamy peanut butter for best results. 
  • Sprinkles – I used a combination of Christmas nonpareils and jimmies for some change in texture and shape. 
  • Powdered sugar – I typically will start with 2.5 cups of powdered sugar and see if that covers the Chex cereal. If it doesn’t, add the remaining ½ cup of powdered sugar. 

Step-by-step instructions

This Christmas Puppy Chow is so easy to make. Just follow the step-by-step instructions with matching photos to help you make it perfectly every time.

For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.

A measuring cup filled with semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter on a green tile table.
Place the semi-sweet chocolate chips, creamy peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup.
Melted chocolate and peanut butter in a glass measuring cup with a pink spatula on top of a green tile table.
Microwave in 30-second increments, mixing in between, until the chocolate is melted. It should take just about 1 minute total.
An overhead view of a large bowl with rice chex cereal topped with a melted chocolate peanut butter mixture before mixing together.
Add the rice Chex cereal to a large bowl, gallon-sized Ziploc bag, or large tupperware with a lid. Top with the melted chocolate peanut butter mixture.
A large bowl of rice chex cereal mixed with melted chocolate to make puppy chow.
Stir to mix until the cereal is covered with the chocolate.
A large bowl of rice chex cereal covered with melted chocolate and topped with powdered sugar, holiday sprinkles and red and green M&Ms before mixing.
Top the cereal with the powdered, half of the M&Ms, and half of the sprinkles.
A large bowl of rice chex cereal covered with melted chocolate and powdred sugar.
Stir or shake until the cereal is completed covered with the powdered sugar. Add more powdered sugar if necessary.
A large bowl of puppy chow that has been topped with red and green M&Ms and holiday sprinkles before mixing.
Add the remaining holiday M&Ms and sprinkles. Stir until combined.
A large mixing bowl of Christmas puppy show topped with M&Ms with a wooden serving spoon in it.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Expert tips

  • Use a large tupperware with a lid, a large salad bowl with a lid, or a gallon-size Ziploc bag that closes to shake the powdered sugar and completely cover the cereal. You can also stir it in a large bowl like I show in the video, but it is messier. 
  • Change this recipe up by experimenting with different chocolate types or even using red and green candy melts. 
  • You can add more mix-ins, like pretzels, peanuts, mini peanut butter cups, marshmallows, and so much more. The sky is the limit!
  • Don’t have a microwave? No problem! Melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a saucepan on the stove top over low heat. Don’t overheat, as the chocolate can easily burn. 

FAQs

Can Christmas puppy chow be made gluten-free?

For a gluten-free version, make sure you use Rice Chex cereal. Check all other ingredients to be sure they are gluten-free and not manufactured on equipment that has also processed gluten.

Can Christmas puppy chow be made dairy-free?

To make this dairy-free, substitute the butter for a vegan butter and the semi-sweet chocolate chips for a dairy-free chocolate chip. M&Ms are not dairy-free, so you will have to substitute those for either more sprinkles, a dairy-free chocolate candy, or just omit them completely.

Can this recipe be made peanut-free?

Yes, use another nut butter like almond butter. You can also use sunflower butter to make it nut-free.

A closeup of Christmas puppy chow in a bowl topped with green and red M&Ms and holiday sprinkles.

Related recipes

A bowl of Christmas puppy chow topped with M&Ms on a green tile table with Christmas decor surrounding it.

Christmas Puppy Chow

Yield: 30 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute

This Christmas puppy chow is the perfect holiday dessert this season. It's so easy to make with just a handful of ingredients. All you need is a microwave and a big bowl making it a great activity for making with the kids. It’s absolutely delicious! 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 10 cups Rice Chex cereal (1 full box)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup Christmas sprinkles, divided
  • 2 cups green and red M&Ms, divided

Instructions

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips.
  2. Microwave in 30-second increments, mixing in between, until the chocolate is melted. It should take just about 1 minute total.
  3. Add the Rice Chex cereal to a large bowl. Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal. With a spatula, carefully mix until the cereal is completely covered with the chocolate.
  4. Add half of the M&Ms and sprinkles with the powdered sugar to a large tupperware with a lid or a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
  5. Add the chocolate covered cereal to a large tupperware with a lid or a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.
  6. Shake the container until the powdered sugar has covered the cereal. If the cereal is not completely covered or you can see chocolate showing through the powdered sugar, add the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. 
  7. Add remaining M&Ms and sprinkles. Stir to mix.
  8. You can serve right away or store at room temperature. However, I prefer to store mine in the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour for cold puppy chow.

Notes

  • For a gluten-free option, use rice chex cereal. 
  • I like to add half of the M&Ms and sprinkles after mixing so that you still get some of the color of the candies popping through, but if you aren’t too concerned about that you can add them all in the first addition. 
  • I find a large tupperware or gallon-sized bag that you can close is best for covering the cereal with powdered sugar. You can stir it in a big bowl, but it gets a bit messy. 
  • Use creamy peanut butter instead of chunky peanut butter. I also don’t advise using natural peanut butter.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 367Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 4g

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