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Pistachio Puppy Chow

The crispy rice cereal, chopped pistachios, white chocolate, and pistachio flavor make our pistachio puppy chow perfect for snacking, and it is a delicious holiday gift or party treat – but make sure to have napkins on hand because it can be a bit messy to eat! 

Pistachio puppy chow in a cup with pistachios in the background.

What is Puppy Chow Made of?

Puppy Chow, or “Muddy Buddies,” is an American treat typically made by coating Rice Chex Cereal in a mixture of melted butter, chocolate, and peanut butter. The coated cereal is tossed with powdered sugar to give it the sweet and powdery texture the dessert is known for.

Our recipe for pistachio puppy chow departs from traditional recipes by covering the Chex Cereal and chopped pistachios with melted butter and white chocolate before finishing it with a sweet combination of powdered sugar and pistachio pudding mix.

What You Need to Make this Recipe

  • Rice Chex Cereal: The base for puppy chow is Rice Chex Cereal. You may use any Chex variation for this recipe like Rice Chex or Corn Chex. Crispix cereal is another tasty option!
  • Pistachios: I love adding chopped pistachios for additional pistachio flavor and a nice crunch.
  • Powdered Sugar: After coating the cereal in melted chocolate, powdered sugar gives the puppy chow its signature sweet and powdery coating.
  • Pistachio Pudding Mix: This is where our muddy buddies differ from traditional recipes by including pistachio pudding mix with powdered sugar.
  • Butter: Melt salted butter and chocolate chips; I like using salted butter to offset some of the sweetness.
  • White Chocolate Chips: I melt white chocolate for this recipe to make the green-hued pistachio pudding mix more prominent. However, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips or melting wafers to create the chocolate coating.
  • Vanilla Extract: Add a small amount of vanilla extract to enhance the flavor of the melted chocolate.

Additions and Subtractions

Feel free to get creative with the puppy chow by adding extras like mini chocolate chips, M&M’s, or sprinkles for added flavor and texture; this is especially fun around the holidays if you want a festive dessert for Halloween, Christmas, or St. Patrick’s Day.

How to Make Pistachio Puppy Chow (Pistachio Muddy Buddies)

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Add Rice Chex Cereal and chopped pistachios to a mixing bowl and set them aside.

Chex cereal and pistachios in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Combine powdered sugar and pistachio pudding mix in a plastic or silicone bag and set it aside.

Pistachio pudding mix and powdered sugar in a bag.

Step 3: Then, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the white chocolate chips and cook, while stirring, until the chocolate chips have melted.

Immediately remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Butter and chocolate chips melted in a saucepan.

Step 4: Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and pistachios and stir to combine.

Butter and melted chocolate poured over the chex cereal in a mixing bowl.

Step 5: Let the mixture cool slightly (but don’t let it harden), then pour the bag with the powdered sugar mixture over the cereal and gently stir to combine.

Puppy chow tossed with the pistachio powdered sugar mixture.

Step 6: Spread it onto a baking sheet to cool and harden, and enjoy!

Spreading puppy chow onto a baking sheet to cool.

Expert Tips

  • When melting butter and white chocolate, use low heat and stir the mixture gently until everything is smooth and well combined. Overheating can cause the chocolate to seize or become grainy.
  • When combining the chocolate mixture with the Rice Chex Cereal, stir gently to avoid crushing the cereal pieces. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to fold the mixture evenly over the cereal.
  • Let the cereal cool for about 5 minutes before tossing it with the powdered sugar. You want to let the coated cereal cool down just enough so it doesn’t absorb the powdered sugar mixture. But you don’t want it to cool completely and harden before adding the powdered sugar coating.

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Pistachio puppy chow on a plate with pistachios in the background.

Serving Suggestions

  • Snack Bowl: Serve puppy chow in a large snack bowl so guests can help themselves to handfuls of the sweet and crunchy treat during parties, movie nights, or gatherings. Or add the sweet cereal to individual cups for a quick grab-and-go snack.
  • Dessert Bar: Include puppy chow in your next dessert bar or snack station for larger gatherings. Set up the self-serve station with various toppings and mix-ins, like mini chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, or candy options for guests to customize their snacks.
  • Ice Cream Topping: Sprinkle puppy chow over vanilla ice cream for an added layer of crunch and sweetness.
  • Trail Mix: Combine our pistachio puppy chow with snacks like pretzels or M&M’s to create a sweet, homemade trail mix perfect for outdoor adventures, picnics, and road trips.
  • Gift Giving: Package puppy chow in decorative containers or mason jars and give them as homemade gifts during the holiday season or as a thank-you gesture to friends, neighbors, or coworkers.

What to Do With the Leftovers

  • Storage  Store the puppy chow in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.
  • Freeze – Transfer the leftover pistachio puppy chow to a freezer-safe container or bag; pistachio puppy chow freezes for two months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it muddy buddies or puppy chow?

“Muddy buddies” and “puppy chow” are two different names for the same sweet treat. The name varies from region to region, but the recipe is generally the same.

The name “Puppy Chow” comes from the dessert’s likeness to dog food, but rest assured, pistachio puppy chow is crafted with humans in mind. And the treat is perfect for parties, gatherings, or a single-serving snack for you to enjoy.

Why is my puppy chow soggy?

There could be a few reasons why your puppy chow might be soggy:

1. Did you allow the puppy chow to cool slightly before combining it with the cereal and powdered sugar? You want the cereal to cool so it doesn’t completely absorb the sugar; the treat should look powdery. However, you shouldn’t let it cool completely and harden because the powdered sugar will have nothing to cling to.

2. After you toss the cereal with powdered sugar, spread it onto a baking sheet to cool completely before serving. Then, you can store it in an airtight container to enjoy.

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Pistachio puppy chow in a cup with pistachios in the background.

Pistachio Puppy Chow

Tressa Jamil
Salty and sweet, our pistachio puppy chow is perfect for snacking, and it is a delicious holiday gift or party snack.
4 from 14 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 256 kcal
Ingredients
  
  • 6 cups Rice Chex Cereal
  • ½ cup pistachios, shell removed, and coarsely chopped
  • cup powdered sugar
  • 1 box pistachio pudding mix, 3.4-ounce
  • cup butter, salted
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
 
  • Add Rice Chex Cereal and chopped pistachios to a mixing bowl and set them aside.
  • Combine powdered sugar and pistachio pudding mix in a plastic or silicone bag and set it aside.
  • Then, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the white chocolate chips and cook, while stirring, until the chocolate chips have melted. Immediately remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and pistachios and stir to combine.
  • Let the mixture cool slightly (but don't let it harden), then pour the bag with the powdered sugar mixture over the cereal and gently stir to combine.
  • Spread it onto a baking sheet to cool and harden, and enjoy!
Notes
Serving Size: ½ cup
Expert Tips:
  • When melting butter and white chocolate, use low heat and stir the mixture gently until everything is smooth and well combined. Overheating can cause the chocolate to seize or become grainy.
  • When combining the chocolate mixture with the Rice Chex Cereal, stir gently to avoid crushing the cereal pieces. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to fold the mixture evenly over the cereal.
  • Let the cereal cool for about 5 minutes before tossing it with the powdered sugar. You want to let the coated cereal cool down just enough so it doesn’t absorb the powdered sugar mixture. But you don’t want it to cool completely and harden before adding the powdered sugar coating.
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 256 kcal | Carbohydrates: 42 g | Protein: 2 g | Fat: 9 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g | Cholesterol: 14 mg | Sodium: 296 mg | Potassium: 50 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 29 g | Vitamin A: 5 IU | Vitamin C: 5 mg | Calcium: 7 mg | Iron: 26 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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