Grandma Nystul’s Sweet and Savory Party Mix

UPDATE: You know that quote by Alexander Pope…..”To err is human; to forgive, divine”? I hope you will all take that message to heart and forgive me for the complete brain gap I had by saying the recipe I posted today was gluten-free. The fact the oatmeal squares in the recipe for “Grandma Nystul’s Sweet and Savory Party Mix” were not gluten-free completely escaped me and I honestly have no explanation for it. I hope you know me well enough by now to know I would never KNOWINGLY try and pass something off as gluten-free unless I sincerely thought it was. As bad as I feel for letting you, my readers, down, I feel ten times worse for giving it to my son to eat. My sincerest apologies for this error on my part. It might be time for a break…………

party mix

Grandma Nystul’s Sweet and Savory Party Mix

1 box of Rice Chex
1 box of Corn Chex
1 box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares (the “sweet” part of the sweet and savory)
1 large bag of pretzel sticks
1 large can of mixed nuts (we really like almonds so that’s all I put in this year. However, the hubster was sorely disappointed in the lack of cashews!)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of celery salt
1 pound of butter (4 sticks)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

This recipe makes a BIG BATCH! So you will need a BIG ROASTER pan to make it in. But before you put it in the pan I suggest MIXING IT in the biggest bowl you have (or possibly break it up into two bowls).

party mix

All you do is literally dump all three boxes of cereal, along with one large bag of pretzel sticks and the nuts, into a bowl and toss gently with a spoon (or you can use your hands like I did). When they are well mixed, sprinkle the seasonings on top and toss a bit more.

party mix

Now pour the whole thing into the biggest roaster (with a lid) that you have….and top with 4 sticks of butter.  The butter can be hard at this point, it will melt in the oven.

party mix

Put pan (with lid on) in the preheated oven. You are going to roast this for 2 hours….giving it a stir every 30 minutes. At the end of the two hours take it out of the oven and let cool before eating. It will get nice and crunchy as it cools. Store in an airtight container.

This is such a simple recipe and it’s the perfect snack for munching on at holiday parties. It’s also a great GIFT for friends, neighbors, co-workers, teachers, etc.  Here are just a few ideas for packaging it up.

party mix

Party mix


So what is your favorite edible gift to make? 


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  1. Em says

    Yay first post and first time posting! I love your blog and look forward to reading it daily. Thanks for sharing your family recipes. I have enjoyed trying many of them! Happy holidays to you and your family :)

  2. Lori says

    Hi Jillee,
    I’m wondering if I can use Parkay spread instead of butter. My son is allergic to all milt proteins and this is the only “spread” that doesn’t contain any whey, etc. in it.

    Other than that…I’m making it! (And putting cashews in it! haha)

  3. Katy says

    Thi info is from the Quaker Oats Web site. This is the nutritional info for Quaker Oatmeal Squares – Brown Sugar.





    • Julia L. says

      Yes I was wondering this myself, saw a HUGE red flag when I saw the Oatmeal cereal being added. I was thinking to myself, when did that become gluten free? Thank you all for answering that question. I had a hard time navigating the company’s website. Jillee, I really like your blog and have tried many things on it which is rare for me and blogs (I usually look but don’t do what the blogger is doing). I do hope that your son with Celiac is not eating this! I wouldn’t eat it and I have Celiac too.

  4. Ellen Gardner says

    Thanks Jillee! Looking forward to making this. Will be looking for something to replace the oatmeal squares since several of the other posts say they’re not gluten free. I’m thinking Crunchmaster’s Grammy Crisps, Cinnamon & Sugar flavor. They’re certified GF and a great alternative for making Graham cracker crusts in all sorts of recipes. Just whirl in the food processor and add melted butter. I used them in a pumpkin cheesecake recipe this past Thanksgiving that turned out just fabulous!

  5. Marla says

    Thanks for a great gift idea! My sister was just diagnosed with Celiac’s and I’ve been trying to come up with a snacky for her to enjoy. Going to Mother’s today to buy the GF pretzels and something to replace the oat squares and to find something like Cheerios to put in this. Glad to know there are GF options out there! Merry Christmas!

  6. says

    Yum! Butter! I may have to try that on my next batch.
    This is similar to the recipe I make, but we use oil instead of butter. Put the seasonings in the oil and whisk vigorously while you drizzle it over the cereal mix. If you have a helper one can stir and one can drizzle until it’s combined. If you’re on your own, drizzle, stir, drizzle stir… You’ll have to keep whisking the oil as you drizzle.
    And for those fussing about the oat squares, you can use ANY kind of cereal/nut/snack/cracker in this so find what works with your diet. I use the ingredients I have coupons for.
    I made a “small” batch recently and used the microwave method and it was every bit as tasty as the oven version. And even though I ate it fresh from the microwave, it was much tastier after it cooled overnight.
    A tip: If you’re going to gift this, package it up and give it away pronto lest you open up the gifts and eat it yourself. It’s that irresistable!

  7. CTY says

    To give: My favorite food item/recipe to make and give is a 7 grain pancake mix along with a couple of jars of fruit syrups I canned. I especially like this for families I know to be struggling because it is one or two less meals they have to worry about providing. Also, in my house, pancakes are for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Next year I will be adding a jar of home canned cranberry-grape or cranberry-apple juice.
    To receive: Favorite food item to receive (homemade or not) is spiced/seasoned/honeyed nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds etc.

  8. Catrina mathis says

    Great recipe and we forgive your mistake your only human and your son forgives you to I bet…hopefully he suffers no I’ll effects. Moms are not perfect…..take a moment to forgive yourself then move on with the rest of your day…there is much to be done ;)

  9. Tracy Lang says

    I make a similar recipe & use 2 cups oil in place of the butter. I mix the seasonings & oil, put the rest of the ingredients in a garbage bag & pour it over. Then just mix together in the bag! Easy! But make sure the bag isn’t one of those scented ones.

    • Linda says

      Please be careful on using trash bags. You did say to be sure to not use the scented ones, but are you aware that a lot of trash bags have a powdery substance on the insides to prevent the insides from sticking together? Food items should not be mixed in such bags. Better research and make sure you are using ones that do not have that treatment. Just as an FYI.

  10. Joyell says

    Jillee – don’t worry about the mistake. That’s why God gave us all brains – to read and figure things out. We are all human and you just made a simple mistake. It’s ok for others to read and see that it isn’t gluten free especially if they are in the habit of looking at that anyway. You recognized the error and fixed it. Don’t beat yourself up. I appreciate you and all you do to provide this great service for us – your readers. You go girl!

  11. says

    Aww, don’t kick yourself any more. People make mistakes. Give yourself the same compassion you would give any other busy, blogging mom. Your son will forgive you and you should too.

    As for the recipe, have you ever tried it in an electric roaster? My roaster has probably the largest capacity pan in the house. I can roast a 22-pound turkey in it. I think it would work fine for this recipe. You could probably even double it if you wanted to.

  12. says

    Thank you for being so understanding. I really feel torn up about it and your kind comments are more appreciated than you can possibly know.
    As bad as I feel about posting incorrect information, I feel even worse about feeding it to my son, and even worse than THAT…is the idea of having to tell him it’s yet another thing he “can’t have”. Celiacs disease bites.

  13. says

    For the oat squares, if you wanted something sweet in there, General Mills also makes a Chocolate Chex and a couple others that are GF and sweet. Oats are a confusing part of the GF diet. I was diagnosed with Celiac 18 years ago and oats were not allowed. Now they have some GF versions of oats so many people think all oats are allowed. (of course the oat squares also have barley and wheat). I find I don’t tolerate the GF oats either.
    Jillee, I am a long time celiac and also a dietitian and if it makes you feel better, I have gluten-ated myself and my daughter both on a couple occasions! It’s a learning curve! I think the chocolate Chex would be yummy!

  14. Jerianne Trammell says

    No Jillee don’t beat yourself up or give up. Make it a challenge to find just the right thing to replace the Oatmeal Squares. I bet your son will volunteer for taste test purposes and you will have snack attack food for gifts, girlfriends, prizes for followers….((((hugs)))) You are one of the most favorite times of my day.

  15. Amanda Ward says

    I just saw this on Pinterest and HAD to make it! It’sin theoven now and my goodie bags are Lovin’ the smell! Gonna’ be a nice little handout after our program at church tomorrow evening- IF it makes it that long!

  16. Becky says

    For the ‘sweet’ part of the mix, I’m going to try the honey nut chex (gluten free, no peanuts, and delish). I want to take some to my daughter and grandson at Christmas and he has to be gluten and peanut free. Sounds very good!

  17. Jo says

    Hi Jillee,
    I just wanted to say thank you for all the work you do, and then so willingly pass that information on to us. This recipe (along with all the others) looks great! You seem to be a person after my own heart, with all the diy products you make. I love it! You’re a great mom too! God bless you in your work!

  18. Jennifer t. says

    GF diet is hard to get used to. My mother’s friend was diagnosed with celiac over 20 years ago. It is amazing some of the things that have gluten in them. At least there is a lot more awareness nowadays.

    That aside…why not save yourself a dish and mix it all up in your roaster? One less giant dish to wash (by hand since it probably doesn’t fit in the dishwasher). Looks yummy!

  19. Dana says

    I have this in the oven now! I halved the recipe because one box of chex filled my entire bowl, lol. Next time I might use Cascadian Farms version of Chex instead, and bulk nuts instead of the jar kind. I was really slacking on my holiday treats to give out and I am so glad you posted this! I even have some leftover clear cellophane bags from my daughter’s birthday I can put this in.

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