Classic Homemade Nuts and Bolts Recipe

close up Nuts and Bolts in a white bowl ready to be enjoy!

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Nothing says Christmas like homemade nuts and bolts and this particular homemade nuts and bolts recipe is my family's favourite. I hope you like it!

Homemade Nuts and Bolts in a white bowl on white background
Homemade Nuts and Bolts Recipe

I can't believe that it's taken me this long to share my family's classic nuts and bolts recipe with you all.

You can actually thank these two in the photo below, for the kick in the pants this year for finally getting a homemade nuts and bolts recipe up for you guys.

Yes, my Mom and Dad. Who gleefully – and most deservedly – spend their winter in Phoenix now and are coming home for Christmas. This makes our Christmas ever MORE of a food fest of all of their favorite things to eat. I was talking to Dad on the phone the other day and was emphatically told :

“There's NEVER enough garlic in homemade nuts and bolts! Make sure to double, no, TRIPLE the garlic!”

You can take the boy out of the Ukraine, but you can't…you know. Take the garlic out of the Ukrainian.

Mom and Dad holding a bottle of drink at the beach

Here's the thing: I totally agree with Dad and that might be because I'm a Ukrainian girl, through and through. There is NEVER enough garlic or flavour in homemade nuts and bolts. You know how the store-bought versions of nuts and bolts burn your mouth? You are aiming for a wee bit shy of that flavour explosion.

There has to be a happy medium between the ho-hum recipes out there – man, you should see how little butter some of the other recipes for homemade nuts and bolts use! Sacrilege!- and the store-bought bags. I actually don't even like the store-bought bags of bits and bites or nuts and bolts. It has to be homemade nuts and bolts or nothing!

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty.

We aren't making Chex Mix.

Mainly because we don't get all of the different varieties of Chex mix that the original recipe calls for.

2 boxes of Chex Mix cereal on top of wooden table

We are making Homemade Nuts and Bolts and Canadians use far different cereals than my American friends do. Homemade nuts and bolts are far different here in Canada, as the mix that I grew up with also included Shreddies. We always had Shreddies in our homemade nuts and bolts.

I don't include them because those buggers always cut my mouth.

Is it just me? Those dang sharp cereal corners! BAH!!! Always cut me!

Please tell me that it's not just me. I feel like such a freak just typing that. Shreddies in a homemade nuts and bolts mix totally remind me of cutting my gums as a kid. That's all there is to it. I would always bite them the wrong way and stick those sharp corners into a gum.

Why do you guys even come here and read this stuff, seriously. Bleeding gums and homemade nuts and bolts recipe. Er, welcome to my website?

Rice Chex and Crispix cereal for Homemade Nuts and Bolts

I use the Rice Chex that is available here in Canada, but my family has always had a love for Crispix cereal. To be honest, the Crispix works even better than the Chex does- more on that later.

mixed Rice Chex, Crispix cereals, nuts, crackers and pretzel on a large roaster

Take a look at this finished homemade nuts and bolts. The Rice Chex appears to be the exact same colour as it was before, however the Crispix is loaded with salty, savoury homemade nuts and bolts goodness. It also crisped up and darkened slightly!

I might be inclined to change my entire recipe to all Crispix, I'm not sure. This was my first year making our homemade nuts and bolts recipe so I didn't really sit and analyze what was going on before, I just, well, ate it. Now as the cook who's making it, I am taking a second look.

Granted the Chex does give it a different shape and texture, so I'll most likely keep it.

Rice Chex and crispix together with pretzels and nuts on a marble background

Happy holidays to us!

There is nothing like a homemade nuts and bolts recipe for the holidays. I'm rather excited for Christmas this year, we are home, Christmas is going to be at my house and everyone will be here.

The Nuts

You will notice that my nuts and bolts has no nuts – believe it or not it's not called nuts and bolts because you used to be able to fit the pretzels and Cheerios together like nuts and bolts, now you can't) and that's because my nephew is allergic to them. You can certainly toss in a cup of peanuts if desired!

This is like Bits and Bites in the bag at the grocery store, those don't come with nuts either, but you can add them!

Homemade Nuts and Bolts on a white backgroundIs it Christmas yet?

I'm ready.

I'm done my book tour, or at least the part that involves major travel. We've done a lot of rearranging in our house, because you know, this is my busy time of year so why not throw in some house projects as well, right?

Stay tuned for a post on that!  The bonus room upstairs has been turned into a retro bar area…pinball machine included! I am so excited, it was worth every aching muscle. And every aching muscle to come, because we've been at it a week and my house is still topsy-turvy.

Well, I wanted a Mad Men Christmas party at my house… and I'll be getting it!

white bowl full of Homemade Nuts and Bolts

So here's the real question, what is in YOUR family's homemade nuts and bolts recipe? I have found that recipes vary so much from family to family. As you can tell, ours has a lot of garlic and paprika, which actually isn't usually found in homemade nuts and bolts. We just like our paprika, just like our garlic!

close up Nuts and Bolts in a white bowl ready to be enjoy!

Happy baking everyone! Let me know what you think!

I think this is definitely a recipe that you need to try this holiday season, trust me. It makes SO much and stores for two weeks in an airtight container! Make it a week before Christmas and hide it so that it lasts until the big day! It's also a big enough recipe to make for a party and since you make it ahead of time, it's perfect!

Love you more than garlic,


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Classic Homemade Nuts and Bolts Recipe

This classic homemade nuts and bolts recipe is my family's favourite and I hope you like it as much as we do.
4.96 from 148 votes
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour 30 minutes
Appetizer, Snack
Karlynn Johnston


  • 2 cups of salted butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons garlic powder 3 is my dad's level!
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 8 cups of Crispix Cereal plain corn and rice
  • 4 cups of Rice Chex
  • 4 cups plain Cheerios
  • 4 cups of pretzel sticks
  • 1 box cheese stick crackers
  • Optional spices: 1/2 tbsp onion powder very good 1/2 tbsp dried dill, ( haven't tried it but sounds great!)


  • Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.
  • In a very large roaster, combine the cereals, nuts, crackers and pretzels. In microwave (or on stove) melt butter and mix in spices and Worcestershire. Pour over dry ingredients and stir gently to mix thoroughly.
  • Bake at 250 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring gently with a spoon every 25 minutes or so.
  • The mix will be done when you can see that all of the butter mixture has been absorbed and is dry.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe was originally called nuts and bolts because the pretzels fit into the cheerios like "nuts and bolts." However you can add in 1-2 cups of your favorite nuts to the mixture.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 21cups, Calories: 284kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 738mg, Potassium: 134mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 955IU, Vitamin C: 2.7mg, Calcium: 53mg, Iron: 5.9mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Shane says

    Do you bake with lid on the roster? Or kid off?

  2. teresa says

    where are the nuts in this & how much should be used

    • Jodi says

      There are no nuts in this but the author said you could add some, I think I will try barbecue peanuts

  3. MamaRW says

    Loving this recipe! I made several batches before I made a few “adjustments” … increase Worcestershire sauce to 4 TBSP; add 1 TBSP onion powder; 2 TBSP dried onions; 1 TSP cayenne powder. I’ve shared this recipe so many times and make it often as the store bought just doesn’t have the same … ooomph. I think my large roasting pan gets more use making this than it does roasting meet.5 stars

  4. Nicole says

    I made your awesome recipe last year for Christmas and my family loved it – I’m just making my shopping list so my pantry is stocked and ready to make again . Thank you for sharing I look forward to making more of your recipes this year.5 stars

  5. Tara says

    I have tried this recipe for camping trips and it turned out really good. Although 2 cups of butter sounded like way too much so I cut it down to 1 cup and it was perfect. It is called nuts and bolts, I don’t see any nuts listed in this recipe {not even nuts are optional } which, obviously you can add anything you want to this; went ahead and added a few of them and I was good. Thanks!4 stars

  6. Linda Surek says

    My Mom taught us to spread out the mix onto paper towels on the counter to cool. LS

  7. Lori Steel says

    We have been using this recipe for a few years now and it is amazing! I add more worcestershire sauce and a bit of hot sauce to make an “adult batch” as well as your original recipe for the kids … I am so thankful you posted pictures of your parents because that is how I recognize the post/recipe each year 🙂 thanks!

  8. Laurette Lefebvre says

    How long does it keep. Can this be frozen

    • Laura kenig says

      i have never frozen it but i have put it in sealer jars or ziplock bags — i think the longest ive kept is 3 months — but normally it doesnt last too long!! i also add in some cornchips — just cause you need to have corn chips in nuts and bolts 🙂 and i swap back and forth from the pretzel sticks to the pretzel shape pretzels

  9. Dale Martell says

    That worked out really well. Extremely pleased with how they came out. We put unsalted peanuts and what I think made it, was to use Honey Nut Cheerios.5 stars

  10. Debbie Hillman says

    I love this receipe. It never burns or gets soggy. I also added nuts as there are no allergies in my family. I made it last year for a bake exchange and it was strongly suggested that I do it again this year. This is now a part of my Christmas tradition. Thank you.

  11. Disappointed One says

    When I read the recipe I had doubts about the amount of butter, but forged ahead with faith. I now have a huge roaster of soggy gross bits I paid a small fortune to make. LOL. And there isn’t a lot of flavour! I am trying to unsog the nuts and bolts by putting in smaller layer in oven. I chose this recipe for the ratings, the number of those who rated it, I expect most didn’t try the recipe and I am so disappointed.4 stars

  12. cj bassie says

    I am confused by Step 2 which indicates to add the nuts…I have scoured this recipe and there are no nuts. My mom always added peanuts and it was fantastic, but I see none in this recipe…is something missing?
    I also include celery salt and onion powder in my concoction. Just adds a little zip. I’ve never included paprika though, and will definitely give it a try!

    • Karlynn says

      Hey, I do have a paragraph in the post that outlines how you can throw in a cup of peanuts (I don’t have that in the recipe card however as that’s not the traditional nuts and bolts) and that my nephew has allergies so my nuts and bolts doesn’t have it in it. I have listed it as an option however to throw a cup of peanuts in.

      • Angela says

        The recipe is excellent ! … o too was a bit hesitant on the 2 cups of butter so I made less and ended up having to melt more anyway lol … Not sure if you’ve heard of “Nona Pia. Balsamic glaze”? … I am from Canada and the company is a Canadian company but very well known … They supply To Costco even … Anyway for some reason I decided because of its sweetness that I would drizzle it over the recipe as it was cooking like drizzle after stirring then put it back in the oven then on next stir I would drizzle again after the stir and then let it bake till the next stir and so on … everyone loved it ! … it was a nice amount of sweet and salty and the little bit of tang from the balsamic vinegar … If you can find the product it’s awesome on so many things from chicken or fish … salads .. veggies etc and now even on the nuts and bolts ! … Thanks for the recipe I made it for Xmas and am now making another batch as I gave most of the Xmas batch away ! ?? Angela

  13. Richard says

    Not sure why you call it classic “nuts” and bolts recipe when there are no nuts listed in recipe??

    • Karlynn says

      The name comes from the pretzels fitting into the Cheerios like “nuts and bolts”.

      There’s also no actual bolts….?5 stars

    • D. Weiss says

      This recipe is great. Just so you know, I’m also in Canada and Save on Foods does carry Crispix cereal. 🙂

  14. Cher says

    Thanks Karlynn for the great recipe for good, old fashioned, nuts ‘n’ bolts! Sounds exactly like a recipe my mom used to make every Christmas. Always felt like a never-ending bowl of crispy, salty, garlicky goodness! YUM we are going to have a house full of family this year, including my wonderful mom, so I have a roaster full of these in my oven right now. Smells delicious! I can hardly wait! Loved your references to you and your dad’s love of garlic! Very cute! Ha ha ha Merry Christmas!5 stars

  15. Brenda says

    In the recipe instructions it says to combine cereal, nuts,crackers and pretzels. In the ingredients list there are no nuts. How many cups of nuts goes into the recipe? 2 cups possibly. Please let me know. I would like to try this recipe as it sounds good. Thank you, Brenda

    • amanda says

      Realistically, as much as you’d like! I’d start with 1 cup of smaller nuts and 2 for larger nuts. But, it all depends on how much nuts you really like.

  16. ANN says


    • Lauren Bell says

      Definitely too much butter. I cooked it longer (2 and a half hours) just to not have it soggy, but now it’s super greasy. Alot of cereal now wasted and starting again with less butter.

  17. Laura says

    So good. I used Cheerios shreddies goldfish crackers pretzels bugles and crunch it’s. Such a great flavour I used butter instead of margarine and I think that’s what made it even better. My new recipe. 5 plus stars can’t rate it.

    • Angela says

      Everybody loved these so much. The only thing I changed was adding in some Bugles. This is an excellent recipe! Just ordered the book can’t wait to try more5 stars

  18. Holly says

    Another long time N+B maker who uses Celery Salt, Garlic Salt, Onion Salt + Chili Powder which I mix together in a spice jar with a shaker top. Allows me to control/correct addition of spices. Stopped using Shreddies as they always seem to grab an excess of the spices. I use 1/2 Crisco Oil and 1/2 Melted Butter. Mix of Crispix + Chex plus Pretzel sticks. No nuts and no cheese sticks. Yes it is VERY addictive. ?

  19. Candice says

    LOVED this! So easy to make and delicious. I cut back on the butter just a wee bit and they were still buttery delicious. I’ve always complicated this recipe in my head but really it’s just the baking that takes time (be sure to allow it the full amount of baking time). I’d probably add even more garlic next time (I went dad level 3 but I think I may add an extra scoop haha). Also – might add a bit of spice (cayenne perhaps) to give them a touch of a kick. Crispix for life! I can eat a whole pan of just those tasty buggers. Will be making this again!5 stars

  20. Karry Sz says

    And now I have to make a whole new batch with dill!
    I leave out Shreddies too because they cut my mouth.
    I use all Crispix – it’s awesome.
    Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  21. Stephanie Bull says

    I made this last night. I turned out decently well. I was drinking and visiting with my husband and forgot to stir as frequently so some are a bit more browned than others. My only changes for future attempts would be to increase the mildly sweet cereals to add a bit more depth. I am finding this recipe slightly saltier than desired and I think scaling back a bit on the seasoning salt and increasing the sweeter tasting cereals would balance it out nicely.4 stars

      • Jessie says

        I make this in crockpot cook 2 and one half hour on low stir ever 30 minutes5 stars

    • Debra Reece Simons says

      She said her child’s allergic to peanuts

      • Rosella says

        Wow! I just made this today , followed the recipe and ingredients exactly as is says and added 3 tbsp of garlic powder “dad level” ? and the onion powder, let me tell you, it is so delicious, so flavorful and buttery!!! It will be a hit with my coworkers ? and will be a must have at holidays and gatherings.5 stars

  22. Kathy D says

    I tried last night and not sure what I did wrong but there isn’t much taste and they seem very greasy – should I have left in the oven longer? If so – I was thinking of putting on a sheet pan and trying again… Thoughts?

    • Candice says

      Bake them the full amount of time. And stick to stirring them around every 25 minutes. It’s worth the wait to bake them for almost 2 hours. I think I used 1.5-1.75 cups instead of 2 cups of butter. I found the roasting pan was appropriate as long as you’re making sure to stir them and bake them longer. Nice with the roasting pan as the sides are higher vs a sheet pan. I can imagine a sheet pan will cause issues when attempting to stir.

  23. George Y says

    My mom made these every Christmas. This is almost the same recipe she used; she was from Saskatoon,, so I guess it was a prairie basic. I have modified it a little, as my wife is gluten intolerant, so I dropped the shreddies (never liked them anyway), and put in Crispix and/or Rice Chex instead. Mom never used cheese sticks (I don’t think they existed in her day), and she used lots of peanuts. I put in a bunch of brazil nuts, cashews, some dry roast peanuts, almonds and walnuts (my own version of mixed nuts). I also use a couple of cups of rice crackers instead of the cheese sticks. For the garlic seasoning, I crush 3 or 4 cloves and put them in with the butter while it is melting. I usually do not remove the garlic, and it gets roasted with everything else. A little surprise for the lucky ones. Mom also used liquid smoke seasoning, which I don’t see with other similiar recipes. I am making some right now, but smoking them for an hour on my pellet grill before I put them in the oven. Hope they turn out OK, but there is really o such thing as a bad batch of Nuts ‘n’Bolts, is there?5 stars

  24. Tammy Schultz says

    Just making your version of nuts and bolts. So far my house smells amazing and I’m stirring it every half hour. Can’t wait to eat them and share some with friends. Such a easy recipe to follow and I used two roasting pans as I didn’t have a big one. Looking forward to following you on Facebook and Twitter.5 stars

  25. Lee Miller says

    Going to try this in the morn—the recipe sounds like that of my mom’s that she made for years. Hope it turns out like hers. Thanks for the recipe. .5 stars

  26. Matteo says

    Looks good.

    My family takes after your Dad, they like their nuts and bolts very spicy.

    In the recipe that I use in addition to the garlic powder I also, add same amount of Onion powder and the same amount of Celery seed powder I also use at least double the Worcestershire Sauce. The celery seed powder is not easy to find some times so I just use Celery salt. The combination of the garlic, onion and celery really spices up the final product.

    I think it is the Celery Seed powder/salt that is the real secret ingredient.

  27. Carolyn says

    I always add oregano and Italian spices to my mixture and everyone absolutely loves them. I am always asked for my recipe and have to make extra al the time. I also triple the garlic powder.5 stars

    • Janet says

      This is very similar to what I do except pecans are a must! Yes to lots of butter and garlic. Haven’t tried paprika, dill or the balsamic glaze. Will try them.
      – a fellow Canadian –

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