Classic Homemade Nuts and Bolts Recipe

4.97 from 187 votes
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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.
4.97 from 187 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!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Cynthia Vermette says

    Fellow Canadian & I love my bits & bites, I usually buy the ‘cheddar’ flavour….any clue how I could try to make those??? I was thinking the Kraft cheese from KD but not sure if just melted in butter would be enough flavour or would I add some garlic & onion powder too??

    • Jasmine Lindsey says

      My first thought goes to a cheese flavored popcorn shaker. I’d probably add it after the mixture is baked and cooled!

  2. MJ says

    Sounds great!! Is it cooked with the lid on the roaster or no lid?

  3. CGCG says

    Love this recipe! It’s a holiday staple now in my house! And I make bags to give to family (like my grandma used to). Thank you for helping me keep the tradition alive!

    To add: I add about 1 tablespoon of onion powder to the recipe, and I go full garlic on it (3 tablespoons garlic powder minimum).5 stars

  4. Darcee says

    Finally, the perfect recipe.
    Don’t bother looking to buy the real thing in stores, they don’t exist.
    Creativity is nice, but if you just want the original nuts and bolts, this is the recipe to use.
    And yes, add more garlic.
    Thanks for this, KMP.5 stars

    • Debbie says

      My friends and family love this recipe any time of the year!
      The favourite add in is 1 or 2 bags of bugles, they really soak up the flavour.

  5. Brenda Blunden says

    I make this every Christmas and always go overboard. Add everything but the kitchen sink, goldfish, party mix, cheezies (the hard ones) and bugles. Spice mix is spot on. Everyone gets a large container full with their Christmas gift and everyone at work gets a smaller container. I usually double this recipe and use 2 large tin foil turkey pans. I make 2 batches of the butter/spice mix as it’s easier to judge amounts that way.5 stars

  6. Tara says

    I know it says 21 servings, but how many quarts/cups does this end up making? I’m trying to figure out if I need to double or halve the recipe in order to gift it.

    • Kristopher Milligan says

      Yes you can. It will just cost less and be slightly less tasty.

  7. Jan says

    12 Cups of cereal, etc, such a huge amount. Does it “cook down” at all? Can it be halved?

  8. Kate says

    This recipe is just how I remember it from when I was a kid! Thanks.

  9. Pam Foster says

    In the ingredints, it has 8 cups of corn and rice mix. Then it has 4 cups of rice mix. Can you clarify how many cups of corn and rice mix I need?

    • Kate says

      It’s 8 cups of crispix, which is made of corn and rice and 4 cups of rice chex, which is a different cereal, so 12 cups total.

  10. Donna Montgomery says

    Love this recipe but I cut back the butter to one cup and it’s still delicious. I make it every Christmas. One batch with nuts and one batch without.4 stars

  11. Duane Vermette says

    Absolutely spot on!! Bravo! I didn’t change a thing thankfully!! 👍👍❤️5 stars

  12. Anne Taylor says

    I’m making this today for a family bbq , I have a cookie sheet that prob won’t allow me to make thin layer ; is it ok to layer it up a bit and just mix once in a while. Or should I do in batches?

    • Sarah says

      Hey Anne! Just wondering if I could freeze this? So that I can make it in advance before the holidays get wild haha

    • Brenda Blunden says

      I usually use a large tin foil turkey pan and stir us every 30 minutes. Might be difficult and very messy to stir regularly on a cookie sheet. Might end up with some in the bottom of your oven. At 1.5 to 2 hours cooking time I don’t know if you want to make it in batches on a cookie sheet, this recipe makes quite a bit.

  13. Terry Tremblay says

    This makes a good base recipe that can be played with to suit personal taste. My family too love extra garlic. They also love spicy so I add 3-4 dashes of hot sauce into the mix to keep them happy. To please the little ones, I add Goldfish crackers instead of sticks. Yes, I always make 3 batches… basic, spicy and kids! Not unusual to make 15 or so batches at Christmas time and several more over the summer for camping and travelling.4 stars

  14. Kim says

    If you can get you hands on a box of Kix from the US it adds another level of yumminess!! I also use minced garlic and a squirt of lemon juice.5 stars

  15. Karen Pearson says

    I received some nuts and bolts before Christmas but couldn’t eat them because I have a sensitivity to barley, soy, and dairy. I started craving nuts and bolts so had to make my own. I haven’t made them in years and seem to have lost my recipe. Luckily I found yours and even more luckily, all of the cereals are barley-free! I used vegan butter and made my own homemade Worcestershire sauce without malt (barley) vinegar. Just took my batch out of the oven. Yum! I prefer the other cereals over Shreddies too. I also skipped the peanuts because I’m not a fan, but threw in some almonds I needed to use up. I was going to do Bugles, but decided to try corn chips instead. They’re fine, but stick with Bugles. 🙂

    I wondered why Cheerios don’t fit on the pretzels anymore. Glad I wasn’t just imagining things!5 stars

  16. Jeanine Pearson says

    My family LOVES this recipe! I have my third batch in the oven right now! This time I have added shreddies and bagel crisps. Mmmmm thank you for sharing.5 stars

  17. Lori Steel says

    Year after year I search your recipe!

    Thank you so much


  18. Kate says

    Love this recipe! Especially with the dill added. I used Taco seasoning as the seasoning salt and added a bit more plain salt. I used them for porch drop offs plus ate too much of them so now I’m on my second batch. 🙂 Thanks!5 stars

  19. Janette Thompson says

    Your recipe is almost identical to mine. With Covid putting a stop to visitors I’ve held off making my first batches – I’ve usually gone through a couple big (gulp) batches by now but I’m afraid I’ll eat too many. I’ll have to be sure to jar some up and do some porch drops after I make them this weekend. I love the Crispix too – Shreddies (bleh, yuck, hate 🤪). I also put in some peanuts and cashews (no allergies here luckily) and President’s Choice Penguins – because, cute! Merry Christmas! BTW: I don’t talk about the butter quantity – not everyone understands. LOLOLOL

  20. Marilyn Gregg says

    When folks raise an eyebrow at the amount of garlic I use when cooking I always tell them it’s because I grew up in Ukranian country (aka Edmonton, Alberta) (and my brother married a “nice Polish girl”). Thank you. Your recipes bring back so many good memories of my life prior to retirement in B.C.

    • Cindy Accardi says

      Omg. Love that this uses Canadian options! 🇨🇦🥰 I have everything to make them. But 2 cups of butter? Heading to the kitchen now…

    • Jackie says

      I grew up in Edmonton too, totally understand! 🙂

  21. Jane Dellinger says

    So excited to see so many people make “Nuts n Bolts”!! Homemade is SO much better. Chex Mix has an odd strong taste I don’t like and those big honking pretzels. I make mine with corn chex, wheat chex and peanuts…of course pretzel sticks and cheerios to make the little car axles 🙂 My Mom made it every Xmas for years and now that is my tradition and I give it to friends and neighbors. Everyone loves it and looks forward to it and I enjoy making and giving it to people. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Barb B says

    Bugles, must use bugles, at least 3 or 4 bags for one recipe!!!5 stars

  23. Patricia Olson says

    Sorry, but what the heck are shreddies? Patricia Olson

    • Mr. Kitchen Magpie says

      They are a popular cereal here in Canada. Here’s a link.

      • Darcee says

        We adore the Shreddies in our mix. They are also a staple in our cereal cupboard. It just wouldn’t be right without them. Why? I think it might be because they have a different density, and so they absorb more of the spice in the mix. Party in the mouth! Give them a try if you haven’t, somebody out there might agree with me NO?

    • Michael says

      Shredded Wheat in small squares around the size of a USA 5 cent coin, harder in texture than Crispix.

    • NBMK says

      HiPatricia – Shredees are a Canadian type of cereal, you can just use chex type cereals. Shredees was by Post, a wholegrain cereal, sort of a tightly woven chex.

      • Ruth Comeau says

        life cereal…toasts up so light and crispy….always use it 🙂

  24. KR says

    Fellow Ukie here – Died laughing at your garlic comment. It’s in our DNA! Thanks for sharing and can’t wait to try this!

  25. Jane says

    I love using the shreddies because they soak up the sauce so good! We also use onion salt and celery salt instead of the seasoning salt. I should try adding in the paprika!

    • DE says

      Agreed. Shreddies are a must as well as peanuts and bugles. Celery salt and onion salt should replace the seasoning salt. Crispix and Chex cereal are not really part of the classic recipe.

    • Jackie says

      celery salt is a must in our family’s recipe too, thanks for mentioning that!

  26. Lisa says

    I so appreciate the optional nuts recipe — my mom made the best nuts and bolts and sent them to all of her 8 kids every year and it was such a great family tradition, until…. I had a child with a very severe peanut allergy. Families are interesting. Some really rise up and rally around you… and then there’s my family. My kid is that teeny tiny percentage of people whose body is literally a napoleon-inspired army and the slightest whiff of peanut … his little body just goes into overdrive with battalions and infantry and snipers and…. it essentially kills him. It is a medical condition, like diabetes. As the mom of a child with anaphylaxis to peanuts and treenuts, all I can ask is that people understand that we do not choose this. But I will tirelessly inform others and protect my child. I have saved his life 7 times, with the epi-pen, and countless times with preventive measures. Some of our own family members refuse to understand this and have actually caused anaphylactic and serious reactions in their son/nephew/gandson. This is a hard journey … made so much harder when your own family, including your child’s father, refuses to wrap their head around “anaphylaxis”.

    • Michael says

      That sounds really difficult. You can only do so much to inform family, and then hope they recognize the significance. Stay vigilant. I’m sorry that this is happening to your family.

    • Cindy Accardi says

      Ugh. So sorry. My oldest is anaphylactic to peanuts and tree nuts. Everyone got used to it but 17+ years later it’s still a regular conversation/check in our house and when we go anywhere (not that we’re going anywhere right now…). I love this option of no nuts!

  27. Maxine j Sawicki says

    Hello I have been making this for many many years. FYI It is called NUTS and Bolts. So I do use Peanuts. Also instead of butter I use oil. Just wanted to share. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  28. Kerry says

    My sister & I used to make these years ago, I lost the recipe as did she. Thanks, K! This is the same one we had!! So glad you had it! Nothing beats homemade!5 stars

  29. Dianne D says

    You and I think alike….I’m not big on Shreddies. I also leave out the nuts. But I always add a bag of bugles to the mix!

    • Michelle eckhart says

      Oh mine has 2 bags of bugles!!! I don’t do the cheese crackers due to gluten but used this sauce recipe with pretzels, chex(oh the humanity!), and bugles and peanuts

    • Karlene says

      I want to add bugles too but do I need to make more sauce?

    • Jennifer Mackinnon says

      I like this recipe a lot. I used to use oil but we like the butter better now! Added peanuts, bugles and Shreddies the second time! Thanks for sharing this one!

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