This Protein Puppy Chow Recipe tastes like the traditional version but is slightly healthier, loaded with protein, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened! It is a no-bake, 6 ingredients, simple dessert that everyone will love!
What Is Puppy Chow or “Muddy Buddies”?
You may have tried or heard of “muddy buddies” aka “puppy chow”, which is just another term for it. Muddy Buddies was created by General Mills, which makes Chex Mix cereal, the main ingredient in this recipe. It’s a sweet chocolatey peanut butter Chex Mix Snack Mix that resembles puppy chow, hence the name.
Warning: This healthy protein puppy chow is very addicting! Luckily, it is healthier than the original version. See below for the changes I made.
What Makes This Puppy Chow Healthy?
Classic puppy chow is made by combining Chex Mix cereal with melted butter, peanut butter, and chocolate then tossing in confectioner sugar. This lightened-up version uses coconut oil and creamy peanut butter in place of the butter and maple syrup and protein powder instead of the sugar. The result is a very similar taste to the original recipe with a nice crunchy texture mixed with sweet chocolatey goodness and lots of protein!
This protein puppy chow recipe has 6 grams of protein per serving to be exact!
You may also love these protein cookie dough balls, which are also a no-bake protein-packed treat the kids love!
Reasons To Love This Recipe
- Easy to make – since this recipe requires no baking, you can make it in under 10 minutes.
- Adaptable and Customizable – you can use vanilla or chocolate protein powder, and even add in some fun mix-ins like M&M’s, chopped pretzels, chocolate chips, or nuts to turn it into “reindeer food” at Christmas time.
- Healthy – packed with protein, gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan! You can pretty much eat it regularly for a sweet fix that won’t affect your macros or diet in any way, which is great!
- Stores great – you can easily store this puppy chow in the fridge for days or freeze it! My kids love keeping it in the freezer since it gets even crunchier.
Healthy Protein Puppy Chow Ingredients
Here is the full list of ingredients you will need to make this easy puppy chow snack mix. That is much healthier than the original recipe but still so delicious!
- Chex Mix cereal – I used gluten-free honey nut Chex cereal but any variety will work. The flavor and crunch of the honey nut add a wonderful element to the mix.
- Dark chocolate chips – I used dark chocolate chips, you can also use milk chocolate chips.
- Creamy peanut butter – now this one is very important – only use peanut butter where the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. Trust me! When I used brands like “JIFF” the peanut butter made the chocolate clump up and that is not a good thing since you need to be able to easily mix it in with the Chex Mix cereal.
- Coconut oil – any type will work! I used refined coconut oil.
- Maple syrup – real maple syrup is key for the best results.
- Protein powder – I used Orgain chocolate peanut butter protein powder and it worked great! I have also made this recipe with vanilla whey protein powder as well as chocolate whey protein powder and all worked very well. Note: the brand of protein powder you use will affect the nutrition in this recipe.
- Vanilla extract – this is optional but did enhance the flavors when this recipe was tested using vanilla protein powder.
- Sea salt – a nice finishing touch after you mix everything that gives you that perfect sweet + salty element.
Check out the full list of recipe ingredients and instructions, plus nutrition in the recipe card located at the bottom of this post.
How To Make Healthy Puppy Chow
This healthy protein puppy chow comes together in under 10 minutes and is so quick and easy to make! You are going to love it!
Make the chocolate coating – Add the chocolate, peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl.
Melt – Cook in 30-second intervals in the microwave until mostly melted then use a whisk to fully combine.
Combine – Add the Chex cereal to a large bowl, and pour the chocolate filling over the cereal.
Mix – Use a rubber spatula to mix it all, making sure to coat all of the cereal as much as possible.
Toss – Add the protein powder to the bowl and mix to fully coat all of the cereal.
Serve – Enjoy this healthy puppy chow right away or spread it onto a lined baking sheet. Let it sit at room temperature or chill it in the fridge to get nice and crunchy.
Recipe Variations & Substitutions
- Vegan – I used all vegan ingredients but you will want to make sure to use vegan chocolate chips, vegan protein powder, and vegan peanut butter. The rest of the ingredients, including the Chex cereal, are already vegan.
- Gluten-free – this recipe, as written, is already gluten-free! Make sure to use a gluten-free Chex Mix like the honey nut version I used. Which you can find at almost any grocery store.
- Nut butter – if you need to keep this recipe peanut-free then creamy almond butter or cashew butter would both work fine in place of the peanut butter.
- Protein powder – I tested this recipe using different protein powders, vegan and whey to be exact and they all worked out great. The most important thing to note is to make sure to use a protein powder that tastes good. I used Orgain chocolate peanut butter flavor.
Leftovers can easily be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to one week! You can also freeze this puppy chow in a freezer-safe container for up to one month! Enjoy it right from the freezer or let it sit on the counter for 15 minutes to defrost a bit first.
More Healthy Treats To Try:
- Healthy Chocolate Protein Mug Cake
- Viral Chocolate Banana Bark
- No Bake Date Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Almond Bark
- Protein Cookie Dough
- Gluten-Free Buckeye Balls
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls
- Healthy Samoas Cookies
- Pumpkin Protein Muffins
- Healthy Chocolate Protein Shake
Did you try this healthy protein puppy chow recipe? If you did, please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear how yours turned out!Print