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Everyone’s favorite party snack (puppy chow) made into puppy chow bars! Take the classic muddy buddies and turn them into a no bake dessert bar by adding marshmallows – these muddy buddies bars are like a mix between puppy chow and rice krispie treats!

puppy chow bars stacked on top of each other on metal tray
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The long debated topic in my house is ‘puppy chow versus muddy buddies’.

If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, the debate revolves around trying to determine what the “correct” name for this dessert is.

Puppy chow or muddy buddies consists of chex cereal that’s coated in melted chocolate and melted peanut butter, then you add in powdered sugar and shake the cereal until everything is nice and coated.

It’s delicious and addicting.

puppy chow bars in pile on metal tray

I’m team puppy chow, that’s what I grew up calling it.

Ryan is team muddy buddies.

You guys, Ryan and I grew up in the same city, so how did we learn 2 different names for the same dessert??

Ryan claims that the actual name is muddy buddies because that’s what the back of the chex box calls them. That seems pretty legit, but we have agreed to disagree and I still call refer to the dessert as puppy chow.

puppy chow bars with bag of powdered sugar

A friend on instagram suggested I make puppy chow bars and I was like YES GIRL!

Why make puppy chow bars instead of puppy chow?

Because it’s a fun, surprising way to serve everyone’s favorite dessert. We’ve all tried puppy chow, but we haven’t all tried a delicious chocolate and peanut butter chex cereal bar that’s coated in powdered sugar.

puppy chow bar ingredients in bowls on teal background

How to make muddy buddy bars / how to make puppy chow bars

You use all the same key ingredients as puppy chow (chex cereal, chocolate chips, creamy peanut butter and powdered sugar) BUT you add in marshmallows!!!

Step 1. Melt the chocolate chips, butter and creamy peanut butter
Step 2. Add in the marshmallows, stir until almost melted.
Step 3. Pour this mixture (it will be THICK!) over the cereal, use a spatula to mix and coat the cereal.
Step 4. Press the muddy buddies krispie treats into a pan. Allow them to cool.
Step 5. Place powdered sugar in a ziplock bag. Cut the puppy chow krispie treats into bars. Add one bar at a time to the bag, seal and shake until coated in powdered sugar. Repeat.

Some people like to lightly coat their bars/puppy chow in powdered sugar, but I’m all about the powdered sugar. However, you can adjust to your liking.

collage photo for how to make puppy chow bars

To make gluten free muddy buddies bars, use certified gluten free rice chex cereal. Be sure to check that the other ingredients you are using are also gluten free, however most are naturally gluten free.

To make dairy free puppy chow bars, substitute coconut oil for the butter and be sure to use dairy free chocolate chips. Nestle now makes a line called simply delicious that has dairy free chocolate chips!

three puppy chow bars stacked on top of each other with teal background

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4.23 from 57 ratings

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Puppy Chow Bars

By: Beth
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 16 -20 bars
Everyone’s favorite party snack (puppy chow) made into puppy chow bars! Take the classic muddy buddies and turn them into a no bake dessert bar by adding marshmallows – these muddy buddies bars are like a mix between puppy chow and rice krispie treats!


  • 7 cups chex cereal
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows, 10 oz
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, or more as needed


  • Measure out 7 cups of chex cereal in a LARGE mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In medium sized microwave safe mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Microwave on 50% power at 1 minute intervals, stirring until melted.
  • Add in the peanut butter, microwave again on 50% power at 1 minute intervals, stirring until melted.
  • Add in the marshmallows, microwave on 50% power at 1 minute intervals, stirring until melted – the marshmallows will not melt completely, but will get puffy. The mixture will begin to get very thick but stir with a spatula.
  • Scoop this mixture over the chex cereal. Use a spatula (and some elbow grease, it is THICK!) to coat the cereal. You can also use your hands. 
  • Once the cereal is well coated, transfer the cereal to a 9×13 inch baking pan and press it into the pan with your hands.
  • Allow the bars to cool completely – putting them in the fridge can speed up this process.
  • Cut the bars into squares. Place 1 cup of powdered sugar in a ziplock bag. Place one bar inside the bag, close and shake until the bar is coated in powdered sugar. Repeat with all the bars.
  • Place on a serving tray.



Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 334mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 387IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 10mg
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About Beth

I believe that everyone should have a go-to dessert to bring to parties! With hundreds of recipes, I'll help you find yours!

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  1. I discovered “Puppy Chow” through a Tupperware party. The hostess used the recipe to demonstrate one of their “new” large lidded mixing bowls. I was addicted at first taste.
    However, in all fairness, I would call these Muddy Buddy bars because in bar form they no longer look like the old fashioned Puppy Chow dog food.

    Either way I am definitely a fan. Thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Jean! Marshmallows are a key ingredient for getting the mixture to stick together. You could leave them out, but I would increase the amount of chocolate and peanut butter, that will help them stick together a bit better. But I’m not sure they will hold together as well. Report back and let me know!

  2. Hi Beth can I used the marshmellow fluff from the jars instead of marshmellows? I have 2 jars of it and want to use it up before I forget I have them anx they expire( happens alot in my scatter brain life these days! Lol
    Thank you so much for your blogs and posts!

    1. Hi Terri! I have only used marshmallows, so I can’t say how marshmallow fluff would turn out!

  3. When you cut the dessert into bars, it’s hard for the Chex not to break off and crumble. I wasn’t thrilled with the “gunky” marshmallow texture with the puppy chow. Sticking to rice crispies for marshmallow treats and regular puppy chow, but at the party we went to all the kids enjoyed them.

  4. 1 star
    Unfortunately I was not a fan of this recipe! The texture of these was kinda odd to me, I’m assuming from the marshmallows. Also as stated from other reviews, once you cut these into bar they crumble. I struggled with this recipe and wouldn’t make again. ☹️ 

    1. Made them yesterday and they taste great and kid approves! Can you freeze these? I feel like the kids would love these for Christmas and would be awesome if I could get them done earlier.

    2. Yes, you can definitely freeze them! Wrap bars in plastic wrap than store in a ziploc bag or airtight container.

  5. 1 star
    These did not hold together at all. I was so disappointed as I made them in addition to some other holiday snacks for my brother-in-law. I read the recipe ahead and followed the recipe to a T! I don’t understand what happened. They crumbled so much that I ended up making the rest of the “bars” into regular puppy chow. I started working on these bars (which I thought would not take me long at all because I’ve made regular puppy chow in the past in a pinch!) I started working on it about 7:00 PM and did not get done cleaning the kitchen and washing the dishes until 3 AM. I struggled with these for a very long time! I would’ve given up had it not been for my Secret Santa gift. I think you need to add more marshmallows to your recipe to get them to stick. Not even sure if that would help, but there needs to be something to hold them together better. Otherwise when you cut into them and pull them out of the baking pan they crumble in your hands before you even get the powdered sugar on them. I don’t know how they expect you to shake them up in a bag! I will not be doing this recipe again. If I find another version with more marshmallows or something that’s done differently to hold them together, I will try it again. This was very stressful right before Christmas and took the fun out of making puppy chow!

  6. 4 stars
    The bars didn’t hold together well and is more like clumps but they still taste great and no one cared about the shape of them. I like the extra texture the marshmallow adds. Easy recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    This dessert is such a crowd pleaser!! I made it for a potluck at work and everyone loved them. I got compliments on it all day long.

     What I especially love about this bar form of puppy chow is that it’s easy to grab and you’re not just mindlessly eating out of a bag until it makes you sick.

    The only thing remotely difficult was cutting the bars. I think next time i’ll put parchment paper in the bottom of the pans so I can pull the whole thing out and cut it that way maybe? 

    I will 1000% be making this again! My coworkers said I have to make it for every food day now :)