Vegan puppy chow is one of the easiest and most delicious desserts! Also known as muddy buddies, this treat is made with 5 ingredients including Chex cereal, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. This is a healthier twist on the original recipe, making it dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free. It’s a crowd-pleasing dessert that’s perfect for gifts, parties, and potlucks!
In case you’re not already familiar with “puppy chow,” I will happily introduce you to my favorite Midwestern treat! As someone who grew up in Minnesota, I definitely enjoyed one too many bowls of puppy chow over the years. It was a family favorite in my household – and for good reason. Puppy chow often made its way to holiday celebrations, dance recitals, sports games, and neighborhood block parties. Why? Well, it’s a foolproof treat that everyone enjoys!
This chocolatey, peanut buttery, perfectly-sweet mix was sent from the heavens above. Ok, I may be a tad dramatic… but it’s oh so delicious and incredibly addictive. If you haven’t tried it before, you’ll be amazed at how tasty the 5 ingredients are once they’re all combined. The crunchy Chex cereal is coated in a melty chocolate-peanut-butter blend, then tossed with lots of powdered sugar. Trust me, the giant batch will be gone sooner than you anticipated.
This vegan puppy chow is:
- No-bake, gluten-free, dairy-free, and oil-free
- Crispy, crunchy, rich, chocolatey, and a tad peanut-buttery
- A quick and easy dessert // ready in just 10 minutes
- Requires 5 simple ingredients
- Great for gifting, parties, potlucks, and game day
- Easily transportable (keeps well in jars and bags)
- Kid-approved, non-vegan approved, and a real crowd-pleaser!
Why is it called puppy chow?
You may be wondering where this recipe got its name. No, it’s not for puppies. (Seriously, please do not feed this to your furry friend!) This treat is for humans only.
Puppy chow received its amusing title from its appearance and consistency. Let’s be honest, it could be mistaken for dog food if you weren’t paying close attention. In addition to “puppy chow,” this dessert is often referred to as muddy buddies, muddy munch, or even monkey munch. (Alright, I have never heard a single person call it monkey munch, but Google said it’s true so let’s go with it!)
What is vegan puppy chow made of?
- Chex cereal: Chex cereal is typically made from rice or corn. I highly recommend using the rice variety. You can also use Crispix cereal, but I think it’s far better with Chex. Chex has a bigger pocket for that melty chocolate to get inside.
- Chocolate chips: Use your favorite vegan chocolate chips. They can be dairy-free milk, semisweet, or dark. You’ll be melting the chocolate, so feel free to use mini chips, regular chips, or chocolate chunks.
- Peanut butter: Again, use your favorite creamy peanut butter. I highly suggest sticking with peanut butter, but you can swap it for another nut butter instead.
- Vegan butter: Vegan butter sticks or margarine (from a tub) can be used for this dessert.
- Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar, also known as confectioner’s sugar, gives the puppy chow its unique white coating and sweet flavor.
How to make vegan muddy buddies
For the full ingredients list and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card below.
First, add the Chex cereal to a very large bowl. Seriously, grab the biggest bowl you can find! Also, add the powdered sugar to 2 large ziplock bags or 1 large brown paper bag.
Next, add the vegan chocolate chips, creamy peanut butter, vegan butter, and vanilla extract to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Be care not to burn the chocolate. Chocolate burns quite easily so keep a close eye on it. Alternatively, you can simply melt these ingredients together in a saucepan on the stove.
Then, pour that melty chocolate all over the Chex cereal. Gently mix to evenly coat the cereal. After, transfer the chocolate-covered Chex to the ziplock bags/brown paper bag. Shake to evenly coat all of the cereal with powdered sugar.
Woohoo! Your puppy chow is now complete. Transfer it to a bowl and dig in.
How to make peanut-free puppy chow
The original recipe contains peanut butter, which makes for a real tasty treat! However, if you follow a peanut-free diet, you can substitute sunflower seed butter instead. If you are able to consume other types of nuts, almond butter or cashew butter will also work.
How to make it gluten-free
This recipe is naturally gluten-free already. There are several varieties of Chex cereal, so just make sure yours is the gluten-free kind. I recommend using rice Chex, but you can also use corn Chex.
How do I store puppy chow?
Keep this vegan puppy chow/muddy buddies stored inside a sealed ziplock bag or container in the refrigerator. They will keep for a couple weeks. (Well, if your family can make it last that long!)
More easy vegan no bake desserts
- Edible Vegan Cookie Dough
- Vegan Scotcheroos (Special K Bars)
- Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
- Vegan Snickers Bars
- No Bake Brownie Bites
- Crispy White Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
- No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- No Bake Turtle Brownies (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cups
- No Bake Cookie Dough Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
- Homemade Take 5 Candy Bars (Vegan & Healthy!)
Vegan puppy chow is a super easy and incredibly addictive dessert! The crispy Chex cereal is covered with melted chocolate and creamy peanut butter, then coated with powdered sugar. This is a healthier twist on the classic recipe, making it dairy-free, gluten-free, and oil-free. It’s made with 5 ingredients and ready in 10 minutes. Bring it to parties, potlucks, game day, or enjoy it at home for movie night. Everyone loves this Midwestern dessert!
- Add Chex cereal to a very large bowl (such as a serving bowl).
- Divide powdered sugar amongst 2 large ziplock bags or 1 large brown paper bag.
- Add chocolate chips, peanut butter, vegan butter, and vanilla to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Do not burn the chocolate.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the Chex cereal. Gently stir to evenly coat all of the cereal. Transfer the chocolate-coated Chex to the ziplock bags/brown paper bag. Shake to evenly coat all of the cereal with powdered sugar.
- Transfer puppy chow to a bowl and enjoy! Keep stored in the refrigerator.
- I prefer enjoying this puppy chow after it has chilled in the refrigerator. After preparing it, I always test a few bites (can’t help it!) and then refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. This isn’t required, but I think it tastes best chilled.
- If you don’t want to use the microwave, you can melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, vegan butter, and vanilla together in a saucepan on the stove.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 265
- Sugar: 22g
- Fat: 10g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Carbohydrates: 38g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 4g
Keywords: vegan puppy chow, vegan muddy buddies
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