36 Snacks That Taste Better Homemade
Don't be tempted by a snack wall in the check-out line again. Snack foods (especially the healthy ones) seem to be getting more expensive as the quantities get smaller and smaller. Save your money and give these staple snacks even more flavor by making them at home. Perfect for travel, lunchboxes, or just an afternoon craving, these easy snacks are ready to grab whenever hunger strikes.
No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars
These bars are a perfectly portable snack you can prep on Sunday and enjoy throughout the week. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge. The bars will continue to firm up as they chill.
Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips
Birthday Cake Puppy Chow
Sprinkles and white chocolate are the only mix-ins you need to create this birthday cake-inspired treat. Sugary-sweet, colorful, and fun, it makes an easy, portable snack for a birthday party or holiday celebration. Pro tip: For a festive July 4 treat, use red, white, and blue sprinkles instead. You can change up the colors for any holiday.
Peach-Strawberry Fruit Leather
This kid-friendly fruit snack recipe requires just 4 ingredients.
All-Purpose Entertaining Crackers
Why buy something that you can make easily and more deliciously at home? Make these all-purpose crackers as they are, or top with Asiago cheese, sea salt and black pepper, Italian herbs, or sesame seed oil after rolling the dough and before cutting it into desired shapes. Note that if you choose to make larger, 2" crackers, the yield is around 60 crackers, which serves 30 people.
Cereal and Milk Bars
These crowd-pleasers deliver flavors that take you straight back to childhood bliss.
Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas
Dry your chickpeas as thoroughly as possible before cooking to ensure a satisfyingly crisp result. If you're planning to pack these flavor-coated, fiber-filled poppers as a to-go snack, be sure to allow them to cool completely on a flat surface first.
Double-Chocolate Cereal Treats
Skip your boring breakfast and opt for these decadent chocolate-on-chocolate cookies that boast full satisfaction and a dose of whole-grain goodness. Rich, decadent, and ultra-crispy, these healthy, bite-size snacks are the perfect start to the day. And they're ready to eat in a fraction of the time needed to prepare typical sweet treats.
Sesame-Soy Nut and Pretzel Mix
Full of salty nuts, pretzels, and cereal and doused with a butter- and Worcestershire-based glaze, the classic snack mix racks up sodium quickly (and who honestly stops at the barely 1/2 cup serving suggestion?). Our Asian-inspired mix saves 160mg sodium per serving with plenty of crunch and bold, salty flavor in a more generous 3/4 cup portion.
Coconut, Almond, and Goji Bars
These homemade fruit-filled, nutty-flavored bars are perfect for an after-school snack. Packed with antioxidants and superfoods like coconut, almonds, and goji berries, these healthy, portable bars are way better than what you'll find at the store. Make a batch at the beginning of the week and carry this hearty snack around with you to have when you're running low on energy.
Cheddar Cheese Snack Crackers
Skip the store-bought version and create your own cheesy snack crackers for afternoon snacking.
Miso-Caramel-Tamari Popcorn Mix
A slightly thicker caramel and the addition of whole roasted almonds turn traditional caramel popcorn into gift-worthy popcorn mix. We use less sugar in the glaze and cut the sweetness with mild white miso (fermented soybean paste) and tamari (a richer, wheat-free soy sauce) for a salty-savory note that makes the snack incredibly addictive.
Make Your Own Fancy Granola and Become a Person Who Likes Mornings
I have not always been much of a breakfast person. I mean, I appreciated it. On weekends I was happy to house a plate of diner home fries and eggs. I’d make scones or French toast occasionally. I’d eat some strawberries and pour myself a bowl of cereal. But in practice, especially during the week, I was more of a eat-an-energy-bar-at-the-office-without-thinking person. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! But then I got this job at a website all about breakfast—you may have heard of it—and I realized I needed and wanted to step up my game. I liked the idea of being one of those people who had a ritual in the morning—a person who made themselves a little something, who had a moment of quiet before rushing out the door.
Starting with cereal seemed easy enough, at first. I’d pick up bags of fancy granola at the farmer’s market. (What can I say? “Fancy” is a big motivator for me.) I’d scoop some Greek yogurt into a bowl, sprinkle in some granola, add some blueberries, and top it with a swirl of honey. This was good and satisfying and healthy enough. I had my morning moment of quiet. I felt pretty proud. But I also felt suddenly, shockingly poorer. “Artisanal,” it turns out, can sometimes actually mean “extortionate.” A week or so into my new habit, I started looking at the ingredients list and thought, in the way all extremely good and extremely bad ideas start, “I could make that.”
So I did. One Monday evening, determined, I found some general guidelines on how to make granola, and mixed up my ingredients (they were already all in my pantry) shocked at just how easy it was. Then I shoved it in the oven for a bit while I watched Gilmore Girls and drank some tea. After about 20 minutes, my apartment smelled like toasted oats and cinnamon and nuts and I gave it a stir. Twenty minutes later, I pulled the granola out of the oven, mixed it up again, and then watched another episode of Gilmore Girls while I let it cool. Then, like any good Brooklynite, I dumped it into a mason jar for easy access the next morning. When I tried it on my yogurt the next day, being a breakfast person made even more sense.
I could say that making your own granola is worth it for its relative ease alone. I could also argue that how much money you’ll save is reason enough. And it goes without saying that it’s incredibly delicious. But the best reason to make homemade granola is that when you make it yourself, you’re making exactly what you want. Homemade granola is infinitely customizable. If you feel like making savory granola, by all means! If you want to add chocolate, please do. If you want your granola to actually be mostly dried blueberries, you do you!
In a world where there’s often so much out of our control, being able to make and eat something entirely, unyieldingly to your liking feels like a bit of a superpower. And being able to start your morning that way? Well, I can’t think of much else better.
Here’s my favorite way to make granola:
Pimiento Cheese Crackers
Here is the approximate way my thinking went when I was dreaming up these crackers:
I have delicious pimiento cheese. I should eat that.
It will be best upon a cracker.
What type of cracker would be the superior vehicle for the cheese?
Sweet Fancy Moses, what if the cheese WERE THE CRACKER?????
After all, in my forays into cracker-making I had discovered that many crackers are just fat and flour and seasonings. And I had made cheese crackers which were just fat and flour and seasonings and cheese. Well, pimiento cheese is cheese and fat and seasonings, so what would happen if I just added flour and baked it?
Magic, people, this is what happens, pure alchemical wizardry.
Sesame Seaweed Snacks
Prized for its oceany umami flavor in sushi and miso soup—and now a popular packaged snack item—nori is dried Japanese seaweed that offers new possibilities for cooks. Its papery texture makes it easy to crisp in the oven and crumble over veggie sides, noodle bowls, and stir-fries for a little briny kick. These are easy, portable snacks that kids and adults will love. If you need a salty fix, replace potato chips with these briny, crispy nori sheets toasted in the oven. They can last up to four days in an airtight container so they are a great road trip snack.
Cheesy Pita Chips
Marshmallow Popcorn Treats with Dark Chocolate Drizzle
Reminiscent of classic popcorn balls, these salty-sweet treats make for awesome low-fat, lunch box-friendly snacking. Make a batch with the kids this weekend to enjoy throughout the week.
Togarashi-Spiced Snack Mix
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Bars
These homemade bars combine peanut butter and chocolate to make a tasty after-school treat.
Coconut-Pecan Caramel Popcorn
With the addition coconut flakes and pecans, this is the amped-up version of your traditional caramel popcorn is all kinds of addictive. Once you make a batch, chances are it will disappear before the day is out—so consider doubling the recipe. The combination of caramel and pecans delivers delicious praline vibes, while the coconut’s subtle chew adds a hint of tropical joy. The recipe calls to make the caramel sauce from scratch, but you can substitute with store-bought caramel sauce for ease. Make a large batch and bag this decadent snack up to give as gifts or as party favors at your next holiday gatherings.
Pistachio-Apple Bars with Chia Seeds
These homemade bars combine fruit and nut flavors to make a tasty snack.
Crispy Potato Chips
Slice potatoes as thin as possible.
S'mores Trail Mix
The name says it all--now you can enjoy the flavors of the classic campfire treat when you're on the go. The recipe comes from our book Camp Sunset: A Modern Camper's Guide to the Great Outdoors (Oxmoor House, 2016; $25).
Spicy, Barely Sweet Supercrunch Granola
Our supremely crunchy, irresistible granola almost feels more like party mix (but still contains all those great whole grains). It stores well at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week. Aside from eating out of hand, you can also try this on your morning bowl of yogurt, an ice cream parfait, or a hearty salad (think of it as a replacement for croutons). For folks with gluten allergies or sensitivities, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
All-Time Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
When it comes to making cookies from scratch, these crispy-chewy chocolate chip cookies represent the best of the best. Simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions make this a recipe you'll come back to again and again. Whip up a batch of these all-time favorite cookies and they won't last long. Pro tip: Bake 10 minutes for a softer cookie or up to 14 minutes for a crispier cookie.
After you've made these craveworthy cookies, don't forget to try our fun variations. All sorts of goodies—from crushed white-chocolate pretzels to toffee candy—can be added to the batter to create other signature cookies.
Brown Sugar-Spiced Nut Mix
From the Kitchen of…Cheryl Slocum, Senior Food Editor
A bowl of nuts in their shells was a coffee table staple for Thanksgiving snacks when Cheryl was young. "Operating the nutcracker was a real draw for us little kids," she says, "but our tastes have evolved to this sweet-hot crispy mix."
Achieve a bronzelike patina on these candied nuts by keeping a close watch near the end of their roasting time. Too long and they'll overdarken and take on a bitter flavor.
Soy and Sesame Kale Chips
The secret to getting these crisp is to avoid crowding the leaves on the baking sheets. Also, keep an eye on them—they can scorch quickly.
Crispy Whole Wheat-Maple Crackers
These sheets of pastry are made with maple syrup and sprinkled with maple sugar, then broken into shards.
Spicy Crunchy Chickpeas
Smoky Oven-Baked Potato Chips
Potato chips are no longer forbidden when you're trying to lose weight. These crisp and tasty chips are made from thin slices of russet potato that are tossed in a small amount of oil and baked.
A combination of sweet Braeburns and tart Granny Smiths gives this applesauce a pleasant balance. Mashing the apples creates a chunky sauce; for a smoother version, process part or all of the apple mixture in a food processor or blender. Crème fraîche gives the sauce a smooth, rich finish; substitute full-fat sour cream if your market doesn't carry it.
Parmesan-Rosemary Flatbread Crackers
These crackers can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
Nuts and Bolts Trail Mix
Nuts and Bolts Trail Mix satisfies a sweet and salty craving while giving you an energy boost throughout the day.
Santa Fe Snack Seeds
Divide this hip food gift evenly among small airtight storage jars available from import or home stores.