Quick and Easy Tailgating Snack Mix Recipe

On any given Saturday or Sunday from the start of September through the end of January, you can guarantee that football is being watched in our house.  I imagine this holds true for most families in Southern Louisiana.  Football is a way of life.  Whether you play it, coach it, cheer for it, or are just a fan of it, we LOVE our football.

In these parts, there’s one other thing that we happen to love that pairs perfectly with a day spent watching the gridiron greats – FOOD.  I’d say that second to football it is our greatest passion, but there’s no reason to rank them since they go hand in hand so nicely.

When preparing a menu for the big game, my recipes have to meet a few criteria.  They must be easy, transportable, and able to feed a crowd (delicious is a given).  I thought that in celebration of the start to a new season, I’d share with you one of my very favorite tailgating recipes!

This quick and easy recipe is courtesy of none other than Martha Stewart.  In my opinion, Martha can do no wrong.  I like to imagine that if Martha and I had been co-eds together we would have met at a tailgate where we’d have discussed our love of herb infused simple syrups, hand-made salted caramels, and personalized stationery.  After a little more bonding and a toast to the home team, she would give me her secret snack mix recipe.   Mmmmmm… Spicy-Sweet Pretzel Mix.  How perfect.  Every girl I know that calls Louisiana home is a perfect combination of spicy and sweet!  Enjoy!

Spicy-Sweet Pretzel Mix (as adapted by me)

Serves 8-12


2 cups unsalted pretzel twists

1 cup natural almonds

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or chipotle pepper)

½ tsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss together pretzels and almonds.
The start of something really delicious…
In a small saucepan, bring butter, sugar, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon water to a boil, stirring constantly.
Pour over pretzel mixture in bowl; gently toss to combine. Spread pretzel mixture in a single layer on prepared sheet.
Bake until almonds are crisp, about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally. Cool on sheet before serving. (To store, keep at room temperature, up to 5 days.)

 Suggested Substitution and Additions:  Use cinnamon rather than cayenne pepper, use local pecans versus almonds, use smoked sea salt versus plain. Add banana chips or chocolate chips or Reese’s pieces (stir in after removed from the oven).  I can’t imagine that there isn’t anything that wouldn’t work well with butter and brown sugar!!

My sous chef, Jane, would like to know “What’s your favorite tailgating recipe or tradition?”


  1. We love to make jambalaya or gumbo for tailgating, especially when the weather cools off. There is nothing better than tailgating for a Saints or LSU game when a cold front came through – and then having a piping hot bowl of gumbo! 🙂

  2. We love ham biscuits, which are basically Hawaiian dinner roles, a spread of butter/mustard/poppy seeds and then ham and provolone. You can wrap it in foil and heat when you get to where you are going, or if you are having guests, put it in the oven when they arrive. The bread and ham get crispy and the cheese melts … yum! You can also make them and freeze and pull out when you are ready to cook.

  3. This sounds so good!! I am making this Sunday!! Like Andie, we fall back on jambalaya & gumbo but BBQ pulled pork is another favorite. 🙂

  4. Hubby would love this snack. Going to give it a try this weekend. Don’t know about football but I think it would be a great new treat snack on the hiking trail.


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