If you’re hitting the road this summer, be sure to fill up on podcasts, hand sanitizer, and plenty of homemade snacks. As experienced travelers know, fast food and gas station treats tend to be more expensive and quickly lose their novelty. With a little advance prep, you can feed your family with homemade, budget-friendly, healthy treats. Here are tasty recipes for 6 of the best road trip snacks we LOVE to travel with!
No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars
These sweet granola bars taste more like a dessert, but at least you can pronounce all the ingredients!
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup honey
- 2⅔ cup old-fashioned oats
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter and honey. Microwave on high for 15 seconds, then stir. Repeat a couple more times until the peanut-butter mixture has melted slightly. (It shouldn’t be hot.)
- Pour the oats into the peanut-butter mixture, and stir until the oats are coated.
- Press the oat mixture into a single flat layer in an 8×8 square pan. Refrigerate until firm, then slice into bars. Store in a fridge or cooler.
M&M Granola Bars
These sweet granola bars get sticky in the heat, so be sure to keep them in a cooler.
- 2½ cups old-fashioned oats
- ½ cup chopped peanuts
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ butter
- ⅓ brown sugar
- ¼ creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup mini M&Ms
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the oats and chopped peanuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Then pour the oats and nuts into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together the honey, butter, and brown sugar. Cook over low heat until the butter melts and sugar dissolves, stirring frequently.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt.
- Add the peanut butter mixture to the oats and peanuts. Stir until the oats and peanuts are coated with the peanut-butter mixture. Let the mixture cool for about 30 minutes.
- Add half the mini M&Ms to the oat mixture and stir until combined. Pour the oat mixture into a parchment-lined 8×8 pan, and spread into a single flat layer. Sprinkle the remaining M&Ms on top of the oat mixture and gently press them into place.
- Chill for 1-2 hours. Cut into bars. Store in a fridge or cooler.
Everything Bagel Snack Mix
For this recipe, you can use premade Everything Bagel seasoning (like Trader Joe’s version) or mix up your own.
- 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
- 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
- 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal
- 1 cup mini pretzel twists
- 1 cup bite-size bagel chips (any flavor)
- 1 cup almonds or cashews
- 7 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 3 tablespoons Everything Bagel seasoning (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 250°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cereals, pretzels, bagel chips, and nuts.
- In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and Everything Bagel seasoning.
- Pour the butter mixture over the cereal mixture. Stir well until the cereal mixture is coated.
- Spread the cereal mixture in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely before putting the snack mix in a storage container.
Everything Bagel Seasoning: In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup sesame seeds, ¼ cup poppy seeds, 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes, 3 tablespoons dried garlic flakes, and 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt. Store in a sealed container.
Chocolate Chia Bites
These chocolate energy bites taste like dessert but have good-for-you ingredients!
- 1½ cups packed, pitted dates
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place dates in a food processor and pulse until they form a thick paste. Add the chopped walnuts and pulse again until combined.
- Add the cocoa powder, chia seeds, coconut, dark chocolate, oats, and vanilla extract. Pulse again until the mixture forms a dough.
- Rolls the mixture into balls. Freeze for a couple of hours or until set.
- Store the chocolate chia bites in an air-tight container in a fridge or cooler.
(For more travel—and camping!—snacks, check out 9 Delicious Make-Ahead Camping Snacks Ideas That Aren’t Trail Mix or 7 Allergy-Friendly Camping Snacks.)
The standard version of these cheese crackers uses sharp Cheddar, but you can also experiment with other cheeses like pepper jack, Swiss, or gouda.
- 8 oz shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons butter, chilled
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons water
- In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt, and garlic powder for about 15 seconds. Add the flour and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add water and pulse again until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the food processor and forms a dough.
- Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Chill for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Working with one ball of dough at a time, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about ¼-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter (or sharp knife) to cut the dough into 1-inch squares (or smaller). Use a toothpick to poke a hole in the center of each one.
- Place the dough squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crackers are light brown. (They’ll puff up in the oven.) Cool completely before eating or putting in storage containers.
Zesty Ranch Crackers
Add some seasoning to regular crackers for a savory snack!
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 packet ranch dressing mix
- 1 (13.7 oz) box Ritz crackers
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Melt the butter in the microwave.
- Pour melted butter and ranch dressing mix into a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Add the crackers to the bowl and mix gently using your hands. Keep mixing until all the crackers are coated.
- Spread the crackers in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (You many need two pans.)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely before eating or placing in a storage container.