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Elevate your trail mix experience with this cool ranch jerky trail mix and find out why making your own trail mix yields the most delicious results! This is no ordinary nut and raisin blend – this trail mix recipe includes nuts, pretzels, cereal, roasted fava beans, and beef jerky, along with a parmesan parsley ranch butter topping! This is perhaps the king of trail mixes and, if you’re a trail mix fan, you’re going to love this one. Take it hiking or camping, stow some in your glovebox in case you get stuck in traffic on a road trip, or make it as a treat for the kids! This is an easy recipe that anyone can follow.

A bowl of homemade cool ranch jerky trail mix including pretzels, nuts, crackers, and Chex mix.

Although there are hundreds of different trail mix recipes, this one is especially good. Boasting all kinds of yummy ingredients from nuts and pretzels to parmesan and jerky, it’s just so tempting and tasty!

Snack fans might also enjoy these fruit muffins or what about making a recipe using cereal? Homemade jerky is seriously amazing too and these are all easy to bring along if you’re camping or hiking.

A glass jar of jerky trail mix that is cool ranch flavored.

Why You’ll Love This

Tasty: This isn’t your average trail mix. With nuts, pretzels, cereal, jerky, parmesan ranch butter, and more, it has a little of everything! Making your own trail mix was never so much fun, or this delicious!
Easy: Like almost all jerky recipes, this one involves combining the ingredients in a bowl. This one also has a topping but you simply need to melt those ingredients together and stir through.
Satisfying: Not all jerky recipes are filling but this one is. Whether you just want a handful or two for a quick energy boost mid-afternoon or you have low blood sugar or need something for an extended hike or expedition, this healthy homemade trail mix gives you plenty of energy in the most delicious way!

A person holding a mix of cool ranch, jerky, and trail mix items in one hand and a glass jar filled with more snacks in the other hand.

Cool Ranch Jerky Trail Mix Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below

Roasted nuts: Any kind of nuts work in this homemade trail mix, so use your favorites!
Chex: This cereal is a popular trail mix ingredient but you can use any kind of cereal you want.
Roasted fava beans: These add both protein and crunch.
Beef jerky: You can use jerky bites or chop up strips of jerky as you prefer. Readymade jerky bites are usually softer than other kinds, but it’s completely up to you what type you go for.
Butter: Unsalted is best if you’re using salted nuts and/or salty jerky, but the choice is yours and you can use a butter alternative if you prefer.
Ranch seasoning: This adds a delicious ranch flavor to the topping/coating.
Grated parmesan: Use another kind of grated cheese if you prefer.
Dried parsley: Feel free to substitute any other dried herb or omit this if you want.

Various snack ingredients arranged on a light surface for preparation to make a homemade trail mix recipe.

How to Make Jerky Trail Mix

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card

Combine the ingredients: Toss the trail mix ingredients (except the jerky and topping ingredients) together.
Make the topping: Melt the butter in the microwave and then mix in the other topping ingredients.
Mix it all together: Mix the trail mix ingredients with the melted butter mixture.
Bake the trail mix: Spread the prepared mixture evenly into a parchment paper lined sheet pan and bake for half an hour, tossing halfway through.
The finishing touches: Let the trail mix cool to room temperature, mix in the jerky and store in a mason jar or airtight container somewhere cool and dark.

A bowl of trail mix containing pretzels, cereal, Chex and jerky.
Hands Cupping Homemade Trail Mix.

Check out my guide with tips for how to build a trail mix at home with whatever you have in your pantry.

Substitutions and Variations

Different cereal: You don’t have to use Chex. Pick your own favorite cereal. Something sugary and sweet will contrast nicely with the salty flavors.
Jerky options: Beef jerky is always good but if you prefer something different, perhaps venison jerky or another kind, go ahead and use whatever you like best.
Change the flavor: If you aren’t a fan of ranch especially, you can use a different seasoning. Feel free to use another kind of cheese too, or switch the parsley for dried basil, dill weed or mixed herbs.
Sweeten it up: Feel free to add chocolate chips, banana chips or small candies if you want more sweetness.

Hands holding a jar filled with mixed a trail mix for hiking.

Serving Suggestions

Snacks: Are you making this for a hike or trip? Consider other easy and portable snacks such as amaretti cookies, cheddar bacon scones, or rosemary crackers.
Main dishes:
At the end of your hike, set up camp and make sausage and peppers foil packs or hot dog potato foil packs.

Assorted trail mix with pretzels, nuts, and cereal on a baking sheet.

How to Store Trail Mix With Jerky

Store:  Keep the prepared trail mix in a plastic airtight container, silicone bag, or mason jar in a dark and cool place. You can refrigerate it if you like but that isn’t compulsory. It should stay fresh for a couple of weeks.
Freeze:  It doesn’t freeze well, so don’t make more than you can eat.

A person eating trail mix from a jar.

Top Tips

Watch the salt: Bear in mind jerky can be salty so if you’re using a salty jerky, you might like to use unsalted nuts.
Bite-sized ingredients: If you want to use your favorite jerky and it’s in strips, just chop it into small pieces before adding.
Spice it up: Throw in some cayenne pepper or hot red pepper flakes if you want a spicier flavor (or use spicy jerky).

Bowls of homemade cool ranch trail mix with jerky bites on a wooden table.

Cool Ranch Jerky Trail Mix FAQs

Is this healthier than grocery store trail mix?

Absolutely, as you are in charge of the ingredients. A lot of grocery store readymade trail mixes have a lot of salt and sugar. If you’re making your own you can decide how much salt and sugar go into it, and choose each ingredient you are adding.

What else can you put in this trail mix recipe?

Candies, dark chocolate chips, seeds, popcorn, roasted fava beans, pretzels, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, coconut flakes or coconut chips, or even chocolate-covered raisins or yogurt-covered raisins or cranberries are just some options for you to consider.

A homemade trail mix with nuts, fava beans, beef jerky, Chex and pretzels in bowls on a wooden table.

Cool Ranch Jerky Trail Mix Recipe

5 from 9 votes

Cool Ranch Jerky Trail Mix

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Although there are hundreds of different trail mix recipes, this one is especially good. Boasting all kinds of yummy ingredients from nuts and pretzels to parmesan and jerky, it's just so tempting and tasty!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 16

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cup nut mix
  • 1 Cup Chex
  • 1 Cup pretzels
  • ½ Cup fava beans, roasted
  • 1 Cup beef jerky, bite-sized pieces

Topping Mixture:

  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Ounce ranch seasoning, powder
  • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients besides topping mixture and jerky.
  • Gently toss.
  • Melt butter in microwave and combine with mixture in bowl.
  • Combine ranch seasoning powder, grated Parmesan and dried parsley.
  • Sprinkle over mixture then gently toss together.
  • Pour mixture evenly in sheet pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, tossing mixture halfway.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Add in jerky and store in airtight container

Notes

Watch the salt: Bear in mind jerky can be salty so if you’re using a salty jerky, you might like to use unsalted nuts.
Bite-sized ingredients: If you want to use your favorite jerky and it’s in strips, just chop it into small pieces before adding.
Spice it up: Throw in some cayenne pepper or hot red pepper flakes if you want a spicier flavor (or use spicy jerky).

Nutrition

Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 114IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

You’re going to love this gourmet jerky mix. It’s no harder to make than standard nut and fruit trail mix, but the combo of nuts, cereal, pretzels, beans, and jerky, along with the parmesan ranch butter topping, makes this one of the best trail mixes ever. It’s flavorful and satisfying and if you’re hiking, out for the day or you simply like to have a snack to hand in case you get hungry, this one ticks all the boxes.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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