Dairy-Free Puppy Chow

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Making your own dairy-free puppy chow at home is very easy. With a few simple swaps, you can make a dairy-free treat that the whole family will love. It's great for a quick snack or for bringing to parties. Trust me, it will be a crowd favorite and no one will know it's both gluten-free and dairy-free! It truly only takes a handful of ingredients for this epic chocolatey treat!
Dairy-free puppy chow in a wooden bowl with a spoonful of peanut butter and chocolate chips and powdered sugar on a linen napkin and table.
Dairy-free puppy chow in a wooden bowl with a spoonful of peanut butter and chocolate chips and powdered sugar on a linen napkin and talbe.

What is puppy chow?

Puppy chow is a tasty snack of rice cereal mixed with melted chocolate, butter, and peanut butter and then covered in powdered sugar. It is a popular party food in the US and can be served as an appetizer, dessert or even a snack!

If you aren’t familiar with the term puppy chow but have seen it before, you may know it as muddy buddies, reindeer chow or monkey munch. There are so many names for this yummy chocolate peanut butter treat!

Dairy-free puppy chow in a wooden bowl with a spoonful of peanut butter and chocolate chips and powdered sugar on a linen napkin and table.

Is puppy chow for humans or dogs?

Puppy chow is for humans, not dogs. Though I’m sure our canine friends would love to get their paws into this stuff, it should NOT be served to dogs at all.

Chocolate is extremely bad for dogs so be extra careful when mixing up a bowl of this puppy chow if you have furry friends around. It does tend to be a tad bit messy when stirring so just keep a watchful eye! I know my dog was ready for any stray pieces of peanut butter to drop down.

Okay, if it’s not for dogs, then why is it called puppy chow? Puppy chow got it’s name from how it looks well… a bit like dog food! But I swear, it’s a tasty treat!

Can I make puppy chow without peanut butter?

This is the number one question I get asked about puppy chow. Yes, you can make puppy chow with other nut butters besides peanut butter if you have an allergy or simply don’t have peanut butter on hand. Other nut butters like almond butter and cashew butter work well in this puppy chow recipe.

If you are steering clear of all nuts in addition to peanuts, then try Sunbutter, which is made from sunflower seeds!

Changing the nut butter in this recipe to a different variety will change the consistency and taste, but the result will still be delicious!

Is this puppy chow vegan?

Yes and no. I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips and Earth Balance Buttery Spread to make this recipe dairy-free. However, you’ll want to make sure that the chocolate chips that you are using are also vegan.

The other consideration to make for vegan puppy chow is to make sure that your sugar is vegan, too. Yes, I said sugar. Most powdered sugars are refined with bone char to get that super white color, making it not vegan.

If you’d like to make this puppy chow vegan, use an organic powdered sugar, like Wholesome Organic Powdered Confectioner’s Sugar.

Dairy-free puppy chow in a wooden bowl with a spoonful of peanut butter and chocolate chips and powdered sugar on a linen napkin and table.

How to Make Dairy-Free Puppy Chow

Start by melting your chocolate, non-dairy butter and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. I like to do this in 30-second increments with a stir after each microwave session to make sure nothing burns.

Once melted and smooth, pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the gluten-free rice chex cereal in a large bowl. Make sure the bowl is large enough that you can easily mix the cereal and chocolate mixture together without it escaping the bowl. Stir until the cereal is coated well.

Place the chocolate covered cereal in an extra large tupperware with a lid (the lid is essential) or a large gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Cover the cereal with powdered sugar, close the container or bag and shake, shake, shake until the cereal is completely covered with powdered sugar.

I like to place my puppy chow in the refrigerator for at least an hour so that it gets cold. I think it tastes better when the chocolate is hardened, but to each their own. If you don’t wait, you’ll just have a messier, gooey experience… but still tasty! 

Store your puppy chow in a sealed container either in the fridge or at room temperature. Mine never lasts this long, but it should be good for up to a week.

Dairy-free puppy chow in a wooden bowl with a spoonful of peanut butter and chocolate chips and powdered sugar on a linen napkin and table.
Dairy-free puppy chow in a wooden bowl with a spoonful of peanut butter and chocolate chips and powdered sugar on a linen napkin and table.

Dairy-Free Puppy Chow

Making your own dairy-free puppy chow at home is very easy. With a few simple swaps, you can make a dairy-free treat that the whole family will love. It’s great for a quick snack or for bringing to parties. Trust me, it will be a crowd favorite and no one will know it’s both gluten-free and dairy-free! It truly only takes a handful of ingredients for this epic chocolatey treat!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 509kcal
Author: Megan

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy butter substitute (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 11 cups gluten-free Rice Chex cereal (1 full box)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • In a microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter, non-dairy butter, and dairy-free chocolate chips. 
  • Microwave in 30-second increments, mixing in between, until the chocolate is melted. It should take just about 1 minute total. 
  • Add the Rice Chex cereal to a large bowl. Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal. With a spatula, carefully mix until the cereal is completely covered with the chocolate. 
  • Add the chocolate covered cereal to a large tupperware with a lid or a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add 2 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar. Shake the container until the powdered sugar has covered the cereal. If the cereal is not completely covered or you can see chocolate showing through the powdered sugar, add the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. 
  • You can serve right away or store at room temperature. However, I prefer to store in the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour for cold puppy chow. 

Notes

  • If you have a peanut allergy, other nut butters like almond butter and cashew butter work well in this puppy chow recipe. If you are steering clear of all nuts in addition to peanuts, then try sunflower butter.
  • To make this recipe vegan, use vegan butter, vegan chocolate chips, and a vegan powdered sugar. Most powdered sugars are refined with bone char to get that super white color, making it not vegan. Your best bet will be to use an organic powdered sugar, which are not refined with bone char. 

Nutrition

Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 318mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 170mg | Iron: 19.9mg
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3 Comments

    1. Yes! It keeps for 1-2 weeks in an airtight container. I like to store mine in the refrigerator so the chocolate stays hard and I find I love the taste when it’s cold!

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