Go retro for your next party or family movie night with a tasty and quick cracker snack mix, flavored with Italian dressing mix and red pepper. This easy treat takes only minutes to make and can be customized to your tastes. Take the heat up a notch to pair with beer or margaritas or drop the heat for the kids.
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You can use virtually any type of cracker for creating cracker snack mixes. Oyster crackers are an inexpensive choice, while saltines work well if you plan to serve flavored crackers with soup. Club crackers, thin wheat crackers or cheese crackers all pair well with the flavors in the Italian dressing mix. Choose low-fat or whole grain crackers for a healthier treat. You can also opt to add pretzels or roasted nuts to this recipe. Allow approximately 16 oz. of crackers per dressing packet.
Dressing Mix and Spices
The main flavor in these spicy, seasoned crackers comes from dry Italian dressing mix. You'll find Italian dressing mix shelved with other dry salad dressing mixes. Experiment with Caesar, cheese and garlic or spicy Italian dressing mixes. For a change of pace, opt for a ranch dressing packet or even an Asian sesame dressing packet. Increase the flavor with the addition of 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes.
You'll need 1/4 cup of vegetable oil for every 16 oz. of crackers and packet of dressing mix. While you can use any mildly flavored oil, or even melted butter or margarine, opt for a heart-healthy oil, like olive or canola, to make this high-fat recipe a better snack option.
Mixing and Baking
Mix the cracker mix in a large, resealable bag to reduce mess and clean up time. Toss the crackers with 1/4 cup of oil. Sprinkle seasonings, including red pepper, and dressing mix over the crackers and mix well. Bake the cracker mix in a preheated 250 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool, then store in an airtight container.