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Spicy Oyster Crackers

It’s holiday time again, and everyone is looking for that special little something to leave in the mailbox for the mail carrier, or send to school for the teacher, janitor, or lunch lady.  While we’re experiencing a little break in the price for gasoline, no such luck in the realm of groceries and other sundries.  So, here’s an easy and inexpensive little recipe that takes more time than ingredients.  I’m sure anyone who enjoys a little spice in life will appreciate your taking the time to mix them up a batch of these oh-so-very-addictive red-pepper delights.

W A R N I N G :  Since these crackers are addictive, be sure to make a batch for your family, because they will disappear before you can package them up for gift giving!

Spicy Oyster Crackers

Print Recipe
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Author: Capt. Wendy


  • 1/2 Cup canola oil
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
  • 3 T crushed red peppers
  • 10 oz Bag oyster crackers, any brand
  • 1 gallon Zip-loc bag


  • Mix first three ingredients in a jar and shake, mixing well.
  • Put crackers in Zip-loc and pour mixture over crackers.
  • Toss in bag every fifteen minutes for an hour.
  • Store in air-tight container or put in canning jars or plastic gift bags, wrap in red ribbon, and attach the recipe for gift giving!


This recipe is great for kids to make, and that way they can give a gift which they made themselves!

And that, my dear friends, is all there is to it.  The KIDS can even make this recipe themselves.  Also, if you want to get brave, buy some Nabisco Premium Mini Crackers and try this, or even a sleeve of regular sized saltines might work.

It’s beginning to look a lot like chaos!

The traffic in town, I mean!

Happy happy!


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Recipe Rating


  1. These are great for snacking on during football. I use a box of unsalted saltines and a gallon jar w/lid. I just roll the jar a couple of times every few minutes for an hour and hand them over in a bowl to the munchers.

    And you are 100% correct!! They are addictive!

  2. I was given this recipe last Sat. However, they used 4 sleeves of Premium Multi grain crackers. I purchased the ingredients to make them, but I think I might go back to the store and purchase the Oyster crackers and try them. Hubby loved them! I think I’ll like the smaller bite size better.

  3. Made ’em last week when I made the “Chex Mix”. Always keep a big tupperware bowl of each on the counter this time of year just in case some one drops by. They seem to go good with conversation.

    Instead of the peppers, I use 3/4 t. dill weed and 1/2 t. garlic powder. But its all good though. Its just that time of the year!

    I was surprised with the ease of finding the oyster crackers though, guess they are getting more popular.

      1. BTW When did cereal get so dang nap expensive? I mean corn, rice, and wheat are plentiful. I can buy 70 pounds of feed corn for the price of two boxes of corn flakes!

        Those kids toys in the box must cost a bunch!

        1. I love Chex mix but, the salt is murder on my feet. Unfortunately, I can’t make the stuff without it being soggy either. So, it is store bought or nothing.

  4. We had a family gathering at Thanksgiving with over 50 people. Two fried turkeys, one baked turkey, 2 different types of baked ham, 2 big pans of world class cornbread dressing, 1 giant pot of mama’s dirty rice, sweet potatoes (yams) of several variations and enough desserts to overdose 100 people on a sugar high. The most popular dish; saltines made exactly this way!! Most everybody’s first time to sample this recipe and it’s off the wall!!

      1. BW, do you think Tar Baby would mind a couple of party crashers next Thanksgiving?? Geeze her menu sounds good.

        1. I woudln’t mind at all, we have to eat in shifts though, because of the crowd. Next year it will be at my house on the Diversion Canal in Ascension Parish. Oh, she is a he. LOL!

            1. No offense taken. I forgot about the four whole fried chickens as well. But my favorite was missing; ducks. Chickens fried whole puts turkeys to shame and wild duck fried whole trashes them all. If someone down the bayou would volunteer a few ducks, you’d be an honored guest at the table if you could find a seat.

              1. Hm. Termite is going Saturday and we have seen some ducks fill the sky this week . . . don’t think they’ll last until next Thanksgiving, though!

  5. My Grandma always made oyster cracker snacks, that’s how we knew it was time for Christmas! She always used ranch and dill weed. She made spicy pretzels instead. I just made a batch of both the other day. Yummy.

    1. MrsCoach, do you do it the same way, but just substitute pretzels for the crackers? I may have to try this variation!

        1. I would love to have this recipe with the cayenne pepper, I tasted them not long ago at a party and was told they had cayenne pepper, Ranch dressing mix, and lemon pepper in them. Would love to have this recipe! Thanks so much!!

  6. Malt o meal honey nut scooters for me.

    I can’t get behind canola oil or oyster crackers (thought that was a Cape Cod chessie yankee thing) or ranch dressing.

    Port wine cheddar log on a ritz right now though.

  7. These are really good little crackers! I love all the party foods that make appearances during the holidays. I’ve made this delicious sausage appetizer for two parties in the last week to rave reviews! (You’d never guess the main ingredients in the sauce… beer and apricot jam!) Luckily there was some left over after our staff party last night, so we’ll get to have some tonight!

  8. Made batches using the mini saltines and pretzels. I personally like these better than the Multi-grain crackers I had over the weekend. Hubby is gonna love the pretzels!

  9. It speeds it up to toast these in the oven for about 15 min at 350. The oil absorbs very quickly and they are so delicious warm. I season mine with red pepper instead of crushed red peppers, until they are about the same spicy-ness as hot Cheetos. My kids gobble them up.

  10. I have my ingredients, but haven’t had a chance to mix up a batch yet. My whole family loves them. I make them 4-5 times a year. Why do we only make certain “dishes” at Christmas time? They taste the same

  11. I know we can make them anytime, and I’m not even sure how I came to make these only at Christmas, except I did so the first year as gifts. But the reason I don’t make them throughout the year is because I would eat the entire batch myself, and I just don’t need the empty calories!!!

  12. One of my grandsons love these things. I remember having to call the 800 number at Hidden Valley for the recipe when he was about 4 or 5. I couldn’t find one and didn’t have a computer at the time. He graduates in May so, it has been a long time since I got him hooked on them. 🙂

  13. My goodness….. you guys realize we’ve been hanging around here over 4 years now? Amazing!

    BTW Baby Sister showed me Mom’s original Chex recipe, it was before they were on ever box. Its alot different than todays. Better too! I’ll see if I can get it to BW.

    BTW I buy the ingredients at Sam when they usually have them on sale in November. Sure saves a load of cash. Yes, I still bitch about cereal prices….LOL

    This week made 30 lbs of andouille, 15 lbs of hot cajun sausage, 15 lbs of smoked cajun sausage, and tomorrow its Keilbasa! LOL. Maybe try and get some of Mom’s “Nibbles” made.

    I am still pulling for Blu, seems sort of quite around here without him (even though I had no idea what he was talking about half the time LOL).

    1. I know, we’ve been hanging around this bowl of crackers for 4 years!!! I have the option to delete the comments when I republish a post, but I thought it would be fun to see what our thoughts were four years ago. And quite honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t brought this recipe back up before now! You’ve been a busy chef, have you not? I want some of that andouille!! If Blu has a way to be online, I’m sure he will appreciate any thoughts, prayers, visits, jokes, conversations all of us would care to have with him while he is still with us on this earth. So, bring on those fishing jokes!!! (He is a die-hard, freshwater panfish fisherman. One of the best up in Chicagoland area!)

  14. Who cares if it’s 4 yrs. old. The recipe is timeless, and, oh so good. Made a batch yesterday (using Premium mini saltines). Between Hubby and my eldest son, they’re almost gone.
    I’ll take some of that Andouille too!

  15. Addictive really suits this one!! My dad was like I dont east oyster crackers…2 bowls later he finally had enough and took a gallon zip lock bag with him. Thank again for another perfect recipe..

    1. Hi Phil, and that’s what I love to hear. So glad your dad likes them and that you think it’s a perfect recipe! Merry Christmas, 2016!

    1. It’s not necessary with this recipe. They turn out nice and crunchy with no extra baking! Good luck!

  16. 5 stars
    Made these years ago and lost the recipe. Thanks for supplying it. They truly are more-ish. Will make two batches- hot and not so- I think the baking is a good idea.

    1. Hi Christy and thanks for pointing this out. Seems we’ve had some sort of glitch in the recipe software. It is 1/2 cup of oil, and I have corrected the recipe thanks to you! You’re gonna love these!

  17. 5 stars
    I see the picture had Hidden Valley Ranch Dip mix but recipe says Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix. Will either work?

  18. 5 stars
    I have made these every holiday and game day for the last 7 years!!! Thank you BW!!! It is literally the easiest and tastiest snack in the books, and I have never had on earth person turn them away. They are gone in a flash! Merry Christmas!!!

    1. AWESOME Charles!!! So glad you let me know. I love to read comments like yours where folks are making things, sharing, and making people happy!!! I’m glad your comment reminds me that I need to make a batch this week!!! Check out the new post about savory pecans . . . mmmmm they are good!

      1. 5 stars
        I’ve had this page bookmarked for a few years and hope it stays up for many more to come! Christmas time I open this recipe and make a batch for my husband and a batch for my family. I use olive oil rather than canola, sometimes use full saltines or mini-saltines, and vary the amount of red pepper flakes- but the crackers are always delicious! Thank you, Bayou Woman from this Texan!

        1. Hi GF and I trust y’all had a great Christmas! Thanks so much for sharing with us your alteration of the recipe using olive oil, a much healthier choice! I’m glad to know it doesn’t really change the flavor or crispness of the crackers. All the variations are much appreciated. So glad you use it and your family enjoys it! Thanks again for taking the time to share! BW

  19. Love this.I am from Louisiana and a Cajun and I am making those crackers tonight with oysters crackers spicy Ranch dressing. They are addicting for sure.

  20. 5 stars
    I made these oyster crackers today and took to the nursing home where my sister lives. Everyone loves them.. I’m making more to take tomorrow. I use oyster crackers, olive oil, hidden valley ranch and crushed red peppers,,

    1. Wonderful, Beth! Thanks so much for letting us know! And olive oil is a good choice! Merry Christmas to you and yours and thank you for stopping by, cher! BW