Here at Serious Eats, any time is snack time. Writing about, looking at, and talking about food all day can makes us big munchers, but we're always looking for something easy. Sure, opening up a bag of chips or crackers is a quick way to satisfy our cravings, but homemade snacks make getting through the work day all the much better. Whether your snack is for your desk, a road trip, a movie night, or a beach day, we've got 25 easy snack recipes to satisfy all your munchies.
Microwave Brown Bag Popcorn
We love the convenience of microwave popcorn, but could do without the artificial flavors. The good news is that homemade microwave popcorn is practically as easy as the stuff from the supermarket. All you need is a paper bag, some neutral oil, salt, and, of course, popcorn kernels. Keep an eye on the bag as it cooks and don't be afraid to take it out a hair early—the last few kernels will still finish popping, and no one likes burned popcorn.
Bagna Cauda (Anchovy-Garlic) Popcorn
As tempting as it is to eat that popcorn straight from the bag, there's so much more you can do with it. In this recipe, we toss cooked popcorn with garlic- and anchovy-infused melted butter in a nod to the Italian dip bagna cauda. If you're into bold flavors, this is the popcorn for you.
Brown-Butter Maple Popcorn With Pecans
Popcorn goes great with sweet flavors, too. Here we make an easy caramel with brown butter and maple syrup, stir in some crushed pecans, then pour it all over a bowl of popcorn. A big pinch of salt helps bring out the flavor of the caramel and a quick trip to the refrigerator sets the sweet glaze.
Matcha and White Chocolate Popcorn
For a sweet popcorn that's a little more subtle but just as delicious, give this Japanese-inspired recipe a try. Matcha powder and white chocolate are amazingly good partners—the chocolate cuts the matcha's bitterness and lets its grassy sweetness shine. White chocolate varies in quality, so head over to our taste test to make sure you get something good.
Potato ChipsContinue to 5 of 25 below.
Extra-Crunchy Potato Chips
Making homemade potato chips is definitely more work than popcorn, but it's totally doable. The trick is to rinse your potato slices well and par-cook them in water spiked with vinegar. This gets rid of a lot of their starch, which helps ensure that they fry up super crispy without over-browning.
Fried Plantain Chips
The key to success when making fried plantain chips at home is cutting uniform slices for even cooking. Once fried, a quick rest on a wire rack is all they need—no need to waste any paper towels. The chips are typically seasoned lightly with salt or chile powder and lime juice, but there's nothing stopping you from experimenting with additional seasonings. We especially love this Pollo Campero-inspired version.
Za'atar Potato Chips
If you grew up in a Middle Eastern household, you don't need to be told to put za'atar on popcorn because you already put it on everything. For the rest of you, try putting this woodsy spice mix made with sumac, sesame seeds, thyme, and oregano on your chips. Our potato chip flavorings all work on popcorn, too—make sure to toss the popcorn with butter or oil first so that the za'atar will stick.
Roast Chicken Dinner Potato Chips With Mushrooms, Lemon, and Thyme
The UK loves potato chip flavors that might sound pretty odd—sweet cured ham with pickle, anyone? In attempting to match the Brits at the meat-centric-potato-chip-flavor game, we came up with roast chicken dinner chips flavored with lemon, thyme, and garlic. The "chicken" flavor comes from savory nutritional yeast, so these chips are actually vegan.Continue to 9 of 25 below.
Chipotle Honey-Butter Potato Chips
Popularized in the States by NYC's Oiji, honey-butter chips have been a bit of a craze in Korea for some time. The version at Oiji is spiced with chile powder to make a snack that's pretty strange but phenomenally tasty. Our version replaces the Asian-style chile powder with smoky chipotle powder.
You can't really go wrong when it comes to coating peanuts in honey and tossing them in a hot oven. Here, potato starch helps form a thick glaze that clings to the peanuts and produces a crispy coating, while double-roasting the nuts eliminates their beany taste. Finish them off with a light dusting of sugar and salt for the ultimate savory-sweet snack.
Smoky Candied Almonds
Making great spiced nuts requires a little more effort than toasting up some almonds with spices; candying the nuts with an egg white glaze gives them an even better crunch. For this recipe, we make the glaze with brown sugar, smoked paprika, cayenne, Old Bay, and black pepper to mimic a barbecue dry rub.
Mexican Spiced Chocolate Pecans
These pecans get a double dose of chocolate from a combination of cocoa powder and dark chocolate, a complex sweetness from brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and just enough heat from half a teaspoon of cayenne. The resulting flavor is dark, intense, and a little more bitter than sweet.Continue to 13 of 25 below.
Olive-Rosemary Spiced Cashews
Getting the most flavor out of these olive-rosemary cashews is all about one secret weapon: the microwave. We use it to dehydrate fresh rosemary that we then crush with a mortar and pestle to make a powder way better than any you'd buy in a store. We prepare oil-cured olives the same way to make a thick paste. A lightly sweetened glaze (made without any egg white to keep it subtle) balances out the savory olives and rosemary.
Bourbon Old Fashioned Glazed Pecans
Nuts are a classic bar snack, so why not just go ahead and combine your nuts and your cocktail? In this recipe, that means coating pecans with a bourbon-spiked brown sugar glaze and mixing them with dried cherries soaked in—you guessed it—more whiskey. If you're not a big pecan fan, feel free to sub in whatever kind of nut you prefer.
Crispy Citrus-Candied Pistachios
These pistachios have an intense citrus flavor and super crunchy shell thanks to our fresh lemon syrup. Because the syrup has so little water, it crisps up wonderfully. Rolling the glazed pistachios in powdered sugar keeps them from sticking together—we like organic powdered sugar for its subtle toffee flavor.
The Best Basic Guacamole
Guacamole is one of the simplest snacks to put together, but it still delivers big on flavor. Mashing the avocado with a whisk produces a chunky texture, while pounding (or processing) the aromatics with salt into a paste results in a finished guac that's noticeably more flavorful. Don't forget the lime juice!Continue to 17 of 25 below.
Classic Pico de Gallo
You can't go wrong with a classic pico de gallo made with tomatoes, onions, and chiles. The salsa is incredibly simple yet super tasty. Just make sure to use the best tomatoes you can find, and if you're making this in the off season, opt for smaller varieties, like plum, cherry, or grape tomatoes that still carry a lot of flavor.
Whipped Feta Dip
Versatile whipped feta cheese can be served as a dip, slathered on toasts and sandwiches, dolloped into soups, and more. It's easy to make, too—just throw feta, Greek yogurt, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender, then pass the spread through a fine-mesh strainer for a silkier texture. You can even blend in herbs or spices to create more flavor.
Grab a pretzel (or anything, quite frankly) and get dippin'. Here, we use Dijon, Worcestershire, and hot sauce rto ound out the savory sharpness of the cheddar and mild bitterness from the beer. Cornstarch helps stabilizes the emulsion, resulting in a glossy and smooth sauce that doesn't separate.
These Cheez-It clones are a little darker than the originals because we make them with cream instead of butter—don't worry, the rich, nutty flavor is worth the less-than-authentic color. Sharp yellow cheddar gets you closest to the classic Cheez-It taste, but manchego is a fun alternative.Continue to 21 of 25 below.
Homemade Bagel Bites
Once we figured out how to make awesome bagels at home, it was only a matter of time before we shrunk them down and made homemade bagel bites. There's not much to it once the bagels are baked—just cut them in half, toast them lightly, and pile on the red sauce, cheese, and diced pepperoni.
Baguette Toast "Crackers"
Store-bought baguette crackers have can be totally blank, but it's super easy to make far better ones at home. All you have to do is buy a baguette (even a crappy supermarket loaf!), slice it thin, and bake it with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Extra-Crispy Bar-Style Tortilla Pizza
Homemade pizza isn't exactly the easiest snack in the world—unless, of course, you make it with a tortilla. But far from just a time-saving hack, using a tortilla is actually one of our favorite ways to make thin-crust bar-style pizza. If you've got the sauce on hand, this recipe comes together practically as quickly as finding the phone and ordering delivery.
Easy Pull-Apart Pepperoni Garlic Knots
This intensely flavored party snack is made by tossing knotted strips of pizza dough with pepperoni, garlic, herbs, olive oil, and butter and baking them in a cast iron skillet. We use two kinds of cheese, mixing Parmesan in with the knots and sprinkling on Romano before baking.Continue to 25 of 25 below.
Stir-Fried Anchovy Banchan (Myeolchi Bokkeum)
This classic banchan packs a ton of flavor into a plateful of little dried fish. While it's ideal for serving alongside a full Korean meal, it's also perfect for sprucing up a desk lunch, as a snack with drinks, or just to tide you over before dinner.