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How to fry Cheerios

Well, since Tom Knapp wants to know and even David Codrea has announced his intention to get on the fried Cheerios bandwagon, this seems a good time to print the recipe.

Actually reprint, since I posted it years and years ago. But despite my Cheerio cheerleading, people continue to find the notion of fried breakfast cereal strange.

Really, though, it’s better than popcorn on a movie night. And probably better for you (well, if you count the fiber and discount the mass application of butter). My mom started making this when I was about six. We always called it “toasted Cheerios,” which sounds tastier. But c’mon. When you put something into a skillet full of butter, you are not “toasting.”

Anyhow, here goes:


9 oz. regular Cheerios (half a standard box)
1/3 of a cup of butter (2/3 of a stick)
Salt to taste


On low-medium heat, melt butter in a skillet until it barely begins to bubble.

Pour in Cheerios, stirring as you go.

Continuously stir until the Cheerios begin to turn golden. Takes only a few minutes. If you see a lot of brown surfaces, you’ve overcooked them.

Salt to taste

Enjoy with your favorite DVD or streaming movie. Eat the leftovers for breakfast (without milk or sugar!)

BTW, all amounts are adjustable. If you’re not as big a butter fan as I am, you may want to start with a smaller amount of that. This is just what I’ve arrived at for my own greasy-salty-crunchy tastes after years of practice.


  1. Laird
    Laird December 30, 2015 7:53 am

    Looks yummy. Not unlike Chex Mix, I should think. One could also try adding some other spices or flavorings, such as soy sauce or garlic salt.

  2. Claire
    Claire December 30, 2015 8:01 am

    Laird — It is yummy! And I suspect Mom originated it after having something like Chex Mix. Maybe she didn’t have the other ingredients, so she just soloed with the Cheerios.

    And I agree soy sauce and garlic could be great innovations. If you try, let me know how that goes. I’ve always been such a purist I’ve never tried anything else, but those two sound mouth-watering.

  3. jed
    jed December 30, 2015 11:38 am

    My mom made this when I was a kid, except with Chex cereal. Also, Worcestershire sauce, and various other snack ingredients: pretzels … ok, my memory is pretty bad here. Peanuts? Almonds would be good. Spice it up with some hot sauce. I have some ginger teriyaki sauce which I think would work well for this.

    Reminds me that somewhere, over at TMM, is a recipe for doing your own roasted almonds. I had mixed success with that. Turned out best when they came out somewhat candied.

  4. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal December 30, 2015 11:57 am

    My mom makes some really good pretzels with olive oil and red pepper. So many yummy things of questionable nutrient value!

  5. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty December 30, 2015 1:52 pm

    I never fried Cheerios, but I do much the same with my favorite dry cereal, shredded wheat (the big biscuits). I melt some butter over medium heat (never measured it) and put in the cereal, then turn it when the butter starts to brown a tiny bit. The butter is usually completely absorbed in a minute, and the biscuits go into my bowl with some fruit, sugar and milk. I tried adding peanuts and dried pineapple chunks once, and it was ok, but I like it best with chopped strawberries and plain yogurt.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp
    Thomas L. Knapp December 30, 2015 4:36 pm

    Mmmm ….

  7. jed
    jed December 30, 2015 4:45 pm

    Well, lookee here. I actually had this bookmarked, and in a spot I could find it easily: BBQ Flavored Nuts

  8. savvy suzy
    savvy suzy January 1, 2016 9:16 pm

    Once, when my car broke down at a holiday cabin, we needed something sweet and Cheerios came to the rescue. I melted some brown sugar in butter and at just the right moment added the Cheerios and then spread it out to cool and so had praline cheerios. The kids loved it and it got us through a long night.

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