See this fun and tasty spiced oyster cracker recipe you can make with a $1 bag of Oyster Crackers! Perfect for munching, soups and more!
What makes an oyster cracker an oyster cracker?
Something about those little round Oyster Crackers takes me back to childhood! My grandmother always had a bag in the cabinet and us kids would snack on them — I am guessing she kept them to serve with a bowl of soup.
I can promise you these little snack crackers don't have much taste on their own. Oyster Crackers are typically added to the top of soups such as Clam Chowder or oyster stew, or even tomato soup. In Cincinnati, they are added to chili, and in the New England Area they are served with Oysters, which is how they got their name.
On their own they might work as a snack for kids, but fast forward 25+ years and a handful of crackers is less appealing to me now! 🙂 Since they are such a great snack option and they are a great size for snacking, however, I decided to jazz them up with some great savory flavors. See this quick and easy recipe!
What is the difference between oyster crackers and saltines?
Both oyster crackers and saltines are crackers that are made from flour, water and baking soda or baking powder. The dough is then rolled out thinly and cut into small squares or rectangles. Saltines are made with a little bit of salt added to the dough, while oyster crackers do not contain any salt. As a result, saltines have a slightly salty taste, while oyster crackers are more bland. In terms of texture, saltines are generally crispy, while oyster crackers are more hard and crunchy. Saltine crackers are typically eaten with soup, while oyster crackers can be enjoyed on their own or as a topping for salads or casseroles. In addition, saltines are traditionally larger square crackers and work in many recipes as a base layer. Oyster crackers are a tiny little cracker that you would eat by the handful in a snack mix.
How do you make flavored oyster crackers?
If you want an easy and frugal snack for your next party, these spicy ranch oyster crackers are just the thing. They are a fun and festive addition to cheese boards or a charcuterie board. Even better, you can flavor them how you wish. If your crowd loves hot and spicy snacks, you can make these into a spicy ranch mix with lots of extra pepper. It's all up to you. We recommend tasting as you go, to ensure the mixture is to your liking. Some may prefer it more spicy or salty than others.
Also note, this recipe works best if you use an overly large bowl. I am really good at getting out a bowl not quite big enough, then I have a mess of spices and crackers all over the counter. Be sure to scroll down for the full recipe at the recipe card below. However, here's what you need to get started.
Melt unsalted butter in a microwave safe dish and add the full bag of Oyster Crackers. Gently stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the crackers have a nice even coating. You can also just use your hands to toss– sometimes that works best for me! In a separate dish, make your seasoning mix. You can use many different seasonings here but the trick is to add them to your large mixing bowl alternately with stirring.
Then you will add your spices a little at a time. Don't add all at once or you will have some overly coated with spices and some not flavorful at all. For mine, I seasoned then tossed well, and then repeated those steps until the crackers were done.
Savory Oyster Cracker Recipe- Adding Spices:
First, I had to add some strong spices to give these Oyster Crackers some kick! I find dry Ranch Seasoning to be my favorite way to add flavor to any type of crackers. Keep in mind ranch oyster cracker recipe calls for dry ranch seasoning mix, NOT dry ranch dressing mix or dry ranch dip mix. These are vastly different!! Why? Let's look at the math-
Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning in the bottle contains 60mg of sodium per serving (1/4 teaspoon). This would be 120 mg per 1/2 teaspoon. On the other hand, The Hidden Valley Dips Mix contains 240 mg of sodium per each serving (1/2 teaspoon). So you can see, there is much more salt in the Dips Mix! Since we are adding strong spices to this oyster crackers recipe, we do not want extra salt. It will overtake the other spices, and also become too salty, very quickly. The first time I made this recipe, my mixture did end up too salty– so I took a good look at ingredients to avoid making that mistake again!
You can definitely opt to purchase the Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning Packet or the larger container at your local grocery store. Keep in mind, look for the lower sodium content in any seasoning you use.
If you like to make your own spices, you can easily mix up this Homemade Dry Ranch Seasoning which will go a long way and tastes almost exactly the same. I always add less of my homemade seasoning than the store-bought mix. If the recipe calls for a full packet (around 3.5 TBSP) I will just use about 2 TBSP of my homemade mix. And one important thing to remember is that you do need to shake the jar well –lid on securely– or take a butter knife and mix your Homemade Ranch Seasoning before you use it. The ranch will settle over time.
What Spices Do You Need?
For this recipe you just need butter, Ranch seasoning mix, and red pepper flakes. However, there are many substitutes and other ideas you can do if you want to change it up!
For example, substututes for ranch seasoning are:
- Taco seasoning or Fajita Seasoning (taste to ensure the mix isn't too salty)
- Adding a little cayenne pepper
- Add dill weed for a Mediterranean flavor
- Add Chex mix to replace some of the crackers for more of a snack mix
- Increase the garlic flavor with a teaspoon garlic powder
Finally, Add some Heat! I used Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to give this recipe a little spice without being overwhelmingly hot. If you really love HOT snack mixes, you can go for any level of red pepper powder. Be sure to taste as you go!
What other ways can I make Seasoned Oyster Crackers?
There are numerous creative ways to elevate the classic oyster cracker recipe. One popular variation is Ranch Oyster Crackers, where you toss the crackers with a blend of ranch seasoning, garlic powder, dill, and sometimes a hint of cayenne for a savory and tangy twist. Another option is to create Sweet and Spicy Oyster Crackers by mixing them with a combination of brown sugar, chili powder, and a touch of cayenne pepper for a delightful balance of flavors. For those seeking a cheesy kick, Cheesy Parmesan Oyster Crackers can be made by coating the crackers with melted butter, grated Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of Italian seasoning. The possibilities are endless – from spicy to sweet to savory, you can experiment with various seasonings and herbs to craft your perfect oyster cracker creation!
What is the best way to store them?
Using a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie is a convenient and effective way to store flavored oyster crackers or any other type of seasoned crackers. Once you've prepared your seasoned crackers, allow them to cool completely before transferring them into the Ziploc bag. Press out any excess air from the bag before sealing it. This will help prevent moisture and air exposure, which can lead to the crackers becoming stale or losing their crunchiness.
If you've made multiple flavored batches, you can use separate Ziploc bags for each flavor to prevent any mingling of tastes. Store the bags in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or cupboard. This storage method helps maintain the freshness and flavor of the crackers for a longer period. Remember that the quality of the storage bag is important; ensure it's sealed properly to avoid any air or moisture infiltration.
Can I Freeze the Leftover From my Oyster Cracker Recipe ?
- Remove Air: Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags or containers before sealing. This helps prevent freezer burn and maintains the quality of the crackers.
- Label and Date: It's a good practice to label the containers or bags with the date of freezing. This will help you keep track of how long they've been in the freezer.
- Freeze: Place the sealed bags or containers in the freezer. Oyster crackers can generally be stored in the freezer for up to 2 to 3 months without a significant loss in quality.
- Thawing and Using: When you're ready to use the frozen crackers, you can thaw them at room temperature. If you find that they've lost some of their crispiness after thawing, you can refresh them in the oven for a few minutes at a low temperature to restore their crunchiness.
Remember that while freezing is a great option for preserving the crackers, some changes in texture might still occur due to the moisture content. It's a good idea to test a small portion after thawing to ensure the desired texture and flavor are still intact before using the whole batch.
Hope you Enjoy this Simple Recipe. It's great for setting out for Baby and Bridal Shower Snacks, Game Day munching and more! It's a great recipe to have on hand for the holidays or any type of gathering.
Print Your Oyster Cracker Recipe Here
- 1 lb Oyster Crackers (you can use 2 of the 9 oz packages)
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 pack ranch dip mix
Melt the butter completely
Pour your bag of crackers into a large mixing bowl ( big enough to stir) Slowly add the melted butter and stir till all crackers are well coated.
Now add your ranch seasoning mix a little at a time and stir each time you add more. This will help the seasoning not to clump and that the crackers are well coated.
Now do the same with red pepper flakes.
Store in an airtight resealable container.
Allow flavors to mix 10-15 minutes, then serve
You can also do variations on this recipe, such as parmesan garlic, nacho cheese, buffalo, cajun or lemon/dill.
Amount Per Serving Calories 93Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 8mgSodium 171mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 1g
See more recipes from the Consumer Queen Here
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