26 Sweet and Salty Snacks to Satisfy Your Cravings

You can have it all

sweet and salty snacks: triptych image of popcorn, chocolate covered chips and puppy chow
Katherine Gillen/What’s Gaby Cooking/Sally’s Baking Recipes

There are people who prefer salty flavors, and those who prefer sweet…and then there are folks like me, who want the best both worlds. They bring out the best in each other—salt is a flavor enhancer, so it makes sweet things taste *that* much better. To satisfy a craving, here are 26 sweet and salty snacks I’m putting on my to-make list ASAP, and with recipes like s’mores cereal treats, saltine cracker toffee and chocolate-covered potato chips, I suggest you do the same.

50 Easy Snacks to Make at Home (That Aren’t Cheese and Crackers for the Millionth Time)

1. Maple Candied Bacon

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

I know, I know—sweet bacon sounds strange on paper. But trust me, it’s so good that you won’t be able to stop at one piece. This version calls for maple syrup, but I’ve also used brown sugar with success. And if you want to make it ahead, it will keep in the fridge for a few days. Just bring it to room temperature before serving.

2. Sweet and Spicy Caramel Corn

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

I’ve already established that sweet and salty snacks are superior, but have you considered sweet, salty and spicy? Dip your toes in the water with this cayenne-seasoned caramel corn, which has just enough heat to bring you back in for another handful. (And another, and another…)

3. Salted Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <15 minutes, <10 ingredients, high protein

Peanut butter, banana, cocoa and flaky sea salt are all featured in this borderline-dessert smoothie. FWIW, I’m not a protein powder girlie, so I leave that out (and I also use oat milk instead of almond milk). It still tastes delicious.

4. Salted Pistachio Shortbread

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

This shortbread is salty enough that it would be equally at home on a cheese board or a dessert spread. I’m a fan of pistachios, but if you aren’t, I’d suggest swapping them for almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts. Raw or roasted nuts will work, but make sure they’re unsalted since the dough is already salted.

5. Easy Bacon Jam

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, make ahead

I’ve never met a person who didn’t want to eat this savory-sweet spread by the spoonful. I like to use it as a condiment for a cheese board, but you can also add it to grilled cheeseburgersscallops and the like.

6. Salted Caramel & Chocolate Rice Cereal Squares

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

I have nothing against the store-bought kind, but I personally like making marshmallow-cereal squares at home because you can adjust the flavor to your liking. I always add more salt than the back-of-the-box recipe calls for, but this version adds salted caramel for a decadent twist.

7. Roasted Almond and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 26 minutes + chilling time
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, gluten free

Using smoked and salted almonds will add a layer of complex flavor to these already irresistible cookies. They happen to be gluten-free and dairy-optional, but I doubt you’d notice unless someone told you.

8. Salted Coconut Sorbet with Peanuts

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes + freezing time
  • Why We Love It: dairy free, make ahead, beginner-friendly

Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you mix up homemade ice cream every time you crave a sweet and salty snack. But this three-ingredient sorbet is so easy to make, it’s worth busting out your ice cream maker for a batch. One tablespoon of salt will give you an intense saltiness, so reduce the amount to ¾ tablespoon if you prefer a more subtle flavor.

9. Dorie Greenspan’s Miso-Maple Loaf

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, make ahead

Miso paste in a baked good? Believe it. The miso and maple syrup are less stand-out individual players than they are a team working together to create a warm, salty-sweet loaf that’s got a bit of mystery about it. I’ll eat a slice for breakfast or dessert, too.

10. S’mores Rice Cereal Treats

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes + cooling time
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients

If you don’t feel like turning on the oven (me, most of the time), this recipe comes together on the stovetop in about twenty minutes. I’ve found that the trick to light and fluffy—not dense—treats is to gently nudge the mixture down into the pan instead of packing it forcefully.

11. Cornflake Caramel Peanut Bars

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

These bites are a step above a no-bake cookie but not so difficult to make that you have to set aside an entire afternoon. I think making caramel from scratch can sound intimidating, but do it once and you’ll be an instant pro. (The trick is to keep a watchful eye on the pot.)

12. Churro Saltine Cracker Toffee

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

I may be a food editor, but I’m not making homemade candy on any old whim. This toffee recipe doesn’t even require a thermometer, so it gets my sweet-and-salty-snack stamp of approval. (FYI, if you don’t love white chocolate, just use milk or dark in its place.)

13. Peanut Butter Dip

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <15 minutes, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

This dip is for serious peanut butter lovers. It can lean a little sweet, so I’d increase the salt to ¾ teaspoon if you want a saltier rendition. Serve it with pretzels, apple slices or even some banana coins.

14. Almond Butter Stuffed Soft Pretzel Bites

  • Time Commitment: 57 minutes
  • Why We Love It: paleo, crowd-pleaser, low carb

I’m not following the paleo diet, but even I’ll admit that these bites are hard to pass up. The dough is made with cassava flour, which is made from a starchy root vegetable. It’s naturally low in sugar, so the recipe is low carb, too. Use another nut butter if almond isn’t your thing.

15. No-Bake Chocolate Peanut-Butter Pretzel Bars

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, kid-friendly

Pop quiz: Out of these three snacks, which one are you craving most right now: chocolate, peanut butter or pretzels? Can’t choose? Story of my life, which is why I’d suggest combining them into these no-bake snack bars. You’re welcome.

16. No-Bake Salted Caramel Cups

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no bake, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly, gluten free

Another oven-free sweet and salty snack (or dessert), these bites start with a combination of oats, dates and pecans, so they’re gluten-free and sneakily kind of good for you. The sea salt on top is technically optional, but you know I’m not skipping it.

17. Swirled Tahini Cups

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

Tahini—aka sesame paste—makes a good substitute for peanut butter if you’re looking for a nut-free treat or just want something different. The recipe calls for maple syrup as a sweetener, but I’d also suggest honey if that’s what you have in your pantry.

18. Salted Maple Granola

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser

It’s like having a cereal snack but with an upgrade. I love the crunchiness of the pepitas, but you could also use slivered almonds or chopped pistachios. Try to find tart dried cherries to keep the mix from getting too sweet.

19. Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, beginner-friendly, kid-friendly

Also known as muddy buddies, this no-bake snack mix makes my middle-school heart sing. If you want to use salted butter, you can either reduce the amount of salt added to the recipe, or keep it as-is for a snack that leans more salty than sweet.

20. Crispy Peanut Butter Cups

  • Time Commitment: 43 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients

If peanut butter cups and those crispy chocolate bars had a delicious baby, it would be these easy-to-make treats. The recipe calls for just a pinch of salt, but I like to increase it to ¼ or ½ teaspoon depending on how salty my peanut butter is. My other tip? Store them in the freezer for a cool treat any time of day.

21. Dark Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <15 minutes, beginner-friendly, <10 ingredients

If you haven’t yet tried this crush-worthy combination, allow me to introduce you. The chips are salty and crispy, the chocolate is melty and rich, they’re a match made in snack heaven. Add ice cream and thank me later.

22. Salted Date Brownie Energy Bites

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no bake, <15 minutes

When you need a snack fix but don’t want to load up on candy or chips in the middle of the afternoon (hi, me too), look no further. One of these energy bites provides almost 5 grams of protein and just over 4 grams of fiber, but they taste like lil’ salty brownies. Pinch me.

23. Chocolate-Covered Pretzels

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes

What’s easier to make than cookies and tastier to munch on than any store-bought snack mix? These chocolate-dipped pretzels, of course. You know I’m using salted pretzels for the sweet-and-salty combination, but you could use unsalted or lightly salted too.

24. Peanut Brittle

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: make ahead, crowd-pleaser

I said I wouldn’t break out my candy thermometer for any old recipe. This one happens to be worth the effort. If you overcook the sugar, it will taste bitter or burnt. If you undercook it, the results will be too sticky. The right temperature will reward your tastebuds.

25. Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Eat your heart out, Entenmann’s. This is the classic chocolate chip cookie, shrunk into the cutest dessert on the block. Follow my lead and sprinkle on the flaky sea salt with abandon for the ideal salty-sweet flavor. (I should mention, this is a one-bowl situation, because eating cookies will always be better than doing dishes.)

26. Kettle Corn

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <15 minutes, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly, crowd-pleaser

I recently discovered that all the microwave kettle corn at my grocery is sweetened with a sugar substitute—no hate, but when I want a sweet and salty snack, I want the real deal. As it turns out, the treat is easy to make at home: Start by making stovetop popcorn, then simply add sugar as the kernels pop.


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...