Peanuts and Red Hots Recipe
Appetizers,  Drinks,  Game Day,  Kids,  Snack

Peanuts and Red Hots

It’s a combination that I will always love. It’s the simplicity of peanuts and red hots that reminds me of my childhood days, and in particular fond memories of my grandpa. My grandpa was a hardworking guy, and as I was growing up I knew him to be kind with a smile, a man who loved to smoke and play solitaire, and then enjoy and relax his weekends drinking beer and hanging out with us. He was the front gate man at Indiana Beach, for what seemed like an eternity, and I’m certain those who frequented Indiana Beach probably knew Gary.

There are many great things that I loved about my grandpa, but one of them was watching baseball and sharing one of his favorite beer snacks. Peanuts and red hots. In my many years since his passing, I have never met anyone, nor seen anyone serve peanuts and red hots. Whether it just be hanging out at someone’s house, at a bar, or at any party, the peanuts and red hots were an unknown. Granted, I do not see many people buying bags of red hots or what they call cinnamon imperials nowadays, I decided to bring these back out for my family to enjoy.

Peanuts and Red Hots Recipe
Peanuts and Red Hots Recipe

These are still one of my favorite snacks, and a handful really does the trick. The salty, a bit sweet, with that subtle bite from the cinnamon makes it a really awesome snack.

Let’s get started.


  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup red hots (I used chewy)

That’s it. Adjust your ratios accordingly and since I bought in bulk, I made roughly 4 cups of peanuts, 2 cups of red hots. You get it.

Peanuts and Red Hots Recipe
Peanuts and Red Hots Recipe

Place both in a bowl, and give a good mix. Pour into a bowl and get your snack on. Trust me… Even if you are skeptical of the red hots, I think the combination will do the trick. There’s something addicting. Maybe it is the chewy texture along with that subtle creaminess of the peanuts… not sure. Did you grow up with something like this as a snack, and one that brings back great memories of your grandparents? Enjoy!


  • Brenda

    OH MY GOODNESS!! I thought mine was the only family for whom this is a favorite from childhood. Thanks for the memory…I’m off to get the ingredients so that I can introduce this to MY granddaughter! ( Well maybe not since she’s only three.)

  • Andrew

    Wow, I found this trying to see if anyone else did this. This was my grandfathers favorite. He grew up in Decatur in the 20s-30s so I wonder if it was an Indiana thing from that time? Maybe a favorite at the local fair or sold at local baseball games or something like that.

  • Melissa C

    No way! My grandpa too! He grew up in Nebraska and later California, and he was in the Navy. Maybe a military thing? I used to love making gifts of these for him.

  • Natalie

    My grandma always had this as a snack, and yeah, nobody I know has ever heard of this great combination! We love it at our house! We are also in Indiana.

  • Katie Dilts

    A very good friend of ours from KS introduced us to this-his favorite snack-a few years ago; he passed away at age 84 in Laramie WY on 11/5/2017. We’ve adopted this as our favorite snack; we still miss Ray Weaver’s smiling face. Thank you for the recipe; I’ve just been guessing!

  • Susan

    oh yes! We did this too. ( I am also a Hoosier ) We also mixed dry roasted peanuts with candy corn it tastes like a Payday candy bar.

  • Diana

    Yes!! I Googled peanuts and red hots to find out if anyone else had heard of this combination. My grandparents always had a bowl of these out at Christmas time. I’ve been really hungry for them recently. So nice to see that so many other people have fond memories of this simple but yummy snack. Our family was from northern Indiana. Sounds as if it’s maybe a Hoosier thing!

  • Christine Holder

    I have just discovered this little secret. I found this at work in our cafeteria. Our cafeteria is a bit odd so I figured that this
    was just another off the wall thing that they were trying.
    I loved it. Im in Iowa and have not seen this here or Wisconsin. I like it.

  • Susan M

    I’m so glad I decided to google ‘red hots & pea nuts’!!

    This was a favorite snack of the mother of one of my best friends, as I was growing up (50s & 60s) She would have them in small bowls, stragisticallyl located throughout the house. That’s one of my fondest memories of being at their house. I never saw her fill the bowls… but they were never empty! Many years later she was living in a nursing home & every time I’d go see her, I took her red hots & peanuts. She still loved them.

    I saved small jelly jars with screw type lids all this year with the intention of filling them with something & giving as small gifts. Until today, I didn’t know WHAT was going in them…. until something my husband said triggered this memory!! Now I’m on a quest to find red hots & peanuts!!

    I loved your grandpa story!

  • Debbie M.

    I was curious if anyone else did red hots and peanuts and I found your page. This was something my grandfather did who also happenes to be from Indiana. My Dad continued the tradition and now I do it. Loved your story.

  • Charleen

    My father loved this snack. He grew up in the Flora area of Indiana. Like many of you, I know no one else who has heard of this. I make it about once a year with Spanish peanuts and cinnamon imperials. Such warm memories of family snacking together as a child.

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