Pretzel-Popcorn Bars

Now here’s an irresistible treat: pretzel-popcorn bars! Who doesn’t love salty-sweet whole grain popcorn and protein-packed peanuts with real butter and favorite chocolate bites thrown in the mix? Toss in salty pretzels and my kid who has cystic fibrosis just salivates for pretzel-popcorn bars. A generation ago my grandma introduced popcorn cakes to the family. I would jump for joy at the arrival of the plain brown box with a festive cake enclosed. Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas...all called for popcorn cake! As the delicious tradition took hold I experimented with shape and elements; pretzel-popcorn bars were born. Try them as an after-school snack, a conversation starter at parties, holiday cheer, and best yet, serve them while tailgating at Great Strides.

by Jillian D.

Nutrition information

Servings: 14

Amount per serving

  • 540
  • 320mg
  • 10g
  • 50mg


  • 4 qt popped popcorn (either from two 3.5 ounce microwavable bags or about 3/4 cups popcorn kernels)
  • 12 oz dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 c broken pretzel pieces
  • 8 oz plain M&M's
  • 8 oz peanut M&M's
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 16 oz large marshmallows
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Add All Ingredients


Step 1
In an extra large mixing bowl, mix popcorn, peanuts, pretzel pieces and M&M's.

Step 2
In a large saucepan, melt marshmallows, butter and vanilla extract over low heat.

Step 3
Pour over popcorn mixture. Mix well.

Step 4
With buttered hands (careful as mixture is hot) press mixture tightly into a buttered 9x13" pan.

Step 5
Let stand 1-2 hours. Slice and serve.