Swamp Crackers

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Like me, you may be new to the world of Swamp Crackers or you may simply know them by another name. I have heard these called Alabama Fire Crackers, Kentucky Crackers or even just Spicy Ranch Crackers. What’s that saying? I don’t care what you call me, just don’t call me late for dinner. Well, these crackers fall into that kind of category.

Swamp Crackers take basic saltine crackers and gives them a spicy kick in the rear!

I have been eating saltine crackers since I was a kid, I think we all have. Honestly though, I hadn’t thought about them in years. Then one day during my perusal of YouTube, I ran across a video by Hoyt Tidwell and he took me down a rabbit hole of old-time recipes. These were the kinds of foods my Oklahoma grandparents would have made and I lost half my day watching his channel. He had me from the start with his no nonsense style, nostalgic kitchen, gruff exterior, sweet Southern drawl and of course his overalls. I was hooked and have been an avid fan of Hoyt’s Kitchen ever since. He even has a cookbook and sent it to me, signed. I love it!

Anyway, one of the recipes he was covering on his channel that day, was Swamp Crackers. Now, I am not kidding when I say, this is one of the very easiest recipes you can make. It takes all of about 5 minutes to assemble and then you let lit it sit for about 30 minutes and done! I think the hardest part about this recipe is just mixing it and honestly, that’s not hard.

Swamp Crackers are basic crackers coated in Ranch flavored herbs, spices and oil. They are tossed and left to sit for just 30 minutes, where they are transformed into AWESOMENESS!!!

I have shared this recipe with several people and they have all made them and become fellow Swamp Cracker addicts. Hello, my name is Oma and I am a Swamp Cracker Addict. In all seriousness, I eat way too many of these! When I saw the amount of oil in the recipe, I thought it must not be correct. It is correct though, I watched Hoyt make them and then I did it and the interesting thing is, the cracker absorbs it and still stays super crisp.

To make a batch of my obsession, you will just need 4 stacks or one whole, large box of Saltine Crackers. Empty these crackers into a large bowl or large plastic bag. The first time I made these, I used a bowl. The second time, I used a 2 gallon Ziplock bag and it was even easier, because clean up consisted of me throwing away the bag when they were done.

Once the crackers are in the bag or bowl, set that aside for a few minutes. In a smaller bowl, mix the ranch seasoning packet or use my homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix, crushed red pepper, cayenne and oil together until well incorporated. Then pour this over the dry crackers and toss until they are all coated. This is where using a 2 gallon Ziplock bag is perfect, you can just keep tossing and rolling the bag until everything is coated and well saturated with the mixture. Then set this aside for about 30 minutes.

Swamp Crackers

Swamp Crackers are basic crackers coated in Ranch flavored herbs, spices and oil. They are tossed and left to sit for just 30 minutes, where they are transformed into AWESOMENESS!!!
Prep Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American


  • Large bowl or 2 gallon Ziplock bag


  • 1 box Premium Saltine Crackers 4 stacks
  • 1-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper I only use 1/2 tsp
  • 3 tsp red pepper flakes I only use 2 tsp
  • 1 pkg ranch seasoning mix


  • Pour all of the saltine crackers into a large bowl or 2 gallon Ziplock bag, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix cayenne, red pepper flakes, ranch dressing seasoning and oil together and then pour over crackers.
  • Toss the crackers until they are well coated and the majority of the herbed oil has saturated the crackers. Then let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Once the crackers have sit for 30 minutes you can eat them or store them for later in an airtight container.


***Original recipe calls for 1 tsp of cayenne and 3 tbsp of red pepper flakes,  I tamed it a tad by using 1/2 tsp of cayenne and 2 tsp of red pepper flakes instead. I like it both ways, but for grandkids and folks who don’t LOVE heat as much as I do, my less spicy version, is just fine with them***
Keyword Swamp Crackers

Once the Swamp Crackers have been sitting for 30 minutes, I move them to an airtight container where they stay crisp and the flavor just keeps getting better. We eat these just by themselves, but I also use them to scoop up egg salad, chicken salad or as a side to soups and green salads. Everyone who has eaten these, has loved them and I bet you will too!

Remember to leave a *Star Rating* and tag me on your Instagram posts if you make any of my recipes. I love to see your creations!


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Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix


10 thoughts on “Swamp Crackers”

  1. I make them just like this but with Canola oil, easy light taste. Also love to make them out of oyster crackers and using them to top chili or soups.

  2. Made these with mini saltines several times as a gift. I do them in a bag half at a time so the seasoning gets on all of them then repeat with second half.
    The bag gets quite messy so I change it out when I gift them
    Love the flavors, they’re addicting.

  3. I only had one ranch packet, so I used a McCormick Mississippi pot roast seasoning packet, but realized after it contained rendered beef fat. Will they be safe to eat and not refrigerated? 🤷🏻‍♀️


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