Salty ranch seasoned crackers, marinated and baked in olive oil, and covered in red pepper flakes are the perfect party appetizer. Alabama Fire Crackers, also known as southern fire crackers, have a slightly spicy taste with a crunchy finish. They’re absolutely irresistible.
Southern Fire Crackers or Alabama Fire Crackers
These delicious southern crackers have a salty ranch seasoning and are baked in olive oil coating. With several heaping tablespoons of red pepper flakes, each cracker packs a slightly spicy punch, but not too much punch.
One of my parents’ couple friends have become so close to them they’re practically family. I first tasted these delicious saltines with ranch and red pepper flakes when Robin made them for the Christmas holidays and I was instantly addicted.
At first bite, there’s a bit of an unusual flavor combination and then you try more, and from there the bowl just disappears. If you love these spicy crackers then try these Ranch Seasoned Oyster Crackers too.
Ingredients in Alabama Fire Crackers
These spicy crackers have extremely simple ingredients with an emphasis on seasoning and spices. Below are my recommendations for ingredients.
- Olive Oil: I highly recommend using high-quality olive oil for this recipe, which will enhance the flavor. You’ll only bake these crackers at 250ºF so it’s safe to use. This recipe calls for a good amount of olive oil so it’s a key ingredient.
- Seasoning: This recipe combines a strong amount of spices and seasoning for a bold flavor. You’ll need onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and red pepper flakes these spices paired with the ranch mix are strikingly delicious.
- Ranch Dressing Mix: these packets come with some of the above ingredients mixed in already, but has hints of spices which pair nicely with the others as well as enhance them.
- Saltine Crackers: I recommend using the standard saltine crackers that are already seasoned with salt. They hold up well and maintain their crunch after they’re marinated and then baked.
How to Make Alabama Fire Crackers
- Mix Seasoning: whisk together the onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and ranch dressing mix until combined. Pour in the olive oil and whisk together.
- Marinate: Place the saltine crackers in a large Ziplock bag and pour the olive oil mixture into the bag. Gently shake the bag turning it over a couple of times to fully coat all the crackers. Let sit on the counter overnight, occasionally flipping the bag.
- Bake: Preheat the oven to 250ºF and spread the crackers out onto a baking sheet (use 2 if you need them). Bake them for 15 minutes until they’re golden brown.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- While the crackers are marinating in the Ziplock bag, make sure to occasion rotate the bag to the other side. This will ensure all the seasonings coat the crackers evenly.
- Using 1 gallon-sized Ziplock bag will be large enough. Shake the crackers though to make sure the seasoning spreads before letting it sit.
What to Serve Alabama Fire Crackers With?
These Alabama fire crackers really speak or taste for themselves and really don’t require a dip. I recommend pairing them with something simple if you choose to add a sauce or dip to your plate.
- Just as they are!
- Smoked Cheese Ball
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Do I have to use 3 tablespoons of red pepper flakes?
I know this sounds like a ton of spicy seasoning, but when combined with the other spices and then spread out over all of the crackers it’s not really that much. Sometimes I even prefer to add ¼ cup of red pepper flakes. If you’re worried about the heat though you can easily cut down the amount, I wouldn’t go much lower than 2 tablespoons.
Can you make these ahead of time?
Yes! These crackers take overnight or a minimum of 8 hours to really marinate in the sauce before you slowly bake them. They can easily be made up to 3 days in advance of serving them.
Alabama Fire Crackers
- Measuring Cup
- Mixing Bowl
- Gallon-Sized Ziplock Bag
- 2 cups Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 3 tablespoons Crushed Red Pepper
- 2 ounces Packages Ranch Dressing Mix 2 packages
- 16 ounces Saltine Crackers 4 sleeves
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk the olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, and ranch dressing mix together.
- Place the saltine crackers in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag and pour the olive oil mixture into the bag and seal. Gently turn the bag over a couple of times so the crackers are evenly coated.
- Let the bag sit overnight, turning it over occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 250ºF and spread the crackers out onto a baking sheet (use 2 if you need them). Bake them for 15 minutes until they're golden brown.