Edible Obsession: It Happened One Night Road Trip Snacks

Hey everyone! Claire here, with another installment of my food-inspired-by-film series…

The road trip movie, the romantic comedy, and the “will they or won’t they” movie were all originated by one man, in one movie: Frank Capra, the director of It Happened One Night.

The story is about an heiress, Ellie, on the run from her family because they won’t let her marry the man she loves—an aviator named Westley. Trying to stay under the radar, she trades in her evening gown and furs for a simple day suit, and swaps out the Rolls Royce for a bus ticket. She ends up in a seat next to the down-on-his-luck newspaper man, Pete, played by the extremely handsome/witty/awesome Clark Gable, and it’s like oil and water. She looks down on everyone around her, and he needles her endlessly. After a series of mishaps, Pete figures out who she is and aims to write the “big story” that will get him back on top at the paper. Ellie agrees to give him the exclusive if he can get her back to her fiancé and away from her father’s goons.

They hit the road, bonding over hunger, sore feet, and crappy motels. By the end, they’ve become quite an effective team, with Ellie hitching a ride by sticking out her leg when Pete’s thumb proves a bit weak at the job.

I won’t tell you how it ends—you must watch the film to find out what happens with these two. But there’s no doubt that the heart of the movie is their adventure on the road. So, inspired by Pete and Ellie’s trip, I made road trip snacks for everyone in the car: salty and herbaceous rosemary potato chips, sweet and spicy Chex mix, and (for the vaguely healthy among us) raw and vegan carrot cake truffles… Enjoy!

Homemade Rosemary Potato Chips

Homemade rosemary potato chips.

Makes 4 servings


  • 4 medium russet potatoes
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil

Homemade rosemary potato chips are the perfect road trip snack.


  1. Slice the potatoes paper-thin (you’ll want to use a mandoline for this) and hold them in a medium bowl of ice water with the two tablespoons of salt and vinegar mixed in. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes. Dry them off just before adding to the oil.
  1. Bring the oil up to 375 degrees F in a deep heavy pot and add the slices of potatoes, plus a sprig of rosemary, working in small batches (add a sprig of rosemary with each batch). Stir with tongs to make sure no slices are sticking together. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the chips are golden brown all over and caramel colored at the edges.
  1. Drain the chips and rosemary on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper while still hot. Let the chips cool (good luck with that) and bag up for later. Or you can enjoy hot!

Sweet & Spicy Snack Mix

Sweet and spicy snack mix.

Makes 6 cups

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal squares
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup toasted shredded coconut (sweetened)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Claire Thomas is sharing her favorite homemade road trip snacks!


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F with rack in center. On a lined sheet pan, combine the rice cereal squares, pecans, pretzel sticks, chocolate chips, and coconut. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over everything, sprinkle with salt and cayenne, and stir to coat.
  1. Pour the mixture over a greased pan (I used a silicone mat, which makes it super easy to remove everything). Bake 30 minutes (longer if you like it extra toasty). Remove from oven and pour into bags to take on the road.

Raw and Vegan Carrot Cake Truffles

Raw and vegan carrot cake truffles via The Kitchy Kitchen.

Makes 6 servings


  • 4 or 5 large carrots peeled and cut into large pieces
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
  • ½ cup coconut whipped cream
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut

Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen whips up homemade road trip snacks.


  1. Combine everything, except for the coconut milk, in a food processor. Pulse until it has a shaggy texture and everything is about the same size (about half the size of your pinky nail—no big chunks).
  1. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Open the can of coconut milk, and into another bowl, scoop out the dense white part and only a few spoonfuls of the liquid.
  1. Whisk this together until you have a very thick and smooth coconut cream. Pour a ½ cup over the carrot cake mixture, and with your hands roll the mixture into balls.
  1. Roll the balls in coconut and place on a lined baking sheet. Refrigerate overnight (or at least a few hours) to set and enjoy!

You can thank me later for making your next road trip that much more enjoyable!

What’s your favorite snack to pack on road trips?

And what movie would you like to see me make my next recipe after?

Let me know in the comments below.

X Claire
The Kitchy Kitchen

Photos: The Kitchy Kitchen