These peanut butter rice krispie treats are nice and chewy, naturally sweetened and incredibly quick and simple to put together! Gluten-free, 100% whole grain, vegan and with a nut-free option. With a how-to recipe video.
This recipe is the perfect solution to a peanut butter and chocolate craving. Just toss all the liquid stuff together in a pot, melt, and stir in the crisp rice cereal. Couldn’t be any simpler! My peanut butter oatmeal bars are also super easy and no-bake.
These healthier rice krispie treats use brown rice syrup + maple syrup in place of corn syrup or granulated sugar. I suppose sugar is sugar but still, I prefer using natural sweeteners over corn syrup.
I know brown rice syrup isn’t something most people have at home (I got mine at an organic shop but it’s also easy to get online) so I also tried these bars with honey, but the honey flavor was too strong.
I’m guessing you could use agave if that’s something you have on hand, but I haven’t actually tried it so I can’t say for sure (and probably never will since I don’t use agave).
I actually did try an all maple syrup version but they weren’t nearly chewy enough. It seems as though some type of thicker syrup is needed for chewiness. And chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats without chewiness is just sad.
If you need these to be gluten-free, make sure you buy gluten-free rice cereal. Rice Krispies are not gluten-free due to malt flavoring (but I still call this recipe rice krispie treats because nobody googles peanut butter crisp brown rice cereal treats!).
I recommend this Crispy Brown Rice Cereal from Erewhon as it’s certified gluten-free. I’ve seen some other gluten-free crisp rice cereals but they were processed in facilities that also process wheat so I haven’t tried them.
And these bars are easy to make nut-free. Just use sunflower seed butter. I’ve made them that way and they taste pretty close to the peanut butter version! If you like using sunflower seed butter, be sure to try my gluten-free and vegan sunflower seed butter cookies or PB&J fudge.
I used homemade peanut butter and it worked great. Here’s a recipe + video on how to make peanut butter. I love making a huge batch of that and then I use it for these gluten-free peanut butter cookies, peanut butter fudge, and these protein balls.
If you’re after a classic version of rice krispie treats, try these chocolate dipped krispie treats from Allergylicious!
Questions about these healthier peanut butter rice krispie treats?
- Can I use something other than peanut butter or sunflower seed butter? Those are the only two I’ve used but I’m assuming other types of natural nut butter, without any added fat or sugar, would work fine.
Nut butters aren’t always exchangeable but since this a simple no-bake recipe where you just mix everything together, I think it’d be fine.
- Can I use something else other than brown rice syrup? I’ve tried honey (for a non-vegan version) but the flavor was way too strong. I’ve also tried all maple syrup instead of part brown rice syrup + part maple syrup but then the bars weren’t sticky enough. Agave could possibly work!
- Can I reduce the sweetener? You can definitely play around with this recipe. I tried it out a bunch of times and thought it was best as written below.
- Can I use something in place of the crisp rice cereal? I haven’t tried it but oats might work, or a combination of shredded coconut and oats. Just keep adding a little at a time unless the consistency seems right to you.
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats (vegan, gluten-free options)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 16 bars
- 2/3 cup (174 grams) natural peanut butter or sunflower seed butter for nut-free (with just salt - no added sugar or fat)
- 1/2 cup (150 grams) brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 4 cups (120 grams) crisp rice cereal (make sure to use GF cereal, if needed)
- 1 cup (170 grams) chopped semi-sweet chocolate (make sure to use vegan chocolate, if needed)
- 6 tablespoons (96 grams) natural peanut butter or sunflower seed butter for nut-free (with just salt - no added sugar or fat)
For the topping:
- Line an 8"x8" pan with a piece of parchment paper.
- In a medium pot (one big enough for all the ingredients except for the chocolate) over low heat, mix together the peanut butter, rice syrup, maple syrup and a pinch of salt.
- Heat until the mixture bubbles (it shouldn't come to a full boil but should have some bubbles around the sides and in the middle, too), remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Add the cereal and carefully stir until the cereal is well-coated.
- Scoop the mixture onto the parchment paper and pat down so that the mixture is relatively compact.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter together and spread over the peanut butter layer.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours and then cut into bars.
- Place in an airtight container and keep at room temperature (or refrigerate) for up to 1 week.
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50 comments on “Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats (gluten-free, vegan options)” — Add one!
I had a couple boxes of peanut butter cocoa pebbles that didn’t have much flavor on their own, so I used them in this recipe. Winner! Instead of agave, I used a product called FiberYum (a prebiotic syrup I purchased on Amazon in place of the high- priced organic corn syrup) – worked well.
I’m so glad that they worked well with the Cocoa Pebbles! I hadn’t heard of FiberYum before. Thanks for the tip (and sorry for my slow reply! It’s hard to get anything done with my kid around all the time now. ;))
Has anyone tried using the original Special K cereal in a Rice Krispy type treat? I have a box and find the taste too bland to eat the cereal with milk. I’m wondering if the yummy peanut butter and chocolate would make up for the blandness of the Special K cereal? It says crisp rice on the box. Anyone think it might work?
I think it might! I have no idea how much you’d need to add in place of the rice krispies. Maybe less? Maybe more? I’m not sure. I’d love to hear how it comes out if you try it!
I used the same quantity of dates puree instead of the brown rice syrup…
so so good!!! it’s a kind of caramel rice crispy treat!!
thank you for the recipe!
I’m so very sorry for just now seeing your comment. It landed in spam for some weird reason! I’m very happy to hear that you enjoyed the krispie treats. :) And date puree sounds awesome. Thanks for your comment and sorry again!
Excellent recipe! Easy to make, delicious and not too sweet, goes well with a cup of coffee. Thank you!
You’re welcome! I’m so happy that you enjoyed them. :) Thanks a bunch for your feedback.
At room temperature I didn’t like the texture as the rice syrup seemed to penetrate the cereal, I was going to throw them out but stuck them in the refrigerator instead. In the morning my husband grabbed one and said it was good and sure enough it was. So to get the rice krispie texture they need to be chilled. I am wondering if adding heat time to the syrup would help stiffen the syrup therefor coating the cereal instead of soaking into it. I will test my theory as my local health food store has the syrup on clearance for 4 bucks!
Could it be the type of cereal you used? I’ve tried some kinds of cereal (random German brands so the brands aren’t relevant) that were kind of soft and not crisp like Rice Krispies. Maybe that was the issue?
I have made rice krispie treat without the marshmallows in the past and they were really good. But you had to boil the syrup to a certain temperature. This way looks much easier. Sounds terrific. My grandmother used to make Rice Krispie treats all the time for us kids but she did something that no one else that I have seen has ever done. She always melted butterscotch chips down and topped her Rice Krispies with that. They were SO good. Occasionally I get a hankering for them and make them. I bet the butterscotch would be good with these too.
I always try to avoid recipes where you have to boil the syrup to a specific temperature. I keep buying new thermometers and it seems like they’re all off and I can never get the recipes right. Your grandma’s treats sound great! Have you ever tried peanut butter and butterscotch together? It’s such a weird sounding combination but unbelievably good. I have a recipe for peanut butter butterscotch drops that are like something my grandma made, but they use natural peanut butter. :)
Yummo Erin!! These look insanely delish! My son will love them, as it will we!
Do you think organic brown rice krispies cereal will do in this recipe?
P.S .. I luv me some brown rice syrup, it makes the best desserts n treats!
Love your site!!!
Thanks! So happy that you love the site. :) And yes, that’s what I use! (check out the 2 paragraphs after the 2nd picture) I’d love to hear how they come out for you! Thanks for your comment.
I love nut butter WAY more than marshmallows, so I’m excited to try these! :)
Yum 👅. I made these yesterday, my daughter who isn’t a big fan of chocolate and peanut butter (crazy, I know), are 4 of them.
Yay! That’s awesome. So happy she liked them! Thanks for your comment. :)
These are absolutely AMAZING!!! I have to drive a distance to find vegan marshmallows, so your recipe was a great substitute for the traditional recipe. I used a mix of cashew butter and sunflower butter (trying to use up jars before my big move) and it was PERFECT. I pretty much ate most of the batch myself in 2 days. I will 100% be making these again soon, for my bridal shower too!
I’m thrilled that you liked them so much! A mix of cashew and sunflower butter sounds great. I hope they’ll be enjoyed at your bridal shower and I’m really sorry it took me so long to respond! Thanks a bunch for your feedback. :)
Love ur blog and all ur recipes! Omg can i just say these were AMAZING!!! Definitely hit the sweet spot! i think these are actually better than the ones i remember having as kid and soo much healthier and soo quick and easy and my my housemate loved them too.. i think ill b making these again and again and again.
Thank you! :) And I’m so happy that they came out well for you! I definitely need to make these again. It’s been too long! Thanks a ton for your feedback today. :)
Hi Erin! I didn’t have brown rice syrup so used agave syrup instead. I was also lazy. Instead of melting the chocolate chips, I just spread them in an even layer on the Crispies. Once they melted, I just spread them with a spatula. Worked like a charm! These turned out delicious!!! I agree that it’s good to have a small batch, unless you have a teenager who eats the rest before you can indulge in just one more!!! But, because they are so easy and quick, I can make another batch tonight!
Hi Heather! :) I’m happy they came out and I like your way of doing the chocolate chips. I think I’ll have to work quicker next time so that the mixture is actually warm by the time I’m finished shaping it. I usually fiddle around so long that it’s room temperature by the time I’m done with it. ;) Thanks so much for the feedback and have a great week!
I was in the same situation so I subbed agave syrup. Unfortunately, though I boiled mine for about a minute, they were not chewy at all. Tasty, but I really miss the chewiness. If you find yourself in the same situation, I would let it boil longer to become maybe even the soft ball state.
NB: I also increased this by 1.5 because I had a larger pan I wanted to use. I don’t think that will affect much though, aside from the rate of heating maybe.
I think brown rice syrup is a lot stickier than agave syrup, which probably explains why your agave version didn’t come out chewy. I’m happy that they were still tasty, though! Thanks so much for the feedback and for the tip on boiling longer if using agave. :)
Ich bin gerade von einem Rezept zum anderen gehüpft :) eine wahre Freude. Ich gratuliere dir zu diesem schönen Blog!
Thanks, Manuela, for the super nice comment! I hope that you found some good recipes to try. :)
Do you recommend crunchy or creamy natural peanut butter?
I like creamy but if you prefer crunchy, I’m assuming it’d work. Hope you’ll like them! :)
Ahh! Love these! I make a healthy marshmallow-free crispy treat all the time. I use grass fed gelatin instead of marshmallows. It’s awesome. But you’re pretty awesome too ;)
Haha. Thanks! And your gelatin in crispy treats thing sounds interesting! Going to go look for the recipe. :)
Rice Krispie treats are my ABSOLUTE favorite and I couldn’t agree more! It’s the chewiness that makes it SO SO EPIC! Loveeeee the fact that this is a MUCH healthier version! Can’t wait to make these for my girls’ movie night in! <3
Haha. Epic is right! ;) I hope that you and your friends will enjoy them!
Love that you made healthier chocolate pb rice krispie treats!
Thanks, Jessica! :)
Mmmm! These look perfect! I love everything about them. My kids thank you too :)
I hope your kids will get a chance to try them! ;)
This sounds amazing! Healthy PB treats – I am IN! Pinned!
Thanks for pinning! :)
Erin, as far as I know, brown rice syrup is probably the healthiest sugar option apart from honey. Agave, even though it has a low glycemic index is not good for you (don’t remember the exact reason) and corn syrup? ‘Nuf said. Honey taste does tend to be too strong, and I don’t particularly like it, but I discovered mesquite honey, and that I actually like. It doesn’t seem as strong as most. I don’t know how available that is outside the desert southwest, but it’s worth a try if you can find it.
You seem to know a lot about mesquite products! Is that a specialty in your area? It sounds interesting. :) I really don’t think I’ll find it in Germany but I’ll give it a go! Thanks for the tip and your thoughtful comment. :)
Wow, I don’t think I’ve seen a rice krispie treat without marshmallows, but these look delicious nonetheless :)
Nonetheless?! Psh. Girl. Marshmallows are weird! ;)
Looks disgusting. I’ll take a dozen.
Haha. Your comment mortified me at first. ;)
Love your sense of humor!😆
That looks awesome! Much better than the typical rice krispy treat. You can’t go wrong with PB + chocolate! :)
Agreed! It’s hard to mess that up. :)
Erin, what a deliciousness! I want these right now for my lunch! Pinned!
Thanks so much for pinning! :)