I love easy recipes. If you do too, you’ll love this recipe for Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars. I made them recently and they were delicious! They’re easy to make and have the benefit of being the perfect sweet treat to make with the kids (or on your own).
You’ll never believe it, but these peanut butter rice krispie bars are the most decadent desserts to ever experience. It’s like regular rice krispie squares, only 1000x better (or more). Seriously there’s no believing how much better they are when you taste one of these for yourself.
Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Healthy rice krispie treats made without marshmallows and with peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and brown rice krispies. These vegan and gluten free peanut butter rice krispie treats are topped with dark chocolate and sea salt for an indulgent treat that tastes just like a crunchy peanut butter cup. Options to add a bit of protein powder to make these a great post workout treat!
Sometimes the best kind of treats are the ones you haven’t made in FOREVER. That includes the very famous rice krispie treats that were always in lunch boxes and at your aunt’s house during family birthday parties.
Man, I loved those sweet little marshmallow pull apart oozy-gooey sticky bars more than anything. One time I ate so many individual treats out of those bright blue wrappers that I ended up with a stomach ache for two days straight. I also remember eating the rice krispie treat cereal straight from the cereal box. Handfuls upon handfuls and another stomach ache later, I was sure I was done with rice krispie treats for GOOD.
Years later at a friend’s house, I discovered something known as ‘Special K’ bars. Basically, these bars were a combination of butter, peanut butter, butterscotch and Special K cereal in a bar, then and topped with semi sweet chocolate + butterscotch chips. These too became another favorite treat I could eat without any control. #oops #savage
Now that I’m into full blown adulthood (and a food blogger!) I’ve LOVED bringing you my favorite childhood meals & desserts with healthier, simple twists. It’s a great way to still enjoy your favorite foods but also make more nutritious choices.
So what are these chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats exactly? A combination of a rice krispie treat and a special k bar. There’s no refined sugar or marshmallows involved and the bars are made with only 6 ingredients (or 7 if you make them with a little protein powder!).
Ingredients in healthy peanut butter rice krispie treats
- Peanut butter: to help keep these healthy rice krispie treats together without using marshmallows. Feel free to use cashew or almond butter as well!
- Coconut oil: unrefined coconut oil has a slight coconut flavor that adds a subtle sweetness to these bars and helps the filling stay together. You can also sub melted butter or vegan butter.
- Maple syrup: for an all natural sweetness we’re adding a little pure maple syrup. You can sub honey or brown rice syrup as well.
- Vanilla extract: extra delicious flavor! Not necessary, but always delish.
- Rice Krispies: feel free to use regular or brown rice krispies. If you need these to be gluten free, remember to check your labels to ensure the brown rice krispies you’re using are certified gluten free.
- OPTIONAL: for a boost of protein, you can add a little collagen (or your favorite protein powder).
- Dark chocolate bar: you can use a fun flavor of choice or a regular dark chocolate. I love Divine, Theo, Hu, Evolved and Alter Eco brands. To make these bars vegan, use a vegan/dairy free dark chocolate.
Optional ingredient swaps
Out of a few ingredients? These peanut butter rice krispie treats are easy to customize! Here’s what I can recommend:
- For peanut butter: feel free to use cashew, almond or sunflower butter. You may need to add an extra 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil.
- For the coconut oil: you may use butter or vegan butter.
- For the maple syrup: feel free to use honey, brown rice syrup or coconut syrup.
How to make peanut butter rice krispie treats without marshmallows
- Mix the wet ingredients. Place a medium pot over low heat and add in peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and well combined, about 1 minute.
- Make the “batter.” Next add in the protein powder (optional) and crispy brown rice cereal; stir until combined and cereal is completely coated.
- Prep your pan. Pour the mixture into a prepared pan, and use a spatula to flatten the top so it is even.
- Add the chocolate. Melt your chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals or on the stovetop over low heat until it’s smooth and creamy. Pour the melted chocolate over the bars and tilt your pan so that they’re evenly coated.
- Refrigerate & devour. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the bars are completely cool and the chocolate is solid. Sprinkle bars with fancy sea salt then cut into 16 bars and enjoy!
Storing homemade rice krispie treats
- In the fridge: store these bars covered in the fridge for up to 1 week. When you’re ready to eat them, just let them come to room temp for about 5 minutes so that they soften a bit.
- In the freezer: yes, you can freeze this chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats! Place them in the freezer for up to 2 months in an airtight container. I’d recommend separating the bars with parchment wax paper as well. When you’re ready to eat them, let the bars thaw in the fridge and then bring them to room temp as described above.
PEANUT BUTTER RICE CRISPY TREATS
Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats require only 4 simple ingredients and taste better than the original version! Made without marshmallows or butter, this is an easy no-bake dessert you can make in just minutes.
Just like making homemade granola bars, you can also customize these rice crispy treats by melting some dark chocolate chips and spreading the melted chocolate on top.
I also like to add a sprinkle of sea salt to make the flavor pop!
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
What’s in peanut butter rice crispy treats?
- Creamy peanut butter
- Honey (or use maple syrup for a vegan version)
- Brown rice cereal (or Rice Krispies cereal)
That’s it! You may also want to have chocolate chips on hand, if you’d like to add a topping, and some cooking spray and parchment paper, or wax paper, to help prepare the dish.
HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER RICE CRISPY TREATS
1. Gather the ingredients. This recipe moves fast, so measure everything out before you get started. Add the cereal to a large mixing bowl, so it’s ready to go for the next step.
2. Boil. Add the honey to a small sauce pan over medium heat on the stovetop, and bring it to a boil. As soon as you see bubbles around the edges of the pan, set a timer for 1 minute.
It’s okay if the honey bubbles significantly, but turn down the heat if you think it will start to reach the top of the pan.
When the timer goes off, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter and salt with a spatula.
3. Mix. Pour the hot peanut butter honey mixture over the cereal in the mixing bowl. Stir well, until the cereal is evenly coated.
Work quickly, as the peanut butter mixture will start to harden as it cools, and will become more difficult to stir.
4. Cool. Prepare an 8-inch square dish by lightly spraying it with cooking spray, then press a piece of parchment paper into the bottom. The oil will hold the parchment paper in place, so it won’t wiggle around as you work, and will make the bars very easy to remove later.
Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, pressing firmly until the bars are flat and tightly packed inside.
For a chocolate topping, melt a 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips (either in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove) and spread or drizzle the chocolate over the top. It will harden as the bars cool.
Let these healthy rice crispy treats cool completely by placing them in the fridge or freezer. It usually takes about 1 hour in the freezer, or 2 hours in the fridge for them to cool completely.
5. Enjoy! Slice the cooled peanut butter rice crispy treats into 16 bars and enjoy. You can store this rice krispie treats recipe at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container.
I find that peanut butter rice krispies treats get softer when you store them at room temperature, so for the most firm & crispy results, keep them chilled.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & SUBSTITUTIONS
How to make them Vegan: Omit the honey and use pure maple syrup instead. You could also use agave nectar or brown rice syrup, as an alternative sweetener. The brown rice syrup tastes the most like classic rice krispies treats made with marshmallows.
Can I make this with puffed rice cereal? If you are looking to make a healthy recipe, I don’t recommend using puffed rice (or puffed quinoa) cereal, as it doesn’t turn out crispy. The texture isn’t nearly as pleasant when compared to the classic crispy rice cereal we have all come to expect.
Can I make it nut-free? If you’d rather not use peanut butter, you can use tahini or sunflower butter as a nut-free alternative. If you just need to avoid peanuts, you could also use almond butter or cashew butter.
*Allergy Safety Note: When serving these peanut butter based treats to a crowd, please be sure to label them for those who may have peanut allergies, to avoid a tragic story
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats- traditional Rice Krispie treats just got better with the addition of peanut butter and you only need 6 ingredients! Peanut butter lovers are going to go crazy for these gooey, marshmallow cereal bars! Sweet, salty, and SO good!
Ok, where are my peanut butter lovers at? Both of my hands are raised! I LOVE peanut butter. It is in my top 5 foods of all-time. I can’t live without it.
I also love classic Rice Krispie Treats so I decided to combine my two loves and make Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats. Peanut butter makes everything better, right?
Well, the verdict is in, andthese rice krispie treats are life changing! They are SO good, maybe TOO good! I wanted to hide them from my boys because I wanted them all to myself kind of good, ha!
You Only Need 6 Ingredients!
This recipe is super simple, you only need six ingredients and I bet you have them all in your kitchen right now!
- Butter– bring on the butter!
- Mini marshmallows– use MINI marshmallows! They are easier to melt and I like to stir in extra mini marshmallows to make the treats extra gooey! You will need a full 16 oz bag plus an additional cup, so buy two bags.
- Vanilla extract– add a splash!
- Sea salt– the sweet and salty combo is so good!
- Peanut butter– creamy peanut butter takes these RKT to a whole new level. Trust me!
- Crispy rice cereal– you can use the classic Kellogg’s Rice Krispies or a generic brand.
How to Make Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Whenever I need an easy dessert, I turn to rice krispie treats. They are no-bake, only take about 10 minutes to make, and everyone loves them!
- I like THICK rice krispie treats, so I use a square pan, go with an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch pan. Grease and set aside.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add a 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows are completely melted.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and sea salt. Add the peanut butter, this is where the magic happens. The peanut butter melts in with the marshmallows, swoon!
- Add the Rice Krispies and gently stir until all of the cereal is well coated. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of mini marshmallows.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Lightly press the mixture into the pan, using a greased spatula. You can also lightly grease your hands and press the mixture into the pan. Don’t press too hard, you don’t want to pack the treats in the pan, or they will get hard. Finish with a little sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
- For best results, let the treats cool for about an hour and then cut into squares, but I won’t tell if you sneak a square right away:)