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3 ingredients and 10 minutes (or less!) are all you need to make these rice krispie treats. They are crispy with just the perfect amount of sweetness and are the perfect snack or dessert to share with kids.

Sliced Rice Krispie Treats on parchment paper.
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Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

Growing up, one of my favorite school snacks that my mom would pack for me was the rice krispie treats from those bright blue wrappers made with marshmallows and butter.

As I got older, I began trying out different versions, including healthier twists on the classic recipe.

These 3 ingredient rice krispie treats took many tries to perfect because I really wanted to capture that sweet flavor, chewy, sticky texture, and the crispy crunch from the rice cereal.

And that is what I promise you with this recipe!

You should totally try these healthy cheerio cereal bars too :).

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.
  • Crispy rice cereal – you can use regular or brown rice krispies.
  • Peanut butter – Helps bind the bars together and adds protein, healthy fats, and a delicious nutty flavor. Smooth, natural style works best. you can swap with any nut butter, like almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter, to make it allergy friendly. Just make sure it’s the smooth kind.
  • Honey – Adds sweetness and helps bind the bars. You can also use brown rice syrup. I haven’t tried this with maple syrup, but please let me know if you do!
  • Vanilla extract – optional but adds great depth of flavor.

How to make Rice Crispy Treats without marshmallows

The traditional rice krispie treats recipe uses marshmallows for that iconic sticky, chewy texture and sweet flavor.

You can create that similar experience (although not as chewy) with the combination of peanut butter and honey.

The key is to make sure the 2 ingredients are well combined and smooth. This will help ensure that the rice crispy treats will stick together while having that perfect chew and crispness.

There are 3 ways to accomplish this:

  1. The easiest way: In a large bowl, combine ROOM temperature peanut butter and honey. The mixture needs to be completely smooth and runny.
  2. Microwave: Heat in a large microwave-safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring between each, until smooth. Should take about 40-60 seconds.
  3. On the stove: heat in a small saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is smooth. Don’t raise the heat or the mixture will burn or over-harden.

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage of how to make this no bake dessert.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter and honey.
  2. Pour the peanut butter mixture over rice cereal and stir until well-coated.
  3. Press the bars into a parchment-lined pan.
  4. Chill! Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight or freeze for at least an hour.
  5. Slice into 16 squares.

Tips for Success

An overhead shot of sliced rice crispy treats with toddler's hand.
  • Use room temperature peanut butter! You want it to be runny, not dry or thick. If you keep yours in the refrigerator, take it out at least an hour prior to making.
  • Be sure to use a 8×8 inch pan. If you use a larger size, the bars/squares will be too thin.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper to make it easy to pop the bars right out of the pan. Also makes cleanup a breeze.
  • Press the mixture FIRMLY into the lined pan. I like to use parchment paper so that it holds its shape and doesn’t end up on my hands.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut. I like to use a serrated knife.

Mix-in Options

While delicious as is, here are some delicious add-in suggestions:

  • Nuts – finely chopped or ground
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds – here’s a brain boosting rice crispy treats recipe that I contributed for the Food Network Blog!
  • Freeze-dried fruits – crushed
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles

The Best Way to Enjoy these Rice Krispie Treats

Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. These crispy squares are best when served straight from the refrigerator. They will hold the shape the best and have the perfect texture.

You can also crumble and enjoy with milk (here’s the ultimate guide to best milk for babies and toddlers) or yogurt for a quick and easy breakfast for toddlers and kids.

If intending to pack as a school snack or travel food, be sure to include an ice pack to keep them cool along with other foods that may need to be kept cold as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of cereal works best?

Any crispy rice cereal will work! You can use the classic rice Krispies cereal, which is most budget-friendly, or other alternatives, like sprouted brown rice crisps. And here’s a list of best healthy cereals for kids.

What is the best way to store these rice krispie treats?

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They’re best enjoyed cold. Do NOT store at room temperature as the bars will soften.

Can I freeze these?

I recommend wrapping each piece in cling wrap storing in a freezer safe bag or container. You can also lay them flat in a freezer bag as shown here. They will stay good for 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before you eat.

More No Bake Snacks

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 12 votes

Healthy Rice Krispie Treats

3 ingredients and 10 minutes (or less!) are all you need to make these rice krispie treats. They are crispy with just the perfect amount of sweetness and are the perfect snack or dessert to share with kids.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 16
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Ingredients 

  • 4 cups crispy rice
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter and honey (see note).
  • Pour the peanut butter mixture over rice cereal and stir until well-coated. Press the bars into a parchment-lined 8×8 inch pan. Press the mixture FRIMLY into the pan. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight or freeze for at least an hour.
  • Slice into 16 squares using a sharp knife (a serrated knife works really well) and enjoy!

Notes

  1. You want to make sure the peanut butter and honey is well combined and smooth. Here are 3 ways:
    1. The easiest way: In a large bowl, combine ROOM temperature peanut butter and honey. The mixture needs to be completely smooth and runny.
    2. Microwave: Heat in a large microwave-safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring between each, until smooth. Should take about 40-60 seconds
    3. On the stove: heat in a small saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is smooth. Don’t raise the heat or the mixture will burn or overharden.
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Nutrition

Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 44mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 4mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

5 from 12 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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6 Comments

  1. Hi MJ,
    Have you ever tried this with tahini and honey? Will it bind well? My son’s school is nut free so I’m thinking of trying this with alternatives.

    Thank you!