May 24, 2020

Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

Healthier Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Crispy treats made with all natural peanut butter, dark chocolate, and sweetened with honey. Made without marshmallows, these healthier treats use real food ingredients to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

peanut butter rice crispy treat with a chocolate layer topped with sea salt

Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats with Chocolate

Homemade rice crispy treats were one of my favorite childhood snacks. Anyone else? They are just the right amount of chewy, sweet, and crisp, and I loved adding extra goodies like peanut butter or chocolate chips to the mix to make them my own.

Now that I’m older, and a bit more health conscious, the idea of eating rice crispy treats made with a ton of sugar or marshmallows made with weird ingredients does not sound as appealing. Thankfully, you can easily make a healthier version of your favorite rice crispy treats!

These healthier peanut butter rice crispy treats are made with all natural peanut butter, sweetened with honey, and finished with just the right amount of dark chocolate. This easy recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and made with simple real food ingredients.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Crispy Treat Ingredients

brown rice cereal with peanut butter in a glass mixing bowl

Gluten Free Brown Rice Crisp Cereal: Look for a brown rice cereal that has been lightly sweetened only and is gluten free.

Peanut Butter: Try to grab a peanut butter without any added oils, sugars, or other weird ingredients. Look for a jar made with only peanuts.

Honey: This sweetens the peanut butter mixture without having to use any marshmallows or processed sugar. You can also substitute maple syrup if you don’t have honey.

Vanilla Extract: Adds just the right amount of vanilla flavor.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon and peanut butter go really well together and just a pinch of cinnamon goes a long way. Feel free to leave this spice out if you prefer.

Salt: Helps to balance the sweetness of the honey in the peanut butter mixture. The flaky sea salt on top is also delicious.

Dark Chocolate: The slight bitterness of dark chocolate helps to balance the sweetness and richness of the honey and peanut butter. Use a chocolate bar or chocolate chips that are dairy-free if you are particularly concerned about these treats being dairy-free.

How to Make Healthier Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats Without Marshmallows

melted peanut butter in silver saucepan with spatula

Step One: Add the peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt to a saucepan. Heat the peanut butter mixture over medium low heat until everything is smooth and melted together.

 Step Two: Add the gluten free brown rice cereal to a large mixing bowl and then pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal. Stir until the peanut butter and cereal are well combined.

peanut butter and brown rice cereal in a glass mixing bowl with spatula

Step Three: Pour the cereal mixture into a prepared 8×8 pan. Use a spatula or your finger tips to press the bars evenly into the pan.

Step Four: Next, melt the dark chocolate chips. To do this add the chocolate chips and one tablespoon of coconut oil to the same small saucepan you used to make the peanut butter mixture. Heat the chocolate over medium heat until melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter treats and then use a spatula or knife to spread the chocolate into an even layer. Let the chocolate cool for forty-five minutes to an hour until it is completely set. Or, you can put the treats in the fridge to cool for fifteen to twenty minutes.

peanut butter rice crispy treats in a silver pan covered with melted chocolate

Step Five: Once the chocolate has set, cut the treats into squares, top with sea salt, and enjoy!

How to Store the Rice Crispy Treats

Once you have sliced the treats into individual squares, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge or freezer.

Tips for Perfect Rice Crispy Treats

peanut butter chocolate rice crispy treats stacked on top of each other with sea salt sprinkled on top

  • Don’t like peanut butter? Feel free to use almond butter, cashew butter, or your favorite nut butter blend.
  • Line your 8×8 pan with parchment paper so the rice crispy treats don’t stick to the pan. This will make lifting them out to cut them much easier.
  • Use a not stick spatula or wooden spoon when stirring the cereal and peanut butter mixture together.
  • If you want the chocolate layer to set a bit faster, you can put the bars in the fridge to chill.
  • Use a sharp knife when cutting the bars to get nice even pieces.
  • You can cut these treats into nine squares or sixteen squares. The peanut butter and chocolate combination is rich so I recommend cutting them into sixteen treats.

three peanut butter rice crispy treats stacked on each other

More Delicious Gluten Free Treats to Love

No Bake, Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Gluten Free Blueberry Pie Bars 

Raspberry Cashew Butter Cups 

Gluten Free Strawberry Crisp

Healthy, No Bake Snickerdoodle Energy Bites

Sea Salt Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bites 

Salted Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites 

 

Print

Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 3 1/2 cups brown rice crisps cereal
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Chocolate Layer

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • flakey sea salt, for topping

Method

  1. Add the peanut butter, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt to a small saucepan. Heat the peanut butter mixture over medium low heat until everything is warm and melted together.
  2. Add the gluten free brown rice cereal to a large mixing bowl and then pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal. Stir until the peanut butter and cereal are well combined.
  3. Pour the cereal mixture into a prepared 8×8 pan. Use a spatula or your finger tips to press the bars evenly into the pan.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and one tablespoon of coconut oil to the same small saucepan you used to make the peanut butter mixture. Heat the chocolate over medium heat until melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter treats and then use a spatula or knife to spread the chocolate into an even layer. Let the chocolate cool for around forty-five minutes until completely set.
  5. Once the chocolate has set, cut the treats into squares, top with sea salt, and enjoy!

Keywords: healthy peanut butter rice crispy treats, peanut butter, rice crispy treats, healthy rice crispy treats

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    24 comments
  1. I loved these bars, but that is no surprise. The real story here is my husband. I have made several “healthier” treats before and he was always underwhelmed; it was quite annoying. But when I made these rice crispy treats, he would ask me every night when we were going to eat these as an after-dinner snack! These treats are so delicious, I really don’t see making rice crispy treats any other way now.

  2. Just made these and OMG… it’s SO good! I almost ate half the batch already lol! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  3. These are my new favorite treat! I didn’t wait long enough for my peanut butter to get melty so my bars ended up being a little crumbly, but they still taste amazing. My grocery store only had cacao brown rice cereal, which ended up working great for these!

  4. I used maple syrup because… Canada haha and I seriously don’t know why I would ever eat a rice crispy treat any other way! Salty & sweet and so SO delicious! I’m already thinking about making another batch!

  5. These are so good! Made them for the first time tonight and both me and my husband loved them! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can’t wait to make them again!

  6. These are amazing! The peanut butter and cinnamon, plus the dark chocolate and flaky sea salt, a perfect combination! A delicious dessert without the guilt. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! I will be making these again and again!

    • I’m so happy you loved them, Emily! I totally agree, the flavor combination just makes these work. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  7. These look great – been craving some! What do you think of potentially using PB powder to cut down on the caloric content?

    • I’ve never used PB2 but you could definitely give it a try! You’ll just need the PB to be smooth and creamy. Hope that helps!

  8. These are so good and simple to make! Perfect for when you want something decadent and still healthy! Mine were a bit crumbly when I cut into them, which is down to user error. I went with a crunchy PB since that’s what I had on hand and it was a bit too dry or thick to fully mix with the rice cereal. Also, I don’t think I let it warm long enough on the stove. Will definitely make again with a creamy PB next time! Still, super delicious, and I’m going to repurpose the peanut-buttery rice crispy crumbles in some granola. Win, win! Thanks Ashlea for these tasty treats!

    • Abby, you’re the best! I love your positive attitude and your genius idea to use the crumbles in granola. So smart! Definitely try a creamy PB next time and warm it until it’s smooth and kind of melted. I think that will help a lot. So happy you liked these! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review with your great ideas as well!

  9. Just made these, and they are AMAZING. Perfectly sweet and crunchy, and dangerously easy! Will be on repeat at my house. Thank you!!

    • So happy you loved them, Jean! They’re a huge favorite around here, too! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  10. These were so delicious!! So easy to make and came together really quick! They made such a tasty little treat to snack on without feeling super guilty afterward!

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