Crispy Rice Treats (Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Marshmallow Free)


crispy rice treats

Oh my … that’s a long title, now isn’t it?  But I wanted you to get the idea.  These aren’t your normal, marshmallow filled rice crispy treats.  They are a twist on the traditional version, and a little healthier too.

We are a (partially) gluten free house and I’m always trying to find gluten free healthy food for my daughter to snack on and… I’ll be totally honest …..  it’s hard.  Anytime I search ‘gluten free’ in Pinterest I get a ton of alternative flour recipes for bread and muffins and cakes.  And that’s not what I’m looking for.

I just want a non bread kind of kid snack that is gluten free, free of dyes and preservatives and is EASY.

So we decided to take the traditional rice crispy treat and make our own.  The difference between our and ‘theirs’ is in the quality of the ingredients.  If you use the traditional Rice Krispies cereal you will get this in there:

  • Rice, Sugar, Salt, Flavoring Malt, Ascorbic Acid, Alpha Tocopherol Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide Vitamin B3, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride HCL, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Thiamin Hydrochloride Vitamin B1, Folic Acid Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, BHT

And if you used marshmallows, you’d be adding this as well:

  • Corn Syrup, Sugar, Corn Starch Modified, Water, Gelatin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Flavors Artificial, Colors Artificial ( Blue 1 )

That’s when Rice Krispie Treats become unhealthy!  Why there’s Artificial Blue coloring in marshmallows is a mystery too.


These crispy rice treats are held together with honey, not marshmallows.  And peanut butter.  If you have a peanut allergy in your family, almond butter would be a good substitute.

I kept these simple as you can see.  There are no added chocolate chips, butterfingers, Reeses Pieces, sprinkles or M&Ms.   It is a simple recipe with just natural rice cereal, organic honey, peanut butter and vanilla.  The peanut butter I use is just nuts.  There are no added oils or sugars.

That’s it!

So make these instead and I promise you your kids will not be complaining!


Crispy Rice Treats (Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Marshmallow Free)

These rice treats have no added refined sugars or marshmallows. They are gluten free and naturally sweetened using honey. The protein from the peanut butter makes them a great little snack to put in the kids lunchboxes or afterschool.

  • Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 4 cups rice cereal (I use THIS)
  • 1/2 cup organic honey
  • 1/2 cup organic peanut butter (I use THIS)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper
  2. Heat the honey, peanut butter, vanilla and salt in a pan over low heat until it all melts together.
  3. Pour the rice cereal into a large bowl and pour the melted honey and peanut butter over it. Stir together.
  4. Press into the baking pan HARD using either a rubber spatula or your hand with wax or parchment paper.
  5. Let cool and cut into squares.


All nutrition information is approximate

Calories 110; Fat 4 gr; Cholesterol 0; Sodium 150 mg; Carbs 16.4 gr; Fiber.6 gr; Sugar 9.6 gr; Protein 2.2 gr


  • Serving Size: 16 squares

Recipe Source:
I used all organic ingredients when making this recipe, and hope you do too!  🙂




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  1. Beth Beigh says:

    Thank you, this is the perfect recipe to use for my son’s farm birthday; he loves peanut butter and I’m going for a “haybale” look! I love that no corn syrup or other refined sugars! Thanks for experimenting for the rest of us!

  2. Ellen Stewart says:

    Honey is pure sugar and will affect your body in the negative ways that sugar will. Definitely not something you can call “sugar free”

    • Don’t be silly! 🙂 I believe we all know the author means. “refined sugar free”

      • Dr.Bulma says:

        Refined and unrefined sugar are gram for gram the same. These have more carbohydrates than the ones you buy in the store. They are dangerous for diabetics and unhealthy for anyone.

  3. These are delicious!! I used almond butter because that’s what I have on hand. I’m wondering if anyone has tried making these with agave nectar? I have a huge bottle to use up. I’m wondering if it has to be cooked down to thicken it up a bit first. I’m happy to experiment, but I’ll take advice where I can get it!

    • Anonymous says:

      I used Agave today and the treats did not hold together well. I would thicken the syrup first. I also, added butter to mine, which was a mistake and probably added to the crumbly quality of the rice krispies.
      Good luck! Lisa

  4. Honey is sugar

    • honey is natural and not modified by Monsanto

      • Whether natural or not, honey is still definitely sugar.

        The only GM sugar out there comes from sugar beets; cane sugar is still not GMO.

        • Cane sugar is one crop that has not been genetically modified.

          In other words, while you will see some sugar companies choosing to apply for Non-GMO Project Verified seals for their cane sugar, in reality, anyone who works with sugar should know that (as of now anyway) all cane sugar is non-GMO.
          Additionally, all Certified Organic sugar is non-genetically modified.

          That is because organic certification guidelines prohibit GMO ingredients. If you see Certified Organic beet sugar or sugar made from other sources, it will not be genetically modified.

      • If a diabetic was about to eat one of these, and asked “is this sugar free?” Would you say “Yes! Eat away.”?
        “Sugar free” definitely has a specific meaning, even though “sugar” does not.

        If you look at the nutrition label on a honey jar, it will say that 21g contained 17g of carbohydrates, of which 17g are “sugar”.

  5. crystal pitt says:

    Love this recipe. I used less honey and replaced the difference with more peanut butter since I found it a bit sweet the first time I made it. I added chopped peanuts and flax seed for some crunch and healthy omega 3.

  6. Could you determine and post nutrition facts such as calories, fat, etc?

    • I started adding the nutrition content in my later recipes lah and it will take some time before I’m able to go back through the old ones and calculate everything. There are some good online calculators that you can use that are pretty accurate.

  7. This website needs a HUGE disclaimer. It should read “Mom’s make these when the kids are not around so you don’t have to share them!” I think rice crispy treats are gross, but the kids like them. I figured I’d make this healthier recipe for them to try and when I tried it I fell in love! I can’t stop eating them. So happy to have a chemical free treat for the kids now. Thank you!

    • oh my gosh Michelle you scared me when I first read that! LOL !!!! I am so glad you liked them better than the kids. You know I have a baked chicken nugget recipe on this site that my husband and I L-O-V-E. The kids? eeh …. ha ha ha Go figure! Thanks for your comment!

  8. These look so good! Without marshmallows they are vegetarian and for the vegans who don’t eat honey they could use agave

  9. The additives in the Rice Krispies look like vitamins.

  10. Thank you for the recipe. I had made these today and it taste great. Just that I could not get the rice krispies to stick together. Is it because I did not press it HARD enough? Does it require long refrigeration?
    Have you tried making the rice krispies into balls ? Would they be able to stay together? Hear from you.

    Thank you

  11. In the area where I live, an 8 year old Boy with Nut allergies died because of a recipe similar too this – it’s one of those recipes where you wouldn’t think there’d be nut/peanut products. It sounds like a great recipe and all but if you do make it for a party make sure people know what’s in it!

  12. Making these today, thanks for the recipe! FYI: the artificial blue coloring is to make the marshmallows bright white in color.

  13. do you think that adding a nut butter is necessary to this recipe. Do you think these would stay together using just honey?

  14. What’s the shelf life without refrigeration.

    • We’ve never made it that far! LOL
      My advice would be to split them in half and freeze half. You can always take them out of the freezer when you want them.

  15. I just made these with the following adjustments: I used rice malt syrup to make them sugar free and I substituted the peanut butter for homemade sunflower seed butter to make them a school friendly nut free treat. I also used a combination of puffed quinoa and puffed amaranth. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • wow you really worked this recipe didn’t you Faye? LOL Good for you! Your additions/substitutions are terrific!

  16. What are the carbs for this recipe?

  17. So glad you have this recipe. My son cannot have corn syrup, and all the rice treats recipes call for marshmallows. These are so delicious and he can enjoy them. 🙂

  18. I just wanted to say that I think these look quite tasty! However, labeling them as “sugar free” is misleading as honey is just another form of pure sugar. If anyone thinks they are getting a completely sugar free rice crispy treat they are sorely mistaken with this recipe. Possibly “refined sugar free” would be better.

    • Yes exactly. The term “sugar free” refers to dietary sugars which are found in honey. The author is perhaps misinformed. “Sugar free” does not mean the ingredient sugar, so calling these sugar free is a gross misnomer.

      • Anonymous says:

        But, you too are misinformed. Honey is unlike sugar. It is all natural and good for you. Honey is NO form of sugar. Sugar can go bad, honey can never go bad. This recipe is COMPLETELY sugar free. So therefore, both of you are wrong. I just thought I’d clear up your obvious confusion.

        • It’s not good for a Diabetic…. this recipe is not sugar free and labeling as such could have negative consequences. I don’t care that “it can never go bad” and I’m not sure why you would think something not going bad means it is therefore “good” and can be called “sugar free” in other news … hostess Twinkies decalred by the above poster to be ‘health food” because “they don’t go bad”

          • This recipe was never intended for a diabetic diet. It’s generally a very popular after school snack for kids that has been remade to be a little healthier than the conventional boxed ones from the store.

            • Then please don’t say “sugar free”. I was looking for a sugar free variant for this treat, saw this and my hopes got dashed because of the honey.

              • There is also sugar in the alternate brand of Rice Krispies. Brown rice syrup is also chemically sugar.

  19. Could these be frozen?

  20. Have you tried this recipe with cocoa krispies (the type from EarthFare, not the name brand)? We have a 3/4 of a box in the pantry right now and I’m thinking they may also good as a substitute.

  21. Laurie Fuhry says:

    Another peanut butter alternative, The Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter made from golden peas. Found at Whole Foods. For those of us who are allergic to peanuts, almonds and Sunflower seeds.

  22. These sound great! I wonder, though – could they be made with maple syrup instead of the honey to make them vegan-friendly?

  23. Now that’s a rice krispy treat I can live with. Thanks so much for sharing.

  24. This is a great recipe, but please inform people if you take these to a party. Rice Krispy treats are often considered safe for peanut allergies and someone might accidentally eat one if allergic. Please label your foods and be aware if there are any food allergic people around.

  25. I just wanted to add that many people who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to tree nuts. If you are making these for someone with allergies or if your child is in a nutfree school/class, SunButter is a better alternative to almond or peanut butter.

    • Kayla Bradley says:

      I agree with you. I use SunButter with everything. I have had a few mom’s get upset with me for serving “peanut butter items” I quickly tell them if I am in the same room with Peanut butter cooking or being eaten I quit breathing. SunButter is the same consistency and taste exactly the same. I love it.

  26. These look great! How is it that they are no sugar? Do you mean no processed sugar? Honey acts the same as sugar once it enters your bloodstream, and I’m just trying to decipher lingo, since I’m newer to the healthy alternatives for our family. Thanks!

  27. If my natural peanut butter has salt should I still add the extra 1/2 tsp of salt too?

  28. Did I miss the part about the rice cereal?? What kind do you use if not Rice Krispies??

  29. Wow these are fantastic ! Our household is no gluten,dairy,eggs and we try not to do processed foods. These are going to become a staple 🙂

  30. I have been looking for a healthier version of these. Thanks so much. Im so excited.


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